Questions of Cash: PC World tried to blame my son's faulty laptop on 'liquid damage'


Q. I bought three identical Acer V3 laptops from PC World to give as Christmas presents to my triplet sons. But when they opened them only two of the laptops worked. I took the third, faulty, laptop to my local PC World store in Newbury on 26 December.

The store described the problem on the repair docket as "blooming" on the screen. PC World decided there was "liquid damage" that could not have happened before the laptop was unpacked and it should be returned to me unrepaired. The inference was it was "damaged" by "liquid" by us. I was invited to have the laptop inspected by an independent engineer, but when I went to collect the laptop from the store it was not there. It was still at a PC World workshop. IM, Newbury.

A. Initially PC World insisted to us its diagnosis was correct. But it agreed if an independent engineer confirmed your explanation the laptop was not damaged by you and there had been a manufacturing fault, it would replace the faulty laptop and cover the cost of the engineer's report.

The report you commissioned concluded: "The problem with the display is known as 'clouding' or 'Mura'... Mura appears to be a manufacturing fault in the display panel. Display panels with this fault cannot be repaired and must be replaced... In my opinion the technical staff at PC World should have recognised a known fault and the laptop should be replaced as it was faulty when they sold it to you."

PC World has accepted this report and agreed to cover its £72 cost. It is also providing you with a replacement model that is of a higher specification than the faulty laptop as PC World says the model you bought is no longer available.


Q. I applied for a mortgage through a broker, who applied on my behalf in November 2013 to the Hanley Economic Building Society for a two-year fixed term mortgage at 2.59 per cent. I have now, in February 2014, received a new mortgage offer. I see my existing fixed term mortgage ends in October 2015, which means I will be making only 19 monthly payments at 2.59 per cent. I will be losing five months of my fixed rate mortgage. I spoke to the Hanley Economic Building Society, which said this is just the way it is and I should accept the new offer. PU, West Midlands.

A. The issue here is about the definition of a "two-year fixed rate mortgage". Rob Hassall, business development manager of the Hanley Economic Building Society explains: "The term 'two-year fixed rate' is commonly used to describe the classification of term for a fixed rate product. In our experience, consumers will ask for a two, three or five year fixed rate as a general rule, rather than asking for something fixed until a specific end date.

In [the reader's] case he received advice from a third party mortgage broker who refers mortgage business to Hanley Economic Building Society (HEBS). I am sure he [would have explained] that some 'two-year fixed rates' are actually to a fixed date and not from starting from the account inception.

When the customer decides to proceed he is issued a Key Facts Illustration generated by HEBS, which will detail the product features including number of payments, monthly cost, length of term and what happens after the initial fixed rate period. The customer is then issued a Key Facts Offer, which confirms the items within the KFI." We offered to take the matter up with your broker but you did not respond.


Q. I was approached in June 2013 by Lingo Service Translations to provide urgent translations of educational documents into Welsh. I duly obliged. However, the company, despite promises, has not paid me the billed £365 28. Email requests have gone unanswered. HW, Wales.

Q. In June 2013, I was asked by Lingo Service Translations to translate documents into Welsh. The first payment of £504.40 was made in August 2013. I'm still waiting for the second payment. I phoned Lingo and emailed them but had no replies. In January I was asked to translate more documents and I told them they still owed me £176.36. I had an apology and a promise of payment but have not been paid. GJ, Wales.

A. We contacted Lingo Service Translations after being contacted by the reader HW, and received a reply explaining the other translators working on this project were paid several months ago and HW's invoice was unpaid due to delays in his billing. We were promised a payment within two weeks. HW tells us he has still not been paid. We were then contacted by GJ and contacted Lingo again. We have not had a reply and we understand you both have still not been paid. We suggest you issue proceedings in the Small Claims Court against Lingo.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at:

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

    £215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

    Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before