We asked John, who wrote to us earlier this week about replacing the motherboard in his HP laptop, to send us a link to the listing he found for $150. Below is his response.
Several readers also contacted us to point out that HP extended the warranties on a number of models recently due to motherboard failures, so John or other readers may have more options than they initially thought.
First, to satisfy everyone’s curiosity, here are the motherboard prices John found. As some of you speculated, the $150 he originally mentioned was for one on eBay, not from HP:
Here you go. Actually, if I return the broken board they will sell me a refurb for $133 and a new board for $228.95. The $150 boards were on eBay. And you know they’d send HP the defective board for the “core credit”. AND you know that Best Buy would NOT pay near what I’d have to pay for the board being that they are the only licensed HP reseller in my area.
A reader named Mark read the post and wrote in to tell us he recently had his own problems with an HP laptop, and discovered the extended warranty news:
My HP laptop just went down as well and after a tech support rep at HP told me it would cost $50 for ANY phone support, as my laptop is out of warranty, I did some searching online.
It details a trend of motherboard failures and a two year warranty extension for this specific problem.
(Thanks to IT Insider, Erick, and everyone else who also sent in this info!)
Finally, we got some interesting inside info from John, a former CompUSA repair tech who offered an explanation to why Geek Squad‘s quote was so high:
I just wanted to let you know how it is from the service side of things. I worked on the repair side at CompUSA. Generally this is how it worked, we would order our parts from a third party. They would refurbish the parts and put a limited 30 day warranty on the part. When we order parts from them, Motherboards would generally cost between 500-1000 for laptops. I don’t know how Best Buy has it set up, but I would venture it is similar. This takes the cost of doing the business of finding a part and knowing that it will work off of the retailer. And if the part was bad we could send it back and get another part at no additional cost to us. So if we were to go on ebay we would probably have to pay shipping for a part that we have no clue if it worked. It makes sense to me that this is how Best Buy does it too.