SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT:
HP sold me a lemon computer, it completely died after 2 months of use. They were not able to repair it and I was told to send it back and I would receive a refund of $1,108.48. I sent it back and have proof of receipt month ago but HP has failed to refund my money, despite many emails and phone calls.
I purchased an HP laptop computer online via the HP Homestore, with my VISA card on 9/7/2010. It was shipped to my mailing address (my stepdaughter's home) in Oakland, as we live in Panama. (We live on a remote island and cannot receive mail there, all mail is sent to our Oakland mailing address, above). My husband was visiting there at the time and he brought it down with him.
The computer was put into use on or about 11/30//2010 and it worked until 1/30/2011, when it simply died. It could not be started. The cord and adapter worked fine when tested, the computer was simply dead. Tech support said there was a power problem with the motherboard and it would have to be returned for warranty repair.
HP refused to honor the Global Warranty I had purchased (and which they promote on their website) and required me to send the computer back to the USA for warranty repair, which I did.
When I received the computer back, it was as dead as when I sent it back to them. HP failed to repair it, instead the replaced the adapter (which was not the problem).
After over 50 phone calls and many emails to the "Case Management" Department and "Executive Customer Relations" Department, (all of which I can document) I finally was promised a refund and told to return the computer, which I did (and I have proof of receipt from Federal Express.) The refund promised was $1,108.48 (which is less than the amount I paid for the computer but I agreed to accept it.)
HP received the computer on April 11, 2011. It is now May 11, 2011. The "case manager" assigned to my case by HP claims that a check was sent via "regular" (first class) mail on April 12. But it was never received. If it was even sent at all, it cannot be traced because HP chose not to send it certified or express mail or by any trackable method. The Post Office informs me that they cannot track it for that reason. HP refused to send me any proof that the check was even sent, they claim they cannot do so because it was not sent by any trackable modality.
UPDATE: On May 9, I was told that the original check had been cancelled and a new check sent. My "case manager" agreed to send me tracking information but a day later told me that the check could not be tracked because it was sent 3rd or 4th class mail (ie, "junk mail") and it is against company policy to send refunds in any way that can be tracked. The second check has not been received, and I doubt that it will be, since it was not addressed as I had instructed. For the past 3 weeks, I have repeatedly requested that IF a check was sent it was not timely received and that payment be stopped and the funds instead be wired to my California credit union account or alternatively, that a new check be sent via some method that provides for tracking and proof of delivery (ie, express mail, federal express, or first class mail return receipt requested).
But my "case manager" tells me that it is against company policy to send refunds via any trackable method and the company has no obligation to do anything further. She said that the company is only obligated to "put a check in the mail" not to do so in a way that ensures it will be received and not lost, stolen, or sent to the dead letter box. In other words, I am not getting my refund.
In sum, I was promised that if I returned the computer, I would get a refund. I relied on that promise and returned the computer, HP received it, but did not refund my money. That's fraud.
I have filed consumer fraud complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the California Attorney General's office and will also be filing a compliant with the Better Business Bureau. Because we live in Panama and have only a mailing address in California, it is financially prohibitive for us to return to file a small claims court action now, but we will do so whenever we next schedule a visit to California if HP continues to refuse to refund our money and if the statute of limitations hasn't expired by then.