Moneywise columnist Hannah Nemeth helps a reader with their laptop insurance
Sometimes Fight for Your Rights gets a complaint that looks like it will be easy to sort out. Then it turns tricky – and this was the case with SI’s laptop.
He bought a MacBook from Currys PC World in December 2018, then insured it by taking out the retailer’s monthly repair plan. So far so good.
However, at the start of September 2019, he says his three-year-old child spilt orange juice on the laptop so he took it to his local Currys.
Currys PC World sent the laptop off for repair, but it was returned two days later with a letter saying it was a ‘biohazard’ and there was a ‘smell’.
When I asked the retailer what it meant by a ‘biohazard’, it explained that its tests showed there were ‘bodily fluids’ – possibly urine – which meant it could not be repaired.
SI was adamant that the liquid his three-year-old spilt was orange juice, but Currys PC World stood by its test results.
SI says: “I am very unhappy with how I was treated and I was told everything would be covered under the plan.”
He says that staff at the store told him to take the laptop to be cleaned, then bring it back, which he did – at a cost of £40. But when he returned, he was told it could not be repaired and his insurance plan had been cancelled.
A spokesperson for Currys PC World says: “Because we have found bodily fluids in the laptop, we cannot repair it as per our repair and support agreement.”
SI asked for a refund of the cleaning bill and his first three months of his care plan – around £9.50 a month – but Currys PC World refused because the laptop was in breach of its repair agreement.
As there was no point in SI having it cleaned, perhaps the cleaning bill should have been refunded – but SI did not keep the receipt (something you should always do when you are involved in a dispute), so there was little point in following this up.
As the MacBook was still under guarantee, I suggested that SI take it to an Apple store to see if it could help. Apple sent it off for repair but SI says it was returned because it was ‘water damaged’. However, Apple did agree to repair it – at a cost of £750.
SI says: “I don’t want to pay that much, as I could get a new laptop for £750.”
But all’s well that ends well: the laptop must have dried out as SI says it is working fine at the moment!
Repair refused, but laptop dries out