Dear HP: It Has Been Three Months Since I Last Saw My Laptop

For three months, HP has promised to return reader N’s laptop within the next ten days. N sent his HP Pavillion for repairs in December after his screen became a blurry mess incapable of displaying anything as basic as say, oh, a tracking page. HP insists that they fixed the laptop, but they won’t ship it back to N. Conveniently, the one-year warranty expired last month.

N posted a blurry video of the blurry screen:
He writes:

I’m just like Lorraine… I also want my laptop back an HP Pavillion, I have not received it since December 2007. The problem with my laptop is that it wont start if u press the power button and the screen one time gets blurry… I even posted a video on youtube about my screen which u guys can view it here.

HP service staff keeps on telling me that I’ll be recieving my laptop for the next ten days now its been almost 3 MONTHS… I need help dunno really what to do by the way my notebooks 1 year warranty just expired this month of February 2008.

Call (650) 857-1501 and ask for Mark Hurd’s office. Tell him to break out a torch and pack up his hunting gear: the mysterious disappearing laptop is on the prowl once again.

PREVIOUSLY: Hey Geek Squad, I Haven’t Seen My Laptop In A Month
(Photo: Carla216)


Edit Your Comment

  1. webwbr says:

    Mine has been at HP for six days and I just got a daunting e-mail that *might* be delayed. Ironically, my year warrently will expire too while it is with HP this week.

    I hope my experience is better, but for sure I won’t be as patient as this dude has been.

    Egads HP — I hate to say it, but I miss my Dell.

  2. edrebber says:

    Contact the police in the locality of the repair center and report the theft of the laptop.

  3. dualityshift says:

    Your warranty issue is no issue. The laptop went to the depot BEFORE the end of warranty. They received it before endo of warranty, so they must repair it under warranty.

    Good luck though.

  4. bnpederson says:

    I suggest using at least an approximation of proper English in your request. For example “dunno” is not actually a word! Neither is “u,” though it is a letter, so good on you there!

  5. mmeehh says:

    well if you currently own a hp dv 2000 ,dv 6000,or dv9000 series and have and amd processor chances are you have a defective motherboard ,apollo motherboards in this series of laptops will fail usually starts with wireless card stops working ,then video and boot issues then crashes,hp will fix if you call and the tech can indentify it but you will need to get past India trying to charge you for out of warranty support 49.99 per incident.

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    Is that Nancy Drew? I used to read alot of the Hardy Boys when I was a little kid.

  7. torontomike says:

    This story dies not surprise me in any way. My HP Pavilion laptop’s HD died back in December. The new one was promised under warranty in 5-10 days. In February, after extensive phone calls, emails, and yes – the Executive Email Complaint (which garnered an auto responder and nothing else) I gave up and purchased a new drive myself after not having use of the laptop for 2 months.

    The new drive did appear – about a week after I submitted a complaint to both the BBB and the Ontario Consumer Fraud bureau – and over 2 months late. Perhaps a coincidence, but there was no response from HP with regards to what caused the delay so who knows.

    I’ve certainly been discouraged from ever buying an HP again. The full story of my support experience is a small novel.

  8. Landru says:

    @dualityshift: The warranty is too an issue: The covered laptop has been sitting idle on an HP shelf for a sizable chuck of the warranty period.

    N needs to demand that the warranty be extended.

    @bnpederson: As much as it galls you, grammar and writing skills are not a prerequisite for consumer protection.

  9. thirdbase says:

    @webwbr: Thats not the issue. If they would have returned the laptop in a timely manner he would have the laptop for a couple of months before the warenty expired. That way if he had another issue he would still be covered. by not returning the laptop promptly if he has another unrelated issue he is screwed.

  10. quail says:

    My experience with Compaq/HP laptop repair convinced me to go back to Dell business for any future PC laptops. A little more expensive, but techs will come to your house and your calls to tech support stay in the USA.

    And don’t get me even started on the crapware that Compaq/HP PCs come with…..

  11. Tallanvor says:

    @Landru: grammar and writing skills might not be required, but they certainly help.

  12. Tank says:

    @bnpederson: I agree, PC’s have a full sized QWERTY keyboard, and pretty decent sized displays. It pisses me off when I have to decipher text messaging on a device that allows me to read/write real words.

  13. VeeKaChu says:

    I’ve said it before, but H-P is truly the Devil. They are the spiritual successors to Packard Bell in the support arena.

  14. homerjay says:

    Something VERY similar to this happened to me 3 years ago with HP. Its 90% of the reason I decided to switch to Mac and have never looked back.

  15. domino_angel says:

    @quail: Actually, The experience that my boyfriend is having as we speak is convincing me that Dell may not be such a good choice. He emailed back and forth with tech support for a three weeks, then the support guy (an indian- living in india) abruptly stopped replying. My BF has been true to his nature- nothing but polite this whole time. He then called Dell tech support (which seems to have at least one branch in the USA) and spent four hours on the phone. That girl could not make any progress and suggested sending another new hard drive. This is when he finally lost it. She directed him to customer service, who then told him he was entitled to someone coming to physically look at it…which was what he has been asking for all along.

