Reader Receives $900 For Broken Laptop In Small Claims Court

Ryan in North Dakota bought a very nice HP laptop in 2007. This particular model, he DV6000, has a certain flaw, and HP extended the warranty to cover inevitable repairs. But when the computer broke down for the second time at the tender age of two and a half years, and HP wouldn’t repair it for free, he was angry. He had expected to get at least four years’ use out of the laptop.

So he fought back by filing in small claims court—and won $900, just over 75% of the computer’s original purchase price back in 2007.

I bought a DV6000 laptop from HP in February of 2007. A little after a year of owning it, it died – no boot up at all, just a black screen and a series of beeps.

I called HP to see what they could do. You’ve probably received lots of emails from people with horror stories about this particular model. If you Google “DV6000,” you’ll see hundreds of people with complaints about the shoddy make of this model.

Because of all the problems (and to avoid a recall, I’m sure), HP extended the warranty on several models, including mine, to cover this specific problem. I think it was a motherboard failure – all I know is what the symptoms were. Long story short: HP fixed the laptop for free and were very, very good about it. Quick and easy – I loved HP a lot then.

Flash forward: July of 2009. The computer is a little under two and a half years old. Still a good laptop, what with Vista, a dual core processor, and 2 gigs of RAM, so when it died for a second time, I was dismayed. I spent $1,150 on this laptop expecting to get at least four full years of use out of it. I tend to overspend on computers because I want them to last. In fact, I still have a working laptop I bought in 2000 for $2,000, though it’s so obsolete it’s never used, and a desktop from 2005 still in everyday use. I called HP hoping they’d be as good as the last time the laptop died, especially since the symptoms were exactly the same. No dice.

Moving up the chain of customer service reps, I started at the lower rung. I was told the computer was out of warranty and it would cost around $300 to get it fixed. I questioned this, considering it had already been fixed for the exact same problem once before and back then it was free. Nope, I was told, the warranty is expired.

I asked to speak to a manager, who told me the same thing. I asked for the corporate number and, the next day, called in and spoke to someone at, quote, the “highest level” of customer service in HP. I could go no higher, I was told, after first being told there was nothing they could do: the fix was $300, despite it being the second round of repairs needed.

Well, this torqued me. I don’t like getting ripped off, so the next day, I printed out and mailed in a small claims filing. I considered an EECB, but I was really steamed at the abruptness of the people at HP I talked to. North Dakota small claims are very simple and only cost $10 to file. The crux of my complaint: HP fixed the problem with the computer before, which from my research showed to be something endemic in the hardware of the system itself, a ticking time-bomb the computer shipped with straight off the factory line. By refusing to fix the problem they caused, after having admitted guilt before by repairing it, I was going to be damned if I paid them $300 to fix their own mistake.

The filing took a long time to process and mail because of a mistake I made. Looking up HP’s registered agent in North Dakota (CT Corporation System), I served the papers through registered mail to them. Unfortunately, I put the name of their client, Hewlett Packard, on the envelope. CT Corporation Systems refused to sign, so I had to send the declined envelope back to the Clerk of Court in Burleigh County, where HP’s registered agent has their address. The clerk of court sent me a letter saying I had to serve the papers to CT Corporation Systems instead of Hewlett Packard, meaning all I had to do was change the name on the envelope.

(I didn’t really understand this, since CT is HP’s registered agent and I’m suing HP. Wouldn’t CT sign for something addressed to HP? But whatever… I readdressed the envelope and sent it off.)

Flash forward to this week: I received a call from Francesca from HP, who wanted to talk about the filing. She asked me about the computer and a few general questions. I mentioned my sister was using the laptop when it broke – she’s a teacher and also used the laptop to talk with her husband, who was serving in Iraq when it quit working, leaving her without a computer for a week. We rush-ordered a nice Gateway computer later in the week after HP refused to help us out.

The most memorable part of the conversation involved Francesca mentioning (and I’m paraphrasing here) that, well, the computer is over two years old, you know? The subtext: laptops aren’t going to last forever – why are you going to so much trouble over an old laptop?

My instant reply, which I’m very proud of: “Are you telling me HP’s laptops are so crappy they won’t last more than two years and I should just throw it away?”

That got her attention, and minutes later she offered to settle for 75 percent of the purchase price. I accepted, since that seemed fair – I had gotten use out of it, after all. Francesca even offered to round up to $900 even to cover mailing and filing costs I’d incurred.

She was very professional and polite and a credit to the company. I’m not sure how likely I am to buy another HP computer anytime soon, but the way she handled herself on the phone makes it much more likely. I know people with other HP laptop models that work fine, so I think the trouble associated with the DV6000 line and its brethren is a fluke. Still, HP screwed up by not fixing their own mistakes.

