(starsapartk)

3 Years Is The Warranty Length, Not How Long It Should Take To Get Your Computer Back

The state of California has pretty good consumer protections, but not when it comes to extended warranties. That’s what a family who bought a laptop computer at Fry’s learned after a planned five-week repair of an HP laptop ended up taking three months. Three months? [More]

(Ron Dauphin)

Hey Best Buy, If You Want Us To Shop There, Try Selling People Stuff

Michael is buying his mother a new computer for Mother’s Day, because he’s a good son and she’s moving away soon. As long as he was buying a computer, he wanted to get some reward points from Best Buy on his credit card. Only he couldn’t. While the product page bragged of “free shipping,” Best Buy was not willing to ship the item. At all. [More]

Computer That Touches Itself Comes Back From Dell In Worse Shape, Michael Dell Swoops In

Computer That Touches Itself Comes Back From Dell In Worse Shape, Michael Dell Swoops In

Remember Travis, the college-bound student whose touchscreen Dell laptop keeps moving the mouse pointer around on the screen, among other problems? When we last heard from him a week ago, he was waiting for the computer to return to him from Dell’s repair depot after two in-home tech visits, and he hoped the problems would be fixed. They weren’t. All Dell did was replace the wireless card. So he turned to the advice we gave in the post, and wrote to Michael Dell. This got him a new laptop for his trouble. [More]

Five Months With A New HP Laptop, But Not A Functional One

Five Months With A New HP Laptop, But Not A Functional One

Skurk32 bought a new HP laptop in February. So he’s been spending five months enthralled with his new computer, right? Um, not exactly. He’s experienced a series of problems, large and small, with the new computer, that range from the color red displaying as orange (weird) to the machine overheating while idling (dangerous.) HP chooses to acknowledge some of these as problems, but not the ones that are actually important. [More]

Lenovo Reads Consumerist, Lets Customer Buy Laptop

Lenovo Reads Consumerist, Lets Customer Buy Laptop

A couple of weeks ago, we shared the story of Devotee, who tried to buy a computer directly from Lenovo’s site, only to have the order canceled out from under him with no explanation why. You may remember reading this story, and so did Lenovo employees. They wondered what happened, too, and reached out to Consumerist to help Devotee and figure out why they weren’t able to sell him anything and what went wrong. [More]

Free WiFi Continues To Pop Up In Odd Places

Free WiFi Continues To Pop Up In Odd Places

These are boom times for heavy WiFi users. Free WiFi is so ubiquitous that it’s gotten to the point that it’s almost shocking to sit down in public and not be able to pick up a signal. [More]

Upgrade Your Laptop's Hard Drive In 3 Easy Steps

Upgrade Your Laptop's Hard Drive In 3 Easy Steps

If your laptop goes kablooie, or you just run out of space by filling it from totally legal downloads, it’s probably time to swap it out. The operation may sound difficult, but it’s deceptively easy. If you can handle a screwdriver, you’re more than capable. [More]

Dell Outlet Sent Me A Barf-Covered, Gum-Filled Refurb Laptop

Dell Outlet Sent Me A Barf-Covered, Gum-Filled Refurb Laptop

Frank ordered a refurbished laptop from Dell Outlet last week, and got a great deal. He hadn’t anticipated that the machine would come with extras: some gum in the CD drive and an unidentified substance that we can only hope is soup, but looks more like vomit.
[More]

Staples Recycles Laptop By Cracking Its Screen

Staples Recycles Laptop By Cracking Its Screen

When you trade in your old electronic device for “recycling” while buying a new one, does that device have to work? Staples offered a $100 rebate this holiday season to customers who sent in their old computers after purchasing a new one. “Recycling” is in quotes because computers traded in had to be running, and include the charger, so they were bound for re-use rather than recycling. That was no problem for George, though — he traded in a working computer. Only the screen was cracked when it reached the center, and he didn’t get the full rebate. [More]

