I bought an Apple AirPort Time Capsule from a Dixons travel branch at Heathrow airport when flying out to go on holiday in September 2012 and it cost £369.
In July 2014 it stopped working so I took it to an Apple store and they advised that it may have overheated and that, although the hard drive was receiving power, the unit didn’t function. A quick search on Google showed that it wasn’t an uncommon problem with the Time Capsule.
I called the Dixons branch it was bought from who advised me to take it in to any Currys/PC World (its the parent company).
Apple AirPort: Protection is available when something goes wrong if the item was purchased with a credit card
I asked if it could be repaired under warranty which they declined as the standard one year ended in September 2013.
They suggested that I take it back to Apple to be assessed and if Apple confirmed that it had overheated, then they would look at it again. I called Apple to ask if they could do this and they said that as I bought it from Dixons, Dixons should offer to provide a replacement.
My question is: Where do I stand? Surely if you pay £369 for this type of equipment, you’d expect it to last more than 18 months? AE via email
Linda McKay of This is Money replies: Where does the responsibility lie when electrical goods go wrong – with the retailer or the manufacturer? And if both refuse to budge is there an answer to the stalemate? I asked our experts for help and an alternative.
This is an expensive item but the manufacturer Apple was correct. Apple has a standard one-year warranty on its products and only a 90-day phone helpline from purchase.
Its online community support suggests the product can be assessed in-store for free (go to apple.com to locate your nearest Genius bar where Apple technicians could decide if the time capsule was repairable). Apple says there would be a cost involved as the product is out of warranty.
The retailer suggests that the time capsule is repaired by Apple as its technicians deal specifically with its products rather than the broader range of computers and accessories sold by Dixons. The retailer would not offer a replacement after the one year guarantee expires.
However your concern over the cost of a repair or a replacement could be addressed if you bought the time capsule using your credit card.
Which? replies: If something goes wrong with electrical goods which have been purchased by credit card, shoppers like your reader have some protection in the form of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
This means you can potentially claim your money, repair or replacement back through the credit card company used for the purchase. You can only claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you’ve spent more than £100 and less than £30,000. The time capsule cost £369 so it would be covered.
If you make a claim under Section 75 and the credit card company refuses to pay out on your claim then you can refer the claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service which has a free helpline on 0800 023 4567 or visit http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/contact/
And the really great news is that there is no time limit on making a claim so although your time capsule is out of warranty you may still get help with its repair or replacement.
Linda McKay adds: It is worth noting that the same protection under Section 75 applies even when you buy goods online, by telephone or mail order for delivery to the UK from overseas.
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