How Would You Write A Computer Lemon Law?

from the not-so-easy dept

Ed Foster has written up a short blurb for Gripeline discussing how complicated it would be to write a "lemon law" for computers, but suggesting that one is still needed. As he notes, it's not as easy as just replacing the word "automobile" with "computer" in existing car lemon laws. After all, there are many different reasons why a computer would stop working -- and not all of it has to do with the hardware. However, putting a software exception in place would then just make computer manufacturers more likely to quickly blame software problems for any issues. Of course, a few years back some were suggesting that we needed lemon laws for software as well, so maybe the answer is to write an inclusive lemon law. To be honest, however, it's not entirely clear that such laws really are necessary. While my own personal experience suggests that many computer makers are quite resistant to admitting they sold you a lemon (my laptop with 6 failed hard drives in 18 months was a fun one to deal with), there are enough services and outlets for people to now make their problems very, very public -- and that's made some computer makers much more responsive. So, perhaps it's as problem that works itself out, as computer makers recognize that there is a huge cost in public relations damage to not responding to complaints.

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  1. identicon
    kilroy, 25 May 2007 @ 10:40am

    Re: Lemon Law unnecessary

    But is it really? I mean once the computer is sold and loaded and part of someone's business the inherent cost of that piece of hardware or software filing can be much higher than the original outlay. ISPs and enterprise applications are shining examples of how many people might just be depending on that technology being reliable.

    I remember an incident, or two, not long ago where a software update sidelined a Canadian bank's network, and another for a large personal communications device provider. Who can say what the ultimate cost of either of those two incidents actually was?

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