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.

Of course, while Skurk32 has been dealing with these problems, HP refreshed the entire series of computers. HP could send him a new computer that has none of these small, wacky issues, or… no, wait, this is HP we’re talking about. They would never do that.

He writes;

Bought an Envy 15 in Feb. It couldn’t display red properly (was orange instead) so I got a replacement from HP. Same issue. I asked for a solution, they said an envy 17 would be OK since it uses a different type of monitor. Sure.

Got the 17, Turned out the DVD drive isn’t spitting CD’s back out (and that the back of the case is unhinged and won’t click down). Talk to support, he says he’ll call me in 3 days. 3 weeks pass- he calls back and says that now it’s too late to return the laptop, but I can send it in for service to fix my dvd drive. I point out how the laptop jumps to 70*C when idling (I don’t have anything intensive running) and how the case is also messed up. He says I can’t do anything about it/ deal with it.

Keep in mind, last month HP released a refresh to the Envy series. So at this point I’m semi-raging about how I paid for a laptop in Feb, and still don’t have a working unit. They want me to send this back (goodbye for a few weeks, internet).

I ask if I can get a replacement and they say only if they find the issue I’m talking about and can’t fix it. HP being HP, I’m sure they’ll half-ass it or just lie about the situation- saying there’s nothing wrong. So my question- What should I do?

TL-DR; Was getting laptops with issues since FEB, now HP says it’s too late for a refund, and they won’t even move me up to a new model that was released two months after I bought a defective unit (which should run cooler, as heat is an issue). Currently having issues with the laptop. Might get a replacement if they find an issue they can’t fix.


They haven’t replied to ANY emails (although I know for a fact they get them – I asked). My case manager(s) won’t let me speak to anyone higher up, including their supervisors. They want me to send the unit back tomorrow- so as unrealistic as it is, I’m hoping for an answer around tomorrow.. :

BONUS: When I said that they called me back in 3 weeks, I believe they did so just so I’d run out of the time to return the unit. Last time I talked to them before that, I asked for a return, and they said it’d still be possible.

In the past, readers have found HP receptive to the explosive charms of the executive e-mail carpet bomb. And in the case of computers that have become virtual doorstops, HP does find small claims court filings quite moving.


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  1. CrazyEyed says:

    I don’t see how this is a Consumerist issue (yet). So the first laptop had issues with color and was sent back. He actually got a better replacement (17) which apparently had drive issues and is overheating. Ok, its rare to have the replacement fail (unless its refurbished) but I don’t see how its out of protocol for HP to first assess if they can fix the computer before replacing it.

    If he’s that unhappy, I hope he bought it with a CC. Charge back if they refuse to address the issues with the computer. But at this point, at least they are addressing them by either sending him a new computer or offering to fix the defective product. I can understand if his patience is wearing thin but nothing seems out of the norm as far as customer service goes. Most of this story is speculative until the OP gets back his computer or receives a replacement item.

    I own an Envy and couldn’t be any happier with mine. While flaws with the color display, the drive and overheating are definitely serious issues it doesn’t appear that HP is dragging their feet or giving him the run around (yet).

    • cactus jack says:

      Wait until you have to deal with HP’s technical services. I had one accuse me of breaking the video card myself (nVidia card fiasco a few years back that everyone had problems with), and that he had the proof through our conversation and that I was screwed. Still have no idea how he figured I did that, but whatever.

      If it weren’t for American Express, I would have sued in small claims in a second.

      • CrazyEyed says:

        Then I pray to God my Envy stays in shape

      • CrazyEyed says:

        Actually my mom’s laptop had that issue too with her video card. There was a class action and in result, if you responded to the lawsuit, you could get a replacement/fix. Did you try that or did you simply do a chargeback? That was more of nVidia than HP issue though. It still sucks.

        • cactus jack says:

          It was an HP DV-2500t (if I remember correctly, maxed out custom factory specs, ~$1300 new) that HP excluded from the class action despite having the same damn nVidia card the rest of their faulty line had.

          By the time that class action payout was going on I was already on my XPS m1530 that AMEX pretty much bought for me and they disposed of the old laptop.

          • CrazyEyed says:

            Yeah there’s nothing like wasting your hard earned dollars on a $1,300 paperweight. You got boned on that. That alone would piss me off enough to skip using HP products but so far in my experience, I’ve had 2 HPs (Desktop and Laptop) and both have been fairly reliable.

