Check Up When You Buy A Computer Here
Ever thought about buying a new laptop, a camera or electronic equipment here in Moscow, but worried about fakes, grey-market products, and basically if you were really getting value for money? Prices are very competitive but not all models are legal. Read on…
If you want to make sure that you are buying a kosher product: Check the manufacturer’s web site for Russia and see if the model is listed there. If it is not go to two.
Call the manufacturers office here. If you can’t find them simply choose another product and repeat the first two steps. Check if the Warranty is good both in Russia and your home country.
Familiarize yourself with some of the basics of the Russian Commercial Code. While most goods can be returned for a full refund within 14 days of purchase, this does not apply to ‘complicated equipment’ – most hi-tech is not eligible for return, unless you have a caring shop owner.
Recently, a colleague bought a nice Toshiba Laptop in a chain store at Savelovsky Market. When he brought it home he found that the left audio channel was not working properly. He returned it to the store. They refused to either refund or replace the $1,700 item. The Commercial Code for ‘complicated equipment’ says that the store is entitled to have up to 10 consecutive days to repair it or refund the money. They kept it for 10 days and then refunded the money. He is now the proud owner of a Sony Vaio that met the standards above and where the shop owner agreed to an immediate refund in the first 3 days if the product was returned in merchantable condition with wrapping materials, etc.
Toshiba’s Moscow office, when asked about their customer care policy, told us in an e-mail, “Toshiba has no replacement program for defective notebooks. All such PCs can be repaired. If you don't accept this policy, you can request your PC replacement from the seller in accordance with Russian legislation. If you believe that the seller doesn't follow strictly Russian laws, you can apply to the authorities.”
My friend had assumed Big Brand = Big Protection. The reality was Big Brand = minimum protection allowed under the Russian Commercial Code. Check and double check before you buy. Ask the questions. The many honest traders in the markets will work with you to get your business. Then you will have a great and reliable experience shopping for high tech equipment here in Moscow, as I have.