From the Mailbag of

Logo of The Helping Hand with handshake graphic.

The computer repair shop is taking one year to fix my laptop.

The following is an actual conversation between an Uprise RI user and our Helping Hand chat assistant. The most helpful conversations, as determined by our editors, will be showcased on our homepage, with personally identifying details removed when applicable.

Posted April 5, 2024

User: Computer repair shop taking one year to fix my laptop

The Helping Hand: If a computer repair shop is taking an unusually long time to fix your laptop, it’s important to communicate your concerns directly to the business. Here’s what you can do:

1. Write a formal complaint letter to the repair shop, explaining the problem and stating the timeline of events. Be clear about the service you expected, the delays you’ve experienced, and the resolution you are seeking, such as a fixed laptop by a certain date or a refund.
2. Send your letter via certified mail with return receipt requested, so you have proof that the shop received it. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.
3. If you submitted your complaint online, ensure to print out the confirmation or take a screenshot for your documentation.

For assistance in drafting your letter, you can use the sample provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

Would you like guidance on further steps to take if the shop does not respond to your letter satisfactorily?

User: Yes

The Helping Hand: If the computer repair shop does not respond satisfactorily to your complaint letter, you can escalate the issue:

1. Contact the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit. You can file a complaint online at their website: or call them at (401) 274-4400 for guidance on how to proceed with your complaint.

2. Consider contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to file a complaint. They can work to help mediate disputes between consumers and businesses. Their website is

3. You may also want to consider small claims court if the value of the repair or replacement is within their limits. This is a legal avenue for resolving disputes without needing a lawyer.

Would you like more information on how to file a complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit or help with preparing for small claims court?

User: Yes

The Helping Hand: To file a complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit, follow these steps:

1. Visit the Consumer Protection Unit’s website:
2. Click on ‘Consumer Complaint Form’.
3. You can fill out the form online, or you can download the form to fill it out manually.
4. When completing the form, provide as much detail as possible about the issue with the computer repair shop, including dates, amounts paid, and the nature of the problem.
5. Attach copies (not originals) of relevant documents such as receipts, contracts, emails, and the complaint letter you previously sent to the business.
6. Submit the form and the attachments online, or mail them to the address provided on the form.

If you are considering small claims court, here are the steps to prepare:

1. Verify that the amount you are seeking falls within the monetary limit for small claims court in Rhode Island, which is typically up to $5,000.
2. Gather all documentation related to your case, including any communications with the repair shop, receipts, warranties, and your complaint letter.
3. Visit your local Rhode Island District Court clerk’s office or their website to obtain the necessary forms to file a small claims action.
4. Complete the forms, which will include a statement of your case, and pay the filing fee.
5. You will be given a date for the hearing, and the court will notify the repair shop of the lawsuit.

The Helping Hand is a free service provided by Uprise RI for Rhode Islanders. It uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology and vast training on RI landlord/tenant law and consumer protection to provide helpful tips and resources specific to the user's needs, at no charge. Help support The Helping Hand with a donation of any kind.