We bought a HP Pavilion DV2202TX with Vista Home Premium pre-installed back in June 2007 for about USD 1400. At that time, we thought that Windows Vista should be already fully supported by the laptop manufacturers, and HP laptops seemed to have nicer looks and audio. It turned out that too bad we were deceived like that as we quickly realized how unreliable their laptops are. Last October (2007), we noticed that our laptop started to shut down randomly. It just suddenly powered off in all kinds of situations, e.g. when the laptop was starting up (before even entering Windows), when it was playing music or movie, or just standing-by, without any warning. After a few times, we were convinced that it must be hardware failure. But anyway, we still tried to do a destructive recovery. Half-way during the first recovery, however, the laptop powered off again and we had to start over again. Thank goodness we were able to finish the second recovery. However, the problem was not solved, and it started to shut down more frequently than ever. Initially we suspected that the problems might come from memory or motherboard, as whenever more programs were opened, the laptop just crashed down. After googling for the symptoms that we had, and reading from many forums, we realized that the problems were caused by high CPU/motherboard temperature and overheating. We also read that many users experienced large fan noise and high temperature with their Windows Vista pre-installed HP laptops. To make sure, we installed a small utility called 'CoreTemp' to monitor the CPU temperature and we were shocked to find out that both CPU cores (it's Intel Core 2 Duo T7200) were constantly running at about 60 ~ 70 degree Celsius when the laptop was idle! That was a damn high temperature! And it quickly got hotter as more programs were opened. We witnessed the temperature increase from 60 degree all the way up to 100 degree Celsius, and the BIOS came to cut off the power! (opening Windows Live Messenger plus three or four IE windows with AVG antivirus running in the background can easily make it shut down). We are almost certain that the high temperature must be the reason for its numerous shutdowns, but we do not know what caused it. It is really ridiculous as it can reach 100 degree in like 5 ~ 10 minutes! Since it has shut down for so many (countless indeed) times, we expect that many parts of the hardware must have been somehow damaged. The lifetime of the laptop must be significant shortened after suffering the ultra high temperature and numerous sudden shut down.
But this laptop is still under warranty, right? Why didn't we send it back to HP? In fact, we did, and that brings us to the even more ridiculous part.
We bought this laptop from HP Malaysia and we bought it for use in the U.S. one month later. So, before making the purchase, we asked and triple-confirmed that the laptop will be under global warranty, i.e. it can get repair and service in the U.S. even though we bought it in Malaysia. After gaining their confirmations only did we decide to buy it in Malaysia. However, to our dismal, the HP warranty is really crappy and you'll know why in a minute.
When we first had the shutdown issue in October, we sent it to Best Buy, which was the closest HP accredited service provider at Lincoln. They said they would send it to HP service center, but actually they sent it to Best Buy service center at Denver. We waited for about two weeks to get it back. BUT it was returned UNREPAIRED, with a statement saying the laptop had 'different language' and it couldn't be fixed! We didn't understand what they meant by 'different language', because we have only used English, and have never changed any default language setting! So we asked Best Buy at Lincoln again to send it. They said if we insisted that it was a hardware malfunction, they could do some diagnosis and send it for service again once they identified the problem. A few days later they called and told us that the motherboard seemed to have issues as the laptop shut down by itself, so they were sending it to Best Buy service center at Kentucky. We thought this time it would be fixed but once again it was returned UNREPAIRED with the following statement:
"Language Code is incorrect. Unit was not bought in the United States, therefore we can not work on this unit. Sending back unit to customer unrepaired."
This is ridiculous. If there is language code problem, Best Buy should contact HP manufacturer and tried to do something! Moreover, we believe there must exist some person in the U.S. who can understand the language. What's worse, after they sent the laptop back, they never followed up at all, but just left things back to our hands. We really couldn't believe such a big company could behave so irresponsibly. If HP (or Best Buy) couldn't fix it, how are we supposed to know what to do on it? Furthermore, when we bought this unit, the HP Malaysia had confirmed that it was under international warranty, or else we wouldn't have bought it in the first place. (Here is the link that explains HP laptops "global warranty": http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/g...cname=bpr01266 )
Since Best Buy and HP were so irresponsible, we decided to call HP to complain about the issue. We were led to a technician who kept trying to suggest that it's software-related problems and we had a hard time to convince him that it was NOT. The technician just sounded like a total computer ### who only asked people to restore the laptop system using recovery discs. Unable to solve problems by phone, we wrote emails to the customer support. After several correspondence, they replied that a Case Manager was assigned to take care of our issues. When the Case Manager approached us, however, we were told that HP only offered one option -- which was to ship the laptop back to Malaysia for repair. She mentioned that the shipment fee would be paid in full by HP. We suggested that since October, we had not been using this expensive piece of crap (which we paid about RM 5000, or USD $1400 for) for 4 months already and wouldn't want to wait any longer. But the case manager, who goes by the name "Kandace Kamber", just said HP only offered this one and only option and nothing else. We gave up trying to argue with her, and checked the prices for laptop shipment to Malaysia. The price range was rather expensive, about USD 200+. Thus we called to confirm that the amount would be reimbursed, but this time Kandace Kamber said, HP can only covered part of the fee by giving us accessories of equal amount. We asked how could we use the accessories if the laptop was not working? But she ignored the question and stated that this was all HP can do. Just as we were prepared to send it today, we called this Kandace Kamber again. You know what, this time she replied with a big "NO", saying HP will not be responsible for anything at all. We were angry and asked why they changed their mind, and she responded that they just changed the policy. She also asked us to direct all our questions to HP Malaysia as apparently there is no connection between HP U.S. and HP Malaysia. We were speechless.
We have been contacting HP on and off for 4 months by now and they just declined to give us any help. We are extremely frustrated with HP right now and probably we should just drop the laptop off some 13-th (or higher) floor, and get other laptop. But we aren't rich and $1400 is a rather big amount to us... after all, we might resort to sending it back to Malaysia using our own money. This is not written to ask for any sympathy and this is not about generating hatred or anything. You can disagree with us if you happened to be their fans. We are doing the least thing we can do to protect our rights and to share our experiences/lessons with potential victims. If you doubt that there is any truth in this long passage, don't hesitate to contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, the account is set up for this purpose!), and we'll have the documents, the warranty sheet, emails, etc ready to show you. Actually, we are not alone in facing HP scams: a lot of similar cases have been reported -- whether or not the laptops were bought in the U.S.. HP customer support is certainly the worst one I've ever seen.