Laptops How gateway/acer are cheating their customers


lavinachtani

Well-Known Member
Adept
Hi

I purchased a gateway netbook from vijaya sales on 26th january which cost me Rs. 17,989. I hardly used it 3-4 times but in 3 weeks once when i put it on, some burning smell started coming and a whole lot of smoke started coming from inside. I closed it and took it to the acer service center for repair ( Acer is handling the service for Gateway).
Now at the service center they told me burns are not covered under warranty because there might be some fluctuation in the voltage but i mentioned to them that when it started burning i was using it on battery. A part on the motherboard was burnt and the took a snapshot of it and sent to the company for approval.
Now the company has said that this burn will not be covered under warranty and i will have to spend Rs.8000 for changing the mother board.
They couldnt give me a reason to why it burned. They said either its a voltage fluctuation or water might have gone in but nothing specific.
Now i used it with proper care and it is obvious the netbook was faulty. But now they are asking me to pay Rs.8000 for a almost new netbook when it is them who were at fault at providing me a faulty piece. I cannot afford to pay that much.
What should i do here?
Please help me out

Lavin
 

JPL

New Member
Disciple
You can try registering a complaint here, Consumer Online Resource & Empowerment Centre supported by ministry of consumer affairs, GOI. I also did a mistake of buying a Acer Laptop as I was getting a terrific deal, they did not come with drivers and they were not on their website.
Called up customer care and find out that they dont even have the most basic manners and cant even speak in english, they redirected to me to acer europe website to download the drivers and that the same laptop has a different name there and even that was not correct. Fortunately, I never had to visit their equally bad service center.
 

Neo-N

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Take them to Consumer Forum (it's a matter worth 18k afterall). But before you do that, send them a strong worded notice... The notice can be sent by you and you needn't hire a lawyer for a notice.



In case you need help with the notice, let me know. I'll draft a notice and mail it to you which you can then forward to Acer/Gateway.
:)

In case of most big companies, a hard worded notice gets the work done as they want to avoid getting a bad name in the market and losing goodwill. ;)

This is not the case with small retailers who don't have goodwill at stake.

But if it doesn't work, be prepared to take them to consumer forum. It might take 1-3 years but you'll get your money back as well as a compensation.

Get a cheap lawyer who would be willing to work on a percentage basis (else u'll lose more than you can gain!!). Usually 15-20% is a good remuneration for a cheap lawyer.

So, if the forum rules in your favor, the lawyer will be getting 15-20% of the damages awarded. In case you get 18K + 10k compensation, the Lawyer would get about 6k as his fees.
 

Lord Nemesis

Overlord
Veteran
Damage due to burning regardless of the reason is never covered under warranty. So they are well within their rights to deny the warranty. Unless you can prove that the damage is explicitly due to a fault in the hardware, even the consumer court will not do anything. Otherwise whats going to stop people from claiming warranty for stuff that they themselves damaged.

Of course you can try the bully tactics and see if they yield, but there is no guarantee that it will work.
 

chiron

Well-Known Member
Veteran
^^ really? I had a couple of mercury speakers burst into flames and they replaced it, no problem and this is a much costlier item. Besides, laptops spontaneously combusting is hardly unheard of.
 

Neo-N

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Lord Nemesis said:
Damage due to burning regardless of the reason is never covered under warranty. So they are well within their rights to deny the warranty.

Actually damage due to burning is not covered provided that the quality of the product is not so cheap that it will burn by itself... which has happened in the OP's case.

Why do you think Tata acted so sensibly when the Tata Nano had burst into flames in March last year?? Goodwill... Reputation... :lol:

The consumer forums will not rely upon the warranty statement of the company while deciding the case. They will take into account the circumstances of the case and will rely on the findings of the appropriate laboratory.

The Laptop will be tested by the laboratory and their conclusion will be binding on both parties to the dispute. So, no matter how hard Acer/Gateway yells that the damage is done by the user and/or it is not covered by the warranty, if the laboratory findings reveal that the damage occurred by itself, Acer/Gateway is doomed.
In any case, this is a double edged sword. And even Acer/Gateway knows that just so that their name and goodwill is not ruined, they'll have to bribe the laboratory for reporting in their favor. And the bribe certainly won't be 8k. It'll be far greater!! :p

But if my guess is right, Acer/Gateway will be willing to fix the netbook under warranty just on a threat of going to Consumer Forums. Sometimes, arm twisting is the only option one can use.
 

vantheman5211

Creator of fu*ktron
Adept
thats really awful mate.i hope they get you the netbook fixed under the warranty.does anyone had a consumer court experience in techenclave ? do they really give you a fighting chance against this companies? keep pestering them with emails regularly
 

Neo-N

Well-Known Member
Veteran
vantheman5211 said:
thats really awful mate.i hope they get you the netbook fixed under the warranty.does anyone had a consumer court experience in techenclave ? do they really give you a fighting chance against this companies? keep pestering them with emails regularly
Yes. You get a fighting chance against the companies, big or small...

