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Watchdog’s “expose” of the PlayStation 3 Yellow Light of Death

Me on Techradar:

I’m gutted. A gadget that cost me over £300 has packed up, and it’s taunting me with a flickering LED. I called the manufacturer and they’ve told me that since it’s out of warranty, it’s going to cost me money for an engineer to look at it – and if I’m right and it is gubbed, it’ll cost a small fortune to repair it.

PS3? Nope. Dishwasher.

5 replies on “Watchdog’s “expose” of the PlayStation 3 Yellow Light of Death”

I was under the impression that since a broken console that has been used as intended is obviously not fit for purpose, you can get a refund/replacement from the retailer. Is that not the case?

Ah, that’s a bit of a minefield. Technically there’s no limit on the sale of goods legislation, and there have been cases where something’s packed up after 6 years and people have successfully obtained refund/replacement under “fit for purpose” – although that’s involved a visit to the courts. Generally speaking, though, unless there’s a demonstrable manufacturing fault affecting huge numbers (eg Xbox 360 RRoDs) you’re on plums once the warranty period’s out.

>>Generally speaking, though, unless there’s a demonstrable manufacturing fault affecting huge numbers (eg Xbox 360 RRoDs) you’re on plums once the warranty period’s out

I don’t think that that is the case. The law is that a product has to be fit for purpose. Your example is trying to prove that the product has an inherent design flaw, which is different. The law covers defects in manufacture – which isn’t a design fault – but that when your product was sold then it had an fault caused by a problem during manufacture which didn’t show up immediately. It is all based on the perceived lifespan of a product – which is why I get pissed off when I hear people say that Plasma and LCD TVs have short lifespans because that damages your case.

The big issue is that you have to prove it beyond doubt but the retailer is under no obligation to help you out. My telly died at 18 months when part of the screen assembly fell off and I spoke to LG (who said, rightly, that it was none of their business) then Currys who, after telling me that I should’ve bought an extended warranty, finally admitted once they realised that I’d been reading up on the sale of goods act, that they were indeed liable. Unfortunately, I would have to take the TV to an authorised LG repair centre (that wasn’t part of the retailer) and have it assessed. The nearest one was 30 miles away and only open normal office hours. I would have to take a day off to go and take it (assuming they could do it same day) and pay £150 for the assessment. I could then claim this back from Currys if a) the report agreed that the unit had failed due to no fault of mine and b) Currys weren’t being arsey on that particular day. The TV could now be purchased for £350 new, so £150+fuel+day’s holiday with the risk that it would be wasted made me decide to not bother. If the independant assessor agrees with you and the retailer doesn’t then you have to take them to small claims court.

> The TV could now be purchased for £350 new, so £150+fuel+day’s holiday with the risk that it would be wasted made me decide to not bother.

Yeah, that’s what I meant by plums. Any time I’ve looked into this, the cost of proving that I’m right pretty much outweighs the cost of buying a replacement.

>>Any time I’ve looked into this, the cost of proving that I’m right pretty much outweighs the cost of buying a replacement.

It’s definitely worth it if you can prove it – you get the money back. It’s whether you’re confident enough to take the risk.

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