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
    jLl, 25 May 2007 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: I wouldn't

    > In fact, one of my laptops (I won't mention the brand) came brand new with the drivers all wrong from the manufacturer.

    You already assigned the blame; and, properly. The manufacturer's (i.e., "brand") job is to give you a finished system, with the proper drivers, and they failed at it.

    Now, do you sue them for giving you the wrong software? I say "No"...but, that's your own dilemna to deal with. Just ask them to send you a new "Drivers" disk.

    > I don't know, they may have good reason for suing MS in some cases.

    MS's liability doesn't include any drivers beyond the few generics that come with Windows. They don't have any control over which other drivers you ultimately end up with, so blaming them is simply misguided.

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