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PSU Warranty replacement woes

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by B1GBUD, 14 Mar 2011.

  1. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    ring consumer direct they will tell you everything you need to know regarding your rights

    http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/contact

    this is what they are there for

    id get legal adivce after because at the minute you need consumer rights advice
     
  2. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Progress at last!!!, Quiet PC have issued me with an RMA, they will repair or replace it should they not be able to fix the faulty fan.

    Hooray for common sense.
     
  3. Banana Jack

    Banana Jack New Member

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    It's a really interesting point in law and certainly gave rise to a lot of discussion here in the Quiet PC office! We did offer a full refund on the Xilence PSU, but B1GBUD declined it which he is perfectly entitled to do of course, especially given that it would have cost him nearly as much to post the power supply back to us as the refund was worth. But we mainly made this offer on the basis that Xilence just don't make that power supply any more, so a direct replacement just isn't possible.

    We allow customers the opportunity to "upgrade" their power supply at the same time as making a warranty claim as a favour and convenience for customers. Unfortunately as we have discovered, it seems to open a whole can of legal worms. Perhaps the easiest thing would be to disallow this course of action in future - I'm not sure.

    If anyone does have a definitive legal answer about this situation, I'd be very interested to hear it! It's important that our terms and conditions of trading at the very minimum meet legal obligations, and hopefully in many areas exceed them (for example we offer a 30-day money back guarantee rather than the 7 day legal minimum under the Distance Selling Regulations).

    In general I like to think that common sense prevails in these kind of situations. We didn't think that providing a brand new unit plus warranty to a customer who has had nearly five years' use of previously-supplied PSUs made much sense, but we're always up for discussion about it, although I admit we tend to be less "up for discussion" when the customer comes in all guns blazing quoting chapter and verse of any laws which may or may not be relevant and demanding the moon on a stick (I'm not saying that's necessarily what happened here).

    Here's another interesting question - if or when we replace B1GBUD's power supply, when will the warranty on that new unit start? The date he bought his original Zalman model (12 Oct 2006) ? Then it's out of warranty even before we start. The date he upgraded to the Xilence model when his Zalman unit expired? Then he's only got a few weeks of warranty left. The date we supply the replacement power supply? So he gets a new warranty and could in theory continue ad infinitum? I don't know what the answer is but it's an interesting question!

    Banana Jack
    Quiet PC UK
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2011
  4. sp4nky

    sp4nky BF3: Aardfrith WoT: McGubbins

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    Nobody will have a definitive legal answer until it's considered by a court of law and precedent is set. Unless such an event has happened, any advice you receive will just be that - advice. However, were I in your position, as a retailer, I would take legal advice on the subject.

    One small point which you probably know about but some consumers don't realise, the 7 day legal minimum is 7 working days, which excludes Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, even if the retailer is open on those days. It would be interesting to know whether your 30-day guarantee is for working days or calendar days.
     
  5. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    Banana Jack, I commend you on opening the debate up again on these forums and stating your case, as well as offering to fix the problem. This is how I would feel about the situation:

    I would expect that anything I bought to last me for a reasonable time, for a decent PSU that should be 4-5 years, if a PSU I bought failed in under 3 years I'd say it was faulty, whether it's just a single bad component that has worn down over the years or just bad design.

    If the replacement then developed a fault within the first half of it's lifespan then I wouldn't consider it a worthy replacement.

    I realise this isn't your fault as it's not your job to unbox and test every component that goes through your hands but surely there must be some system whereby you can send faulty products back to the manufacturer or your supplier and get a refund yourselves?

    How else would the manufacturer/supplier be able to get a handle on what might be wrong with the design/parts chosen so they can make more informed choices for future designs?

    As I'm sure you appreciate, Investing in computer hardware isn't cheap for most people so if we pay the extra for something that should be designed to last, we'd be at best disappointed if it didn't, at worst without a computer for months (or even damaged hardware).
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2011
  6. glendronach

    glendronach New Member

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    Having read your T&Cs I think you should withdraw this comment.

    You do not comply with the UK Distance Selling Regulations as laid out.

    Your T&Cs
    At that time we will provide you with a returns (RMA) number which you need to quote on the outside of the returned package and along with your name and address on a covering letter inside the returned package. Goods returned without an RMA number will not be accepted. If we do not receive your goods within 14 days of the RMA number being issued to you, then the RMA number becomes void and you will need to request a new RMA number.

