HOWNOTTO: Buy a Laptop

A HOWTO on laptop buying should be followed up by a HOWNOTTO. Patricia McGehee bought a “high gaming” laptop for $2000 from the “Uniwill Corporation.” She wants to play chess games and found the computer powers down after a CD is inserted.

Contractually, she’s supposed to have on-site service but it’s been entirely unforthcoming. She
s left dozens of unreturned messages. After finally piercing through and shipping her laptop for repair, it was sent back in exactly the same condition.

Does anyone have any advice for Patricia on forcing a company to live up to its warranty?

Comments

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  1. Plaid Rabbit says:

    Yikes. I’ve never heard of these guys before. How long have they been around?

  2. Did she pay with a credit card? In most cases, this sounds like an excellent situation for a credit card chargeback.

  3. mrscolex says:

    Try their live tech support link on their main page and post a copy transcript here. ;)

    First tip: Always get names of the people you talk to. Politely ask for it at the beginning of each conversation you have. This can be immensely helpful. Write them down.

    Assuming you eventually do deal with someone, explain to them carefully that you recently sent in the laptop and it doesn’t appear that the work was performed. Provide details and dates. Inform them that you would like to pursue an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) on the laptop and have it immediately replaced since they were unable to solve the issue.

    Now depending on the tech, they’ll either immediately agree to do it, or they’ll give you a hastle.

    If they give you a hastle, ask to speak with a supervisor. Get that person’s name as well. Calmly explain the story to the supervisor from the beginning (don’t assume that the details are provided accurately). If the supervisor won’t agree to an RMA, and insists that you go through another repair procedure, insist that the repair ticket include a note that the repair technician who works on your laptop calls you up after performing the physical work and verifies exactly what he did.

    If you still recieve it back in the same condition, you’ve got two options.

    a.) Politely pursue another RMA, with the leverage of two repair authorizations having not worked for you. If they try to push another repair, explain that since the hardware is a laptop you suspect that there may be a larger hardware problem at work since their repair techs are unable to fix it. If they still don’t budge on an RMA, inform person that you are going to report to BBB.org and verify the person’s name that you’re speaking with (as a polite reminder that you’re in control). Never raise your tone of voice when you are explaining these details, as it makes you sound like you’re a lunatic without a legitimate claim.

    Follow up with:

    b.) Legal action. Report to BBB., ripoffreport.com, etc. Include all of their names in your complaints. Registered letter sent to their office indicating intent to pursue claim for defective merchandise.

  4. factotum says:

    The People’s Court.

  5. OkiMike says:

    Maybe she should check out the RMA page: http://www.uniwill.com/Service/service_rma_policy.htm

    Or Customer Service:
    http://rma.uniwill.com/rmareseller.asp

    But what’s with the site changing backgrounds, styles, fonts and colors all over the place?!? And what customer has a login/password for the customer service page?

    Strange indeed!

  6. AppTechie says:

    Credit card chargeback would be the way to go. Let the CC deal with the company, and I guarantee that the CC company will get the money back.

  7. LLH says:

    whoever pays 2000 bucks for a computer from a company that no one’s ever heard is asking to get ripped off. before i would drop 2 grand on ANYTHING i always research the product and i don’t think i’d buy a computer from anyone other than an authorized (in my case) apple dealer. buyer be-ware.