Another missing laptop!!

Just in need of some advice.

I once had a shiny Sony laptop that let me watch educational films and surf the net, until one day it broke (The fan/heat sync stopped). I took it to my local repair shop, who told me that it would cost £65. Bargin i thought to my self.

As I am based away from my local shop I let them know i would be in the following Sat to collect. On returning to the shop I was told that it had not been returned from the off-site workshop, I informed the shop owner a phone call would have helped and saved me trip but never mind. Unfortunately I was unable due to work commitments to pick up the laptop the following weekend.

So three weeks after putting it in for repair I returned to the shop to pick up my laptop. Only to be informed that the laptop had been stolen along with 17 other laptops from the shop a few days prior.

It has now been a month since the break-in and the shop owner keeps informing me that the police are continuing with there inquiries and that until they have finished and my computer has not been recovered he will not be compensating anyone. As the shop is not insured against this type incident!!!!!(independant trader)

I have confirmed that the incident took place with the Police and have been told that it is unlikely that the computers will be recovered due to the time scale invloved and lack of any clear leads etc. The police are no longer pursuing this as an active investigation.

What options are open to me? I have tried my own home insurance and my kit insurance and both have said sorry but as I handed the computer over to the shop that they do not cover me, which to me although I am out of pocket seems quite fair.

So I am minus one laptop and trying to avoid paying for a new one.
The one in question was worth in the region of £750 so not a massive cost but one that I should not be paying.

Where can I go from here ? are there legal options open to me? or do i need to accept the loss of my educational films collection and buy a new one?

Any advice is most welcome

Thanks in advance



Speak to your local citizens advice buraeu, they're free, and may help with some advice.


Hello PA

sounds like you have been done over to me. Are you sure that the shop was not involved with the "theft"? anyway it doesnt really matter since you are not going to get your laptop back if they were or were not involved in the "theft"

you entrusted the laptop to them and they have a responsibility to:

a) obtain public and occupiers liability insurance. this is a MUST. if they dont have it then they are committing and offence. ask to see the ceritifcate (which should be in a prominent position anyway) and if they dont let you see it, then go to trading standards.

once you have the details of his insurers and his certificate number, write to them demanding compensation for loss of laptop AND the (legal) software on it.

b) he has a duty of care to you to ensure your laptop was not stolen and he has probably not exercised reasonable care and skill in putting in sufficent safeguards to ensure it is not stolen. so he could be negligent

c) AND/OR he had an oral "contract" with you to look after your laptop and repair it, for a fee that you agreed to pay. he could therefore be in breach of contract too.

If you are not able to do a deal with him regarding the insurance, then its off the the small claims court I am afraid. The costs you could recover would include the training videos on the laptop and other such software.

i hope that helps.

Many Thanks for the advice.

I have a been to the shop again. The owner has told me that once he has be informed by the Police that their investigation is over he will THINK about compensation ( Since he has no insurance this will have to come out of his pocket). Having spoken to the Police and reading between the lines, yes it is highly unlikely that my laptop will turn up, and that once they have finished there investigation they will inform the owner of this . If at this point he does not offer appropriate compensation then I will taken action. Police said by middle of May everything they can do will have been done etc ( its not really an investigation any more a paper trail but that need completing before they can close the active investigation and tell the owner.

I do hope to have everything in place by then etc so the moment he refuses compensation letters start dropping on peoples doors, ie small Claims court and trading standards etc. I have just got a contact at trading standards via work and will start making enquires there.

May start by sending a recorded delivery letter to the owner, detaling all this, with the appropriate refrences etc. This may get him to dig deep in his pockets and take the hit.

Again cheers for the advice


Oh Mama 2 Hot 2 Spicy


Tell the twit he can "think" what he wants....

...good luck with getting your money back for the hardware and the software, keep us all posted and you know where I am if you need any more help.


JudgeDredd said:
The costs you could recover would include the training videos on the laptop and other such software.

I very much doubt that, as all the software on the laptop would be original, and you therefore have the installation CDs at home ;)



msr said:
JudgeDredd said:
The costs you could recover would include the training videos on the laptop and other such software.

