Office Works - Computer Fault and Product Return Experience

I purchased a Lenovo computer tower from Office Works in Southport QLD in December 2022.

In May 2023, it suddenly developed a fault, where only one display screen would work, despite two screens working perfectly , until this point.

I took the Lenovo tower back to the Office Works outlet where it was purchased.

They confirmed the error and advised me that Lenovo’s warrenty policy was to look to repair any issue, before providing any replacement, which seemed, fair enough.

I was advised it usually took 2 weeks for this sort of issue to be reviewed and by then, it would either repaired or replaced.

3 weeks later without receiving any update from Office Works, I went to the store to see where things were
I was told that the computer was with the repairer and that they had not provided any update as yet.

I asked the manager if anyone had contacted them directly since I dropped the computer back, to see what the situation was and NO was the answer and that the repairer usually took their time to respond.

Not good enough as far as I am concerned.

No computer now for 3 weeks and no sign of any repair or replacement on the horizon at time of writing.

What are my options if any moving forward?




Neither of these is going to get you your computer back faster from OfficeWorks but

  • can you link to what you bought?
  • is this business use or personal use?

Moving forward, squeaky wheels get oiled. Keep hassling them!


The ACCC addresses repairs being required in a ‘reasonable time’ but do not define what that means in practice.

Arguing the time is no longer ‘reasonable’ might not get far but might be worth claiming you were misled that it would be 2 weeks – double that to 4 weeks and it would be reasonable to push the issue IMO.

You have backup of your system don’t you? If not you really want yours back. If you have the backup you want a working computer to load it on. It is probably a trivial repair but at least one PC brand will never authorise any part be used excepting their official part from their official off shore source even if the exact same part is locally available. If that is what is happening push them to cannibalise a system for the part or replace your computer.


Just throwing it out there but … in this topic it hasn’t even been established whether this is hardware or software. The implication is the former but I don’t think any information towards that has been presented.

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Why does that matter? Much of the delay in tech service is the length of the input queue which is before that question can be answered.

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Because if it’s software (I assume Microsoft Windows) then neither OfficeWorks nor Lenovo would even be liable to fix this. OfficeWorks might argue either that Microsoft broke it via an update or that the customer futzing around broke it (and it would be difficult for the customer to prove otherwise unless troubleshooting is done).

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Speculating at this point on the reason behind the problem is irrelevant, the OP asked for help getting some action from the parties, a problem in another domain. Relevance is time and context dependant.

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It’s possible, but quite unlikely to be a software problem. Software doesn’t “break”. An update can uncover a software fault, but the update would be logged, and therefore would be demonstrable to the repair tech. Besides, Lenovo has pre-loaded Microsoft Windows onto the machine prior to shipping it. Lenovo has a master agreement with Microsoft. It’s up to them to manage the product. It is not up to the purchaser to accurately diagnose the fault. All they have to do is present the faulty goods. The OP said that Office Works confirmed the fault before sending the unit back to the supplier.

They haven’t responded. The software licence is between Microsoft and the purchaser, once the computer is sold, but that does not let Lenovo off the hook, nor Office Works. In my opinion, having a computer that only allows one screen to display, when the specification allows for more than one, is not a minor fault.

I’d begin asking for a replacement if it cannot be repaired urgently. I’d also put the entire sequence of events into writing, including your request for replacement.

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I agree. I would hate to think though that the second display is not working simply because the customer turned it off in software, perhaps without realising it.

I asked for a link to the product so that

a) we can see whether it’s integrated graphics or a dedicated graphics card or something else, and
b) what hardware interfaces might be being used to connect to the monitors (e.g. HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, something else)

i.e. basic troubleshooting (e.g. fault isolation). Without more info from the OP, we’ll have to hope that someone somewhere works out what the problem is.

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Sure does. That is why bug fixes are distributed constantly. On operating systems and application systems.


A reminder

That horse has long ago left the gate.

The topic is about Office Works and Lenovo ‘service’ not a trouble shooting exercise on a box that is at ‘the shop’.

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Latest update.

Went back to Office Works in Southport and spoke to the manager on Tuesday and floowed up yesterday 8.6.23 and was advised that Lenovo had not yet provided any update. I advised that I had now been without a computer for 3 weeks and no sign of a fix on the horizon. I advised I would be seeking replacement if this is not fixed by next week. Also put a complaint into Office Works national office. It seems that up to the point of sale it is all care and after the sale no interest in any responsibility or customer care. Disappointing to say the least.