Right now, I’m waiting for the return shipping box Francesca graciously offered to send, as well as the settlement agreement. After I sign the papers, I’ll send in a dismissal notice to the Clerk of Court, ending the matter for good.

Thanks, HP, for finally doing the right thing.

Barely a month ago, Consumerist suggested that an owner of the same exact model laptop file in small claims court, so it’s great to see another reader who used this method with some success.

RELATED:
How To Take Your Case To Small Claims Court
So You Want To Sue The Company That’s Screwing You Over

(Photo: wlodi)

Comments

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  1. bhr says:

    Great result… but just a clarification.. He didnt win shit in small claims court. Never got that far.

    • theSuperman says:

      @bhr: True. Misleading headline. It was a settlement before it got to court.

      • thompson says:

        @theSuperman: Yep. That’s how it would be in almost every case, I’d imagine. Cost of Settlement is WAY lower than the cost to ship out a corporate officer / associate general counsel to deal with it.

      • P_Smith says:

        @theSuperman: Is that really the point? What matters is the filing got their attention after they tried to slough him off. Getting $900 back having had “fair use” of it would satisfy me.

        Just what is it with the Dakotas and crappy computer companies? I made the mistake of buying a Gateway by mail (2003) and they pulled a bait-and-switch, sending me a lower end model than I ordered and paid for. I had to fight for two months to get my money back, no thanks to the Butterface Busines Bureaucracy; it was contacting the Attorney General’s office of South Dakota that made the difference. Gateway finally stopped screwing around and gave me back my money – no nonsense of “restocking fees” – because they were facing legal consequences.

    • sleze69 says:

      @bhr: Yup. I have to believe that the judge would have ruled against him.

      • DoubleEcho says:

        @sleze69: Apparently HP didn’t think so.

      • Wombatish says:

        @sleze69: I’m not so sure.

        I was at first, but where he’s got them over a barrel (even if it is ultimately a very, very tiny barrel) is the extended warranty/fix of the problem before.

        That means this series of laptops is a lemon, and HP has admitted that.

        He would have to document that it was in fact, the -exact- same problem, and any consumer protection/Lemon Laws in ND (which there may no be any), but I think it would give him at least a fighting chance.

      • secret_curse says:

        @sleze69: But $900 was probably way cheaper than a corporate lawyer’s plane ticket, hotel room, and per diem.

      • bohemian says:

        @sleze69: It is a catch 22. HP pays to send someone to show up in court, it costs more than $900. They don’t show up in court they lose by default and owe $900. There was a high incentive to settle since he was asking for more than that.

        • ecwis says:

          @bohemian: They don’t necessarily have to send someone from corporate HQ to represent them. Apple legal told me that they sometimes send managers of their local stores to small claims court to represent them. I don’t know if this is actually true but it’s feasible. Small claims courts don’t require lawyers so I doubt that HP’s cost of showing up would be $900.

    • Easton21 says:

      @bhr: Yes, kinda misleading, although I can’t be certain because it’s WAY too long to read. I bailed when I got to the part about having to resend the letter. Is that really imperative? Would the story suffer if people didn’t know that part? No. Trim it down and stop wasting everyone’s time with minute details.
      This is why I can’t hear stories from my mom. There’s no beginning, middle and end. It’s just middle, middle, middle.

      • robotrevolution says:

        @Easton21: OP here. I included that part because it was confusing and other people may run into the same problem when they need to serve papers to a registered agent for a corporation.

  2. codepage9 says:

    “Thanks, HP, for finally doing the right thing.”

  3. CompyPaq says:

    “Are you telling me HP’s laptops are so crappy they won’t last more than two years and I should just throw it away?”

    That’s what HP is hoping for by using cheap parts.

    • CaptainSemantics says:

      @CompyPaq: What’s sad is yes, that’s true. HP laptops *are* so crappy they won’t last more than two years. I don’t see why this is such a surprise to the OP. I’m not tech savvy at all and I knew this fact.

      • rocketbear79 says:

        @CaptainSemantics: Because HP is still a largely “trusted” corporate identity. Joe average guy isn’t quite as in tune with these matters as your average Consumerist reader.

      • madog says:

        @CaptainSemantics: Did you know that if you cut a fresh grape a certain way it will light on fire in a microwave? I’m not a food expert, but I knew that.

        Yay!

      • bohemian says:

        @CaptainSemantics: The consumer grade ones are extremely crappy. People need to take this into account when buying a laptop, not just the features on it.

        I would rather have a less feature laden business class laptop than a consumer grade one with lots of cool things on it.

        If you can find out what business class models the government or the military purchases and then go buy that model through regular channels you will probably have a more reliable system.

        • Powerlurker says:

          @bohemian:

          Consumer laptops in general are pretty mediocre unless you spend a lot. That having been said, 90% of most non-gaming people’s computational needs don’t require much more than that. In general, I’d recommend buying cheap unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise. Buying a mid-range laptop makes no sense in general, overkill for normal tasks, but not powerful enough for any tasks that actually require computing power.

