Freedom Furniture Laptop Table

Vox Pop


This is some of the public response to

Freedom Furniture's Laptop Table

destroying my Acer Ferrari 

Laptopapault Links

Is this a biased sample? Sure it is, but there's still a huge number of people that seem to agree with my opinion of Freedom Furniture's Laptop Table.

 From YouTube:

brandaogu (3 months ago)
wow, if i were you i'd sue them! what a Mother F***s!! 
 
teletub (1 month ago)
You should send them shit in the mail.
  
xpgx1 (1 month ago)
Seriously, this should NEVER happen with a Laptop Table...how stupid are those manufactors? If I were you, I would certainly demand repair-costs from the table guys... ridiculous... 
  
rich8rd88 (1 month ago)
i feel you
  
leonbev (1 month ago)
Yeah! Watch that laptop fly!
   
shiidii (2 weeks ago)
This is pure injustice and I wish you all the luck in your pursuit for repairs. I can't believe Freedom have rejected the responsibility for damages when they created a laptop table with a button that will fling equipment to the ground.

What is the actual purpose for such a retarded function on a table anyway?
  
acockers (1 week ago)
Dude .. I got a ferrari too, I feel you man really. I screamed when I look at that pic just now
 
userxx (5 days ago)
Whoahh.. that's complete BS. I say you keep fighting for that and see what happens. Keep us updated.
 

mechanolatry says:

Wow... that's a really fucked up story.

Keep raising a fuss about it though, and if you bring too much attention to the problem maybe they will compensate you. =)

We have a hotline for our local news where you can call about things like this. You should see if you have one too.

Good luck!
 
 Poll results for:
"Do you think "Laptop Tables" should safely support laptops?"
Yes:  35   85.5%
No:   23   14.6% 
 
OhSnap!
Freedom furniture should be liable from my point of view.

After studying industrial design (albeit not completeing my bachelor due to boredom), you learn and learn and learn that the product must be tested. IMO the laptop table was not tested enough. For example its a laptop table, what consumer is going to expect that you have to remove the laptop from the table to adjust it? From a design pov this:

a) limits the usefulness of the product
b) cause a potential hazard (as in this case)

If it was specifically targeted at left handed people then it should be pointed out to any potential buyer. If this is not specified there has been an error in the chain of command somewhere. Either with:

a) the design team who have no specified that it needs special requirements
b) the owner and manufacturer of the design (in this case i believe freedom furniture franchiser)
c) the individual store.

Whatever the case, instructions or not the table is a piece of junk that has had minimal thought in the design of it. It is a shame that a company regarded highly by consumers has released a product that is unstable, unpredictable and a potential hazard to users and their equipment.

I highly recommend you take this up with the franchiser to sort this out so you can at least get your problem sorted HOWEVER this is a design flaw that can possibly damage other laptops as well. Taking it up further with a public source could help get a redesigned table or worse case scenario end the products life and hopefully initiate a recall.

Everyone who says he is liable or it wasn't freedom's fault you are not correct. Its fair enough that MAYBE he shouldn't have adjusted it with the laptop on the table, however it is BAD DESIGN that should never have been approved. The design implies that the table can be adjusted with the laptop on it, otherwise what good is the table over any other table?

 
RichardM:

I'd definitely be trying to take it further. I'm not sure who you could take it to, but it's definitely a design flaw in my opinion (though I did laugh at the video...I am a bastard).

If your insurance covers it, then claim, and send them a bill for the excess. If it doesn't, you're going to find it a bit more difficult. Perhaps send an email off to a newspaper or similar if it still can't be resolved to try and force them into a situation where they have to take notice (only as a last resort, obviously).

jmeister:
 
 try sending it to PC Authority. they have a investigator section every month dealing with situations just like yours where the big company bullies the little man. if it really does look like a design flaw then you should get a replacement laptop of equal value.
 
Hellman109:

Ouch!

FYI Freedom Furniture is a Franchised company, so if talking to the store fails talk to the Franchisor.

www.freedom.com.au/contact-us/index.html

Ive worked for a Franchisor for over 4 years - trust me they are usually much better at fixing problems then the stores themselves...

Hellman109:  (regarding someone incorrectly suggesting the table was being used backwards)

Mosky writes...

