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What are my rights when my computer software isn’t working?

This e-mail came through from a ValueIreland.com reader who had some computer problems.

Hi,i bought a computer from the store 7 months ago.When it was sold to us they never told us it was the last one in the shop which was the floor model. A few months later my wife brought it back in because the keys needed to be changed,and while she was there mentioned that she found some pictures on the computer that were of customers taking photos of themselves in the shop.

Be cause i knew the man that sold it to me she did not want to start any trouble and never mentioned the situation to me that they admitted to selling the computer to us without prior knowledge. But recently i had to go back in as the screen was playing up anytime i played dvds.

They told me that after looking at the computer the hardrive was ok, that the problem was the dvd programme on the computer, but that they were not in any way at fault that we would have to speak to the company that made the programme. But when i bought the computer that format stuff was already on it and sold to us as part of the computer. Can you inform me of any rights that i may have or not have if that is the case.

Your rights in this case depend on when you bought the computer. If you bought it within the last 12 months, then you are entitled to have the shop who sold you the computer sort out the problems – it doesn’t matter that the problem is hardware or software related.

Your contract of purchase was made with the retailer, and not with either the computer manufacturer who installed the software on the computer, nor with the manufacturers of the software.

If you bought the computer 12 to 24 months ago, then things are a little different. In this case, you would have to prove that the fault existed with the computer when you bought it. If you can do this, then you would have to follow up with the manufacturer of the computer. However, based on the e-mail above, I don’t believe this is relevant in this situation.

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