  4. thompson says:

    “I spent $1,150 on this laptop expecting to get at least four full years of use out of it. I tend to overspend on computers because I want them to last.”

    Not blaming the OP here, but unless laptops have become a lot cheaper since I last looked $1150 is actually mid-lowend (not what I would call “overspend”).

    Either way, good on him! It won’t work every time, but the courts are there for a reason and I’m glad to see more consumers using them.

    • AI says:

      I have an HP DV6565ca. It still works great, though my internal mic no longer works.

    • AI says:

      @thompson: From what I’ve seen, the average price of laptops is $800-900CAD. That’s what the bulk of the Best Buy type store models cost. Sure, you can buy more expensive ones, both in store and online, but I’m willing to be that 80% of laptop sales are in the $800-900 range.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @thompson: I’m not sure whether the OP really overspends, or that $1,150 may not have been a very low price for a laptop in 2007. Now, $1,150 might be on the mid-range side, but maybe not back in 2007. I bought my MacBook for around $1,300 back in 2007. I fully intended on having it around for at least six years though.

      • rocketbear79 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Well in 2007 the “Mac-tax” (its existence is highly debated) could account for that price. I think in 2007 the price he paid would be above average for a consumer system.
        From personal experience and those of my brother (bought a $2500 HP back in ’02 than lasted 2 years before a manufacturing defect in the MB brought it down) I know I will never buy anything but printers from HP in the future.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @rocketbear79: I second you on the printers. I had an old HP printer that lasted for six years. It was ridiculously loud and shook the table, but it still works. It’s somewhere in my parents’ basement though, poor relic.

          • CaptainSemantics says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: I’ll third. I may have dissed HP’s computers in another thread, but their printers are built really well. HP printers are some of the best, especially when it comes to consumer-level printers. We own an HP in our office and it works great.

          • rocketbear79 says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: I used to work in a steel mill during college doing IT and other work. Aside from a few Tektronics in the admin offices ALL of our printers were HP. The stuff that gets into these things (and your lungs after awhile) make you wonder how the printers are still able to even feed a page let alone print out 1000 docs a day, but they were able to, even the el-cheapo inkjets.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @rocketbear79: $1,300 for the components was probably higher than the Windows-based equivalent, but I wanted a Mac. It’s never crashed, and it’s just as awesome as it was the day I got it.

        • edesignway says:

          @rocketbear79: Thats because HO doesn’t make their printers. Canon does, having worked in that horrible field of copier/printer repair a lot of HP part numbers are actually Canon’s. That is why their printing products are fairly decent.

      • nbs2 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I certainly would. I bought my Late-2003 PowerBook in early 2004, and it is still going pretty strong. It needs a couple of favors (upgrade the RAM from 1.25 to 2GB, replace the bottom case, a battery that has more than 60% capacity), but works fine. I’d like to eventually buy a desktop to replace it, but I fully expect to get another 4 or 5 years of acceptable performance out of this thing.

    • chocobo says:

      @thompson: $1150 is low? Maybe if you’re talking about brand new Mac iBooks.

      I have a year and a half old HP laptop I bought new for $450 and it works great. It actually works better than it did new, ever since I put Windows 7 on it.

      Anyway, my point is that $1150 is a pretty significant amount. You can buy “good enough” laptops for $400 or less these days, and $1150 can get you a 17″ gaming laptop with a high end processor, 4GB, blu-ray, and a nice video card. Hardly low end.

      • enine says:

        @chocobo:
        Back in 2002-2003, $1150 was a midrange price. I bought my Latitude C400 for $1200 then and just retired it this year because a $300 netbook now has better specs.

    • sonneillon says:

      @thompson: I fixed a broken laptop and the grand total for me was 230 bucks.

    • FLConsumer says:

      @thompson: Not trying to be a snob, but the last 3 laptops I ordered for our office were in the ~$2500 range and they were far from fully loaded. (Lenovo ThinkPads). Made my 15″ Macbook Pro look like a bargain to the accountant.

  5. treimel says:

    Funny how the company’s attitude changed when a lawsuit was filed.

  6. parad0x360 says:

    I have a dv6000 and aside from the fact that the battery stopped holding a charge a year after I bought it Ive never had a problem with it. Hopefully it lasts another few months and then I plan on buying something newer and nicer. Its pretty sweet the OP got most of his money back and rightly so. If there is a known defect in the product the company should fix or replace it as many times as is needed. Its not like the guy asked for a shoddy laptop.