Last week, 'The Mobile Store' chain was penalized by the Mumbai District Consumer Forum and was asked to pay a compensation of Rs.10,000/- (yes, ten thousand!!) for delay in payment of an amount of Rs.186/- (Yes, One hundred and eighty six!!!) to a consumer.

The Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered The Mobile Store chain to pay Rs 10,000 in compensation and observed that it was guilty of deficiency in service and indulgence in unfair trade practices by announcing attractive offers and not implementing them, “thinking that no consumer would pursue the matter for such a negligible amount”.

If you ask me, that guy must have been really pissed (or crazy) to fight out for 186 rupees but then such cases set precedents that make life easier for others.



So, I have to say that that guy is truly great...
irrespective of the fact that he may have been a bit crazy as well!! :lol:

I personally recommend people to avoid courts and legal disputes if the matter is so small that it can be neglected or of such a nature that it can be settled out of court.

But that is not the case with the OP. :(
 

ryanrulez4ever

Well-Known Member
Section Mod
well you need to make a hill outta a stone, tell em that the burning might have been a safety hazard, caused fire in house and even damaged lakhs of property, thats the way you can scare the shit outta them , else i doubt

there is a European / US law "Under any Safety hazard, which could have proved to be fatal should be replaced with equal alternative"
there are various types of hazards " Thermal Hazard" Chemical hazard and radio active hazard, and this comes under Safety hazard and hence im sure indian law is against anything that would prove fatal to a citizen
 

Lord Nemesis

Overlord
Veteran
nehaladsul said:
Actually damage due to burning is not covered provided that the quality of the product is not so cheap that it will burn by itself... which has happened in the OP's case.

Why do you think Tata acted so sensibly when the Tata Nano had burst into flames in March last year?? Goodwill... Reputation... :lol:

The consumer forums will not rely upon the warranty statement of the company while deciding the case. They will take into account the circumstances of the case and will rely on the findings of the appropriate laboratory.

The Laptop will be tested by the laboratory and their conclusion will be binding on both parties to the dispute. So, no matter how hard Acer/Gateway yells that the damage is done by the user and/or it is not covered by the warranty, if the laboratory findings reveal that the damage occurred by itself, Acer/Gateway is doomed.
In any case, this is a double edged sword. And even Acer/Gateway knows that just so that their name and goodwill is not ruined, they'll have to bribe the laboratory for reporting in their favor. And the bribe certainly won't be 8k. It'll be far greater!! :p

But if my guess is right, Acer/Gateway will be willing to fix the netbook under warranty just on a threat of going to Consumer Forums. Sometimes, arm twisting is the only option one can use.
Yes, but how does one prove that the product is of sub standard quality? You know most of these components regardless of the brand, be it Apple, Dell, HP, Acer or Lenovo are all made in same/similar factories. Unless the lab proves that there is something wrong and shows a consistency of failure in numbers, the case would be settled in favor of the manufacturer. Even in cases of consistent failures due to manufacturing defects or use of bad batches of components like what happened with Apple and Dell in the past, it took years for the cases to be settled in favor of the customers and that after a pattern/consistency in failures was established. Manufacturers do not randomly replace stuff beyond the terms of their warranty just for goodwill. If that were indeed the case, what's stopping people from deliberately/negligently damage said products on their own and claim warranty? It would be too easy. Other than in the most obvious cases, how can a lab prove that the damage is intentional or not.
 

Neo-N

Well-Known Member
Veteran
^^ For starters, Our labs are ill equipped to know the real damage scenario forget about ascertain who is at fault... But then, whoever said that the labs are correct in their diagnosis...??? :p

Also, the lab findings do not need a background to prove their authenticity. For instance, consider an ipod that goes kaput and Apple refuses warranty claims. If a laboratory says that a particular ipod went kaput as it was not manufactured upto the mark as per their testing standards, the same is believed to be true. Now, even Steve Jobs comes down and shows us the ipod sales success charts across the globe, the forum will still believe the lab findings!!! Objections to the findings are heard by the forum but they need not be considered while passing any order.

