Around 5 and a half months ago, my mother purchased a just-under-£1000 laptop from PC Specialist. She replaced the HDD with an SSD immediately. Some issues developed quite early on, and after four months or so she got in touch to arrange a repair (as part of the extended support services she had also purchased). They took the laptop in, investigated the issue, replaced the fan and sent it back... Only for the issue to persist. She e-mailed them again and they said they thought it was a motherboard issue, and asked for it to be sent in again.
We sent it in for a second repair, though my mother decided she just wanted a refund instead as she had lost faith in the product. After a little over a week of waiting on a result, they have now offered a refund just under £700.
We no longer own the HDD, and are happy to pay for that component (which they have provided a price for), however they have also attributed another £250-ish due to the age of the machine and also the fact that there are some scratches and dings on the chassis (not entirely unreasonable on a portable device). Is she entitled to ask for a full refund (sans the cost of the HDD)? Which? seems to think so.
They are allowed to deduct a proportion of the purchase price to cover the usage you have had from the item. Whether what they propose is reasonable I leave to you to negotiate.
"Is she entitled to ask for a full refund (sans the cost of the HDD)?"
The first thing to say is that by replacing the hard drive with an SSD your mother is deemed to have 'accepted' the machine under the terms of current consumer legislation. She may still be entitled to a refund, but the supplier may ask her to prove that the fault existed at the time of purchase.
The first repair was duly carried out, but the same fault persisted. From what you say, I can see that your mother agreed to return the machine a second time, but after it had been sent back she changed her mind, and said she wanted a full refund.
By your own admission, the machine has suffered damage whilst in your mother's possession, and for that reason the supplier is entitled to reduce the refund total offered.
There's no convenient sliding scale for this - you must negotiate the amount with the supplier. You can't reasonably expect a supplier to give a full refund on an item that you damaged while it was in your possession.
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