  • Sorry, no sympathy from me, looks like simple user error from here and from your video.

So a table should ignore 49% of the population?

Seriously, 'your left handed' is the worst excuse ever.

Mr Min:

My sympathies dude, nice video documentation.
Yes I do think a table should support a laptop and not act as a medieval catapult.
I think you should have checked first, but then I can understand not checking.

But Freedom doing something about it, I doubt it.

I'd go to Consumer affairs with your video and ask them for advice.

cos1nsk1:
can automatic garage doors crush anything? AFAIK I thought they had sensors that prevented such a thing happening - mine does.
I am also from the school that believes common sense should be more common but in this case a product designed for the purpose of supporting an expensive, fragile piece of gear should have more built in safety mechanisms eg a braked slower adjuster.
 
Mr Min:
Well, if they agree with you then it might help convince Freedom to replace the laptop.
Thats why you ask, it doesn't hurt to check.

Personally I don't think the design was fit for the purpose advertised.
Regardless of whether it had/or didn't have a sticker underneath and whether the OP should have checked or not.

Pseudo: 

 If I had a tilt-chair that adjusted to 45° at the push of a button... well other than using it as a joke on people, I'd call that a design fault.

Same goes for this table IMO. 45% tilt for a notebook? That's stupid.
 
M Bison:
well in any kind of design, you have to assume that your users are stupid. In this case, freedom did not, and considering it was marketed as a laptop table, they should be liable for damages.
 
The Elite Geek:
Indeed, if it was marketed as a laptop table, then fit for purpose means it is a table to sit a laptop on, and use it for a laptop table, unless clear warnings are given about the equipment.
(...snipped...)
Freedom, IMO, are responsible, to some extent, for the damages to his laptop, but only for the first impact damaging the screen.. (the button was "stuck" - something the user couldn't adequately have discovered).
Any further damage is the users responsibility, and should be paid for, by the user.
(...snipped...) 
I'm also curious who'd use a laptop at 45? Are Freedom completely stupid?
 
T0nyGTst:
unfortunately you can only answer this with a lawyer

i doubt fair trading will be much help as they are all generally quite useless

i agree the design is very poor - i do not know how the design ever got past prototype as it's just a disaster waiting to happen

eg. you might be ok with the design after a while but what about someone who comes over and plays with it like the OP said about his niece?

I'd see a lawyer and try to get a least a refund out of them - hopefully it's withdrawn from sale.
 
T0nyGTst:
arguable in court and that's all that matters

you put one hypothetical example where your laptop has a mouse (why I don't know) but still a valid situation that has nothing to do with the design of the table

the OP put forward an example where someone inadvertently pushes that knob... that person could be a niece, your neighbour's kid, whatever

however that knob is guaranteed to destroy your laptop

who is willing to use such a table?
 
Pazu:
Hmm.. a laptop table that destroys laptops.
Whoever designed that urgently needs a brain transplant.
 
Dingo Rob:
Did anyone see the cat freak out?
 
T0nyGTst: 

 bachamp writes...

  • well I'm an engineering assistant/draftsman

 you're the 2nd person who has any design credentials who has misgivings with the design of the table.

I would like to talk to any industrial designer who thinks that's a good table design.

Saying that, I don't think "bad design" totally absolves the OP.

Vinco:
This is absolutely crazy. Lets put the disclaimers and user error aside.

If I bought a purpose built laptop table such as this, I too would REASONABLY expect it NOT TO launch my expensive laptop onto the floor.
 
Scrawl:
 
 Damn, I feel for you argZero.

That is poor design from Freedom furniture - any sort of usability testing should have identified this as an issue early in R&D.

I don't believe your typical consumer would expect a laptop table to drop your laptop while adjusting.

Finally, don't accept warning stickers, traning videos, manuals, etc as an excuse for a poorly designed product. I believe it is reasonable to expect a laptop table to support a laptop while adjusting it - surely this is the only way to know when the angle is correct.

Take this one to the ACCC.
 
C0rp0r@t3 T3rr0r1st:
 
Guys,

It's not the ACCC that has jurisdiction over this matter. It's the Office of Fair Trading in your capital city.