    • jedthehumanoid says:

      @parad0x360: Me too, I’m actually writing this post on it. No problems at all in over two years, bar the battery dying young just like yours. I’m even thinking of upgrading to Windows 7, so confident am I in its ability to last. Of course, if it doesn’t I’ll know exactly what to do…

    • gnuman says:

      @parad0x360:
      I own the 6010ca and have 0 issues. I bought it in 06 and I was fully aware of the recall and was not affected nor did I have any symptom of what the recall was for.

      The bad part is the fact that HP only offered to extend the “warranty” for it by 1 year which is kind of strange considering I’ve never seen recalls limited to 2 years from the date of purchase.

      If you wanted junk then go look at the forums for the Toshiba A70/A65/A60 models. That was a bigger miss and Toshiba never officially made a recall for it.

      Funny thing is HP still suffers from units not posting all the time (power no video) which is really odd…

    • elleeldritch says:

      @parad0x360: You should upgrade asap. I never knew about this bad line from HP until the computer refused to turn on, giving me a black screen like the OP, and I called a computer repair store asking for estimates to fix it. Months earlier the wireless card stopped working too, which I thought was some fluke. Now I’m happily waiting on a motherboard to be shipped from NewEgg for a built-myself computer! No more worrying about shoddy parts since I know what is going in.

  7. JRules says:

    So let me get this right. I am assuming that he didn’t purchase an extended warranty at the time he got it since otherwise it wouldn’t be out of warranty now. His warranty expired after it had already been extended once. And then he expects them to fix it for free…

    I guess good for him that he got some money out of it, but at some point you have to admit that you screwed up and not the company you purchased from.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @JRules: I think he expected them to fix it for free because he claims it was a manufacturer’s defect that cropped up again a year and a half after he had them fix it the first time.

    • johnrhoward says:

      @JRules: How did he screw up? Besides by buying HPs shoddy products?

    • eddieck says:

      @JRules: The problem was caused by a manufacturing defect. It is entirely HP’s responsibility to repair it no matter if he’s in the warranty period or not.

      I have handled this before with a certain vendor (one that is very secretive and so I am under an NDA – an NDA I was only willing to sign because of their generosity: they replaced the computer with a newer one, several generations later, with a processor at least three times as fast). I purchased a computer from them that failed once during the warranty. They announced a warranty extension because of faulty capacitors on the board (a common issue back a few years ago). The board failed three times with the same issue, and despite the computer being nearly 3 years out of warranty I was able to convince them to replace it with a brand new machine. I’m not going to say who the vendor is (remember, they made me sign an NDA; that may be a hint), but I will say this computer did not use an Intel processor.

  8. Riff Raff says:

    “nice Gateway computer”

    I just about choked when I read this. Every Gateway computer I have seen in my life has been a piece of crap. The microtowers my college had in their lab ran extremely hot and were pathetically underpowered to even run Windows XP. Then there’s the stories of back in the day when Gateway used to literally bolt their computers closed so that opening even a desktop would result in warranty voiding.

    Flash forward to the present. It says something about a company when their business division gets bought-out and then that company goes bankrupt. MPC purchased Gateway Business and then folded up less than a year later. HP bought Compaq – a company that made as shitty systems as Gateway – and didn’t have any problems. Hell, my current job has me working on HP computers labeled as “Compaq”, and they aren’t any different than anything else in HP’s lineup.

    I would consider purchasing an HP, even though most of their systems are just as overpriced as Dell’s. I would never buy a Gateway.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Riff-Raff: Yeah, I laughed when I read that as well. I’ve never understood why people bought Gateway computers.

      • ShiningSquirrel says:

        @pecan 3.14159265:

        I have a gateway I purchased as my very first computer 12 years ago. It’s still running and I use it as a file server. The only thing replaced on it was the hard drive, simply because I wanted more room. Sure, it won’t run XP, but it runs server 2000 just fine.
        At one time, Gateway had some of the best computers you could get with the best customer service hands down.
        Unfortunetly those days are long gone.

    • madog says:

      @Riff-Raff: I suppose it’s a good thing the OP isn’t you, then. There’s no accounting for taste, really, but while your experience may differ to that of someone elses it does not mean everyone will experience the same thing.

    • bohemian says:

      @Riff-Raff: I eyerolled when he mentioned buying a Gateway. Gateway used to build and sell some very solid PCs.

      They changed their business model about 2001 and everything went to crap. The MPC mess and all the school and college laptops involved in that are a class action waiting to happen. Build a crappy laptop that is a total lemon, sell the warranties to a company on the verge of bankruptcy to purge your responsibility for your product. Profit.

      I think the feds need to look into what Gateway did with this. It looks to be possibly illegal in some manner.

    • eddieck says:

      @Riff-Raff: I beg to differ. I inherited a nice Celeron Gateway from a family member years ago, and it was a great machine. No problems with it at all.

      Of course, this was ~2003-2004, so it’s probably changed.

