How to return a faulty PC??

    I bought a refurbished computer back in August. When we were given the PC (waiting almost 30mins after paying for them to bring it out) it was the wrong one... the details were wrong. The guy said "it's a computer" but the spec was £50-£100 worse!! They managed to get us the right one.

    A day after using it I had to take it back... one of the drives didn't register and the Hard Disk made an awful grinding noise. We got a replacement PC.

    In about October I installed some software to monitor the motherboard because things had been acting strangely. This program discovered that the CPU was running at a melting 76*C, but we ignored it because the other stats were way out...

    In November we were having so much trouble with the BSOD that we decided to reformat. The only problem was that the recover disc they had given us was in SWEDISH, so we had to go all the way back to the shop to get the disc replaced.

    **At this point may I mention that the shop is over 30 miles away... a 60 mile round trip each time isn't that great.**

    I reformatted the PC. It worked okay until about the 15th of December, whebn we started getting the odd blue screen again. This increased until recently when there were loads of blue screens. Each time it blue screens you understand you have to reboot and it starts all over again. Now then... each time it did a BSOD (Ble Screen of Death) there was a different error number. I did searches for these on Google and most pointed to corrupt memory. I used a program called memtest86 to do a memory scan for corrupt sectors... and the computer powered off half way through. The software developer says that this could mean it's CPU, Motherboard or Memory problems and then another site hinted that it could be a faulty power supply. That's most of the computer.

    Then if things couldn't get much worse... our DVD player was making discs 'stick'. We bought a new DVD player... it still happened. We changed our brand of DVD-R... twice. I can only assume that it's the DVD Writer.

    Also, the wireless LAN card doesn't load with the PC after it's been off for a few hours. The software doesn't load in the system tray and if it's manually loaded. then the error message says "Software cannot be loaded until the wireless LAN card is inserted". The PC has to be rebooted about 3 times before it decides to load the LAN card.

    So I rang them up last week. He said bring it in on Monday.

    We took it in this morning and here's the results:

    1) He's rebooted it several times with no problem.
    2) The LAN card appears to be loading (but he's not had it off long enough for it not to load).
    3) He's defragged it (something I can do myslef).
    4) He's had it on since 11am and it's not crashed.
    5) He couldn't test it with memtest86 because the office network won't let him download it.

    I told him that it only crashed when you are actually USING it and browsing the internet and stuff, so he says he'll "type a letter on it tomorrow". WOW!! That'll use up a lot of system resources!!

    Sorry for the long post, but WHAT can I do if this computer-illiterate guy says that there's just nothing wrong with it? I've had so many problems with it... it's just stressful. Why do I want a PC I can't use? There's still 6 months warranty left on it too. I don't think it'll last 6 months at this rate.

    :x at the computer people!!

    Please help me.


    Hi Ducky,

    Wow, some problems you are having.
    Did you buy it from a 'large' high street shop? What kind of guarantee did you receive?
    Are all the faults on paper, IE from the shop? Did they write down that so and so has been repaired/done each time you went to them?

    I would write a letter to the shop (Send it R/D or even better S/D) saying you you would like a full refund or you will be contacting trading standards.
    I would also be contemplating taking them to the small claims court if they mess you about anymore. This can be done online and very easily.
    Also, how did you pay?

    Original Poster

    Payed with debit card... so no protection form the credit card guys.

    I'm aware of the small claims court thing.

    They haven't written anything down because the first time they just swapped it and the second time we just had the disc swapped.

    I'm hoping it'll crash on him tomorrow...

    The company is just a mail order electonics place... they tend to sell cables and things like that more than anything. We bought this at their trade counter.

    Here is what I would do:

    1. Connect PC to different outlet and preferrably without any extension leads.
    2. Start up PC, let it run for some time, then restart it and log in to BIOS (usually you have to press DEL, F2 or something similar, refer to user manual). Most BIOSes show CPU temperature somewhere under Hardware State or similar menu. It should not exceed 50-60 degrees Celsius.
    3. Start Windows normally. Install Speedfan and run it. Don't worry about some weird temperatures it show, concentrate on CPU temperature instead. Also it is worth checking SMART information for each Hard Drive - it is easy, just go to SMART section, select drive and read conclusion below.
    4. If everything seems OK, then download and install SISoft Sandra (the free version). This software can do benchmarking and also will put it unders stress.

