Friday, June 26, 2009

Disputes Tribunal Ruling

I found the ruling from the tribunal. Here's the guts of it (I don't have a scanner):

The Tribunal hereby orders

Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand Ltd and Electronics Boutique Australia Pty Ltd are jointly and severally liable to pay $375 to Mr Stevens within ten days of the date of this order.



It was proved that the Mr Stevens' playstation was not of acceptable quality:

  1. An article from the Consumer magazine (a respected organisation) in July 2006 was reliable evidence (based on surveys, information from manufacturers and retailers and their own experience) that a reasonable life expectancy for appliances was five years for computers and 8+ years for DVD players (both playstation functions).
  2. No appliance had a life expectancy of less than two years and there was no reason to suppose that playstations were less durable than other appliances, in particular when playstations were used for games and received hard treatment from children.
  3. Mr Stevens' playstation, by failing within two years, was therefore not fit for all of its purposes, not free of minor defects and not durable.
  4. It was not an answer that (as stated in the article) the life expectancy of appliances was getting shorter... because this did not account for difference between the stated life expectancy (eg computers, five years) and the failure in Mr Stevens' case (under two years).
  5. It was not an answer that the technological complexity of playstations meant that failure of a small percentage of units was "inevitable" (letter to Mr Stevens) if there was nonetheless a failure of the guarantee of acceptable quality.
  6. It was also not an answer that Mr Stevens' warranty was limited to one year as it was not possible to contract out of the Consumer Guarantees Act in non-business transactions (section 43).


There were five arguments I raised, but only two were accepted. I can post them if anyone's interested.


  1. 14 Nov 09

    Thanks for posting the Disputes Tribunal (DT) Ruling.

    Would you also be able to post the date of the ruling and any reference number it may have?

    I would like to quote it when I approach Sony over a similar premature failure of a PS3.

    I would also be interested in your arguments that the DT did not accept.


  2. Hi Garry,

    25th May 2009, case number CIV-2009-094-000642. My name's Jason Stevens as an additional ref.

    My arguments that /weren't/ accepted:

    - Microsoft extended the warranty of their XBox 360 from 1 to 2 years, in response to the red-ring-of-death fault. I argued, unsuccessfully, that customers did not think that it was reasonable that a games console lasts less than 2 years.

    - Sony's CEO said the PS3 had a life expectancy of 10 years. I said that this led customers to believe that a console shouldn't conk out after a couple of years. But they rejected it because it was intended as the lifetime of the technology not an individual unit.

    - I had someone's blog about a Dell laptop they had repaired outside of warranty. No reference number, name or date-time :)

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the information. It will be very helpful.


  4. Hi Jason,

    Ive got a similar issue, and am about to take it up with the Disputes Tribunal - quick question though. Ive not had the PS3 fixed yet - do you think it would be easier if I had, and had a receipt for the cost of repair, or would a verbal quote from the repair agent be enough you think?

    Cheers :-)

  5. Entirely up to you it should be fine either way.

    Ask for your money back though, rather than get it repaired. With PS3 price reductions you should be able to buy another PS3 and make on the deal.

    Good luck!

  6. "How long ago did you buy your ps3?"
    "two years"
    "oh it's out of warranty so that'll be $315 to fix"
    "yeah not so much. The CGA covers computer appliances for up to 5 years"
    "oh" [pause] "alright then I'll get back to you in a few days about where to send it for repair"

  7. Shops will try to get you to do all the work but it's their responsibility to take the PS3 back and get it repaired.

    But ask for your money back if it's a serious fault. That way you can get a new one sooner rather than a second-hand one later.

  8. Jason,

    I am now currently in your position. I was stupid enough to buy an extended warranty with my PlayStation 3 and around the end of January, it experienced a YLOD.

    I had sent it away to the Sony Repair Center, to get it back after waiting 42 days. It was a 60GB Backwards model so they could only repair it. However, it died again after 2 weeks of getting it back... TWO WEEKS! :-(

    As you can understand, I wasn't to happy to learn of this, and after speaking with the Citizens Advice Beurau, they said I have a good case to get back a full refund under law.

    Is there any further information or advice you could give me? If it is lawful, are you able to provide me with the case documents of the results of your dispute... anything that could help I surely would appreciate.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. @KillerOfShadows. If the goods have a substantial problem, which they do, you can get a full refund of the original purchase price. It's all in the CGA.

  11. Hi jason. excelent blog, thank you for posting your experience, and a huge congrats for sticking it to sony!
    i am currently under the same problem, except my PS3 is 38months old, do you think i would still have a case? as the consumer report says a reasonable time for a PS3 to last is 5 years?