A fortnight ago I bought a new laptop from PC World in Telford. The processor is a little under-powered but the rest of it is great – 8gb of RAM, 1TB hard disk, big bright screen, etc. but it was a good price so I bought it.
But only a fortnight after buying it, it’s developed a problem with the trackpad. After a while it starts to recognise a tap as a right click and moving your finger around the trackpad gets interpreted as all sorts of multi-touch gestures. It’s like having a really wonky old ball mouse connected to the laptop with the cursor bouncing around the screen and sometimes just doing nothing at all.
I Googled for the problem and found that it’s a well known fault with HP Pavillion laptops. There’s a possible fix by removing the device driver for the trackpad and reinstalling it which I tried to no avail so I called PC World’s “Know How” people and was told to return it to the store for a refund or exchange as it was within 21 days. So I went to the store this afternoon to exchange it and … well, let’s just say I’m typing this on the same laptop.
Because HP haven’t recalled the laptop for the fault they want to see it happening in the store before they’ll exchange it. I’ve got to leave it with them for at least 4 hours tomorrow so they can see the problem but as it only happens after a period of use and I can’t see them spending half an hour or more solid playing games or browsing the internet on it they aren’t going to see it happen. I showed them all the reports of the fault on the HP website but that doesn’t matter because “it doesn’t mean it’s happening on yours”.
Now, I could understand PC World taking this stance if I was asking for a refund but I’m asking for an exchange. What possible advantage would I get from asking for a non-faulty two week old laptop to be replaced with exactly the same model? None at all so I’m not happy at being told I have to take the laptop back to the store tomorrow and leave it with them. Even less happy at the suggestion that I would have to give them my password so they could log on to the laptop and at being told not to factory reset the laptop.
I’ve already told them that I’ll be after a refund rather than an exchange now if that’s how hard it is to get a two week old faulty laptop replaced because of a known problem and I certainly won’t be buying a replacement from PC World. The sales person I bought it off in the first place was hostile because she couldn’t sell me a load of crap I didn’t want or need and their after-sales service is crap so PC World can kiss my arse, I’ll go elsewhere.
And as for HP – their support website is appalling. I wanted to do an online chat with someone from HP to get some details of the fault and find out whether they’re going to make companies aware of the fault so other customers don’t have to go through the same crap if their laptop develops the same fault. The website wouldn’t recognise the name of my laptop or the model number so wouldn’t connect me to anyone. The drill down list of devices doesn’t include Pavillion laptops at all and the auto-detection plugin that they ask you to install insists on all other browsers being closed before it will work, even though there was no other browser open and the HP website was the only tab open in Google Chrome. All in all, a disappointing experience for my first HP laptop.