    I personally think that this PC has problems with PSU, especially when you pointed to the fact that DVD recorder won't record disks. And it seems like fan on CPU (or thermal interface) isn't that good. Post your findings here and we'll start thinking how to fix these problems. Also it would be useful to know the spec.

    Original Poster

    The problem is that I don't currently have the PC here... and I can't open the case to replace parts (which would be nice) because of the warranty).

    Was it a VISA Debit Card.
    If so you may well be covered. What bank did the money come out of?

    and I can't open the case to replace parts

    That's why I wrote about software diagnostics

    The problem is that I don't currently have the PC here.

    Yes, this is real problem

    This site has a bit about zero liability on Visa debit cards which may be useful but it does depend on the bank. I had a similar issue with a purchase i made on my Lloyds TSB VISA debit card but when i got nowhere with the retailer i went to my bank who in turn made mincemeat of the retailer and i soon had a full refund.…asp

    Original Poster

    It was the Abbey...

    what about trying your local trading standards office to see if they'll take it up for you... :thumbsup:

    I KNOW people on the ebays P&P board who have 'won' a dispute after paying for an item with a Visa Debit Card.
    The link left by Syzable is a US link. Irrelevant in this case.

    You need to contact either Visa or your Bank ASAP.

    I'm sure Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act applies if the goods received are faulty.
    Visa Debit cards are issued under the Visa card scheme.

    To back up my posts have a look at this:-…stm
    Consumer Credit Act

    The Consumer Credit Act 1974 paragraph 75 does allow for customers paying by credit card to be refunded on purchases over £100 and under £30,000.

    Some banks will cover amounts less than a hundred pounds.

    Protection for cardholders
    Visa has strong rules in place to protect cardholders, for example when a retailer fails to deliver something that's already been paid for. The first point of call for cardholders is their card issuer who can explain the details.

    Visa debit cards

    But any debit card that operates within the VISA scheme also carries cover. Visa says it has strong rules in place to protect cardholders, and you should contact the card issuer.

    Hope this helps,
    Steve :thumbsup:

    Ok duckmagicuk2, I was in the same situation as you like 1 year ago. My PC kept messing up and when I tried to use the recovery cd it wouldnt, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.................I ended up contacting PC Line, the company that does the guarantee, they came and took the PC, said they sorted it out, returned it 1 1/2 weeks later, but still same problem, so I rang again and they came and took it again, kept it for about 3weeks, then suddenly I got a letter in a post with a £650 voucher that I could use in PC world to get a new PC. £650 IS ALOT becuase when I bought the PC, which was back in 1998 or something it cost about £800, windows 98, and had crappy specs, so 6years down he line, £600 aint bad.

    Anyway, what I suggest you do is go back to when your PC is a demand a full refund or exchange, take the receipt with you, call for the manager and if it is with PC world, then I can guarantee you 90% they will refund you or give you a voucher. I work in PC world so I know how it works. Make sure you tell them up straight what is wrong and even raise your voice so the customers around can see, always work

    Original Poster

    lol... nice idea but this PC wasn't from PC world... it was from a smaller company.

    He's actually replaced the LAN card (wahoo!!) but still insists that there's no other problems. We *ahem* talked him into changing the RAM before we pick it up. The DVD drive is apparantly because I have too many recording programs on it... but I'm not too bothered about that anyway.

    So we'll pick it up, and in August when the warranty runs out I'll do some tinkering with it myself. Until then, if the CPU burns out or the motherboard fails then it'll be his own problem and I'll give it back to them.

    Thanks for your help guys. I'll probably use it some day. :lol:

    as long as it lets you get onto the mobile phone websites what more do you want !!

    Original Poster

    :lol: Well over the last few weeks I've lost a lot of long mobile phone posts just befor I've pressed 'submit' and I've had to retype them all - all because of the PC crashing.

    Let's hope it'll be better now. At least the LAN card is mended - before it took me 15mins before I could logon to the net.

    Original Poster

    Just an update on this:

    * The LAN card is now fixed.
    * The RAM has been replaced (against the techy guy's wishes) and I've not had it crash since I got it back, and it's been switched on 24/7.

    I'm quite happy now. I really did think for a while that I'd get it back broken and couldn't argue against his word, but I got a happy ending eventually!!

    Thanks for the update Ducky.

    I hope you don't have anymore problems with it. It does sound as though they have sorted all the problems out.
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