Seriously? HP expects me to be down for TWO WEEKS while they fix my notebook?

I have been round and round with HP for a few weeks now. I have an HP tx1000, which is a touch-screen notebook; it is still under warranty. It has an issue with the internal wi-fi adapter not working. HP states that it is an issue with the motherboard and that the mb will need replaced. Other online forums (including users posting on HP’s own forum) confirm that this is not an isolate issue. This is an across-the-board problem with this model and other HP models with similar architecture.

I am able to get online with a USB wireless adapter. HP sent me a replacement wi-fi card, which didn’t fix the issue. They sent this part to me as a “collateral part”, meaning I had to give them my credit card number before they would send it out. Since replacing the wireless card didn’t fix the issue, HP is wanting to replace the entire motherboard. And for this, they want me to send the notebook into HP for repair. This means, of course, that I would be without a notebook.

I really can’t be without my notebook for 2 weeks. Why does HP expect that people can so readily give up their livelihood? I have offered to provide my credit card number again so they can send me either a replacement motherboard or a replacement notebook as a “collateral part”, just like the wi-fi card. They claim that the motherboard is not an end-user replaceable part and that HP will need to repair it themselves.

I have been going back and forth with various escalations with HP for a while now. I have been assigned a “Case Manager”, who has not called me back, despite my having left two messages. When I did speak to her, she claimed that the service providers have the procedures in place to order a motherboard and have it installed on site when it arrives (something far more preferable for me… a few hours downtime compared to a few weeks!). The HP case manager also said that because it was a warranty repair, that HP would reimburse me for any parts and labor.

I have taken my notebook to 2 local authorized HP service providers, and both confirmed that for a motherboard replacement, the notebook will need to be shipped off, which (according to a service manager at one location) would take about two weeks.

I have documented everything with HP very thoroughly. I provided the ticket number and the contact information for the HP Case Manager to the service provider, but the store refused to make any contact with HP.

I find this completely unacceptable. If your car is broken down and you need to get it repaired, you are able to rent a car while yours is being fixed. And, in the case of an across-the-board issue, the manufacturer should be expected to pick up the tab. The money isn’t really the issue here, though. The issue is that HP and its service providers think it is acceptable for a user to have a production downtime of two weeks.

So… am I out of line by demanding that a new motherboard be shipped to me? I am willing to provide a credit card as protection. And… any suggestions on how to get my issue resolved? Surely I will end up escalating the issue further with both HP and the local service provider, but how have you guys gotten your similar issues resolved? Do you know any “secret” email addresses or contacts that can help push this process along?

Sadly, I have gone through the exact same thing with HP, albeit with a different part. They’re pluperfect dicks and I miss my Toshiba. Interestingly, Toshiba has its laptop repairs done by UPS, which has a facility to handle it, and consequently stuff gets done much quicker.

Hewlett-Packard, unfortunately, is staffed by Orcs.

Tough shit, basically. This is the reason you pay for next-day on-site repair plans when available. Failing that, well, tough shit. It’s very much SOP, sadly =(

If you absolutely need a computer in the meantime, you could always buy a notebook and return it once you get yours back. Some stores have restocking fees, so in essence it’d be a rental.

I’m not sure what you’re expecting from HP? It’s going to be repaired at their designated repair facility and 2 weeks is not a long time to diagnois ,repair, and test a computer.

Your dependence on the device does not affect this process. If your livelihood revolves around your computer then you should have multiple units with off-site backup.

Seriously? United Parcel Service repairs Toshiba laptop computers?

And as Reply suggested, given the importance of the computer, you might have been better off purchasing next-day on-site repair coverage. Perhaps it would be possible to upgrade your support contract?

I’ll second this, as a self-employed person who uses her computer for a living. If you don’t have redundant hardware and a solid backup routine, then when stuff goes south, it sucks to be you. But if you keep at least one extra computer and a good backup on hand, computer problems are no big deal and you’re up and running again tout de suite while you wait for repairs or whatever.