Damaging a laptop isn't "anti-competitive" is it?
 
jv:
 
yes they do, there are consumer rights that we have and retailers have responsibilities...
 
fad:
 
seriously, I wouldnt even put my laptop on that desk.
 
 
Scrawl:
 
(...snipped...) 
Getting back on topic, to quote www.accc.gov.au/content/.../fromItemId/5963

Consumers should bear in mind that if they are hurt or their property is damaged as the result of a defective product then they may have a right to compensation under the product liability provisions of the Trade Practices Act...

...Also, if consumers feel a product is unsafe they should report the matter to their local consumer affairs/fair trading agency (see Related topics)


The question that springs to my mind is this table defective or merely poorly designed.

The Dept. Fair trading will probably ask "is it reasonable to expect a laptop to be supported by a laptop table while being adjusted".

 bachamp:
 
 Where I work it all depends on what the client wants. Do they want a good Quality European build with all the bells and whistles, but can afford it. Or do they want a cheap, Chinese build with crap steel, poor welds.

If you ask me you wen t of the cheap one, there for you will have to live with it. Next time spend more money on a better quality table...
 
DarkMatter101: 
 
I tend to agree with you - however Freedom's prices (which are in my opinion exorbitant) indicate a level of quality that this product clearly does not have. I also find the argument "you should have bought a better quality table" invalid for indicating user error. If anything it can indicate user naiveity, but it does not detract from ones logic that a tilting table is not a catapulting table.
 
Timothy Togo: 
 
 I guess it comes down to something like, would the average person, given this set of circumstance, reasonably expect the table to be adjustable while a laptop was on it.

If you look at most office chairs, they're height adjustable and this process is usually done with someone sitting on it. If someone then designed a chair that caused damage because someone was sitting on it whilst being adjusted, I think you'd find it was a poor design, and not the users fault.

So, what's a reasonable expectation here? To be able to adjust the table with a laptop on it, or to have to adjust it without anything on it?
 
DarkMaTTer101:
 
(.snipped...)
Much like the back of a car seat doesn't propel me forwards or backwards when I am sitting on it - I would not expect a laptop table to shoot my laptop straight to the ground. I would expect it to remain relatively steady with the weight of the laptop while pressing the button, at which point I would hold onto the laptop and table and adjust it then.

But hey - why blame poor design (and admit that engineers can be stupid too) when you can just blame the user. Regardless of whether the user is at fault or not (of which we all have our own opinions) the table is still a piece of crap and really needs a redesign.

Arg.Zero - did you test the laptop table without the laptop on it at first?
 PS: I did test without the laptop on it first. View here for details.
 
DarkMaTTer101:
 
Completely opposite to what it should do imo. At the very least the thing should trigger the catapulting action no matter whats on it. That way at least Freedom could say that had you tested it with nothing on - you would have known what it could do...I think this is actually the more important thing to show - if you can demonstrate that with nothing on it doesn't trigger its catapult, how can they possibly claim that logically you would expect it to catapult your laptop as soon as you put it on...
 
Smokin Whale:
 
Hehe I saw your cat go nuts... But seriously, that is a major design flaw. Ask for a refund and a new laptop.
 
Timothy Togo:
 
looks aside, it's a laptop table, so should support a laptop at some point in its life...
 
Timothy Togo: 
 
I was having a bit of a dig at the people who were judging the table on its looks :) If it's called a laptop table, looks shouldn't have any bearing on how it performs as a laptop table. I doubt anyone here could look at just a pic of this table and say "ooh... I wouldn't adjust it with a laptop on it.. the laptop will fall!"
 
koolami: 
 
I know I'm probably missing something here, but what is the purpose of a table like that? It looks pretty useless to me. Why couldn't you use the kitchen table like everyone else?
 
Cap'n Gus Bloodbeard:
 
I can't figure out WHY it actually tilts
 
M3Zephyer:
 
Have they approached you yet and given you a new laptop ? :)
 
PeterM: 
All I can say is - thanks for the warning.
 
trixare4kids says:
 
I'm with the poor consumer on this one and I name calling just isn't necessary, imho. Who expects a LAPTOP table to FLIP with such force? I know I certainly wouldn't. Who would look for warnings on the BOTTOM of the table where you can't see? I certainly wouldn't. He says he read the manual and the warning isn't there. If the table is going to flip so violently like that, especially something that's made specifically to hold expensive electronic equipment; the warning SHOULD be in the manual. It should be at the top of the first page, in bold, with a box around it and NOT on the bottom of the freaking table. He's also right about the inherent dangers of items being flipped off the table and onto young heads and I think it should be reported to the consumer safety folks.
 
yumyum says:

How about that laptop tables are just fucking stupid to begin with?