    • Powerlurker says:

      @Riff-Raff:

      A desktop computer is, at the end of the day, an assembly of commodity parts not too different from what you’d get from any other given computer company. What you’re paying for is the customer service and possibly industrial design. Laptops are a bit different because they tend to have custom designed motherboards and cooling solutions, but most companies don’t even make their own, they get them from an ODM like Foxconn, Asustek, or Gigabyte.

      • nevesis says:

        @Powerlurker:

        Actually Quanta is the biggest notebook ODM. I don’t know if Gigabyte does notebooks at all. But you’re 100% right.

        And if OP wanted a $1200 notebook that lasts four years, he should have gotten a Thinkpad T series. The dv6000 is a **consumer grade** notebook with a MTBF of ~3 years.

        I have no sympathy for OP. He’s an overconfident moron.

  9. johnrhoward says:

    I had the exact same problem on my dv2116, and they refused to fix it since the extended warranty period had elapsed. That seemed pretty crappy to me since it was obviously a flaw in the model. They eventually offered to fix it for a discounted price of about $250 which seemed a little ridiculous to me. At that point I just gave up, but maybe I should have thought about something like this. On top of that I now get spam from HP everyday after giving them my email address in the complaint.

  10. LawyerontheDL says:

    HPs are crappy computers. To get one to last for 2 years would be a miracle (not that it should be.) My favorite was when the keyboard keys started randomly popping off mine (not an unusual problem for HPs). Of course, this happened almost exactly 1 month after the warranty ended. I’ll stick with Toshiba and Sony. At least they usually stay intact.

  11. evelus2 says:

    “Reader Receives $900 For Broken Laptop In Small Claims Court”

    incorrect….

  12. madog says:

    So i’m assuming it only had a manufacturers warranty of one year. Then they extended the warranty due to a defect, but they only extended it for another year? Is HPs normal extended warranty only for two years, because for a defect that seems relatively low.

    I am asking because Apple, at least, extends a warranty for a product defect to a total of three years from the date of purchase. The same length if one had normally purchased the extended warranty albeit the extended period would, of course, only cover that specific problem, and not just any problem as with the regular warranty.

    • eddieck says:

      @madog: Apple is very good about that. Manufacturing defects (bad capacitors for instance, which did occur in some of their models) were covered for at least 3 years and I believe the repair period was extended a few times.

  13. Snarkysnake says:

    Yay for the OP !

    But there’s a lesson here that goes much deeper. Notice how (like treimel mentioned up there in his comment) , HP only remembered their manners after he actually filed a suit. What does this teach us ?

    It teaches us again that large companies are deathly afraid of actually going to court and answering for what they have done (or failed to do). They know that on every jury there will be citizens that have been screwed over by large , impersonal companies and will make them pay dearly when given the chance.

    • econobiker says:

      @Snarkysnake: Or that company’s figure out that it is just cheaper to settle for $900 than pay some lawyer $200/hr including travel time plus expenses to fly and then drive to Burleigh County, ND small claims court.

      HP probably broke even on the expense of the airline ticket alone for flying the lawyer in.

    • billy says:

      @Snarkysnake: There wouldn’t be a jury in small claims court either.

  14. foxdiddy says:

    I have a DV6000 that did just this. It totally crapped out and HP crapped on me. I had to buy an ACER quick to replace it seeing at the HP was out of Warranty. For $10 I think I am going to try my luck with small claims now.

  15. Colonel Jack O'Neill says:

    Even though it was a manufacture defect, it was still past the extended warranty period.
    The first they fixed it, it was inside of the extended warranty period, that’s why it was fixed for free. The second time, it was outside of that period, that’s most likely why they weren’t gonna fix it for free.

  16. thisistobehelpful says:

    My friend pulled a 20 year old mac laptop out of her attic and charged the battery and it still worked. Granted she only turned it on to play brickles but still, 20 years. Two years is pathetic.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @thisistobehelpful: Well, there’s a difference between a laptop that works and a laptop that can do anything you need a modern laptop to do.

      • joshua70448 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: And there’s also a difference between consistent use for a period of time, and putting the computer in storage.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          @joshua70448: What makes you assume it wasn’t used for over two years before it was stuck in the attic?

          @pecan 3.14159265: When it was bought it was a modern laptop. The fact that ones made today can do more doesn’t factor in at all that in 1989 this laptop did what it was supposed to do.

          If a laptop that was reasonably used directly after it was purchased for a similar amount of time, and still works after putting it in an attic for 15+ years, then it is RIDICULOUS that a modern laptop can’t even function for a fifth of that amount of time.

          • soloudinhere says:

            @thisistobehelpful: Assuming you mean the Macintosh Portable, which isn’t really even a “laptop” in the sense that we use the term today, and assuming that this person actually bought the laptop new, they paid $6500 for it, in 1989 dollars. In 2009 dollars, that equates to somewhere between $10,143 and $17,122 depending on what formula you use.

