June 17, 2007, Thu 5:24 PM Business
The Federation for Legal Help to Consumers won the case against the Hewlett Packard company and will receive 18,5 thousand rubles ($720) from it. The company failed to fulfill its responsibilities related to device repair guarantee. The Russian HP office said it does its best to provide efficient service support to its customers. Meanwhile it admits that in some cases it takes more time to repair a device than initially planned.
The Federation told CNews consumers came to the organization in January 2007 saying they were having certain difficulties with repair terms of HP pocket computers. Albina Kasenko has been waiting to receive the device she gave to the HP service center since March 2006. The receipt she was given at the center says the repair process would take 20 days and might require additional 10 days in case there are no replacement parts in the storehouse. However, 351 days passed since then. “Albina couldn’t sort out things herself and there was no official response to the claim. And she asked the Federation to address the court on her behalf”, the Federation said.
The court documents say HP neither objected to Albina Kosenko’s suit nor provided any evidence that the repired computer was returned to her. The court considered the claim and sustained it. It said HP violated a number of articles of the consumer protection law. HP will have to pay 12,5 thousand rubles to Albina Kosenko, 2 thousand of which for moral damage and a 6 thousand rubles fine to the state ($720 all together). Besides, the service center will have to repair the device within 30 days.
The Russian HP office told CNews it hadn't received any notice from the court so far. “We will take measures to accomplish the duty, object to the decision or appeal it when we receive the notice”, HP representatives said.
HP also said the it used a special scheme to repair devices bought in Russia. The devices were repaired in service centers abroad because they had special equipment and experts there. That is why the repir period might have taken more time than initially planned. “At the moment we are considering the question of creating service centers in Russia. Besides, the problem was solved by introducing a new service scheme: the damaged devices are replaced with totally new ones”, HP told CNews. “According to the legislation all customers who have trouble with the repair period are offered analogous devices for temporary use”.
However, in some cases customers refused to take the company’s offer and decided to address the court. “In such cases all our efforts to solve the problem were in vain, despite the fact HP is interested in supporting its customers”.
Meanwhile a number of other HP pocket computer owners addressed the Federation. They said the repair period also exceeded 20 days, i.e. more than the period envisaged by the consumer protection law. So, the organization had to file another suit defending the rights of customers. The court is now considering the suit. “If the suit is sustained, all the customers having trouble with repair periods during the recent three years will be able to address the court and demand penalty from the company. All they would have to do is prove the repair period exceeded the required period”, the Federations legal expert Alexei Monakhov told CNews.