Is 3 1/2 months too long to wait for a laptop to be repaired?
December 20, 2007 5:12 PM   Subscribe

Averatec is holding my laptop hostage for the last three months, what should I do?

They've had the computer since September 29th when I sent it back for an under warranty repair for a faulty motherboard. When I have gotten through on the phone they keep telling me the part is on backorder and they don't know when it's coming in. I asked them if they can get some kind of time frame from the vendor and they say they cannot. They've used this excuse about 5 times. They have a repair log online that I can access but it hasn't been updated since October 3rd. I reported it to the Better Business Bureau about 3 weeks ago asking them to repair, replace or refund my laptop and haven't heard anything back aside from a confirmation email that the complaint was logged. I haven't been able to get through to customer service for the last week. At what point does this become theft? I just don't understand how a company stays in business holding someone's computer for 3.5 months.
posted by any major dude to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Post your story to They live for stuff like this. Search their site for the "executive e-mail carpet bomb".
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:15 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

I just don't understand how a company stays in business holding someone's computer for 3.5 months.

It certainly helps if no one knows about it. So, I'd say you're on the right track. Between the BBB the Consumerist, and the eventual Google results for this very page, I'd think there might be incentive to make it right. 3.5 months is a hell of a long time -- anything over 2 weeks, IMHO, is incompetence. Ask yourself: would you ever buy a laptop from this company ever again?

One wonders what the story is on
posted by mumkin at 5:25 PM on December 20, 2007

While I agree that they seem to suck, it's quite possible that they are telling the truth about being out of the part you need. Many electronical bits just aren't in high enough demand to have a dedicated fab running 24x7. It's quite possible that averate only gets production runs for a couple weeks a quarter.
posted by nomisxid at 5:47 PM on December 20, 2007

If that is true, why wouldn't they be up front with me about it and tell me it may take 4 months to get my computer back? Surely the vendor they buy the part from would have production schedule to forward them a date when the part would be due in, no?
posted by any major dude at 6:03 PM on December 20, 2007

I was always told that companies volunteer to be in the Better Business Bureau program, so unless they are a member, making a complaint to the BBB doesn't really do anything.
I may be wrong though.
posted by whoda at 7:22 PM on December 20, 2007 just might become your new best friend
posted by Sufi at 7:48 PM on December 20, 2007

Your state attorney general's office should have a consumer protection division which can help you determine your rights and your options on a warranty claim like this. I must be slow, but wouldn't 3.5 months from September 29 be sometime in mid-January...?
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:09 PM on December 20, 2007

4thing The Consumerist. They've got a ton of great resources, and companies pay attention to them if they post your story.

Check out:
The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back (Revised Edition)
How To Launch An Executive Email Carpet Bomb
HOWTO: Draft A Good Complaint Letter
posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:52 AM on December 21, 2007

When I owned an Averatec laptop, all kinds of obscure parts were easy to find on eBay, including motherboards. Search eBay for your laptop's model number + motherboard, and I bet it turns up. If so, demand that Averatec buy it off the aftermarket if they can't get it new, or return your laptop to you so you can get the part yourself and replace it.
posted by evariste at 12:59 AM on December 25, 2007

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