I bought my HP Pavillion dv7 about 13 months ago from Best Buy in Bellingham, WA. The machine actually worked great and while it was heavier and bigger than my previous laptops the added weight and size was worth it.
About 2 months ago I started receiving messages via pop ups, message in the lower right corner of the desktop and a website that popped up stating that I may be a victim of pirating. The implication is that my OS (Win 7) was not legit. I searched the web and found a lot of complaints about this. Some solutions were for cracks, some were legit. I decided to finally call MS. They told me that because I could not give them the number at the bottom of my laptop that I had to pay $109 for another license. They also asked for the back up disc with the license number (I did not keep this assuming that i wouldn't have a problem). They could not or would not help me. I offered to let them into my machine and give them any info they needed to verify that I had a legit version of the OS. I also asked them if Best Buy could possibly be selling machines with OEM pirated versions of Win7 - they assured me that Best Buy would not do this. I refused to pay and they told me to contact HP. The service rep was very professional but there was little that the person could do to help me.
I contacted HP and was informed that my warranty was expired. BUT if I purchased a new warranty then they could fix the problem. I explained the logical issue with this approach, but the rep was unable to help me. The choice was either buy an extended warranty or they would not help me.
Finally I called Best Buy where I purchased the machine. I wanted to talk to a sales rep because they generally understand the workarounds for various issues. He told me that there was nothing that could be done. The two solutions mentioned above were the only possibilities. He also said that he has never heard of this kind of problem happening in the past. This surprised me because it is very easy to google this very issue and dozens of pages come up with solutions, complaints, etc.
I let HP know they lost a customer for life. I doubt they care and I seriously doubt this will do any good. I let MS know how screwed up this is because the options are so limited. Mac, MS or open source.... I doubt they will ever do anything about this either.
Best Buy (Geek Squad) is horrible. I returned a Vaio several months ago for which I purchased an extended warranty. It was determined that the motherboard was destroyed due to "water damage". We had to pay $100+ to get the machine back. I then messed around with it and it works great after at least a year.
Why even bother posting this?
1) I feel a little better venting
2) Someone might learn that they are not alone with MS, Best Buy and HP support
3) There is a very slim chance that someone from one of these three companies will actually stand up and do the right thing.