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Putting that to them in writing as a letter of complaint formalises it. Stating what you want verbally does not. Should you continue to be less than satisfied the former becomes your ‘evidence’ while the latter is anecdotal. There are many ‘tools’ linked on the Community (and Choice) as well as on the ACCC site to assist in writing one.


The Lenovo Tower model is IC3 - 16/128GB + 1TB R5 DT if that helps. The monitors are connected to the tower via HDMI and VGA connections. As I mentioned worked perfectly for 5 months then one monitor screen when blank. Tried changing connections and replacing screen, without success, which is why I took it back to the place of sale to be repaired or replaced. So far all I get from Office Works despite 3 follow up attempts is that it is with Lenovo repairer, who has not provided any update as at 08.06.23.

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Bugs fixes address faults that either (a) were pre-existing, but undiscovered in the original release; or (b) not apparent in the original release, but uncovered by an upgrade to either hardware or software changes.

Software errors never magically “appear” from nothing. They were already there, but the broken code had not been executed, or had been executed with data that didn’t cause the problem.

I have dealt with many software failures over the years on many types of systems that magically appeared.
We used to refer to them as ‘cosmic ray’ events. That is one or more bits in memory that just got changed for no reason we could diagnose. Could happen on disk as well which would cause file or data corruption.

That reminds me of something from the 80s. Back then, I ran a team that provided world-wide change team support for system software for a very large software licensor. I had a bug reported on a product, with diagnoses identifying a system module that had been running for 12 years across thousands of platforms worldwide, and in multiple software products. The “new” fault caused a different system memory dump each time it arose, with different register contents; and a random current instruction executing; and so on.

When I was desk-checking the code to work out key places to put some non-invasive trace code to find the values of various variables as the code ran, I found a routine that altered an address in the interrupt vector table, to run an extra piece of code, before restoring the original. Instinctively, that’s a potential piece of “out-to-lunch” code, or a “branch to blue sky”. I looked very carefully, and noted that in some instances, it would be possible for the code to replace the interrupt vector address with the routine address, instead of the original interrupt handler address…which would only happen when a combination of two (obviously fairly uncommon) device types was in the sequence. Bingo. The bug was dormant for twelve years, but the code did not magically “break”. It was already broken, and it put the machine out to lunch when an interrupt service routine was initiated.

Software always works exactly as it is written. It might fail on a data boundary error, e.g. two very large numbers multiplied to overflow, but the software fails to check that the result was valid before using it in the next calculation. It doesn’t matter. It wasn’t tested properly, and it was a pre-existing fault.

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At the risk of this being spun off to a different topic as being off topic, no it doesn’t.

Soft errors occur, and have to be dealt with.

I think we’re way off the original topic, and half way down the rabbit hole. In addition, it sounds like a so-called “soft error” is irrelevant to the OP’s problem.

People think computer systems are binary, as in the value is “one” or “zero”. The truth is that they’re more commonly a range of values, e.g. being 0-2.5 V (zero) or 3.5-6 V (one). Sometimes, that will result in 3V - no man’s land. Those kinds of problems are caused by hardware, such as a dry solder joint, or dirt in a joint. I’m inclined to put cosmic ray events into the same category - insufficient shielding. The software may not detect that the value is erroneous, but the root cause in such cases is hardware.

In most cases, the hardware has environmental operating ranges e.g. -10C to 40C, outside of which, all bets are off. I would not expect a PC to be impervious to cosmic ray events, and the manufacturer - if they can prove that the fault coincided with one - may declare “force majeure” and refuse service.

For the OP, Office Works replicated the failure of the box to run with two monitors. It’s their problem to rectify in a reasonable time, and work to ensure the supplier, Lenovo, does the same.

@Gregr, @CaptJack, @person

I’d hope I don’t get left behind in the discussion.
Not the only wisdom in this topic, please consider,

Not a risk. Please advise, an affirmative that the side discussion is of interest to you, I’m confident the posts can be moved to a seperate topic, and appropriate focus group.

P.S.Everything happens for a reason. All it takes is one bent pin on a VGA connector, a poor joint in the back shell, or …….
It’s also a reality that there are two commonly provided levels of service for PC/laptop purchases. One for everyday consumers, and paid support for enterprise.

There’s a lesson here for all. Consumers have progressively been moved by enterprise to a digital universe. Our devices include PC’s are now essential daily tools. There is little choice. Unfortunately the tools we have often require more than the ability to turn them off or on. That’s also a seperate discussion. How many consumers have a reliable workable ‘Plan B’ when a device goes AWOL. I know a few who had but one device and no backup!

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