warranty and repair

(Morton Fox)

Microsoft Says Liquid Damage Ruined My Surface’s Battery, And That’s Final

Electronics that are popular and have been on the market long enough to be out of warranty have vibrant industries of third-party repair shops, replacement parts, and online repair manuals. Yes, we’re thinking of iDevices when we say that. The problem with owning a newer device like the Microsoft Surface is that this kind of cottage industry hasn’t had the opportunity to grow yet. Warranty replacements are the norm and the only way to get things replaced. [More]

Timbuk2 Can’t Fix My Backpack: Sends Me $100 Credit Toward A New One Instead

Timbuk2 Can’t Fix My Backpack: Sends Me $100 Credit Toward A New One Instead

Laurel bought her backpack from Timbuk2 in 2006. While that’s practically the blink of an eye if you’re the person in charge of stocking electronics and video games at Walmart, seven years is kind of a long time as far as product warranties go. Not for Timbuk2, though. When they learned that her bag was no longer water-resistant and had lost the rubber coating its bottom, that would not do. She sent an e-mail asking whether she could send it in for a warranty repair. They couldn’t fix it for her. Instead, they sent her a credit for a replacement bag. [More]


AppleCare Changes Will Save Money, Maybe Make Customers Happier

When you visit the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store with a complaint about your portable iDevice, if it’s in warranty, they’ll generally hand you a new-to-you refurbished device and send you on your way. AppleInsider reported this weekend that for some basic repairs, that’s about to change. [More]

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan

What Is The Gray Market, And Why Should I Care?

Back in February, we posted the story of a reader who got a great deal from an online discount vendor on a Samsung MP3 player, but learned that there was a reason why the deal was so fab. It had been manufactured for the Chinese market, not the United States market, and made its way to her pocket through gray market channels. That meant that it didn’t have a warranty through Samsung USA: if she wanted to fix it, she had to send it for repair in Hong Kong. Okay, but what’s the “gray market?” [More]

Cast Into Alienware’s Dell Hell, Not Sure Why

Cast Into Alienware’s Dell Hell, Not Sure Why

Tommy is trapped in one of the more tragic outer circles of Dell Hell. His sin? He’s not entirely sure, and Dell will not tell him. All he knows is that his Alienware laptop won’t charge, his account is mysteriously “on hold,” and no one at Dell will talk to him. [More]

SquareTrade Hurls Samsung Galaxy S4 At The Ground, Probably Denies Own Claim

SquareTrade Hurls Samsung Galaxy S4 At The Ground, Probably Denies Own Claim

Do you enjoy product reviews from our sibling publication Consumer Reports, but wish that there were more smashing? Do you love the classic “Will it Blend?” YouTube videos, but want to see items destroyed in more realistic situations? You’re in luck. The hard-working experts at extended warranty/protection plan provider SquareTrade conducted a publicity stunt series of tests on current top-of-the-line smartphones to see which was most likely to survive being dropped on a corner from shoulder height, dunked in water, and slid across a table. That last one is kind of anticlimactic. [More]

(Jenna Belle)

LG Agrees To Cover Defective Dryer’s Parts, Changes Its Mind After Repair Visit

Gary’s household bought a washer and dryer made by LG, and the dryer has never worked correctly. That’s what customer service and repair services are for, though, right? So he came to an agreement with LG about splitting the cost of a technician visit and any repairs, with the company paying for parts and Greg covering the cost of labor. Then the technician came, and the company promptly changed its mind, leaving Greg to cover the whole repair cost. Greg is not pleased. [More]

Roku Sends Early Adopters Free Stuff, Wants $15 To Replace My 4-Month-Old Remote

Roku Sends Early Adopters Free Stuff, Wants $15 To Replace My 4-Month-Old Remote

Among people writing to the Consumerist tipline, our post from earlier this week about Roku sending the gift of a brand-new Roku 3 to their earliest adopters from 2008 has already become the gold standard of corporate awesomeness. It’s impossible for all companies to meet that standard all of the time…including Roku itself. [More]

(Michelle Rick)

Kate Spade Store Demands Proof I Didn’t Steal My Wallet Before Repairing It

The zipper on Ali’s Kate Spade wallet would no longer zip. She likes the wallet, so she checked whether the company would repair it for her. They would! Yay! She made plans to bring it to the Kate Spade store at her local mall and send it off for repair from there. Only the store manager wouldn’t accept the wallet without some kind of proof that she had bought it…with an implied “proof that she hadn’t stolen it.” Here’s the funny thing: she writes that when her friend walked in the store and handed over the wallet for repair, she was not asked for a receipt or any proof. Oh, incidentally: Ali is black. Her friend is white. [More]


Samsung Wants To Patch Up My Defective Phone So It Can Break Again

Alex has a Samsung Galaxy SII on AT&T, and his phone has one of the common defects of that model: it likes to randomly shut itself down for no reason. Instead of casting him into smartphone replacement purgatory, AT&T and Samsung are instead trying to divert him into repair purgatory. His phone will be totally fine after their repair, AT&T assured him. It wasn’t. He turned to Samsung and made his case to them. They were willing to repair his phone, but not replace it. [More]

The screen damage.

