Wednesday, September 12, 2007

(Slashdot and Digg links) Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux installed

manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Repair was refused, because he has Gentoo Linux on the laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided the warranty and there is nothing they will do. The manager said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed.  Poster to /. (slashdot) will review comments for your advice.
This guy did nothing wrong, he only installed what most computer stores refuse too offer their customers.  PC World is one of the largest manufacturers of computers in the UK.  If they win this which I doubt, it will open the door up for other manufacturers, like in the USA to try the same stunt.  Many so far have offered advice on slashdot that range from postings like this tidbit posted by  h4rm0ny:
PC World might have a legitimate case in refusing software support for software they didn't supply, it is not legitimate for them to use this to support a different area of failure. Whilst car analogies are not useful for arguing on /., they can be useful in explaining things to a lawyer - it's like changing the car radio and then getting a problem with the exhaust. PC World have taken a look at that radio and said - "we don't support that radio, we can't fix your exhaust."
Now if you look at this and take it word by word it means is that any software you install on the OS could be reason for the manufacturer not to cover the warranty.  They just simply have to hate the software, etc.  They don't like Firefox... Too bad we wont fix your computer because you have Firefox on your computer. 
Yes it's a stupid reason, but I just wanted to point this out because it is well worth mentioning. 
As  Aenoxi pointed out on slashdot:
Section 14(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 imposes a statutory implied warranty that goods sold in the course of a business are of 'satisfactory quality'. This expressly includes issues of durability. Section 6 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act states that when dealing with a consumer, liability arising from a breach of the s. 14 implied warranty cannot be excluded or restricted by reference to any contract term.
So to me this means that the contract that Tikka agreed to is void because the contract itself is unfair due to a warranty contract term.  It's unfair because the durability of the laptop was compromised due to a defect, and the warranty is refused due to a none hardware issue.  So Tikka should be able to get the warranty to cover the cost of fixing the laptop.  Using the OS as a excuse for not fixing the laptop is ludicrous. 
Go to Slashdot if you have good sound advice, or even if you happen to be a Attorney in the UK.  The poster needs help, and or advice.
This same story is on Digg also located here:

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