When I was buying my computers from the big boys, I always popped for the super-duper, on-site, all-parts-and-labor service plan, and it was always worth it, paying for itself on at least one occasion for each computer. One time my LCD monitor went south at less than a year old, and they didn’t even run diagnostics, just shipped me a new one. (Of course, I had a spare for the time between when I sent the old one and they shipped the new one. And yeah, that was about two weeks, which I actually thought was pretty fast.) I considered it peace of mind and money well spent.

Now that I have a machine that was homebuilt by my computer guy (and hasn’t given me any trouble so far in the past year-plus), I keep redundant systems: my old desktop computer, a laptop, and daily full backups. I have two printers (one color, one B&W all-in-one), two copiers (my old color machine, plus the all-in-one, which I bought for its bigger feeder), and one fax (the all-in-one), but I could set up Windows to fax in about five minutes, and I don’t fax much. My main Internet connection is WildBlue satellite, but I pay a little extra for 10 hrs/month dialup, and that’s saved my bacon several times when the satellite was out and I had work to do. I’m a strong believer in CYA when it comes to keeping my technology running.

It’s just good business practice to be prepared for your machine to go tits up. And if you want primo superfast service you gotta pay for it. With computers, that means buying the platinum service plan ahead of time. But if they offer the service plan, and you didn’t buy one, you can cry all you want about rush service when stuff breaks and they won’t care, because lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on their part.

I thought the remote backup services were stupid until it dawned on me that they automatically back up your files and will still be there after a fire. I recently bought an external hard drive for my aging desktop. Damn if my laptop didn’t take a crap first before I got to it. Cost me $300 to restore it. After getting that restored and copied I went back to the desktop and yep, blue screen of death. I rebooted it for an hour until it came back and I stayed up all night fishing files out of 2 hard drives.

HP already knows what the problem is, and their solution is to replace the motherboard. It shouldn’t take 2 weeks to do something that I can do myself in 2 hours.

I agree with all the posts about having a backup. While I don’t have a secondary notebook, I do have multiple (DVD, external HD, online backup, and USB flash drive) backup solutions already in place for my data. However, because this is an across-the-board issue, and an issue that should fall under either a recall or “warranty service enhancement”, I don’t think it is too much to expect that HP would take the initiative in providing customer satisfaction by not inconveniencing their own customer for an issue that was not the customer’s fault to begin with.

I feel your pain because I’ve been through something like this. And it taught me what everyone’s telling you here. For the future, choose one, some, or all of the following:

Back up - external hard drive, DVD, on line, whatever. Get a good back up program (I use Acronis). Back up daily, or hourly. It all happens seamlessly in the background.

Stand by laptop - they’re as cheap as chips now and even cheaper if you go for a secondhand one

Warranty - in a specified number of hours, same day, next day - whatever your needs (or budget) are - but on site.

The very speedy warranty may not be necessary if you go for the first two. When my mission critical laptop goes down, I restore my daily incremental back up to my already previously restored back up laptop. It takes minutes. I’m back to where I was, and my faulty laptop can go for its five day turnaround repair with no worries.

Whatever happens, I bet you won’t let this situation happen again. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I agree that you should not be put out of commission for 2 weeks for a problem that is widespread, especially when you forked over a lot of cash for the product in the first place. how long ago did you buy the laptop? I might just let HP know that you’ll go ahead and initiate a chargeback from your credit card because they knowingly delivered you a defective product.

As for the service providers, can’t you ask them to just order you the damn part and give it to you to replace? Maybe slip them $20 for their trouble?

I bought it almost a year ago, so it is almost out of warranty. I asked the service provider to order the part, and HP’s “Case Manager” said that the store could order the part. However, the store swears that is not their process, that all motherboard issues have to go to HP. The store has refused to call HP (with the phone number, name and ticket #) that I provided them.

It’s a lot like getting “It’s not my problem”, but from two different people at once!

They did back when I was a full-time freelancer and researched it. I was surprised too. The repair staff was certified by Toshiba.

While true, this seems… naive, almost. You’re nobody to them. Most of the major laptop manufacturers will treat you the same way unless you buy a special service plan.

