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Beware of eBay's Refurbished ComputerSystems


We were called to an interesting situation last week. A new customer had wanted to save some money and in doing so had purchased a "refurbished" computer system, from a company trading on eBay, with lots of great positive feedback. He'd had this system for about 4 months and it was therefore out of the 3 month warranty provided by the company.

The machine was a desktop HP Office computer, originally designed as a client and to be connected to a server. Companies often renew their office computer equipment on a regular basis and there is some resale value in the old PC's.

This particular desktop computer had been retro-fitted with what we suspect might be a second hand 1.0 Terabyte (1000 Gb) hard drive and 4Gb of RAM, and the original XP Professional licence. Presumably this was to make it a more attractive system, for the sale price of £150.00

The customer had originally started to have RAM memory problems and the company had sent a replacement and encouraged the customer to leave positive feedback.

Predictably we discovered that the hard drive had partially failed with errors. This is unlikely to happen if the hard drive itself were brand new. We were able to get all the data back, including pictures and music. We also managed to get his XP installation working without reinstalling everything.

During the 3 month warranty, the customer was treated reasonably well and was encouraged to leave feedback which is why this company "appear" to have 1000's of satisfied customers.

It's worth remembering that "refurbished" means the fitting of new parts, which themselves carry an individual 12 month warranty.

The repair took 5 hours and cost nearly the same as the machine did itself. So the advice from Computer Solutions is "Buyer Beware". If it sounds too good to be true then it most probably is.

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