What I have seen is that the product sent to the lab remains there for months (law requires that the report to be submitted in 45 days but it never happens by the book!!). In the meanwhile, the consumer as well as the manufacturer gets frustrated. Now, if the manufacturer has to win, the lab must clear the damage as one caused by negligence or improper use by the consumer. The only way to ensure that the manufacturer gets a clean chit is to get a favorable laboratory report. And it won't come for free (thanx to corruption prevalent in our beloved nation)!! ;)

Again, this is theory... If the laboratory finds that the product was damaged due to the consumer's fault and the manufacturer is clean, the case goes kaput!! If the laboratory takes a bribe from the manufacturer and reports in it's favor, the case goes kaput!!

But believe me when I say that the bribe involved can never be a small amount. The laboratory knows that the goodwill of the manufacturer is at stake!!

It's a calculated risk here. If the OP sits tight now and does nothing, he loses 8k for getting a new mobo. If he gets a cheap lawyer (on a percentage basis), he gets a shot at settling scores with Acer/Gateway. Now, if he fails, he loses a lot of time. If he wins, he gets his netbook repaired/replaced and also a compensation.

Generally the hassles involved are far greater for the big company than for the consumer. There are some companies that have specialised law departments that handle such cases and such companies are least bothered by any amount of consumer cases.

But when it comes to after sales service, it is the After Sales Service franchise that has to suffer the maximum flak.

I recently had an issue with a Nokia 1280 that was just 2 days old. Upper half of the display went kaput. I took it to (Fones4u) Nokia Care Centre at Irla, Mumbai.

The checked the phone and told me it was physical damage. The phone was 2 days old and had not even been used forget damaged!!

I calmly asked them to give me the same in writing... And they were like: "WHAT??". I asked them to give me a written statement saying that the phone display was not working due to physical damage. [I was obviously NOT going to go to Consumer forum for a phone worth 1k... :p]

Thereafter, some senior executive came to me from the backend, he took my phone, prepared a jobsheet and told me that it would take 10-12 days as the phone would be sent to Delhi from where they would ship it back with a replacement mainboard as only the display couldn't be changed.

I got a call on day 9 and the phone was delivered to me!!


The ASS Franchises try their best to avoid warranty jobs. That is what the company expects them to do. But these clowns try to reject each and every warranty job!! The company gives each ASSF a margin e.g. 10% or 20% for accepting warranty jobs. But the ASSF try to minimize this as much as possible by citing the most common two reasons: Liquid Damage and Physical Damage!!
 

vip

Well-Known Member
Adept
I purchased a gateway netbook from vijaya sales on 26th january which cost me Rs. 17,989. I hardly used it 3-4 times but in 3 weeks once when i put it on, some burning smell started coming and a whole lot of smoke started coming from inside.

if OP mentioned is true then this is a pure low grade quality hardware burn.this is quality control issue and consumer should not bear a manufactures bad quality control.

i appreciate the points made by nehal.

@lord nemesis u r right but if its a really due to a hardware failure.otherwise companies denies warranties on the sake of physical damage.
 

lavinachtani

Well-Known Member
Adept
Thank you all for replies .

I think i will send an email first to acer/gateway stating it is their fault.

I have checked the warranty terms online for both gateway and acer and nowhere have they mentioned that burns will not be covered under warranty. They have mentioned that electrical faults will not be covered but i can prove that when the netbook started burning i was using it on battery because what the person at the service center told me is that if there was an electrical fault then my charger would get damaged first. But my charger is completely fine so i think this should prove that there wasnt any electrical fault.

Then there comes the point of warranty not being covered due to bad handling as in water going into the motherboard and i think that statement can be very vague. They cannot prove it that water definitely entered and just because they gave a faulty part now they are covering it up by making vague statements.

And then i think i will write that if they do not accept that it is their fault and repair my netbook without any charge then i will go to the consumer court and media and ask for compensation also because of mental trauma.

Is this the right way to go about it ?

@ nehaladsul : If you can send me a draft then i t would be very helpful.
 

Chaoseater

Well-Known Member
Adept
@nehaladsul - Dude, your professional course has shaped you up.:eek:hyeah:
In case you get 18K + 10k compensation, the Lawyer would get about 6k as his fees.
Hope you dont take the remuneration after 3 years(assuming the proceeding of the OP takes time till you become lawyer).:rofl:
 

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