HP Adapter Catches Fire, Burns Pants, Execs Ignore

UPDATE: HP Calls About Pants Burnin’ Laptop

Pants pants, burning bright, in my house in the night, thanks to a malfunctioning power adapter for the HP dv2845se. It’s no Blake but it is what happened to reader Jillian Madison. While she was using her laptop, her adapter started sparking and burst into flames, burning a hole in her pants and causing a welt on her legs. Now, after dozens of phone calls and emails to HP executive support and HP executives, and 6 weeks of waiting, she hasn’t heard a thing back from HP, though she says some reps have given her an earful of rudeness.

On April 9th, 2009, the power adapter to my gently used, well cared for 11-month old HP dv2845se laptop randomly started sparking (where it connects to the laptop) and quickly burst into flames while I was using it. It was so bad that the sparks burned a hole in my pants, and caused a welt on my leg. I’m not exaggerating when I say had I not been at home to unplug the adapter from the wall, this quite possibly could have burned down my home and injured/killed my pets/family, etc.

You’d think HP would promptly react to such a safety issue and possible PR disaster, right? WRONG. During the first week after the adapter caught on fire, I made dozens of phonecalls to the Executive Customer Service number you provided, but was dismissed and blown off by everyone I spoke to. Reps Angie, Rochelle, and Kathy rudely told me there was nothing they could do, and that I had to sit around and wait for someone in their safety team to contact me. At one point, I even asked an INCREDIBLY rude rep named Yun-Sil to let me speak to a manager. She said he wasn’t available but he’d call me back within 2 hours. I asked for the manager’s name (Jeff Yutigard), but to this day, he hasn’t called me back.

It took Harry Jeffery at the HP safety team almost 2 weeks to contact me. I immediately sent my burned power adapter back to them via FedEx, but have not heard back from anyone since that time. I’ve written dozens of emails and made 10+ phonecalls to Harry Jeffery and to other “executives” at HP, but they are all ignoring me. I even emailed executives Jon Flaxman, Shane Robinson, Ann Livermore, and Mark Hurd at the suggestion of one of your commenters, but have not gotten any reply. Harry Jeffery won’t return my phonecalls and should be fired.

I certainly don’t appreciate being sold faulty, cheap equipment – and then being mocked and ignored by HP employees after the fact. One thing is for sure – I certainly won’t go away until this issue is resolved. And in the meanwhile, I urge all readers to use caution with their power adapters and unplug them when you’re not using them. Because trust me, your whole house could be burned down by their faulty equipment and they wouldn’t care. They have your money.

Jillian Madison

Sounds like HP might need to expand that recall.

(Photos: reversedecay, cag2012)