From Financial Ombudsman Service last week...
Complaint about faulty laptop bought with credit card.
Miss T’s new laptop developed a serious fault just six weeks after she had bought it, so she took it back to the supplier and asked for a refund or replacement.
The supplier told her it was unable to help. It suggested that she should get in touch with the manufacturer, who would arrange to inspect the laptop and then decide whether to repair or replace it.
Miss T explained that she was busy revising for her college exams and could not afford to lose study time while the laptop was out of action. However, the supplier was adamant that her only course of action was to contact the manufacturer.
Concerned about the amount of time this might take, Miss T then visited a different supplier, where she used her credit card to buy another laptop.
She had used her credit card to buy the original laptop and a few weeks later, once her exams were out of the way, she contacted her credit card provider.
She explained the problem she had experienced with the original laptop and said she wanted to claim a refund.
However, the card provider told her it could not help because it was ‘not responsible for the quality of goods bought with a credit card’.
Miss T arranged to have her laptop inspected at a local computer centre and was told that there was a problem with the motherboard.
She subsequently obtained another report on the laptop from an independent computer specialist. This confirmed that the motherboard was faulty – and said that replacing it would cost more than the value of the laptop.
Miss T then referred her complaint to us.
On the basis of the evidence supplied by Miss T, we said that the laptop was not fit for purpose, as it should not have developed a fault of this nature so soon after Miss T had bought it.
We noted that Miss T had attempted to reject the laptop as soon as the fault became evident. She had only bought a replacement because it was essential for her studies and because the retailer had failed to deal correctly with her complaint.
We pointed out to the card provider that it was jointly liable with the supplier for any breach of contract.