    All goods must be returned as supplied with regard to packaging and general condition. In the event that goods are returned in unacceptable condition, refunds will made at our discretion and any refund made will be subject to a restocking fee. All special order items and items sold to trade customers are subject to a restocking fee. Please ensure your parcel is sensibly and suitably packed and protected.


    The Regulations
    Refunds
    On the cancellation of a contract, any sum paid by the consumer must be repaid as soon as possible and, in any case, within 30 days of cancellation. The full price paid for the goods must be refunded and this includes the cost of delivery of the goods to the consumer.

    Return of goods by consumer after cancellation
    If the consumer has received the goods before cancelling the contract, the consumer will be under a duty to restore those goods to the supplier and, in the meantime, to keep them and take reasonable care of them. This duty to take reasonable care ends if the consumer (at his own expense) sends the goods to the supplier. The consumer is under no obligation to deliver the goods to the supplier except at the consumer's own premises and in pursuance of a written request by the supplier.

    Note that failure by a consumer to return goods will not permit the supplier to delay in making a refund. Similarly, if a consumer returns damaged goods he or she does not necessarily lose the right to cancel. The supplier can only rely on the right of action against the consumer for breaching the statutory duty to take reasonable care of the goods.

    If, within 21 days following cancellation of the distance contract, the supplier requests the consumer to return the goods and the consumer unreasonably refuses or unreasonably fails to comply with the request, the consumer's obligation to retain possession and take reasonable care of the goods continues until he delivers the goods to the supplier.

    If the supplier fails to request the return of the goods within 21 days following cancellation of the distance contract, the consumer's obligation to take reasonable care of the goods ceases at the end of the 21 day period.
     
  7. Banana Jack

    Banana Jack New Member

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    Wow thanks for your quick responses guys! sp4nky: Considering how expensive lawyers are, I think we would rather spend their fees on making customers happier by being lenient in borderline or grey-area RMA cases!

    To answer your question, "30 days" in this case refers to 30 calendar days, as most people would think of 30 days as being calendar days (i.e. about a month) if used in everyday English, and it keeps things simple. You are right of course that DSR refers to working days though.

    Deders: Totally agree with all your points, although we have seen in the office that cheaper power supplies (e.g. Xilence) can sometimes fail sooner than more expensive ones (e.g. Zalman), but there are always exceptions to the rule, and I guess it's not surprising that in general "you get what you pay for" holds true. Yes, we do usually get replacements or credits for faulty units which we send back to the manufacturer. Sometimes for various reasons we have to stand the loss ourselves but we try not to make a habit of it. I don't personally handle the returns so I don't know the details there.

    glendronach: Sorry for my bad wording. I should have said we offer a 30-day money back guarantee in addition to the 7 day legal minimum (not "rather than"). Of course we do comply with the UK Distance Selling Regulations as laid out since doing otherwise would be illegal. Discussing DSR is pretty irrelevant to this thread though, since the purchase was made in 2006. As Derders said, it's more relevant in this case to talk about products lasting for a "reasonable time", with the phrase "reasonable time" being used in law as part of the Sale of Goods Act, and also unfortunately open to a certain amount of interpretation and opinion.

    Anyway I think it will all work out fine in the end, as an RMA number has indeed been given in this case. I'm more than happy to discuss any finer points privately.
     
  8. sp4nky

    sp4nky BF3: Aardfrith WoT: McGubbins

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    There are ways around legal fees. If you want to use this case as an example, you could go ask ConsumerDirect for advice or visit your local CAB, claiming to be the consumer and presenting the events, then ask about where "you", i.e. the consumer stands. They should be able to tell you what the retailer's legal obligations are.
     
  9. QPCFordy

    QPCFordy New Member

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    Hi Everyone

    Andy here from QuietPC

    I don't normally join any forums but I felt I that it was necessary on this occasion to set the record straight.

    Firstly we are not refusing to honor the 24 month warranty. We no longer stock that particular model so we are unable to offer a direct like for like replacement. As a result of that we have already offered a full refund on the Xilence PSU. this is standard practice at QuietPC.

    Finally, from what we have been told, the PSU has a faulty fan. If that is the case then I will simply replace the fan, that's no problem at all. RMA details have already been sent and we are awaiting the return of the PSU for inspection.

    Kind Regards,

    -Andy
     
  10. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Just thought I'd chip in to say that I've been pleased so far with the responses from Quiet PC, they are generally very helpful (Andy, I think you may remember I had some problems with a Zalmon Reserator 2 which you tested and promptly returned to me) I just wanted some clarification on the PSU in terms of how the warranty, eg, is it Xilence or Quiet PC who honoured a warranty if one still stands.

