Sunday, January 15, 2017

The World's Shortest Warranty

I bought a laptop the other day. A standard HP model. Today a message popped up to inform me that "Your HP warranty has expired" and that the "expiry date" was 13/01/17. So this computer came with a manufacturer's warranty that automatically expires the moment you switch it on for the first time. Impressive stuff. Guaranteed to earn a repeat order (he wrote, sarcastically).

To describe what they wish me to renew as a warranty is as close to a scam as you can get (though clearly not in any way illegal, I hasten to add). What they want is for me to sign up to a support scheme whereby I pay them upfront and they guarantee nothing except they might answer the phone in order to read standard scripts back. You know the scene:

Me: I've got a problem, here is the detailed description including error message numbers, all the steps I have so far taken to remedy it and my diagnosis based on reading 50 pages of other users with similar problems writing about them on your official support forum.
Them: Have you downloaded the latest drivers?
Me: Yes.
Them: Have you rebooted it?
Me: Yes.
Them: I need to escalate this to my manager. I'll get back to you. phone disconnnects

I'm not going down this road to frustration. I've got a warranty from the seller and normal consumer law applies. Whatever it was that magically ended its life the day I went down the mall,  I don't care.

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