How I Got my Faulty New HP Laptop Replaced

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.

What?

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?

  1. Call up the help desk number listed on your user manual, that comes in the packaging. Line remains open 24/7.
  2. Have patience and follow the massive set of instruction, sometime few of the techniques might fix your issue. So, follow then diligently.
  3. Do not agree to repair, if the machine is brand new, you have 30 days to return it.
  4. You shouldn’t pay for the shipping back to them, its manufacturer’s responsibility.
  5. You don’t even have to visit local FedEx/UPS store, you can call for home pickup.
  6. Have HP Case number noted, ask the agent on phone for this number, but they usually tell your case number.
  7. Call up HP Laptop exchange at 1 888 – 999 – 4747, ask for return authorization. Give your tech support case number to them.
  8. Note down your ‘Return authorization number‘ and ‘Return order number‘.
  9. When FedEx drops the packaging box, with a marker print your return authorization number on the box, at least on two different places
  10. 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.
  11. Handover the box and the slip to FedEx person when they come.
  12. 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?

is a husband and working as a software professional for a Fortune 100 corporation in Florida. Thanks for visiting the blog.

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Comments

  1. Nancy says

    I am saving your list of tips because I’m sure they apply in general to any electronics purchased on line. Thanks.

  2. says

    I had a terrible experience with HP — had to call six or seven times, and one time the guy wanted to stay on the phone with me while the computer was doing some sort of stupid test to prove that the motherboard was cracked — it said it would take six hours. AWFUL experience, and I’ll never buy another HP again.

  3. says

    I think you should have not only gotten your refurbished (seriously?????!?!?!) laptop replaced without argument, but I think HP should have figured out a way to compensate you for your time and trouble as well. Boo on HP.

  4. Joey says

    I had a similar fan issue with my HP Pavilion. I had bought it through Best Buy and they wouldn’t fix it, claiming it had drop damage (it wasn’t dropped and the issue was a problem within weeks of purchasing it).

    I ended up going directly to HP via an online chat with a support rep. He walked me through a few steps and I confirmed that I’d already checked those things. He then had a postage-paid return box sent to me and I mailed it to them. Within 2 weeks they shipped it back with everything fixed (there were a couple of other minor cosmetic issues in addition to the fan).

    The whole experience gave me some amount of faith in HP and destroyed any faith I had left in Best Buy.

    That said, the laptop has since slowly deteriorated in other areas and while I was happy with HP’s customer support, the low quality of the product means I probably wouldn’t make the same purchase decision again, especially given that it was a higher-end ($1400) laptop.

  5. Prit says

    I have worked with HP outsourced vendor for Hp desktops . Beware of Hp slimline desktops as many of them are flagged even intenrnally as having motheroard issues. if ur issues are not resolved ask for case manager if u are unable to get ur parts , computer replaced

  6. says

    What you had to go through is terrible and inexcusable. Shame on HP for making a customer go through something like this! Ugh, this is not the first I’ve heard of issues with HP support either. I’ve never personally had anything but a pleasant shopping experience with computers but you have my sympathy for having to go through that mess. Best of luck with your new laptop!

  7. says

    At least you finally got through it all though it sounds exhausting. That sucks that they sent you a ‘used’ laptop. I’m prety sure cell phone companies do the same thing.

  8. says

    “HP’s customer care is still one of the best in industry.”

    Based on your story above (I still can’t believe you were on the phone for 4.5 hours!), I think you’re joking here, right? Pathetic customer service. How long did it take them to realize it was someone else’s computer? 20 minutes? After that it took 4 hours to get a new one?

    I have to take an HP printer back that I just bought today. This post fills me with dread!

  9. ruby says

    I bought a brand new hp laptop and it was flashing, jittering, cursor had mind of its own, phoned hp immediately and they said we will pick it up and fix and return it. I received laptop back after 8 days and the tech said no fault found and on top off that the screen had been scratched and top cover dented too, sent back second for 10 days and screen, inverter cable and top cover replaced, looked ok until I turned it on and it had a dead pixel in the center of the screen.

    I honestly don’t know what to do now???

    • NewGirl says

      I so appreciate your blog as I am one of the many who are stuck with a lemon…
      I have a 4 month old HP laptop that does not work. Called the CS line and I don’t have the patience for these clowns. I don’t know how you got through it all but I can say is you rock!!!