          • incident_man says:

            In my experience as a former Dell employee and a former HP user, going from an HP to a Dell is a backwards move, if you’re after product quality and level of support.

            In no way would I ever buy a Dell, Alienware, or HP product.

            • who? says:

              My company bought from Dell for years. About 4 years ago, we switched to HP because they offered us a “great deal”. 2 years later, we switched back to Dell. The HP machines were unreliable crap, and our maintenance and repair costs, and user downtime shot through the roof.

              My personal experience with HP machines has been the same. Every HP machine I’ve had at home has been broken garbage. I had one bad Dell laptop, but otherwise they have been fine.

              • incident_man says:

                There are many reasons why I wouldn’t buy from Dell….ever, some of which I have personal knowledge of, since I worked for them:

                1. Optiplex bulging/exploding capacitor issues (not Dell’s problem, per se, but HOW they handled the problem);
                2. Dell stock scandal (2004-2006): they deliberately over-reported their earnings to artificially inflate their stock price, then once the stock reached it’s peak, several executives unloaded most of their personal holdings;
                3. Secret Intel “kickback” payments (?-2006) to keep AMD processors out of Dell machines (used kickbacks to help with item #2);
                4. Dell had to restate their earnings reports for 2002-2007 to the SEC because they got caught taking kickbacks from Intel. Their stock almost got de-listed from NASDAQ because of failure to report their earnings on time (related to #2 and #3);
                5. The Inspiron 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150, and 5160 overheating laptop/faulty design lawsuit (2005-2006);
                6. The wage/hour lawsuit filed by several Dell employees in their Oregon call center. The call center shut down 6 months after the lawsuit was filed. Dell was not paying overtime wages to their sales staff when they were required by law to do so, and;
                7. Many cases I worked on as a tech involved refurbished laptops being returned by the 2nd or 3rd or……owner for the same exact problem the original owner reported. Dell wasn’t “refurbishing” anything, they’d just accept them back, wipe them, then offer them for sale again without fixing the problem.

                Those 7 items are only the ones I had personal knowledge about, undoubtedly there’s countless more. I won’t deal with a company that has such a track record of being dishonest, at the very least.

            • cactus jack says:

              Speaking of that…

              When I finally had an issue with my Dell, it was with the HDD. No problem right? They sent me a replacement through UPS so I prepped my HDD to send it back, and waited for it to arrive. And waited. Never showed. They sent it to the university for some odd reason, and UPS wasn’t going to help me determine where it was.

              So I called Dell and asked where my HDD was, and then things went downhill.

              First they claimed that I have it because it was signed for. No, I did not sign for it, and I still had no idea where it was delivered beyond UW-Madison.

              They insisted that I have it and that I needed to send them my current faulty HDD. I tell them to tell UPS to go get my new HDD because I have no idea where it is. I no longer had any affiliation with the university beyond my degree and seriously, why was this my problem? After arguing for God knows how long, they agree to send a new HDD overnight to the only address I had ever given them (even the initial order was to my home) and I figured all was well.

              Received a notice soon after that I would be billed for the HDD unless I returned it. So I called once again and explained that if they want it, they needed to go get it because I did not have it. At this point I lost my patience and demanded a manager. I explained that if I received any further threats about the HDD they misdelivered to the university I would be in contact with the Attorney General.

              Received an email telling me all was well.

              On the plus side, laptop is still running fine. :D

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    Why didn’t you call back after 3 days???

    • elangomatt says:

      I probably would have waited to call back until after 4 or 5 days, but no way would I wait for 3 weeks!

  3. Jacquilynne says:

    Huh. HP in Canada must be way different than in the US. When I had weird problems with my HP Netbook, they very obligingly fixed it and the total turn around time was less than 48 hours.

    • incident_man says:

      I believe Canada has more consumer protections than we do here in the US. The politicians here in the US, regardless of party, kowtow to big business bigtime. The great big health insurance giveaway called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act proved that quite nicely.

  4. George4478 says:

    I was one of the people who used an EECB and lawsuit threat to get a new laptop following a run-out-the-warranty-clock ‘repair’.

    I was asking for an actual repair and an extension of the warranty to cover the new repair, but they preferred to refund my money. I was OK with that too.

    Patience and getting to the right person were key. Once Executive Support got involved, things got resolved very quickly.

  5. HealingTek says:

    No great surprise here. I’ve worked on a lot of different computers by pretty much every manufacturer and my experience is that while every now and then HP accidentally releases a laptop that is decent, most are complete junk.