  16. NotGregg says:

    @bnpederson: It is possible that English is not his first language.

  17. sakanz says:

    @dualityshift: Actually, having their warranty expire because HP is taking their sweet time could be a very big problem. If they receive their laptop back after the warranty has expired and realize that the people at HP never really fixed the problem (which I believe is pretty likely after reading some computer repair stories here on Consumerist), then they’d have to send it back to HP for yet another repair job, but this time they would have to pay HP since the warranty has expired.

  18. cde says:

    @sakanz: Any repair done would come with a “30 day or remainder of original warranty, whichever is longer” warranty.

  19. I had a similar situation with an Alienware laptop several years ago. Problem that popped up right as the warranty was sliding. Then, some hurricane or another hit Florida, so an 8 day repair and turn around wound up lasting a month, during which time the warranty lapsed. I got it back and something new was wrong. I convinced them that this thing was either their fault or should be covered by warranty, since I would have had it back within warranty if not for the Hurricane that leveled Miami. I went through nearly a whole 6 week semester in my MBA program without a laptop (required). Oddly, best grades of my two year stint, so maybe I learned something about unplugging.

    OTOH, I doubt HP will be as reasonable as a boutique type producer like Alienware.

    Final point: Good spelling and grammar are not necessary. If, however, you want people to take you seriously, they do not hurt. FWIW (we’re on a blog, not trying to get anything here): having an email that is a reasonable approximation of your real name is a better idea than something like

  20. sakanz says:

    I think after this whole ordeal with HP, the least he’d be entitled to is a free extension of his warranty, especially since they’ve held onto his laptop for a quarter of the warranty period.

  21. lastfm says:

    I’ve had my old Compaq V2000Z serviced and for HP’s warranty service, they will extend the warranty on the affected parts for 90 days since repair or the end of the warranty, whichever is longer.

  22. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    I’d sue HP for the total price of the laptop, the cost of the warranty (if any), the shipping to send it in, and the time without the device.

  23. Xerloq says:

    @sakanz: Incorrect. If the warranty lapses while the unit is being repaired and the end user finds the same problem when the laptop is returned, HP must fix it under warranty since they never actually corrected the problem.

    Contacting Michael Hurd might work, but the HP Case Manager Line [Consumerist] worked for me. These guys have a call center in Canada and one in the US. I gave them the tech support reference number, they created a case, and replaced my laptop. It took two weeks once they started the replacement, but I have a new lappy and I’m happy.

    The key to getting my computer replaced was calling them on the 3-5 business day clause in their Total Care Warranty. When I purchased my laptop, it came with the promise of being repaired and returned within 3-5 days. I called normal tech support on day 6, and they gave me a two-month estimate. I pointed out the warranty clause, which even if only an estimate, was far shorter than 60 days. They said there was a parts shortage. I asked for a supervisor and was told to call the 1 800 HP INVENT number.

    Then I called the QCM line, gave them the same story, and they gave me the parts shortage line. I asked how they were building and selling new computers with the shortage. My case manager had no answer, and said they’d send me a new computer if I didn’t receive mine by the end of the week. I didn’t arrive, and I ended up with a new computer.

  24. iotashan says:

    lastfm is correct… they warranty their repairs for 90 days beyond the repair. I found that out when they repaired my dv8000.

  25. sakanz says:

    @Xerloq: Yes, I know that now. Thank you all for enlightening me.

  26. KogeLiz says:

    N ?

  27. lakecountrydave says:

    The warranty problem I see once (if) the laptop is returned is that a product with known issues was not in use for 25% of the warranty period. A product with one defect is far more likely to have additional problems. This customer’s opportunity to discover other known problems has been taken. Plus, what unknown events have occured to this laptop while it has been missing.

  28. Taed says:

    @bnpederson: “dunno” is not actually a word!

    I do agree that “dunno” is too casual to be used in nearly all written language. Though I’m not sure how one would decide what an English word is (although for some languages, such as French I believe, there are standard bodies that decide on “official words”). For me, it would simply be if other people understand what is meant, and thus, “dunno” is most certainly a word. For some, perhaps you, it would be if it’s in a dictionary. Here’s a dictionary citation for “dunno” via which may prove that it’s a word for you (note that it’s been around for 160 years):

    Webster’s New Millenniumâ„¢ Dictionary of English: dunno
    Part of Speech: v
    Definition: don’t know
    Etymology: 1840s
    Usage: casual pronunciation
    Webster’s New Millenniumâ„¢ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.7)
    Copyright © 2003-2008 Lexico Publishing Group, LLC

  29. bnpederson says:

    Certainly they aren’t a prerequisite, but they are extremely helpful when it comes to getting others to pay attention to your concerns, as Tallanvor and PotKettleBlack both stated. Personally I’d suggest one treat these correspondences just like a letter to a government official, a school essay (in terms of spelling and grammar, not specific formula obviously), or a resume cover letter.

    Or at the very least use a bloody spell check.

    I’ve yet to meet a non-native English speaker who wrote “you” or “are” with only one letter. Mangled syntax, confused tense, incorrectly used words and so forth are much more common for those learning English.

