I bought a HP laptop from Circuit City three years ago. I also purchased a four-year warranty. GE Zurich handled the warranty.
After four attempts to fix the laptop - and one fire - they are giving up an replacing the computer but only after prolonged incompetency, disruption, and fraud. I have little confidence that they will properly replace the computer given their track record.
On March 16, 2005, I sent the computer to them to fix a broken power connection. The computer came back with a new circuit board. But they filled the pins of the PCMIA card with epoxy when installing the circuit board so the wireless card could not be used. Plus the modem did not work and the ethernet port was damaged.
I also noticed the case was cracked - a serious problem not covered by the warranty. The phone tech told me that the repair company (Micromedics) noted the crack when they shipped the unit but claimed. GE's liaison said that make late entries all the time and the repair techs would had no motive or reason to "correct" an entry. I believe they dropped the computer and "corrected" their notes when it was shipped to show that it was cracked when it was received. The liaison refused to cover the crack.
When I got the computer back the second time and I powered up the computer, the LCD went bright white, sparks flew where the LCD is connected to the case. A small flame came out of the case.
I complained to Circuit City via the website. I got a timely repsonse. But the person sent me back to the GE liaison who had no clue. She has not returned repeated emails and phone calls.
I shipped the computer back to GE. About a week after getting it back, I got the Windows blue screen of death. There were intermittent RAM and/or hard drive problems. It could not run BIOS properly.
They replaced the hard drive, basic RAM, expanded RAM, and logic board When I got it back on May 25, they indicated all was well. Not trusting them, I double checked the system parameters. They put a 125 MB RAM chip into the expansion slot instead of a 256 MB RAM chip as required by the contract. They saved $50 in memory at my expense.
When I called to complain, GE Zurich told me that I needed to ship the computer back to them. They could not ship me a new memory chip even though it is a consumer serviceable part.
Then on May 28, their new hard drive failed with frequent errors and finally a grinding noise. Just three days after I got it back.
I have lost more than 100 hours talking to them, going through their diagnostics, and convincing them of the problems. My non-profit organization has been disrupted. Only after I threatened to go to court did they finally agree to replace the computer per the contract.
With this kind of fraud, incompetency and carelessness, I am concerned that they will provide me with a low quality replacement computer that will fail when the warranty expires in one year.