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Answered Persistent Laptop Faults. Your thoughts ... should I persevere?

  • Thread starter Deleted member 29185
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Deleted member 29185

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My current laptop solution was good in theory but poor in real world application.

I currently use a HP Spectre x2 detachable. It seemed to tick all the boxes, particularly the weight, but generally, a great 2in1 which I've been exceptionally happy with ... except for it's failures.

It's now about 2 years old but in that time, it has failed once (at about 10 months old and totally dead which turned out to be a simple on/off switch failure) but that resulted in a broken screen when they tried to get the HDD out to back it up prior to repair. The new screen cost me over $400 despite it being broken by a third party working to HP instructions. Since then the screen has been replaced 3 more times (all, including the original break, by HP themselves). In all, I've only had the use of the thing for about 1/2 the time I've owned it.

The short and tall of it is I've now pretty much lost faith in the product and in HP, who have been an absolute PITA to deal with (arrogant, obnoxious and disinterested are words that spring to mind), but I still like the product, so I'm seeking advice. Should I cut my losses and go and buy another brand altogether (if so, which one), just live with the lemon and replace it when it dies (which could be a real inconvenience), or approach HP and try to get a discounted new one based on my loss of faith in the quality of the one I have and their continued failure to satisfy me with the repairs (I should also mention that the current one still has the odd bug ... failing to turn on very occasionally and a colour smudge appearing randomly on the bottom of the latest screen, but as they're occasional faults, difficult to prove to HP that they're not a figment of my imagination).

What would you do?
 

cambriamarsh

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My current laptop solution was good in theory but poor in real world application.

I currently use a HP Spectre x2 detachable. It seemed to tick all the boxes, particularly the weight, but generally, a great 2in1 which I've been exceptionally happy with ... except for it's failures.

It's now about 2 years old but in that time, it has failed once (at about 10 months old and totally dead which turned out to be a simple on/off switch failure) but that resulted in a broken screen when they tried to get the HDD out to back it up prior to repair. The new screen cost me over $400 despite it being broken by a third party working to HP instructions. Since then the screen has been replaced 3 more times (all, including the original break, by HP themselves). In all, I've only had the use of the thing for about 1/2 the time I've owned it.

The short and tall of it is I've now pretty much lost faith in the product and in HP, who have been an absolute PITA to deal with (arrogant, obnoxious and disinterested are words that spring to mind), but I still like the product, so I'm seeking advice. Should I cut my losses and go and buy another brand altogether (if so, which one), just live with the lemon and replace it when it dies (which could be a real inconvenience), or approach HP and try to get a discounted new one based on my loss of faith in the quality of the one I have and their continued failure to satisfy me with the repairs (I should also mention that the current one still has the odd bug ... failing to turn on very occasionally and a colour smudge appearing randomly on the bottom of the latest screen, but as they're occasional faults, difficult to prove to HP that they're not a figment of my imagination).

What would you do?
I had a similar issue with a consumer level Toshiba. Very fast but very fragile. Ifkagged it after about 2 years, the loss of productivity much outweighed the cost of replacing it. Funnily enough I repjacedeith a Mbusiness level HP which was very reliable but quite slow. After 5 years that has been retired and replaced witha Dell XPS 13 i7. Very happy with that.

If it was me I think I’d replace it but YMMV
 

cambriamarsh

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make a call on the Australian consumer guarantee and follow the advised procedure to demand a full refund. if you dont understand what that is, google that term.
Can you do that if it’s being used for business? The NZ equivalent only applies to non-business use
 
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Deleted member 29185

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make a call on the Australian consumer guarantee and follow the advised procedure to demand a full refund. if you dont understand what that is, google that term.
OK, thanks. I might do that as I think it does fall under the description of a major problem.
 

oz_mark

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It's now about 2 years old but in that time, it has failed once (at about 10 months old and totally dead which turned out to be a simple on/off switch failure) but that resulted in a broken screen when they tried to get the HDD out to back it up prior to repair. The new screen cost me over $400 despite it being broken by a third party working to HP instructions. Since then the screen has been replaced 3 more times (all, including the original break, by HP themselves). In all, I've only had the use of the thing for about 1/2 the time I've owned it.
Who were the third party here? Seems to have been them at fault?
 

Quickstatus

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We are MacOS.
Our experience with getting Apple products repaired has been the total opposite to yours @swanning_it .

