This is my experience with HP laptop computer replacement. I always had HP laptops, some fascination with HP you may say. The previous one, HP Pavilion DV 5600, was dying after 6 years. I needed another one as the blog wouldn’t have otherwise survived. I don’t blog from work laptop and I can’t think of typing posts from my iPhone.
I ordered another HP, this time a Pavilion g7 notebook, the monstrously big for a laptop, via HP.com site. As if to celebrate the new acquisition, I did set up a home office too. Office was set up over the course of the weekend, the laptop arrived the following Monday through FedEx.
With a smooth knife movement, off went the packaging and the seal.
With the first hit of the power button the alarm went off, well, not exactly the alarm but the noise from inside was really alarming. If you stick a paper in between a running fan there will be a terrible noise, this was the same thing.
Forget about blogging you can’t even be on Facebook with that kind of constant sound. Its not the fan sound which you get when CPU utilization runs through the roof, or, when your hard drive rotates like a mad bull while you play video games.
It was definitely some wire or parts hitting the fan blade.
A quick search on the net revealed HP Pavilion g7 has this annoying problem. No wonder the moment I called up their help desk they asked me “Is this the fan noise, you are reporting?”
HP pavilion notebooks apparently have high number of defective pieces that they ship out to consumers. This Youtube video accurately captures the noise. Click to see how annoying the noise is.
Prompt came out my mobile phone and the support number was dialed in, fortunately computer manufacturers keep their shop open 24/7. Someone in Hyderabad, India picked up the call.
Now, being in India, he didn’t have a problem with my Indian English accent. Where he had the problem was the fact that, this same laptop was purchased previously by someone else 2 months ago.
Yes the serial number and model number of my brand new g7 Pavilion had another owner listed on their system. We both realized, even though HP never mentioned the laptop as pre-owned or refurbished, it was actually returned by someone living in Arkansas.
Now this practice really sucks big time.
That piece had a manufacturing defect and got returned by the previous owner. How a company like HP can send me the same laptop is beyond my imagination. Although the agent on phone only said it was some system issue due to which wrong data was displayed but, I couldn’t give them the benefit of doubt.
The call went on for hours. We started at 8:30 PM and when I finally convinced them to send me a replacement, free of cost, it was 1 AM and I was exhausted.
I spoke to three different persons belonging to three different internal teams in HP.
In first two hours I became an expert in opening laptop ‘undergarments’. They even asked me to blow the fan compartment with hair dryer, good that SMB didn’t have one. First went off the battery, then the hard drive followed by the optical drive and then the RAM. The noise didn’t reduce a bit. Just before I was about to take out the key pad and touch pad, the agent got satisfied that the problem was indeed with the fan.
I was defeated, flummoxed, annoyed and dejected; All my burning desire to start using a laptop which didn’t take 15 mins to boot and didn’t keep me waiting for 30 seconds before a new page was loaded. I couldn’t deal with the old laptop for another day. I was becoming impatient. I wasn’t ready to send it for repair and wait for them to re send to me. I demanded a replacement laptop immediately.
Fortunately HP’s customer care is still one of the best in industry(?), they apologized for the inconvenience vehemently. It was not the agent’s fault that I got a lemon, still I needed those apologetic words to keep my cool.
At third hour, previous agent’s team lead came on phone, he again asked if I am the same person who got the laptop two months back, he demanded I pay the courier fee to send the laptop for repair. Somehow I convinced him by giving my order id and shipment information that I had got the computer on that very day. Finally, he realized the big mess and offered me a free courier pickup and delivery.
At this point, I was half satisfied, I still wanted my notebook to be replaced completely. I got another number to call to (no internal call routing!). Now, came the third agent, a lady in United States. She represented ‘exchange’ department. She finally agreed to take the laptop back and send me a brand new one.
I am annoyed with HP for the following reasons
- The computer was previously issued to someone else, and sold to me afterwards without any mention of pre-owned status or refurbished status.
- The call took so much time, where as the fan problem is well known one. I had to try out everything possible to save few bucks for HP (which they eventually didn’t save, in fact they paid more through agent’s time).
- I had to really convince hard for getting a free replacement. If you send a lemon you should take it back gracefully without asking a question!
What you can do to get a lemon HP laptop replaced?
- Call up the help desk number listed on your user manual, that comes in the packaging. Line remains open 24/7.
- Have patience and follow the massive set of instruction, sometime few of the techniques might fix your issue. So, follow then diligently.
- Do not agree to repair, if the machine is brand new, you have 30 days to return it.
- You shouldn’t pay for the shipping back to them, its manufacturer’s responsibility.
- You don’t even have to visit local FedEx/UPS store, you can call for home pickup.
- Have HP Case number noted, ask the agent on phone for this number, but they usually tell your case number.
- Call up HP Laptop exchange at 1 888 – 999 – 4747, ask for return authorization. Give your tech support case number to them.
- Note down your ‘Return authorization number‘ and ‘Return order number‘.
- When FedEx drops the packaging box, with a marker print your return authorization number on the box, at least on two different places
- Print out the FedEx shipping slip you receive from HP in email, ask them to send this over to you while you are on the call with them.
- Handover the box and the slip to FedEx person when they come.
- Always demand next day delivery, HP sends out replacement laptop only after receiving the defective piece from you, so, even with over-night courier the whole process may take 3-4 days before you get replacement computer.
If you don’t want to shop online, you can always return your laptop to the store you buy from. This is the easiest way to deal with a lemon. You don’t have to hassle over phone for hours, the way I did. Next time I’ll buy from a store. I am ready to spend few bucks extra but, I’d rather have piece of mind.
Now, the new HP Pavilion g7 which I got as replacement runs perfectly fine with 6GB RAM and 1TB Hard drive space, its value for my money too. Just want to forget the experience though.
What is your experience in buying computer online? Want to share the good or bad ones?