Consumer Rights About Computers

Exercising Your Consumer Rights for your Faulty Computer?

Here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service quite often a customer will bring us a faulty computer device (for which they paid an above-average price) that falls just outside the manufacturer’s usually 12 months’ warranty (sometimes up to 24 months).  They bring us the computer after having been told by the retailer or the manufacturer’s customer service department that the required repair will be at the customer’s expense.  This brings into question what are consumer rights about Computers? Note that we are not talking about accidental damage caused by something like a liquid spill or smashing a laptop screen – which would be at the customers’ expense.

We also have instances when customers tell us that their computer has never functioned correctly or has been problematic since it was first purchased – but they never went back to the place of purchase to get it repaired or replaced whilst it was under warranty.

Expired Manufacturer’s Warranty

Even in cases where the manufacturer’s warranty may have recently expired, many people just accept that a faulty computer will “need” to be repaired or replaced at their own expense.  This is often the case even for products that may have originally cost $1,500 or $2,000 or more at time of purchase.

When buying a laptop or computer they are often sold on the basis of being above-average price means above average in terms of quality and reliability of the computer.  In other words, they were sold the argument that in addition to increased features and performance – a higher priced product bought them better quality and reliability.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with this reasoning provided that – when things do go wrong – you can expect a better level response from that retailer, distributor or manufacturer, rather than the very same response as if you had spent a mere $500 for a cheaper, but essentially similar product.

Consumer Rights About Computers – Australian Consumer Law 

If you find yourself in this position, take some time to review your options.  One of those options is to get your computer repaired here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service.  Another option – before bringing it to us – is to check your rights as a consumer under Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which came into effect on 01 January 2011.

The s54 of the ACL is a statutory guarantee of acceptable quality enforceable against the suppliers of goods (i.e. retailers, dealerships, etc.), as well as manufacturers. This section of the law requires that goods be fit for the purposes they are commonly used for, acceptable in appearance and finish, free from defects, safe and durable, all according to the standards of a “reasonable consumer”.  The ACL’s guarantees mean you can get some faulty goods replaced even if they are out of warranty.  These are the consumer rights about computers and other goods that need to be taken into account when making your decision.,

In previous articles, we have looked at the options confronting consumers when deciding what to purchase as their next computer, including product obsolescence, life expectancy and price.  You can find that article here (Which is the Best Computer to Buy), or if you are a Mac user (or someone intending to make the switch from Windows), how long can you or should you expect that new Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or Mac Mini to last (Brisbane Computer Retail Technician Advice – How long do Macs last?).

Apple Macs

On this last point, and especially on the topic of Apple Mac devices, some people have expressed overly optimistic and even unrealistic expectations in terms of their expected service life.  This may have something to do with their initial purchase price which is often considerably more than a comparable laptop / notebook / 2 in 1 or desktop computer running MS Windows, as well as some talk that has been generated about the brand and the product range over the years, some of it justified, some of it less so.

How Long Should Electrical Appliances Last?

The consumer rights organisation Choice has recently called on the ACCC and their state government equivalents to revise their guidelines on how long Australians should expect their electrical appliances to last.  The ABC reported on the findings.

Choice advises consumers that they should expect 4 years from a budget or entry-level laptop, 6 years for a mid-range model and 8 years for a high-end laptop.  These may not be unrealistic guidelines – but from our experience, these timelines are dependent on a number of factors, key amongst them being how someone chooses to look after and maintain their computer, laptop or Mac over the course of the computer’s lifetime.  Just remember that if your faulty computer device shows any signs of accidental breakage, misuse or neglect, you may as well forget using the ACL’s guarantees to support your case for repair or replacement at manufacturer’s cost, and contact Affordable Computer Repairs and Service instead.

FYI More consumer information from Choice.

For further information and helpful advice on consumer rights about computers, contact us at Affordable Computer Repairs on (07) 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707.

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Affordable Computer Repairs and Service Brisbane