HP Sold Me A $1400 Craptop!
February 12, 2007 3:14 PM   Subscribe

My HP laptop (DV8000) crapped out on me with just over one month left on the 1 year manufacturer warranty. They've had the computer for almost a month now and are giving me the run around, even trying to sell me a brand new computer. What can I do?

About a month and a half ago the internal power supply and screen went out on my laptop, I'd had it for only 10 months. When I called HP they took my information, sent me a box to send my notebook back to them for repairs, and promised an e-mail letting me know what the problem was and when it was going to be sent back to me. I was never contacted. After 2 weeks I finally got a hold of somebody who told me that they received my computer but it was completely water damaged (and therefore not covered)! I'm fairly positive that isn't true. I take good care of it and haven't had any spills on it. When I asked further questions I was told he didn't know anything. I asked to speak to a manager but none have been available any of the several times I've called. I've been told several times that I would be contacted within 24-48 business hours. I've now called and gotten this same response 4 times.
I called again this morning and was greeted with yet a different response. After being transfered for the 3rd time (and almost an hour spent on the phone) the man I spoke with tried to sell me a new computer. Here was his shtick, "as a valued customer you are entitled to receive a new computer for the low low price of $700 in lieu of having your computer repaired, I think we have your credit card on file, do you ok the purchase?". He continued to say that it would be almost $700 just to fix the computer, because the warranty that I have doesn't cover accidental spills, which again I'm certain never happened.
Do I have any legal recourse against HP? Can I force them to fix and return my laptop? Has anyone else had this sort of problem with them before? Help!!!
posted by my homunculus is drowning to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I think the magical words to use on them are "small claims court". And be prepared to follow through on that, it's not difficult at all; just make sure you're writing down all of these conflicting responses you're getting from them.
posted by polyglot at 3:30 PM on February 12, 2007

Before bothering with small claims court, get a lawyer to draft up a letter to send them. It'll be less expensive when you factor in hassle, and have the lawyer threaten the small claims court. Nothing says serious like lawyer letterhead.
posted by cschneid at 3:45 PM on February 12, 2007

What polyglot said. Let them know you'll go to small claims if they don't change their tune, then follow through. You will feel liberated. And, more importantly, you'll get your money/computer back.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 4:05 PM on February 12, 2007

This is Consumerist's bread and butter. Send them and email.
posted by spork at 4:12 PM on February 12, 2007

Call HP Headquarters in Palo Alto. Demand to speak to HP President Mark Hurd. You won't get him. You will get immediately escalated to a Level 2 rep, which is what they've avoiding the entire time. If you explain this story to an L2 you'll probably get what you want, especially when you explain all the callbacks they've promised and failed to deliver. Explain how you had to stay home from work waiting for the callback that never happened, etc.

Be polite and patient, you catch more flies with honey.
posted by mullingitover at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2007

You could write "Smart Computing." I have read their magazing many times and they take on vendors like you describe. www.smartcomputing.com
posted by JayRwv at 4:25 PM on February 12, 2007

The DV8000 sucks. Talk to a HP case manager. They deal with stuff like this.

I, too, have been a victim of the DV8000. The keyboard didn't work properly; but after half a dozen tech support calls they convinced me it was in my head. Then it started taking half an hour to reboot. A month later, I managed to convince tech support my computer was broken; I shipped my laptop to them and they had it more than 2 months before bothering to tell me I had a broken motherboard and that the part had been back-ordered.

Finally, I got connected with a case manager. They agreed to send me a new laptop instead of fixing mine (no, they didn't charge me.) For what it's worth, the DV9000 that I got as a replacement seems to have eliminated all the problems my old one had.

I really don't think this issue needs to be taken to a courtroom yet. Call the right people at HP. You can probably get the case manager number from corporate headquarters. I don't have the number on me, unfortunately. You may have to leave a message, by the way. They make take a day or two to get back to you. But at least the people there speak real English.

If that fails, you probably have an arbitration clause in your contract, so you might be required to do that before going to court (but I am not a lawyer yet and this is not legal advice.)

Good luck.
posted by Happydaz at 10:37 AM on February 13, 2007

Thanks for all the great responses. I used the number above and it worked out as promised--I was immediately put in contact with a level 2 rep. However they are still insisting that it's water damaged and are charging me to repair it, to the tune of $300. If anybody is still out there I'd love to get an opinion on whether or not I have a choice in the matter. Do I really have to pay, even though it's under warranty and there was never a spill (not that I know of, certainly)? Would small claims court really work?

Thanks for the help everybody, I really appreciate it!
posted by my homunculus is drowning at 2:38 PM on February 15, 2007

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