 
Wow...you know, I was just looking for one of these for my clasroom. Congrats-I won't be buying one of these Freedom laptop terminators, so you've cost them at least one sale. I feel really bad for you. This sucks.
 
tander
Wow!! That's terrible, what a piece of junk they sell, spread the worthless product all over the net!
 
 ScottSwingleComputers
 The table should never have been designed to do that. Its kinda funny to watch, but I would be pissed if it happened to me.
 
silverpig:
That's quite possibly the worst invention ever. 
 
andylawcc:
can you sue under "design defect" or "design neglience" ? not sure if it means anything in court though. 
 
chambersc:
  • The adjustment controls on the table are similar to those on most office chairs. Given Freedom's reasoning, every person that does not climb underneath their office chair searching for warning stickers before adjusting it's height or angle should expect that they will be thrown backwards onto the floor. Please keep this in mind if you're considering purchasing anything from Freedom Furniture. 
I'd argue that it's a reasonable argument.
 
Eli:
 
:-)
That's hilarious.
 
ultimatebob:
 
If that issue wasn't described in the product manual, I'd think that you have a legal case against them.

Of course, it would be more entertaining to post that video clip on Digg, Engadget, The Register, and any other tech news site you can think of. Nothing like a little bad publicity worldwide to get someones attention.
 
ultimatebob:
 
  I'd bet that it's not too late to sue, though. What's the statue of limitations on product liability cases, anyway? 
 
corkyg: 
 
Sorry about your mishap. That is a bummer.

Hope you can get some compensation - but I doubt it. You seem to have a case. 
 
 Should "Laptop Tables" safely support laptops?
yes
80%
 80%  [ 4 ]
no
20%
 20%  [ 1 ]
 
AdamV (moderator):
 
I'm just trying to work out why it would tip backwards at all.

Surely you might want up/down and possibly a slight tilt forwards if you like that angle, but backwards?

Sue, sue, sue, sue.........
 
OddOne: 
 
  To me it sure looks like the adjustment mechanism is spring-loaded - that movement was far too sharp and abrupt to simply be a case of a shifted CoG. In the video the table's actually hurling the pseudo-lappy to the floor like some bastardized catapult.
  • Quote: In hindsite, I now know not to trust the table. It's a very expensive physics lesson to learn though. A $100 laptop table destroyed a $3500 laptop. ...And the laptop table manufacturer is saying it's the laptop owner's fault.
File suit. Don't dink around with back-and-forth conversations with them at this point. I despise frivolous lawsuits and the idiots that (sadly) usually win them, but makers of defective and potentially hazardous products refusing to "make good" on a BLATANTLY OBVIOUS design defect I have zero sympathy for whatsoever.

They're obviously fully intending to fart you off and hide behind claims of having labelled the product to alert users to its design. Odds are very very favorable that you'll force them to buy you a new laptop to settle the case, but you need to get a lawyer and file suit NOW.

And keep that cart and busted lappy in prime condition as your evidence. Wink

 
Giro:
 
I could not believe that video. Is that what happened to your laptop?

One question I would have is why does the thing tilt back so far that it would let the laptop slide off? I cannot imagine using a laptop at that angle anyway.

I would sue them!!
 
View Poll Results: Should a "Laptop Table" safely support a laptop?
 
yes:  6    85:71%
no:   1    14.29%
 
SuperSparks (moderator):
 
Even so, after watching that video, I'm bound to say that it's about the last thing I would have expected a table to do. What the hell were they thinking to have it spring loaded like that? It's almost as if they had specifically designed the thing to throw the lappy on the floor :-)

I feel for you argZero.
 

Elsewhere:

Devshed  displeaser:
 
argZero, check your consumer rights, you should be entitled to something.
 
DevShed  geoffs87:
 
 Sounds ike you are in australia no? Suggestion, department of fair trading will sort you out, give that a whirl.