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139 posts

Master Geek


#90227 16-Sep-2011 20:40
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A customer has recently had a laptop fixed by an Auckland-based repair agent, namely a faulty DC socket.
The laptop is an Asus N10J, and was originally purchased in early/mid-2009 (making the battery 2.5 years old and therefore out of warranty), but not from us. Said customer comes back complaining the battery won't charge at all and the laptop can only operate on mains power.

He claims the battery was working for 3 hours before it was brought in, and also says his other Asus laptop has gone 5 years with no loss of charge. The repair agent said the battery was terminally flat when they got it. Under our watch, the battery was never removed, the laptop was never dropped or zapped, and was packaged in 2-3 layers of bubble wrap.

He's insisting technical malpractice is at fault, and wants nothing less than a free battery or money back on the repairs. We think it's a PEBKAC or otherwise Murphy's Law invoking itself at a bad moment.

How common is it for laptop batteries to die suddenly? Could the battery be counterfeit? Come to think of it, given its past repair history, could the laptop itself be counterfeit? I've read of mixed reports on laptop battery life, and that running the laptop until zero charge can hasten battery death.

We don't do full-on laptop repairs proper, only a bridge between customers and repair agents. I've written to Consumer Affairs about the matter and am waiting for their response.

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  #522141 16-Sep-2011 20:43
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Perhaps time to cough up a new battery, learn the lesson and keep photo records of everything coming in and out - including serial numbers, just in case of some fake claim?





 

 

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  #522156 16-Sep-2011 21:22
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When laptop batteries die they die suddenly.
The battery in my Asus several years ago died almost like clockwork at 18 months old.
The replacement I forked out for died almost like clockwork at a further 18 months. So i got 3 years out of it as a 'laptop' before it became mains dependent.

My Asus Eee PC 700 series battery died last month, 3 years to the week since I got it.

2.5 years out of a battery is pretty good, I think you'd be hard pressed to say the repair broke it - unless you get a brand new battery and find it doesn't charge... !




No signature to see here, move along...

 
 
 
 


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  #522169 16-Sep-2011 22:01
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Excess heat can cause a battery to die like this - I've had it happen to a couple of laptops now (both times my own PEBCAK fault)

Given the age of the battery, I very much doubt the customer's story.




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  #522170 16-Sep-2011 22:12
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The problem is convincing the customer. It's your word against their will to not believe it...





 

 

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Master Geek


  #522173 16-Sep-2011 22:24
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We're not about to cough up, that would probably set a precedent. What if he tells his friends, "that computer guy's gullible enough to believe my story, let's pull another fast one on him!"

I still think raw logic will prevail in the end.



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Master Geek


  #522174 16-Sep-2011 22:27
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And of about a couple dozen laptops we've sent to the service agent involved, this case is about the only one that's gone back for repair twice for the same problem.



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Master Geek


#524915 23-Sep-2011 10:13
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Finally got a reply from Consumer Affairs (my emphasis below):

Thank you for your inquiry. It would be difficult to prove whether the battery was in good order at the time of delivery to you or not.

In this instance, you have two options. Refuse the replacement, which will obviously leave a bad taste for both you and the client. He may well take the matter to the Disputes Tribunal, as is his right. However, that is not to say he would win.
The other option is to come to an arrangement with him, yourself and the repairer.

He does not have the right to insist the fault is with you without proof.
Perhaps it may be good practise to check battery life being sending away in future.

Kind regards

It merely reinforced what we believed all along - the problem was between the keyboard and the chair. He wouldn't even listen to either the technical data we gathered, or even anything about Consumer Affairs, which went to show he was being rather puerile about the matter. And all our other customers sided with us.

After fisking his argument and rejecting any possibility of a replacement, he got even more puerile, called us rude names over the phone, and threatened to sue us - which reflects a lot more on him than it does on us. But it would be very silly - not to mention petty and spiteful - if he spent thousands on a lawyer for the sake of a $100 battery. And he looked like a varsity student, so chances are his bark is worse than his bite.

To cut a long story short, he had an unrealistic sense of entitlement, held his breath and threw his toys out of the sandpit. We're glad we stood our ground.

 
 
 
 


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  #524920 23-Sep-2011 10:22
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deepred:To cut a long story short, he had an unrealistic sense of entitlement, held his breath and threw his toys out of the sandpit. We're glad we stood our ground.


Good job. Reading the description, if it was a serious customer it could end up in a different way.

 




 

 

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  #524945 23-Sep-2011 11:00
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When we had customers who responded in this way, it was usually because they didn't like being presented with irrefutable evidence that the problem they were having was not "our fault".

Probably an only child...




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  #524957 23-Sep-2011 11:22
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Just hope he hasn't got thousands of Facebook Friends who all join his group 'XYZ Computer Repairs Suck!'

Then again, if he slanders you in Social Media, you can sue him....

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