            If I bought a laptop today for $17,122, assuming I even could, I would reasonably expect that I could probably turn it on in 20 years. For $1150…not so much.

  17. Edward86 says:

    I actually have a DV2119 myself. I had the same issue back Feb. I became annoyed with the way they were handling the situation. They also offered me the 300 dollar fix. In fact saying that they would discount it for me to 200 dollars since it was a defect they were to be repairing. I honestly wasn’t having that. I googled and googled and googled and did what has worked for me every single time prior. I found the email address of the executive of customer relations. After a lengthy and honest letter, I was called back within a week from executive customer relations and they have since repaired for free and added an additional year long warranty to the fixes. Mr. Hurd and his team definitely helped me. I just feel frustrated that I had to go through leaps and bounds just to have a service that should have been offered up in the first place.

    I bought the laptop for college, and I expected that it make a decent showing in terms of it’s life span. Especially since it’s from such a well known brand.

    Although somewhat frustrated, I must admit, I am very happy with my particular outcome.

  18. nstonep says:

    Should’ve at least got the full purchase price + damages (for your important files that you should’ve said you had).

  19. eurofun4u says:

    I tend to overspend on computers because I want them to last. nice one

  20. lehrdude says:

    Do you think it could be said that this was ONLY settled because he is in North Dakota where HP probably doesn’t have as big a presence as they do in…say…California?

    No disrespect to North Dakota obviousy…

  21. zacwax says:

    There’s a similar problem with their tx1000 model. Some inherit flaw in the manufacturing that they fail to recognize. They should be doing a warranty extension on that but they refuse.

    A $1200 laptop broke a little after 2 years. Complete BS.

    Went through the CS tree just like OP, even got a hold of executive nothing can be done.

    So I’ve filed a complaint with the BBB. I might be filing a small claims against them as well

  22. tedyc03 says:

    Sounds like he got a good deal. Depreciation on the computer would have been more than 75% of the purchase price, and the court would have awarded him probably something in the range of $300 – $400. That is, if they determined the machine had any value on the market at all.

  23. Shine-runner says:

    When you take a company to small claims court, who they going to send? A lawyer, nope don’t work that way. The person that owns or represents the company has to be there. It’s cheaper for them to settle out of court and to take the loss. I have an old compaq LTE it works as good as they day I bought it. Todays problems with laptops is two things cheap circut boards and heat. The little lines you see on circut boards are etched, its cheaper to use a board with lower copper clad on the boards. The heat problem, thats why you should have an external cooling fan. If eveyone did what this gentalman did, companies might get serious about producing a better product. But most people are going to just hopefully just recycle the computer and buy a new one.

    • billy says:

      @Shine-runner: >>>The person that owns or represents the company has to be there.

      This really depends on jurisdiction. However, when you’re dealing with a corporation, you’re dealing with legal fiction. You sue the corporation, but the corporation, obviously can’t show up: it’s not a physical person. So, who shows up? In my jurisdiction, state law says that corporations MUST be represented by counsel if proceedings move forward.

  24. aznjoker says:

    First, I thinks it’s amusing how people who don’t know jack about computer hardware putting an expected life time on a computer.

    Second, it’s amusing that the OP thinks spending $1150 is overspending.

    Third, they expect quality from HP.

    Fourth, the OP “knows” it’s the same exact problem, when they don’t even know what the problem is. Knowing the symptoms is usually less than half the battle. Hell, look at the BSOD, Microsoft themselves say they don’t know WTF causes it most of the time. It took millions of customers aggregating their experiences to piece together the current knowledge database.

    Lastly, even with all this OP bashing, I’m still on their side. They actually did their research, reached out and tried to work with the company. When you’re making a large purchase, look at the fine print with the warranty. Warranties are created so that most of them will not break within the warranty period. Also, if the warranty has funny language or excessive exceptions, you might want to think twice about the quality.

    • morlo says:

      @aznjoker: You must be an executive at HP if in your expert opinion a laptop should cost at least $2000 and last at the most 1 year.

      • aznjoker says:

        @morlo:

        I’m saying you should know something about the company and the parts it uses if you’re going to put a life expectancy on it.

        Second, I don’t think any HP computers will last 2 years before a problem occurs. You get what you pay for, not what you think you paid for.

        Also, if the OP wanted something that lasts 4 years, buy something the company will sell a 4 year warranty for. Simple as that.

        Lastly, there is no such thing as overspending if you can justify the costs. I’m a gamer and $2000 for a laptop is not overspending, if I will be using it as my main computer. If you think you overspent on a computer, then you need to reevaluate what you NEED it to do.

    • robotrevolution says:

      @aznjoker: OP here. When I bought the computer, I could have bought similar models with fewer features and much less RAM for around $600 to $800. For what I was in the market for, $1,150 was definitely overspending.

