Among other adventures that I have had this week, my HP Pavilion DV6700 laptop up and went out on Sunday. There was no warning or anything, one minute it is working the next it will not. This being the day that I threw out my back, I didn’t bother with it until just this past Tuesday.
The computer will power on for what it is worth. The fans run the lights come on… but that is it. There are no visuals on screen, and hooking it up to another screen grants me what I imagine to be, another view of the vast expanses inside a cave at night.
It also tells me the problem lies with the motherboard.
A few clicks later online I found that this was a known issue; HP is fully aware of the problem and has issued a recall of HP Pavilion laptops. Score! I thought to myself. This problem is known, there is warrantee coverage for my just under two year old computer, I can totally take advantage of this! But lo and behold, the extended warrantee does not cover my specific laptop. The same problem that is affecting other laptops suddenly didn’t apply to mine?
In my complete naiveté I called HP. If it was an oversight I wanted to know. If their web information was wrong, I was going to find out, and if there was an at home fix, well I was going to be darned sure I got the information that I needed!
To be clear, I have been a loyal HP customer for over five years. My last three computers have been HP (Since my E-Machines blew up… yeah, that was fun.) not to mention the various printers and other peripherals that I have purchased from them over the years. I have dealt with HP Total Care on several occasions, and found answers to my questions no matter what the time of day and what deadline was looming. This instance of course was to be nothing like my past encounters.
The warrantee only covers the AMD processors, as they are clearly the only ones who are having failure issues, my Intel chipset must be fine. The problem, though identical, is entirely unrelated and thus, out of their hands. The CSR I was speaking to even admitted that the problem was a problem for my model, it ‘simply did not happen enough with my model for HP to look into’. I was issued a ticket number (803-686-1924) and told that if I paid $99 I could be walked through troubleshooting with them on the phone. (Or you know totally do it on their website for free.) I of course declined. I know what the problem is. I need to fix it.
There have been reports of mixed success with bullying HP into fixing the defective out of warranty laptops. One man got HP to completely pay for his 2 year old laptop, even though it was far out of warranty. While a student managed to win a class action lawsuit for more than double what the laptop was purchased for. The difference between them and myself? They had pre existing problems. My laptop died out of the blue. There were no older tickets, no repairs under warrantee, no warning. I have no case to push, because my computer, up before last Sunday was in perfect working order.
So where does this leave me? Well I can try for out of pocket repairs, I have seen a few websites detail how to fix it, and outline the exact problem. (Surprise surprise it is the heatsink.) But short of shipping my laptop to Florida, I am not entirely sure I can get a fix that will assure my laptop lasts at least another year.
Thankfully the helpful folks who are also in my boat told me how to do a power drain and start. Somehow against all odds, this worked! I managed to get all of the important files off the laptop and onto my pocket drive, with an eventual restore onto my desktop system.
To get my voice heard, I have signed up to be part of a class action lawsuit. I don’t expect profits off this, in fact, I don’t expect anything to come from this at all if it wins, the problem is too wide spread, but I demand that my voice be heard. I bought a product with confidence because of the reputation of HP. At the time, it was an amazing reputation and I was thrilled to get such a great ‘deal’. Now I see that even getting it fixed is a crap shoot.
I will not pretend that HP will hurt with the loss of my business, (and believe me, it is gone!) but I know that I am not alone, and that if everyone who got burned by them with their laptop purchase stopped buying, they will have to take notice. Maybe then they will stop playing the blame game and own up to the fact that their computers are faulty.