    The PSU is on it's way to you, should be there by tomorrow morning. You'll notice after a few minutes that there is a noticeable clicking sound eminating from it.

    Thanks for all your help, this thread certainly isn't an attack on Quiet PC, but it did serve to highlight some concerns that I had.
     
  11. QPCFordy

    QPCFordy New Member

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    Hi BigBud

    I'll check/Put the PSU on test just as soon as it arrives back here. If it is the fan causing the noise then replacing it should be a doddle and we can probably have that back to you by Thursday :D

    If it more than just a fan problem then I'm afraid that it would be a full refund.

    To everyone else with regards to a decent PSU that should last 4-5 years:

    I agree it would be great to think that you could buy a high quality PSU and know it will last you 4, 5 or even 6 years but at the end of the day, regardless of the reason the unit failed if it's out of warranty then it's out of warranty. You can't just turn around and say "well I think it should have lasted longer" therefore I would like some form of recompense. Support for goods has to end at some point and that's why we have warranties so you know how long you are covered for. If the cover isn't long enough then perhaps look at an alternative with a longer, more acceptable warranty period.

    I have had goods fail on me after the warranty period has expired but that's life. There is no point in me crying over it. When the warranty period expires that it. I don't expect anything.

    At QuietPC you will find that we are far more lenient than any other supplier when it come to out of date warranties, often taking PSU's back up to a month after the warranty has expired and often at our own cost and that's something I know none of the big guys do. Some will literally sit there and count the seconds down to the end of your warranty with absolutely no compromise.

    I/we take great pride on our customer service and often go above/beyond what is necessary and in the 5 years I have been with the company I can only think of perhaps 3 or 4 customers who were not entirely happy with our levels of customer service which I personally don't think is bad going!
     
  12. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    I think offering to repair and possible full refund is more than fair.
     
    Last edited: 21 Mar 2011
  13. alleyne

    alleyne New Member

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    to: QPCFordy & Banana Jack

    Can i just say how great it is to see reps from company's actively engaging in the forum discussions. I am taking no ones side here but Quiet PC, you have jumped up in my favored manufactures list!
     
  14. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    Might want to stick them on your fave retailer list instead
     
  15. alleyne

    alleyne New Member

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    EDIT: retailer list
     
  16. Banana Jack

    Banana Jack New Member

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    Hi alleyne & Deders - thanks for your kind words! Yes, believe it or not Andy and I are PC enthusiasts too! And I suppose a discussion is always more interesting when you've got input from several different angles, so it is a pleasure to participate.

    B1GBUD - we got the PSU back today thanks. It was absolutely caked in dust, hence it's no surprise the fan failed. The good news is that Andy was able to replace the fan with a new one so it should be on its way back to you soon. Our advice to you and anyone else reading is that if you run your PC in a dusty location, it would be prudent to occasionally blow out the dust to prevent overheating/excess noise/premature failure! We sell cans of "air" for £6 which may sound expensive, but they can save a heck of a lot of money in the long run!

    Anyway thanks again for all your comments and support guys.
     
  17. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    Good repsonses guys and excellent service it nice to see such openness and consideration.

    i must point out though that when a warranty ends it is not the end as The Sale of Goods Act 1979 as amended states (quote from consumerdirect):

    Buying a high end PSU for it to blow up after 1-year out of warranty for instance the consumer can challange that this is not of satifactory quality espically if its a high end purchase. If the consumer can prove the PSU died through no fault of his own then he would be entitled to claim a repair, refund or replacement out of warranty. This obvisouly ONLY applies to a consumer NOT business to business.

    I have had the same issue with a HD TV that had went faulty (panal went green) out of warranty and had it replaced free of charge with a new one because people do not buy TVs expecting it to last a 1-2 years then buy a new one. Most people will keep a TV for several years before purchasing a new one.
     
  18. QPCFordy

    QPCFordy New Member

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    Hi Adam

    I can remember on one occasion when a customer did try this so I contacted trading standards to be clear where we stood legally and they did say emphasis that it was entirely up to the customer to prove it and as such that would no doubt mean getting some kind of electronic engineer to inspect the unit at a cost (most likely) far more than actual cost buying a replacement.

    Thankfully though 99.99% of all customers accept the end of the warranty period as being the end of the cover.
     

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