      Regarding the “same exact problem”: The problem with the laptop was never directly spelled out to me the first time it broke. I simply sent it in and had it fixed. The second time it broke, the symptoms were exactly the same, so I drew my own conclusion. HP didn’t argue.

      Finally, what kind of expectations should I put on computer hardware? Is four years unreasonable? The local school districts get eight years out of their laptops.

  25. HPCommando says:

    Once again: Buy Presario or Pavilion, expect problems. Buy the HP Professional line and expect responses and resolutions.

  26. bohemian says:

    We have a couple of old off lease laptops that we have used for at least two years and only cost about $300 or less each. The specs are comparable or better than that of most new laptops. If a $1500 laptop is only good for two years and a $300 laptop is good for at least two years why by a $1500 one? This sounds like a waste of money.

  27. pullapint says:

    I’m going through this right now. My sons in the Navy and he was out to sea when his laptop started crapping out so he sent it to me to try to get it fixed. Called H.P. about the Extended Warranty Program and they said I missed it. But for $500 they could repair it. After having a good laugh the CSR said he found a discount that would drop the price to $280. Sent the laptop in and fired off an EECB to the addresses I found here. Waiting to see what happens.

  28. enine says:

    @edesignway:
    That is a big misconception, canon made the print engine in a few of HP’s older lasers (5si for example) but the spitters (inkjets) are 100% HP design and very different from Canon’s cheap junk bubblejets.

  29. AgitatedDot says:

    What a load of bulls**t! If he expected 4 years of use he should have paid for the 4 year warranty. As simple as that. dv6000 series with nVidia 8XXX series graphic chips are prone to defects but that’s just the way it is. I have one of those and actually I’m typing on it right now. It was purchased in 04/2007 and it still runs fine.

    Once it breaks I’ll have to buy a new one because I only had 1 year warranty and did not pay for additional coverage. In fact a month before my warranty was about to expire I received a letter offering to upgrade to additional 2 years of coverage for $300 but I decided not to do it.

    Electronics are getting cheaper and cheaper and things simply don’t last that long. When you buy an HP laptop it is clearly explained what the warranty will be and when it will expire. Pass that date companies should not be under any obligation to help anyone for free.

    This is just another example of a company not willing to go to court because it was cheaper to simply pay out. Still does not make it right.

    This maybe a consumer oriented site but nobody should justify abuse of the court system with bulls**t claims like this.

  30. Scryer_360 says:

    I hate guys like this moron, he makes it harder for the rest of us.

    Most computers only come with a one year warranty, but he buys it and expects it to last for four just because he is special or something? And then HP does a nice thing and extends a warranty it doesn’t have to, and he still badmouths them for this? What does he mean “the computers are such crap?” Just because you paid more for it doesn’t mean its going to last longer. All that means is it had higher end features or something that made it desirable enough HP could charge more for it.

    Fucking asshole. I’m guessing he is the kind of guy who complains when a car, warrantied for 100,000 miles, doesn’t live to 200,000. Warranties only last so long for a reason, you know.

    • soloudinhere says:

      @Scryer_360: THANK YOU.

    • robotrevolution says:

      @Scryer_360: OP here. The first time the computer broke, it was within the warranty HP had extended to deal with the problems.

      The second time it broke, it was the same problem. It broke AFTER they’d already “fixed” it. That was the basis of my small claims suit.

      By the way, if expecting my computer to last for more than the length of its year-long manufacturer’s defect warranty makes me an asshole, so be it. At least I’m an asshole with $900.

  31. davein805 says:

    If companies like HP provided a quality product from the beginning with fair customer service, they wouldn’t have customers suing them. The total cost to resolve the case (from first failure to the $900) was more than the value of the laptop. Good for the OP for fighting this!

  32. soloudinhere says:

    I don’t get this at all. He purchased a computer with a stated warranty. A part failed that was covered either under that standard warranty, or under some sort of extension specific to that part.

    However, nowhere was it stated that the repair had any sort of warranty (and most have 90 days, or remainder of factory warranty, whichever is greater…yes, even Apple) which, if it existed, he should have gotten written proof of.

    As best I can tell, considering the repair was functional for another year and a half and he was not only out of the original factory warranty, any extension program (already taken advantage of with the first repair, these are generally not all you can eat buffets), and any warranty on the actual repair, this was a completely baseless claim and any compensation he got was simply HP hoping some whiny dude would be quiet.

    There was no warranty, express or implied, on this computer at the time of the failure. He was, simply put, screwed, and refuses to admit it. THEM’S THE BREAKS, get it fixed yourself.

  33. soloudinhere says:

    Oh, also, if he hadn’t cheaped out and had spent $1150 on a small business machine from HP, it would have come with a 3 year warranty as standard.