What takes you two hours might very well take them longer if they have bureaucratic procedures to follow and hundreds of units to deal with, not just yours.

It is their problem that your unit is defective. They are willing to fix it.

It’s not their problem that you didn’t have the foresight to factor service turnaround time into your purchase decision. Expecting them to speed up your fix just because you’re you is… well, seemingly futile.

I don’t like it either, but that’s the way the industry operates and minus some massive movement or protest, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I learned this with my first laptop the hard way as well. Was a valuable lesson in backup/redundancy strategies.

If your computer is truly your livelihood then the simple answer is to have an extra computer.

Even though I bought an IBM Lenovo Thinkpad with the most expensive add-on service plan (gold-platinum-whatever next day service), it still takes about 3 business days total to send and receive a broken laptop.

Even if they offered onsite-same-day service for my ThinkPad, that’s still 4 or more hours of downtime before a technician arrives at my door. This is also unacceptable and the simple answer again is to have another backup computer to keep on working.

I don’t see expensive warranty plans as minimizing downtime with the only computer I have – I see them as minimizing the time I only have 1 computer vs 2 computers to use.

I ran into this with hp before, and I must say that they did splendidly!
They said it would be 5-X working days (can’t remember). They sent me a fedex box, I mailed it on tuesday, had it (computer) back, in full health on Thursday!
I couldn’t have driven it there in that time!
I loves HP!

If the warranty is expressed through the retailer you bought it from then your problem really is with them. It sounds to me like the store doesn’t want to take the laptop apart or can’t due to agreements with HP.

While you feel comfortable taking your laptop apart I don’t see a company relinquishing internal parts to you based on a phone call. I really feel for your problem but you are in a bit of no-man’s land. I personally wouldn’t want my laptop to go to the factory just because they could declare it dead and send you a replacement computer without your files.

My last computer died and I had an extended warranty so I got a new computer. However, I asked for and got the old hard drive which I turned into an external with a kit. It was the information on it that I really wanted.

If you can afford a new computer, I would pull the hard drive and let them replace the motherboard. You’ll have your files and they can fix the problem. If you have access to a computer than just pull the drive and use the files on it until you get the computer back.

My home computer is not “critical” for anything beyond personal email, fooling around on the web, and some general organizational/financial stuff. The data is regularly backed up to an external hard drive. However, it is my only computer, and I’m well aware that it could go tits-up at just about any time.

My “backup computer” is sitting on the shelf at the local Best Buy. :wink: It’s upgraded regularly, I pay nothing until I actually need it, and I can have it up and running within hours, depending on what time of day my computer dies.

For a punter who doesn’t use his machine for anything really serious, the above is a workable strategy (that I haven’t yet had to use). My suggestion, I guess, is to buy your “backup laptop” today. You need one anyway, and once the primary comes back from the Computer Hospital you’ll be in pretty good shape when the next disaster hits. Magiver’s idea of pulling the hard drive from the primary before sending it off is a good one, too.

Your expectations are borderline insane. Replacing a notebook motherboard (and I’ve replaced several) is not plug and play and certainly not something any support dept should trust to an end user.

If your livelihood is going to be suspended while you are sans PC any competent professional should have at least one backup PC (or more). You can get full power new notebooks for as little as $400 + tax all day long. Backup data and a backup PC is something you should have at arms reach. You are trying to make this HP’s problem and it is squarely in your lap. Your expectations about the hoops they should jump through to make up for your lack of planning are not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination.

It seems like HP thought my expectations were reasonable after all… I got a new case manager and she agreed to send me a motherboard to replace myself, using a credit card for security. She explained that it would void my warranty, but my warranty expired on March 5th, so no biggie. I replaced the motherboard myself and my laptop is working as expected, so I am very satisfied.

I still believe that the overall problem is with HP, including their lack of a recall for this model, as well as their inefficient customer service. But I got what I wanted, and I didn’t even have to shout at HP.

HP is known for their customer service and I’m surprised that they would give you an option to void your warranty (even though it makes sense given the time frame). Congrats on getting it back up and running.