By Christopher Elliott
The touchscreen on Satoaki Omori’s new HP laptop computer doesn’t work, and the computer has been discontinued. Can he get a full refund — or at least a repair?
I recently had a very, very painful experience when I bought an HP Envy x360 2-in-1 laptop. I received it a few months ago, and the product was defective.
The touch screen did not work. I wasted 40 hours on the phone with HP tech support but could not get a replacement screen. I finally sent it back to HP for a repair.
HP recently told me that it couldn’t get a replacement screen because it discontinued the laptop. I asked the company to send me a similar product, the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop, or refund the $1,434 I spent. But HP denied the exchange and refused me a full refund (it said I could not get the sales taxes back).
I’d like HP to replace my broken laptop with one of equal or better value or send me a full $1,434 refund for my broken laptop. Can you help? — Satoaki Omori, Anaheim, Calif.
Your new HP laptop should have worked, and if it didn’t, the company should have repaired it promptly. But this goes back to the old “repair, replace or refund” question. Companies always start with repair, even when they’re wrong. And in this case, HP was very wrong.
Here are the red flags: Your computer stopped working less than three months after you received it. HP couldn’t repair it remotely and asked you to send it back. Then they couldn’t find the parts for it because your Envy model had been discontinued. To me, that suggests the model may have been a little buggy to begin with.
Careful documentation is the key to resolving a problem like this. Keep a record of all your chats and emails with HP. Take pictures of the defect if necessary. If you had purchased this computer through a retailer like Best Buy, you could have also leaned on the company for help. But in this case, you bought the laptop directly through HP.
You did a great job of keeping a paper trail. You have to give the system a chance to work, but once you are stuck in a holding pattern, it’s time to escalate your complaint to the next level. You can appeal in writing to one of the HP customer service executives I publish on my consumer advocacy website. I also have some tips on how to resolve your own customer service problem, which may help you fix the problem yourself.
It’s unclear why HP couldn’t refund your taxes after you requested your money back. But I didn’t think you should be on the hook for your taxes, so the refund offer wouldn’t have worked for me, either.
I contacted HP on your behalf. The company agreed to send you a new HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop as a replacement, which you accepted.