I just got off the phone with the HP Technical Service department. I dealt with them for hours on Sunday, waited for them to call me back at 10AM on Monday, as promised, but they only called at 3PM when I was at work ad I could not take the call. Yesterday, they called to leave me a message saying they were happy to have resolved my problem and to call them for anything further. As I am off from work today, and since they never esolved any of the problems I described to them, I gave them a call at a little after 1PM. I was on the phone only 48 minutes and 46 seconds this time (sure beats a couple or a few hours). I explained that on Sunday night, after getting off the phone with HP tech service, I backed up my files and then performed the full battery of tests available under F2, within System Management, and that the laptop failed the Hard Disk Long DST. The service rep told me the hard drive had to be replaced and I would have to pay $49.95 for onsite service. I reminded him, as I have had to remind them each time I have called them, I have onsite service included with the premium warranty I purchased.
I was then put through to a supervisor. He told me the hard drive had to be replaced and so too the graphics card (having a problem of which they are aware although you could have fooled me that they were aware of such a problem just this past Sunday when I first called them about it). He also told me that they would also address the fingerprint reader (also showing a problem) once the hard drive was replaced because to fix it required the hard drive operating properly. He said I would have to send it in via FedEx and I said "whoa" and explained I have onsite service under my warranty. He explained that if just the hard drive, they would replace it onsite but since the video adapter is also having problems that has to be replaced at their service center since it is beyond the capabilities of an onsite tech. I believe that to be bullshit but what can one do. The supervisor also kept telling me how if it was damaged by a fall, or liquid spills or anything like that it will not be covered. I have not spilled anything on it nor ever dropped it. In fact, an HP service technician was just here a couple of weeks ago to replace the keyboard because two keys popped off of it. Back then, the HP service representative, at their service center, insisted on the same thing, that I had somehow damaged the computer. He insisted it must have been dropped, and thus the keys broke off. The onsite technician, who fixed it, looked it over and assured me there was absolutely no damage to it, except that the keys fell off in normal use. They have been so insistent about the possibility of it having been damaged as to make me wonder, that when I send it to them, they may try to trump up things by saying it was damaged somehow and thus is not under the regular warranty. I am going to take a lot of pictures of it, to document its condition, before I send it to them.
As it now stands, the three day turn around, that I would have had with onsite service, is about to turn into a ten day to two week turn around because they have to mail me a shipping box, then I mail it back to them with the laptop inside of it, then they repair it and return it to me. They offered to get it done in an expedited fashion if I wanted to pay another $15.95 but I said forget it. Perhaps, I am about to discover just how badly I am addicted to using my laptop over that time period.
I never had any such problems with Dell. Thus, I am pretty sure that in the future I will not be a repeat customer at HP but will be a returning customer at Dell. When I had various problems with my Dell PCs, had a few of them, they replaced parts pronto with an onsite service technician coming to fix it after first running diagnostics online. No questions asked, no hemming, no hawing, no having me send in the computer, no insisting I must have dropped it or spilled something on it, they just fixed it and there were no charges for me to expedite things because they sent the part expedited delivery as part of the warranty coverage. With Dell, I always spoke to someone in the USA (except for one Dell Desktop that I bought my daughter and for which I did not purchase a premium extended warranty) instead of someone in India. Maybe that is where the part comes from too, who knows! I only got this laptop last August and figure to be stuck with it, and with this kind of service, for a few years until I will need to buy a new one.
All the best,