Written on: 13/11/2007 by dismayed2 (2 reviews written)
Cheap online deal seemed good value for money
Laptop failed 3 times in less than 12 months. Comet attitude stinks.
I bought my Acer laptop from Comet online in November 2006. On delivery, I unpacked it and plugged it in and quickly discovered that the card drive didn't work. I took it to a local Comet store who told me I'd have to deal with Acer directly. I argued my consumer rights and after a lot of hassle they suddenly agreed to replace it and I took home a new laptop.
At the beginning of October this year, still within the 12 month warranty, I left the room for 10 minutes and returned to find that the laptop had failed. There was a black screen full of 'fatal error' messages and the top left surface of the case in front of the keyboard [Fn Alt] keys had actually melted and caved in. I touched it and burned my finger and realised that it was a catastrophic failure and also a fire risk. This time, I took it back to a Comet store in Leeds area. They again tried to fob me off by asking me to ring Acer. I said I'd bought it from Comet and that I only wanted to deal with Comet. I pointed out the two failures, said I'd lost faith in the product and wanted a replacement of a different make. They were extremely hard-nosed and said that after the first 28 days all they would ever do is return faulty items to the manufacturers. So back to Acer it went.
My laptop was returned to the store for me to pick up a week later. I took it home and switched it on. It booted up OK but then failed again within about 4 minutes. The keyboard, mouse and USB ports were all dead and there was a plain blue screen with only faint vertical bars showing. I phoned Comet head office in Hull and spoke to a character called Mark Lambert. He told me that it would have to be returned to Acer yet again and that nothing else would be done in terms of a refund or replacement. When I tried to argue my case he simply held his ground. I sat and thought the situation over carefully and felt dismayed by their attitude. I actually rang him back to plead my case further. His actual words: "Oh ... I thought we'd finished our little conversation", in a sickening and patronising tone that dismissed any notion I had that I was dealing with a decent company with any concern whatsoever for its customers. I took it back in, it was sent off to Acer once more and I have not heard any more for the last 4 weeks. I have been without a working laptop for around 7 weeks now.
My overall impression is that Comet's attitute stinks, their customer service is abysmal and that their only interest is to take our money and then we can just sod off. I contacted consumerdirect.gov.uk who advised me to write to the credit card firm I bought it through, since they are jointly liable. I've done that and the original transaction is now in dispute. It has also been passed up to Trading Standards who called me back today. They say that the whole business of 'reasonable period' and proved 'unfit for purpose' are grey areas and that ultimately I may have to take it to the small claims court. They said I might expect a reduced refund value since I've 'enjoyed some use of it' over the 10 month period. I fully accept that and had already told Comet I'd be quite happy to pay extra and buy a better make and model if they would at least offer some form of store credit. But no; they don't want to part with a single penny it seems.
I do not want it back, regardless of Comet's sales patter and arrogance as I simply don't have any faith in the product's safety, (especially left unattended), nor in its reliability.