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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Purchasing PCs and Components | Vendor and Order Problems and Solutions | Dealing With Vendor Abuses and Deceptive Practices ]

Taking Legal Action

A final option that you may want to consider if things get really bad with a company--if but briefly--is legal action. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. :^) As such, I cannot advice on legal matters, and I won't try to do so. If you feel that you have suffered a loss due to the conduct of a vendor or manufacturer that is significant enough to warrant legal activity against them, you should contact a competent attorney and ask for advice on the matter.

That said, while I am not an attorney I am certainly capable of analyzing costs and benefits. While PCs are expensive items for most individuals to purchase, legal fees are much more expensive. (The cost of an entire typical PC wouldn't come close to paying the attorney costs for a lawsuit against a vendor.) As a result, even if suing an unscrupulous vendor might be emotionally appealing, this option is generally only justifiable for a business that has done a large amount of business with a specific vendor or manufacturer.

A final matter that I will mention briefly is the class-action suit. This is legal action taken against a company by a large group of unrelated people who have been similarly affected by what the company has done. Computer industry manufacturers and vendors have been successfully sued under class action in the past when a pattern could be shown of improper behavior toward their customers. Again here, I am not qualified to advise on these matters, other than to point out the obvious: trying to bring a class-action lawsuit is not a simple, cheap or fast process. This is not something you will want to consider to resolve a typical vendor problem.

Next: After The Purchase

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