Most recently a nearly 4 year old MacbookPro needed a battery replaced as it was not charging fully. Otherwise working as expected.
Did a random walkup to an apple store when it opened at 0900
Told Apple storeperson about the problem.
Given a Genius bar walkup appointment at 1100am.
Went away. At 1030, SMS said come back to store for appointment
Told to wait at a particular desk at the Apple Store (they enter your appearance and clothing so the technician can spot you)
Not long after that Apple tech came and said hello
Explained problem
They tested it - said yes the battery is "consumed"
Looked up the serial number.
We had extended warranty - "Apple care" which extended a 1 year standard to 3 years in total
They said that they would replace the battery for free as under Australian consumer law we are still covered. We were 3 years and 11 months
We handed over the laptop
Two days later got SMS to say repair completed.
Went back to shop
Battery replaced, screen also replaced because they detected a fault in it, even though it had no probs for us.
Also replaced the top case of the laptop (the bit that surrounds the keyboard) because it was necessary to guarantee the battery replacement would fit properly - they said the couple of dents on the top case prevented the new battery from a proper fit within the enclosure

Total cost Zero. Battery, screen, topcase on a 3 years 11 months laptop
Total hassle Zero. It shouldn't be that easy but it was
Mac status Zero. No we don't have Mac status.
 
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Deleted member 29185

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Who were the third party here? Seems to have been them at fault?
Well personally, I think that as well, but others do not.

When the computer failed (dead), the HP "premium product" dept (?) told me I had to have the hard drive backed up as they couldn't guarantee all data would not be lost. I asked them how I was to do that as the thing was dead. They replied that I had to take it to an computer repairer and they would remove the hard drive (an SSD I think). I replied I was not comfortable in doing that as that would normally void the warranty and asked for the name of a HP authorised repairer who could do both the hard drive back up and effect the repairs. They then told me their authorised repairers are not permitted to do the back ups and I had to arrange it separately and then went on to tell me to advise the shop to contact HP for instruction as to how to do it. I told them I was still not happy and that I wanted them to email me instruction to do that and also to confirm the warranty would not be voided by that. They did that, but nothing was mentioned either by me or them in their email instruction, as to what would happen if the unit was damaged by the independent repairer. As it panned out, they did damage it (broke the screen while attempting to get it off). The repairer then stopped the work, left the broken screen in place and told me they had followed HPs instruction to the letter and they would not be accepting liability, but did not charge me for the work either (effectively meaning I have no evidence that they even did the job).

The outcome was that HP refused to agree to replacing the screen saying they had nothing to do with it, however they did give me a discount off a new screen (was $570 or something, down to $430 or thereabouts). The real kick in the nuts was that they then sent the HP repairer to me (they had previously said I had to ship the unit to them), to replace the screen (the new one I bought off them) and fix the fault (which turned out to be a dodgy on/off switch). The authorised repairer said the screens are very fragile and extreme care is needed (he used a suction cap to remove it) and no memory was lost!

That new screen later developed a big white smudge right down it which I got +1 to ring and notify HP about (as I was in the highlands at the time). When I got back, the computer again failed to start and I contacted HP who sent the same tech back with another screen. By the time he arrived, the computer had decided to reboot (and spat up a message about reinitialising the bios or some crap like that (to do with the bios anyway) so when he arrived he replaced the screen, but did nothing about the other issue as he said it was likely caused by a Microsoft update (?). the screen replacement was not successful with a big colour smudge along the bottom of the screen this time (while he was there), so he tried to fix it by adjusting the inverter chip on the screen, which he said was too high. That didn't work, so he said he'd organise me another screen. The next day, he brought another screen which did the same thing. He said he couldn't keep changing screens and that he though I may have a faulty hardware assembly from new. He went away saying he will escalate the problem. He didn't and HP has closed out the case. Strangely, the colour smudge has since gone away, but the computer has twice since failed to start like it did when he blamed Microsoft. I've found I can get it to start by leaving the charging off it and draining the battery a bit by charging another device from the computer and then replugging in the charger. There is (I think) a software error there as the computer fails to start when the charge light stays on without the charger connected (normally, the charge light goes out when the charger is unplugged). It is only a random fault that mostly, does not appear.
 
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CMA222

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Can you do that if it’s being used for business? The NZ equivalent only applies to non-business use
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) applies to all Consumers. A person is taken to have acquired goods or services as a Consumer if they come within one or more of 3 categories:

the amount payable for the goods or services does not exceed A$40,000; or
the goods or services were of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use or consumption: or
a vehicle or trailer acquired principally for use in transport of goods on public roads.

The monetary limit is straight forward as is the 3rd one related to vehicles or trailers.
The second may sound confusing particularly because there is no definition of "ordinarily acquired" in the ACL. However, it has been held that goods or services may be of a kind ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use or consumption even if they are also of a kind ordinarily acquired for business purposes.

Under the ACL a person is presumed to be a Consumer unless or until they are established not to be.

Your situation sounds like you have a "major failure" case for total replacement plus consequential expenses incurred, but HP will undoubtedly argue they have made the repairs, as they are required to do for a "minor failure", and it will be for you to take them on if you want a total replacement. They should have been able to get the computer to work satisfactorily in two years otherwise it may never have been of "acceptable quality". You will have to demonstrate recurring and continuing problems.

You may need to consider an application to NCAT.
 

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