    I’ve got two business class machines from 2004 and 2005 respectively, still cranking along perfectly. A little slow, but they are tanks. I used the warranty on one when the DC in jack broke about 2 years in, and the service was impeccable.

    How about spending your money wisely and not buying the shiniest thing with the highest numbers on the spec list? perhaps you might have gotten good hardware then.

  34. vastrightwing says:

    Here’s a plug for Toshiba. I’m on my 5th Toshiba laptop. I use them for at least 3-4 years before trading them for newer models. I’ve never had any of my Toshibas break even after I dropped them, spilled coffee, soda and adult beverages in them (OK, I had to replace the keyboard 2 times after a spill). My next laptop will be a Toshiba. No, I have no association with them at all. I’m just a very satisfied customer.

  35. dvdchris says:

    When HP went to those DV series of shiny silver laptops, they started having reliability problems. I have had two of them and both had the audio just die on them when they were both a year old.
    I switched to Dell laptops. The one I’m on now was run over by a truck and still works.

  36. pratzert says:

    It didn’t make into small claims court, but I bet he would have won the case.

    Small claims court is a very, very valuable resource for the ordinary consumer.

    It’s a nominal cost to file and oyu do not need an attorney.

    The judges do not hold you to most of the court room rules that exist in a “so-called” regular court setting.

    Try it… you’ll like it !

  37. consumer1965 says:

    The 12 month warranty that HP provided is a voluntary warranty. That does not preclude them from being potentially liable if the product breaks down 15, 20 or 30+ months later.

    While the consumer laws may vary I would think that in most places if you can show that the expected life of the product has been cut short by a manufacturing or design defect you would be successful in a smalls claims court.

    I know in here in Australia that given the protection of our legislation I would be covered for such a problem. It is unfortunately not a well known protection, which is why extended warranties are a waste of money as you are paying for something that your already have.

  38. derekisphat says:

    sooo a bunch of months back, my DV6000 had some problems that HP refused to fix under warranty. I filled a small claims thing and we reached a settlement. Oddly enough, i talked to a lady named Francesca too!

    Oh and I live in San Diego, so they settle with people in California too.

  39. ijustwanttocomment says:

    As a general sidenote… The models that HP recognizes as affected are the following:

    HP dv2000
    HP dv6000
    HP dv9000
    (possibly also the d3000s)

    and Compaq v3000 and v6000.

    HP will only officially recognize certain model numbers within those listed categories as having the problem, but in all honesty, it’s hard to find a unit that is sold in any of those categories that won’t get hit by that problem.

    The symptoms they will acknowledge:
    — machine doesn’t boot (or beeps, but no picture)
    — screen displays no picture
    — indicator lights do not work
    — wireless does not work
    (related, but not recognized under this, tends to be that the webcam does not work, or does not work reliably)

    I used to have the advisory number memorized because I used it so often, but I’ve forgotten it since.

    And a few others, but every machine of that sort that I’ve seen will generally fall under those categories. The documentation about the issue states that they generally will extend your warranty for an additional two years beyond the one year given–but only for these issues. So if you get your mobo replaced for not booting up once, they won’t repair any other issue under the extended warranty, but will usually repair the problems under the advisory for the full length of the warranty. Usually.

    It honestly seems like the motherboards for those units are pretty crazy and tend to go on the fritz pretty quickly. I’ve also noticed that if HP returns it with “repaired motherboard” as a resolution, the problem will likely come back again… “Replaced motherboard” generally tends to be a lasting fix.

    I only wish I’d kept a copy of the advisory sheet–some of that information would’ve been useful in this case!

  40. BlueEyesTM says:

    Francesca didn’t do this person any favors – despite how grateful he was in the end. The truth is that IF Francesca had allowed this to make it to court, HP would have had to fly an employee to the customer’s town to respond in court. AND this person could not be an attorney. So this would cost HP a lot more money than $900 — especially if a consumer-friendly court ruled in his favor. Airfare, hotel, per diem, the employee’s wages were what HP was really trying to avert. So again, Francesca didn’t do him any favor. She saved HP money is settling.

    Small Claims court quite often is a great way to leverage your legal position with a company you have a dispute with. Most times, they’ll be more than willing to settle before you even get to court rather than incur a lot greater expense to respond, show up, and maybe even lose anyway.

  41. vladthepaler says:

    Wait a second here, you’re much more likely to buy fro, HP in the future because when you sued them for abysmal customer service, the attourney who called you to settle the case was polite? Argh. If that’s all it takes…

  42. Android8675 says:

    FYI, dv6000 is the series number, if you look at the bottom of the computer the ACTUAL model of the computer will be listed, usually it’ll be something like dv6123us (us for us region I believe), there are literally hundreds of different dv6000 models in the series. Same thing with dv1000, dv2000, dv4000, dv5000, dv4’s, dv5’s, you get the picture…