From: Niall O Broin (nobroin at domain sced.esoc.esa.de)
Date: Thu 27 May 1999 - 23:04:18 IST
Not being in the country I haven't read this myself, but a friend has told me
that a disgruntled customer has just been awarded 600 squid in the small claims
court on foot of a claim against Gateway for the crappiness of their technical
support - I take it his argument was that his purchase supposedly included in the
price access to technical support and he didn't regard waiting on hold forever
before being connected to a clueless gombeen as "technical support".
Anyone have more details, or a URL for any reference to this in any of the Irish
on-line papers ? If it's true and is as I've described it, it must surely open
a very embarassing, not to mention expensive, floodgate in Gateway's direction.
Niall O Broin
UNIX Network Administrator nobroin at domain esoc.esa.de
Ground Systems Engineering Department Ph./Fax +49 6151 90 3619/2179
European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany
P.S. The person who told me this is a former Gateway customer. Years ago he bought
a PC from Gateway (a 66MHz pentium - that's how long ago) and the monitor died
not long after the warranty expired. Gateway wouldn't fix it - told him they
didn't do out of warranty repairs and to take it to a third party. At that time
there was exactly one company doing repairs of that nature - some crowd in Bray.
They took a look at it and said that they couldn't fix it because they couldn't
get the necessary parts.
To make a long story short Gateway settled with him shortly before they were due
in court - new monitor and paid his lawyer's bills. The basic point was apparently
that there is a reasonable expectation that an expensive consumer good will last
for a reasonable length of time, and that includes the expectation that it will be
possible to repair it after its warranty has expired.
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