Wednesday, August 05, 2009

No Guarantee

About 18 months ago I bought a refurbished Dell from Gasteiner Technologies which came with their standard one year warranty. Last Friday it died and will no longer power on. I had heard a rumour that under EU rules retailers must always give a 2 year guarantee with substantially expensive/electrical goods. It seems that this is not quite true, but that is because the British Sale of Goods Act meets and exceeds EU law. The SoGA says that an item must last a reasonable length of time. All this left me wondering if standard guarantees/warranties have any point at all? Let alone expensive "extended" warranties.

Usually I would be up for the fight, but I am not really sure that I want to peruse this, I almost accept that I took a risk in buying a refurbished laptop and this time I lost. Having said that they did sell me a laptop for £500 which has broken after 18 months, and that's not really acceptable.

Incidentally I was surprised to find that Dell didn't have one standard price for replacing the motherboard of my laptop. I was originally quoted €400, but when I pointed out I could buy a new laptop for that I was told that I could get a discount, the best deal I was eventually offered was £100 if I bought a three year warranty for £160, which if I was then guaranteed to have a working laptop for three years would have been quite a good deal, if I wasn't so against extended warranties and giving Dell any of my money. I've since been told that buying a laptop from Dell is similar, it's always best to ring them and see what's the best deal you can get from them. The representative also used the rather odd analogy of not being able to take out a warranty on a dead person. After I questioned her on what she'd said she swore that she'd said "insurance", though it still seems a bit of an odd thing to choose to say.

UPDATE: The BBC has a good article on this.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Mess That Is The Mobile Web on Iris BrowserI wanted to check an ebay auction on my mobile the other day. I typed in as the m subdomain seems to be the common mobile web shortcut (see and But that didn't work. Next I tried (I think I might have googled for that) which linked to which in turn promised me that the address I was after was But that didn't work either! Eventually, I think through googling some more I found it at eBay isn't the first company to use the wap subdomain, see also I think the most rediculous mobile subdomain I know of is nationalrail's Kai is against the .mobi TLD as he believes that it will fragment the web, but as all these subdomains suggest, we do need separate pages for devices with small screens, as good as CSS is, it cannot do it alone, and once you admit that we need different pages for mobiles wouldn't it be easier if we all knew that we could use the .mobi address? I really do prefer the m subdomain over all of this though, purely because it's fewer letters to type on a tiny keyboard. Incidentally is pretty good and forwards to

UPDATE: Another thing that annoys me is browser detection. If I go to a mobile site I do not want to be redirected to the desktop site just because the site in question doesn't know about the browser I am using.

UPDATE: I emailed ebay about their issue, and surprisingly they responded. In their email was this gem: "We do have carrier-specific mobile sites." WTF?