I very much doubt that, as all the software on the laptop would be original, and you therefore have the installation CDs at home ;)


I agree that is the case for most software, but you can get OEM versions which you cannot re use on a new laptop and also some software comes pre installed without CD's now as they try to save money.

Hopefully he will have all the CD's !
Ok, time for an update,

First thanks for all the advice, but it is still not a happy ending yet!!!
But i am determined to either make the wesal pay or bankrupt him.

Since the Owner/Manager has been informed that the police investigation is no longer live he has failed to provide me with any compensation or even a glimpse of his wallet, I have been left with no choice but to begin legal action against him.

He failed to show when arranged to make payment and only one of his assistants was present. So following the advice given to me by one of the Websites on Small Claims, I have submitted a letter to him asking him to pay up within seven days or legal action begins. I will follow this letter up with a recorded delivery of the same letter.

The next stage is where my knowledge falls down completely. I need to know what to do next, I have looked at HMCS online money claim can I use it? How do I word such a claim? I do not want to mess that all up and just get laughed in court etc. Is there sites where prewritten claims exist that i can pinch?

Again thanks for all the advice, and I will make him pay. I would feel more sorry for him had he not been such a wesal and failed to admit any fault or offer any soultions like a laptop while the police investigate etc, or even pick up the phone once and inform me of the situaction. Sweeping this problem under the carpet has not helped him and only made it worse for him.



Sorry to see that he has not done the honourable thing and paid up.

With reference the small claims court, the forms are free to obtain online (google HMCS and they will be there) or go direct to

The forms are designed to be completed by individuals who have no legal knowledge whatsoever, so just say what happened and that will be enough. No one will laugh, or criticise you for not making it look legalistic. Thats the whole point of the small claims court - ie for ordinary people to be able to sue.

With the link above there are also (quite surprisingly) some really good help forms which tell you what information to write in each box in a step by step guide.

If the form is legallly technically deficient the Judge (if you do end up in court) will work around it and understands that you are not legally qualified and therefore wont be always technically correct.

The simple answer is to

a) put down in ordinary english what happened as simply as possible - dont waffle

b) get as many documents or other evidence to support what you are saying. So for example, " I handed my laptop into ABC company on 23rd Jan 2009 so it could be repaired". how do you show you handed in the laptop? well you will probably have a receipt or a payment chit etc. "He said it would be repaired on 14 days" , and then show documents or other evidence to support that.

In many cases you simply dont have all the evidence to support every statement you are making, written or otherwise, it doesnt matter, that's what happens in most cases!

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
Quick Up date

I have followed the Judges advice and went on the HMCS website and follwed there advice. Al letter was submitted to him detailing what has happened and what needs to happen to avoid any legal action and gave him 7 days to respond.

As you may have guessed he failed to respond. I visited him once again and asked if we are any closer to a settlement, he said that he does not respond to threats!!!!

Well the claim has been submitted with HMCS money claim, he now has 14 days to respond/acknowledge the claim and submitt a repsonse.

So watch this space, fingers crossed I will watch the baliffs clear him out.



Have you considered approaching your local paper. This may generate the other 16 who may wish to start a group action against the shop owner.
The downside this may bankrupt the shopowner.
Good luck.
I don't think the bankrupt card is going to come out, well I hope not. He has just has the shop totally remodelled etc so business seems to be booming.

I have had it on good authority that his indication of 17 other victims may have been a bit of bad maths of his part and that he may of had insurance and that he has only become unstuck once it was investigated how thief got in. So his maths have had to revised etc.

The Police also told me a number of victims claimed on there houshold insurance. Wish mine were that understanding. So 17 Victims may now be alot less.

Local media may be an option, but I do not wish to upset him even more than he already is etc while the claim goes through. Will wait and see what happens. He has until 8 June to have responded to my claim.

Will keep you all updated. Personally i think he may ignore the claim, which means the judgement is made in my favour. Just not sure how its enforced.
Hi again,

Just had a judgement issued against the shop owner through moneyclaim online. It now gives me the option of applying for a warrant agains the shop owner.

Can someone explain what this is, and do I have any chance of enforcing it?

The other problem is that the shop has now changed name, back to a previous name does this mean I have lost all?

again thanks for all your help.

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