Ask LH: Can I Return This Notebook A Second Time?

Dear Lifehacker, I bought a Sony Vaio (SVT13125CGS) a couple of weeks ago and I've since had to return it for having a dead pixel. The new replacement has what I consider a dodgy hinge.

While one side is closed perfectly shut, the other side is left mid-air with enough clearance to fit a 20 cent coin (see picture). Plus, there's a weird sound from that side when opening it. Am I just being pedantic returning this replacement as well? I just feel stupid asking for a second replacement and am dreading the thought of installing everything back on it. Thanks, Return Rookie

Dear RR,

You're certainly entitled to request a replacement — especially when you're paying Sony Vaio prices. Australian Consumer Protection Laws state that a product's manufacturer needs to supply spare parts and servicing for a “reasonable time” after sale. So you should definitely be covered. (You can read a more thorough overview of Australian Consumer Protection Laws here.)

Even though the issue with your laptop seems to be largely cosmetic, we think you should return it on principle. As it stands, you've paid for something that does not completely match the advertised description. Having to reinstall everything is definitely an annoyance, but paying top dollar for a defective product will probably cause you more aggravation in the long run. Every time you see a shiny Vaio being advertised, your blood will boil with impotent rage. There's also a chance Sony will be able to repair the hinge on the existing model, which should negate the need for reinstallations.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    The Checkout (new ABC tv show) did a segment on returns in Australia last week. You can watch it here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/clips/?play=checkout_01_03_returninggoods.mp4

    In particular, the section starting at 2:08, dealing with returns not considered to be of acceptable quality, is directly relevant to Return Rookie's situation.

    Every time you see a shiny Vaio being advertised, your blood will boil with impotent rage lol I do this every time I see a Mahindra ad (yes I was one of the few who brought this car).
    But yes if it's under warranty, and it's a fault of the manufacturer especially, then you have every right to take it back to be repaired/replaced and even refunded in a lot of cases.

    When you go back, add a slight tone of annoyance to your voice (not aggression), and state you've already had to install things twice and aren't looking forward to it a 3rd time. Give it a few minutes to sit it the service or sales rep, who generally will want to avoid confrontation, and after they've spent a couple if minutes dreading a possible confrontation give them an escape. Ask if they can swap the hard disk drives around between your current unit and the replacement.
    Unless Sony are really pedantic about serial numbers on units and all parts matching, the job should be relatively quick and save you hours and let the store dodge a potentially irate customer.

      Yeah they won't do that. Unfortunately they are serialised so they won't swap it :( as good it would be.

    Yeah, I have a Sony Vaio Duo 11, very sweet little piece of "kit".....
    However whenever intel updates the WiFi (Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235) driver the bloody thing craps itself every ten minutes and I end up uninstalling and going back to the MS basic drivers to fix it! C'mon Sony, get up Intel and tell 'em to fix their friggin drivers. Otherwise I love it! :)

    Strange... i bought one of these laptops only 2 weeks ago and it has been absolutely perfect, this seems very out of character for a Vaio, feel kinda sorry for this guy... must have horrible luck with defective products.

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