Toshiba Sends Contractor To My House To Break My TV Even More, Shrugs

Chad is getting surgery soon: a spinal fusion. He’d like to be able to lie around and stare at his TV while he recovers from the operation, but his TV isn’t working so well. Audio from the coaxial connection went fuzzy, and now doesn’t work at all. A technician came to repair the TV, which was under warranty, and just went ahead and drilled through the screen. Now Chad is stuck between the service company and Toshiba, and they just keep passing him back and forth. [More]

Another trip to the anti-repair facility.

Dell Hell: Every Time Dell Touches My Computer, They Break It More

There are many ways to define “Dell Hell,” but Todd’s situation certainly is a perfect example. Every time Dell gets hold of his computer to repair it, things get worse. It began with a simple battery charging issue. When it came back to him, it wouldn’t accept half of his RAM. After another motherboard replacement, the fan went rogue and the keyboard wouldn’t light up. Dell sent Todd a refurbished replacement computer, which wouldn’t turn on at all. At this point, he probably wishes he only had trouble getting the battery to charge. [More]

Roku Misplaces My Defective Box For 6 Months, Won’t Send Replacement

Roku Misplaces My Defective Box For 6 Months, Won’t Send Replacement

Jonathan’s Roku streaming video device broke back in August, so he sent it back for a warranty replacement. How have the last six months been with his shiny new replacement box? Well, Jonathan wouldn’t know. Roku said that his original box disappeared, and they couldn’t replace it. Except for how when he contacted them recently, and they said, oh yeah, they’ve had it since August. [More]


Brother Sends My Printer On Vacation In Florida, Not Back To Me

Cyndi’s new multifunction inkjet printer malfunctioned just after the 14-day return period was over. Isn’t that always how it ends up? Not by design on the company’s part, of course, but it feels that way when you depend on a printer like Cyndi does. She contacted Brother’s tech support, and ultimately they sent her a refurbished replacement. Yay! Except that they sent it to Orlando, Florida. Cyndi does not live there. How did the printer end up there? No one knows. [More]

(Northwest dad)

GE Wants To Spend $836 For Repairs On My $500 Washer That Does The Harlem Shake

Reader Philip bought a new washer and dryer on sale last year after Black Friday. They were finally delivered when the family moved into a new house last week. When the time came for the inaugural wash, the machine made a loud banging sound and hopped around the room. GE sent a repairman who, on orders from GE, thought that gutting the washer was an ideal solution. Philip disagreed, pointing out that he would constantly fear a dryer motor fire and would prefer a new replacement, what with the washer/dryer set being newly delivered and all. GE would much rather spend more than the replacement value of the appliance. [More]


Westinghouse Digital Writes To Consumerist, Replaces Reader’s TV That Broke After 3 Weeks

Remember reader Mark, whose almost brand-spanking-new Westinghouse Digital TV failed only three weeks after he bought it? After we published his story, we heard from even more owners of failed Westinghouse Digital televisions. They were all very sad and frustrated. Now, Mark is no longer sad or frustrated, because he has a new replacement TV and contact information for some people at Westinghouse Digital who will actually answer the phone. [More]

(The Joy Of The Mundane)

HP Support: Downgrading Your New Computer To Windows 7 Voids The Warranty (Update: No, Not Really)

Nick needed a PC for a new employee, and went to Fry’s and bought it retail. Here’s the problem: the computer came with Windows 8, but the department where he works still only supports Windows 7. It was only after he downgraded that someone on HP’s support staff told him that going back to an older operating system voids the new computer’s warranty. Update: This is not actually the case. [More]


I’m Stuck Without A Vacuum When My Dyson Gets Sucked Into A Black Hole

Dyson vacuum cleaners have so much cachet that they’re a hot item with shoplifters. Reader Peter isn’t so thrilled with his Dyson, though. He was somehow under the impression that spending $400 on a device with a famously good warranty meant that getting his vacuum fixed or replaced would be a swift and simple process. It was not, but to be fair: the problems weren’t entirely Dyson’s fault. [More]