  10. emanuel says

    i got an hp comture lartop and i called so many times and sent it in for repairs and now i have to wait a week and there sending me a brand new computer windows 8

  11. brianne says

    Loved seeing this! I bought a g7 end of august, come November the cooling fan went, it took 2 weeks to get it sent back “fixed” and now the cooling fan is showing again. I’m definitely ready to call and demand a replacement for a laptop that obviously defective if the cooling fan cant stay working. Thanks for the tips!!

  12. Neil says

    I bought the same laptop a week ago and it has some serious issues too; a green line across the screen (even before Windows starts up), faulty keyboard + keys falling out, and a noisy fan. Took it back to the store I bought it from (a big retail-chain) and they refused to replace or exchange it as “it is a used product, the packaging opened”, despite it being returned within the 14-day grace period.

    Not sure how someone checks if the graphics card is faulty and the keyboard messed up, without opening up the packaging… But, the woman claimed that had it not “looked used”, they could give me a new one but would have the faulty one fixed and put back on the shelves.

    A receipt with the a promise that the laptop is fixed in three weeks is all that I got. For a brand new laptop.

    So, got sold a lemon and at a store at that, with less rights than you got, despite “the law” and common sense being on my side. That and the knowledge that used products are put back onto shelves.

    • Victor says

      I purchased an Envy DV6 7300ea direct from HP over the phone on tuesday, it arrived on wednesday which was great. However within seconds of unboxing i discovered 2 deep scratches on the (metal!) lid and as soon as i booted it up the fan went mental and only got worse when it should’ve been idling. This model has only been out for 2 and a bit months, i expected better. In fairness to them they quickly agreed to send a replacement, but my opinion of them has soured. Im awaiting the replacement which is due next monday but my expectations are now less than positive!

      • says

        My gut feeling that the replacement would be in great condition. I think somehow that HP sends out faulty pieces to random consumers just to see them go. Hardly 50% would complain and replace, for rest 50% its pure profit on lemon items. Nice policy!

  13. Mily says

    Ummmm the new dv6 quat I bought is going back. I was offered a replacement with an SSD instead of the 750 hybrid as they no longer make them, after refusing to spend another several hours of fixing my issue like I did on the first call. I told m NO, I do not want this computer I spent close to $1K after all my upgrades and it shoud be working fine from the get go, not crashed on the first update. I hope I do not get a refurbished. Is there anyway of checking to make sure I do not?

  14. says

    Well known information i never come across like this type of vital tips, and this is also very useful on that time when anybody will be going to purchase this brand of laptop.

  15. Grace says

    I hate this computer. After receiving it for Christmas last year, I was excited. I post videos on YouTube, and was in dire need of my own laptop. Last month (June) it began to crash. The black screen would pop up where you have to hit enter to continue. Sometimes the mouse and keyboard would work, sometimes they wouldn’t. Sometimes the screen goes haywire. After only 6 months of use! It’s never been dropped, and barley has a scratch on it. I am going to call hp, but tht means I’m computer less for 3weeks and have to pay to ship it out. I don’t want $500 to go to waste, but I’m afraid it will start having problems again when they send it back. I wish I ha just spent the money and gotten a Mac from the beginning.

  16. Lorelei Mission says

    I just want to say how disappointed we are in HP. We ordered online directly from the HP website. Computer did not work — right out of the box. Even so they made us go through hours of scans and checks and reset-to-factory and lots of time on hold or repeating our name, serial number etc. Finally we started demanding return/refund and everyone we reach says they aren’t authorized to arrange that, only a manager can, a manager will be in touch, a manager will contact us… it’s been three weeks and we’ve heard back from no one. We had to chargeback the purchase on the credit card because we’ve begun to suspect HP’s standard procedure is to drag their feet until it’s too late to return the computer. In the meantime, the lemon sits inside its box, ready to send back, if only HP would permit us to send it back!

  17. Marten says

    I had wifi problems with my hp 2000. Had to send it in 5 times before they agreed on replacing it. The case manager said the replacement was shipped out a week ago. Now past a week and I still don’t have a tracking number. They say they have no info on the replacement or any tracking number. It’s been a week! Do replacements usually take this long? I live in Toronto Canada. What should I do?
    OH, almost forgot! My warranty expires in about 10 days, do you think they are delaying the replacement on purpose? Please reply thanks!

  18. Tech Geek says

    All this sounds great but the best way to protect yourself is by far to buy it with American Express. If anything happens and you are unhappy, they will go after the seller, YES even HP ! Amex will refund your money on the spot. MANY experiences with bad sellers over the years. (Including a laptop from Dell that went belly up a month after warranty ran out. Amex handled it all and gave me a complete refund. This is from a experienced tech geek (30 years of experience.)

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