    I suppose it’s possible that he’s learning English primarily from IRC chat and text messaging, but I doubt it considering he wrote the Consumerist.

  30. bnpederson says:


    It’s a colloquial term and shouldn’t be used in formal writing. And really, using Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary? A preview edition too? That hurts man. Next thing I know people will be dredging up WordNet 3.0 on me.

  31. Buran says:

    Why are half the comments about this post nothing but whining and bitching about the spelling and grammar in it? Is that the new blame-the-victim? Give it a rest people or take it to private messaging.

  32. matto says:

    Lets blame the victim! Generally I object to the practice, but this one is clearly a functional retard. To wit: purchasing an HP laptop, a clear warning sign. His written communication skills, however, are the clincher.

    To “Reader N”: HOPE U GT LPTP BAK LOL.

  33. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Buran: No kidding. Anyone care to remind these guys that we’re on the internet and it’s not that serious?

  34. Landru says:

    While a better written letter can certainly help one’s cause, I just think that too many people imply that since a letter was poorly written that the writer somehow deserved to get ripped off. Another form of let’s blame the victim.

  35. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Landru: The stupidest thing is, I don’t think the letter everyone’s complaining about in this instance was even sent to HP. It’s just an email to the Consumerist, but people are acting like it went to HP.

  36. stevehp says:

    I guess the repair facilities treat you differently depending on the type of notebook. I have an HP NX6125 it’s not the Pavilion line of consumer notebooks it’s from the business line.

    The CSA was from India, was following a script, and was having do things I couldn’t do because the laptop wasn’t functioning when on battery power alone. So long story short the CSA relented and sent a brown box for me to ship the notebook in. I got the box tried to schedule a pickup as the flyer in the box said, but the website and the automated phone system kept rejecting the id number. I was flustered, but I drove the to nearest FEDEX drop off location near the Mansfield Lahm airport almost 1hr and 25min away.

    The notebook had some pretty serious problems, but none the less it was back in my hands two days later, and the same laptop not a refurb or anything of the sort.

  37. quail says:

    @domino_angel: Yes. I’ve heard horror stories with Dell too. But when I’ve stayed with their business side I’ve always had a good outcome. Plus as I said, calls are handled in the USA and service is always at your place. There’s no shipping.

  38. funkadelica says:

    I’m in agreement with the other posters that say proper writing skills would be nice. Or maybe I should say this:

    “sry abour ur laptop but if u wud learn how to rite then ud get way farther n life. and ppl wouldnt jerk you around 4 acting like the idiot u r.”

  39. sporks says:

    @webwbr: This shouldn’t surprise you, but that email about it being possibly delayed essentially means they’re going to take their sweet time getting around to it- while not even doing anything to fix it- my Compaq was in for a month and they turned it on ONCE, and “couldn’t replicate the problem” and sent it back to me. I complained and complained, but I got nowhere because a magical clause in the warranty (which was never provided to me) suddenly didn’t cover screens. I bought a Toshiba and I’ve never looked back.

  40. Elvisisdead says:

    @Landru: No, but they are for having clear and concise communication with others – especially others that you are asking for help.

  41. theblackdog says:

    I must be one of the few that has not had a problem with my HP Pavilion, and it’s six years old now!

    Of course if it decides to break down these days, I can just fix it myself since there is no warranty to void ;-)

    I’d consider buying one again.

  42. Charlotte Rae's Web says:

    I’m hard on laptops so always pay to stack them extras and buy the strongest (physical) model.

    Compaq laptop: 4 major problems (two of which were trashed hard drives), requiring 5 shipments back to them. Eventually sold it for parts online. All total, 64 days that my laptop was in shipping, repair or just unusable.

    Since then, three Dell inspiron laptops (2 for me, 1 for husband), with the extended warranty with home visits. All total: Three medium level problems (2 heating up hinge issues and keyboard), both fixed 2 days later with home visits. Not one lost day.

  43. Xerloq says:

    @sakanz: Just trying to be helpful. Sorry if I appeared curt. You know, we could just start insulting each other’s grammar: that would fit in better in this comment thread.
    Cheers, mate!

  44. oldgraygeek says:

    If you have one of the HP Pavilion laptops with a defective system board that fails a few months out of warranty, ask about the “One Time Service Enhancement” program. They repaired my laptop under that program.
    A customer called me about a 15-month-old DV9000, and I suggested he try the same thing… and they fixed his laptop for free, too.

  45. sakanz says:

    @Xerloq: Oh, I wasn’t really upset at you. I needed to be corrected and I learned something important from it, though hearing the same message three times from three different people was a little exasperating.

  46. cdysthe says:

    Interestingly enough I’ve had two HP laptops over the last couple of years. I have had to send them in to HP twice. Their service has been the best I have ever gotten from a computer manufacturer. I had all kinds of bad experiences with Dell support and switched to HP which has been great. One time they picked up my laptop which had problem with the screen on Thursday and had it shipped back so I had on Monday. Pretty amazing. I may just have been lucky, but I have friends and colleagues with HP gear who are pretty happy with their support as well.