We’ve written before about people who, after having no luck getting an appliance fixed by the manufacturer, successfully turned to the retailer for a replacement. But here’s the story of a New Jersey woman who thought Lowe’s had thrown her a lifeline to pull her out of the hellish swirl of Whirlpool’s horrid customer service, only to find that even the hardware giant was no match for the appliance company’s incompetence.
Here is the lesson that everyone who telecommutes or runs a computer-based home business learns at some point: you need more than one working computer. Otherwise, when something goes wrong with that computer, you will be stuck the way that Meredith is right now. Her HP laptop needs repair for two relatively minor problems. Wanting to get it fixed before the warranty is up, she inquired about sending it in for service. Of course! She would just need to wait 15-20 business days to get her computer back. Shut down her business for a month, that’s all.
William’s laptop wouldn’t boot. He went to Toshiba for help, since it was still under warranty, and they charged him for software help, since his warranty didn’t cover that. Fine. Only they wouldn’t refund him the $100 when the problem didn’t turn out to be software-related. He sent the machine in for a hardware repair, and Toshiba sort of did the opposite of that. He says that the screen was just fine when he sent it in. Toshiba says that it wasn’t, and that he should pay them $500 to repair it.
We’ve seen many different variations on the Grocery Shrink Ray over the years, but somehow never anticipated this: a Warranty Shrink Ray. A sneaky tipster who works at Best Buy noticed that the same product, a Seagate hard drive for notebook computers, had a lovely redesigned box. And a few years lopped off the warranty. Much like how other products change the size of an item just a tiny bit rather than raising the price, Seagate cut back on the warranty.
S. went to buy an iPhone from Best Buy, and let the salesperson talk her into Best Buy’s warranty rather than AppleCare. That more expensive warranty covers accidental damage, but it’s not an insurance plan, which would cover lost or stolen phones. The salesman didn’t make this clear to S. And that’s really too bad, because as she left the store with her new phone, she was robbed. The warranty, of course, didn’t cover the theft.
The phrase “limited lifetime warranty” is about as open to interpretation as “all you can eat.” Just ask one Consumerist reader who found that he was up a creek sans paddle because his Skullcandy headphones crapped out after he moved out of the country.
When your TV conks out, there is that moment when you play the “When Did I Buy It?” game to try to figure out whether it is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. And when you realize it’s several months past the warranty date, that when you begin playing a different game: “Should I pay to fix it or just go to town on it with my old golf clubs?” Luckily for one Consumerist reader, he found a Samsung rep who understood his pain and decided to do something about it.
M. bought a five-year Complete Care Warranty from Dell, and this somehow led him to believe that he would receive five years of warranty coverage. Crazy, right? Consumers can be so foolish. But just because the site will sell you a warranty, and documentation on the Dell site says that you have almost a year left on that warranty, that doesn’t mean that you actually have that warranty, because the Complete Care warranty that includes things like accidental damage is only an add-on to the regular warranty that has already run out.
Until recently, Israel was a happy and loyal T-Mobile customer of almost a decade. He’s also that person left who’s still using a BlackBerry. He sent his phone in for a warranty exchange, dutifully checking the liquid damage sensor first to make sure his phone hadn’t been dunked. But TMo charged him a fee for water damage anyway, because the real moisture sensor is buried inside the phone, and told a different story. Because Israel had dared…. to live in Miami.
Extended warranty plans are generally known as being bad deals for consumers. But how specifically are they bad? An insider who works, begrudgingly, for an extended service plan company lays out some of the worst extended warranty deals to watch out for when shopping this holiday season.
If your HDTV set is malfunctioning you follow the advice most HDTV manufacturers put on their website, you can actually end up screwing yourself. Surprise, surprise. Here’s what you should do instead.
There’s a basic assumption that consumers have about calculators: that you put numbers in, and the calculator spits answers out. Correct answers. Accurate answers. In the case of the Texas Instruments scientific calculator that John bought recently, he tells Consumerist that this is a false assumption. As false as the answers it gave him for the area of a circle.
Acer is infamous for its inferior or nearly non-existent customer service. Long are the annals of history filled with the tales of those who have thrown themselves against Acer’s ramparts and disintegrated on impact. But reader PW shares how he was able to get his 6 months out of warranty Acer laptop replaced after it died. The secret is to look for the email address with .tw after them. That’s right, email addresses leading back to the mothership in Taiwan.
Terry is a graduate student, and doesn’t really need to be shipping his only computer off for repairs every few months. If the computer is unplugged while asleep, the display refuses to come back on. He paid extra for an “in-home” warranty, so why does he have to keep mailing his computer to HP so they can not really fix it? He tells Consumerist that HP really seems to want him to leave him alone, being consistently rude. Even the person who answered the phone at executive customer service called him an “angry person with a phone number.” Maybe he wouldn’t be so angry if he had a working computer.
Tom normally doesn’t bother to buy extended warranties. Now he knows why. He did happen to purchase one for the Vizio TV that he bought from Dell last year, but the third-party warranty provider seems determined to ignore him at all costs.
Reader Ben was sad. His Xbox was doing the ol’ Red Ring of Death. He thought that was quits for his trusted gaming companion but then he started doing some research on Consumerist. Perusing our archives, he realized from some of our old posts that included in the price of the repair to the machine he had done not too long ago was a one-year warranty extension. Huzzah! Here’s what he did next:
Mark has a warning: it’s fine if you want to hand over your money for a venti Java Chip Frappuccino, but don’t buy durable items at Starbucks if you expect them to be, well, durable. He bought a mug back in December, and the mug now has a defect that makes coffee drip on you while you drink. Not liking this feature, he contacted Starbucks and learned that their warranty on mugs lasts only 60 days. “I was shocked that Starbucks would only stand behind their products for 60 days,” Mark writes, “specifically because those same products come at a premium price and sold with overpriced coffee.”