5 On Your Side

Warranty No Help as Woman Waits and Waits for Laptop Repair

Posted September 13, 2007 5:39 p.m. EDT
Updated September 13, 2007 6:38 p.m. EDT

— Many of us couldn't function without our computers, but a recent Consumer Reports survey showed that even the best brand still had 15 percent of its laptop computers needing repairs.

That makes the warranty and customer service really important, but Anjana Kennedy, of Cary, had trouble with both.

As a real estate agent, Kennedy depends on her laptop. When it remained broken for three months, she had a big problem.

Kennedy paid $1,298 for her machine less than a year ago and added $200 for an extended warranty. When the computer suddenly stopped working in May, she called Hewlett-Packard.

The company determined the hard drive had crashed and agreed to send her a new one. Kennedy said she was told it would take three days.

“Three days came and went, so I gave them another three days. Six days came and went. Nothing. I called them back and they said, ‘Oh no, it's on the way’” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said she kept calling. At one point, she said H-P told her the hard drive was out of stock.

“It went from one month to the next and to the next, and this is three months later practically, and I still don't have my hard drive. My case has been escalated seven or eight times” Kennedy said.

Kennedy continually used the FedEx tracking number H-P gave her to check for progress.

“I came to find out that my hard drive had actually been shipped to somebody in California” she said.

After more calls, Kennedy says a case manager agreed to send her a new computer within 14 days. That didn't happen either. Finally, she called 5 on Your Side.

“It's a major headache for me to have to deal with this on a daily basis now” said a frustrated Kennedy.

5 on Your Side called H-P. The company immediately sent Kennedy a new laptop and, for her trouble, a red leather carrying case!

“Now I have my laptop back. I'm very happy,” Kennedy said.

H-P apologized saying, "Mistakes like this can happen" but adding that Kennedy's experience was the "exception and not the rule."