Consumerist Post About Broken Laptop Gets Reader Full Refund Within 3 Hours

Consumerist Post About Broken Laptop Gets Reader Full Refund Within 3 Hours

Once again, Costco saves the day. Last week, we posted the story of Tom, who bought a Sony Vaio laptop from Costco only to have it malfunction a little more than a year after purchase. Sony didn’t seem to want to fix the problem at all, and Costco employees were very kind but couldn’t intervene. Only a few hours after that post went up, Costco contacted Tom, and gave him a full refund for the computer’s purchase price. [More]

Buying Laptop From Costco Extends Your Warranty And Your Aggravation

Buying Laptop From Costco Extends Your Warranty And Your Aggravation

Last year, Tom bought a Sony laptop from Costco. Part of the reason why he chose Costco to purchase a computer was the warehouse club’s famed extension of manufacturers’ warranties: more warranty protection on a portable computer can’t be a bad thing. Except when it is. In Tom’s case, having another company involved just means that he can always get a very nice person on the phone at Costco who isn’t able to help him at all. [More]

Laptops May Slaughter Sperm In More Ways Than One

Laptops May Slaughter Sperm In More Ways Than One

As we’ve previously pointed out, research has shown the heat from laptop use can raise the temperature of the testes and damage sperm of users who place the machines on their lap. Now researchers have found that a laptop’s WiFi signal is also a member of the sperm assassination squad. [More]

If ASUS Installs Your Hard Drive Backwards, Your Computer Can't Overheat

If ASUS Installs Your Hard Drive Backwards, Your Computer Can't Overheat

Perhaps it was naive of reader A. to think that sending his overheating computer back to ASUS would end with him receiving a functional computer back. He did expect them to at least put the hard drive back facing in the right direction, though. Or maybe that was the outsourced repair depot’s idea of a fix for his problem. A computer that can’t boot can’t overheat. [More]

Detect Hardware Trojans With "Singing Rings"

Detect Hardware Trojans With "Singing Rings"

Researchers have proposed a new method for detecting trojan viruses embedded into hardware chips by using voltage detectors that “sing out” in a different frequency when they’re used on a tampered circuit. [More]

Michael Dell Replaces High-End Laptop Previously "Fixed" With Black Marker, Crumbs

Michael Dell Replaces High-End Laptop Previously "Fixed" With Black Marker, Crumbs

Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell didn’t work right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. When he sent it in for repair, he got it back with crumbs in the keys, and a crack on the side someone tried to hide with black marker. When we posted his story on Consumerist, we gave him CEO Michael Dell’s email address to go tell his story. Now Jeremy writes that after he emailed Mr. Dell, the CEO intervened and made sure Jeremy got a brand-new laptop, along with a free memory and CPU upgrade. [More]

The 4th Replacement Laptop HP Sent Me Doesn't Work, Either

The 4th Replacement Laptop HP Sent Me Doesn't Work, Either

John bought a rather nice HP laptop for his business, and it would be nice if it would work. Ever. Every time they boot up one of the replacement machines HP has sent, it crashes. They’re now on laptop #5. [More]

Only Samsung Has The Power To Reinstall Windows On Your Laptop

Only Samsung Has The Power To Reinstall Windows On Your Laptop

When the hard drive of Joseph’s Samsung laptop began to make clicking noises, he thought it would be simple enough to make a backup image of his hard drive, install a shiny new solid-state drive, and put the backed-up image on his new drive. This didn’t work, and he’s stuck without Windows on his drive. Now he yearns for those long-ago days when computer manufacturers actually shipped copies of the software installed on computers with those computers. [More]

Alienware Laptop "Fixed" With Black Marker, Food Crumbs

Alienware Laptop "Fixed" With Black Marker, Food Crumbs

Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell hasn’t worked right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. Then when he sent it in for repairs, he got it back with food crumbs between the keys. The side panel was also cracked, and someone had tried to hide the crack by coloring it in with black marker. [More]