Refurbish from a skip & sold on ebay

So today is a very sad day for me, my faith in mankind has hit another low point.  Over the past year I have purchased a refurbished Samsung Galaxy SIII phone & and an ASUS Netbook both of which looked & worked like new.Both those items were purchased from the Argos ebay outlet & I was so impressed with the quality when I saw a Lenovo G50 quad core laptop on there I thought it looked like a good buy, so ordered one.

Three days later, very early in the morning, it was delivered & after having a coffee or two & a bite to eat I unpacked it & wasn't overly impressed by the scratches on the lid and the poor state of the frame around the screen. I have seen better in a skip (dumpster for my American friends). Still who cares as long as it works right?  Well AS LONG AS is the operative phrase here because at first it appeared to be OK once set-up, bit slow but after it had been switched off & back on it booted really fast. So I did the most important thing first, loaded my anti-virus program up.  Then did a scan to be safe, everything seemed ok.  I got a dongle and put some music on, no sound coming out. Plugged in headphones and got sound.  I thought perhaps it didn't have built in speakers.

So next job, loaded Skype.  This is where I found the first problem, no camera.  It should have a camera but nothing was showing so I checked device manager and no imaging device at all.  Then I tried the microphone and speakers.  The sound still came out of the headphones but nothing when they were taken out & the microphone wasn't showing any signs of life on the voice meter in Skype or the sound settings on Windows.  I tried updating the camera drivers but no joy.  I used my brand new Microsoft webcam & that worked fine.

In the end I decided to contact their customer support.  A day later I got a reply and after I replied to that I got nothing again so put in a returns request to ebay.  A day later and still no response from Argos Outlet & their twitter 'Helper' advised I should phone them, why should I waste my credits being left hanging on the phone for an hour or more, which is usually what happens when you phone them.  Instead I opted for the supplied email address & did get a reply from that very quickly, but it wasn't Argos support, it was a repair centre used by Argos. After a couple of email exchanges I had a phone call from the repair centre & a very charming young lady said she could book the PC in for a repair.  I agreed and she booked the courier ready. I have everything packed up now but have now discovered that this PC should indeed have built in speakers.  These aren't working either.

Are they just getting a load of scrapped or rejected laptops & making one working one out of several others? This seems to be the case.  Certainly the description they sell them under is false:

Manufacturer refurbished: An item that has been professionally restored to working order by a manufacturer-approved vendor. This means the product has been inspected, cleaned and repaired to meet manufacturer specifications and is in excellent condition. This item may or may not be in its original packaging. See the seller’s listing for full     _________________________________________________________________________________

These are in no way repaired to meet manufacturers specifications & in excellent condition unless they are so poorly made the cameras, microphone & speakers don't work.  So in conclusion steer clear of refurbished goods, especially from the Argos ebay outlet, you'll only end up with a whole lot of hassle.


I was contacted by the Argos support repair centre who arranged to have the computer collected, repaired & returned to me.  It was a little over a week before I got it back but it was returned in working order.  I did notice that they have now taken this item from their ebay store so must be an on going issue.