• Report: #199012

Complaint Review: N.E.W., National Electronics Warranty Corporation, CyberTest, EquipFix Repair Facility

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  • Submitted: Fri, June 30, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, December 02, 2012

  • Reported By:Magna Utah
N.E.W., National Electronics Warranty Corporation, CyberTest, EquipFix Repair Facility
448 Commerce Way Ste 100 Longwood, Florida U.S.A.

N.E.W., National Electronics Warranty Corporation, CyberTest/EquipFix Repair Facility, Sam's Club Extended Warranty Program ripoff: Laptop returned was not laptop sent in, claimed they "replaced the hard drive" without notification Longwood Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: NEW

*Author of original report: Thank you! You point out exactly where the problems are!

*Consumer Comment: Thank you for the original report!

*Author of original report: You totally missed the point...

*Consumer Comment: Well...

*Author of original report: Thanx you from NEW for the offer, but.....

*UPDATE Employee: Have you called?

*Consumer Suggestion: Working with Cyber-Tech

*UPDATE Employee: UPDATE...May I assist you?

*UPDATE Employee: UPDATE...May I assist you?

*UPDATE Employee: UPDATE...May I assist you?

*UPDATE Employee: UPDATE...May I assist you?

*UPDATE Employee: May I assist you?

*Consumer Suggestion: Sue

*Author of original report: Check your brochure

*Consumer Suggestion: Me Too!

*Author of original report: And Besides....

*Author of original report: UPDATE

*UPDATE Employee: Your problem is not the service, but greed

*UPDATE Employee: Your complaint is baseless

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Might suck but you agree when you buy it

*Author of original report: Thanks for the comment, but...

*Consumer Suggestion: You must have the software.

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I have an Averatec 3270 Laptop I purchased from Sam's Club with a 3-year extended warranty.

I had a problem with my laptop three days after the manufacturer's warranty expired. I called Sam's club, who had me send my laptop to a company by the name of Cybertech for repair.

When my computer was returned, it was not the same computer. It was the same model, but in better condition than the one I sent them. The one I sent in had a check-mark-shaped cash in the cover, along with a pronounced line on the screen where the spacebar hits. The serial numbers on the bottom of Averatec computers are on a sicker that rubs off.

The one I had sent in had no bar code information on the sticker it was completely gone. The one I received had a partial bar code. It also was returned with an operating system for a different model, and had the recovery system removed from the computer. The computer hardware came back better than I had sent it, but the hard drive itself was not the manufacturer's hard drive.

My problems started two and a half months after I got my laptop back and the laptop got a virus. Normally, you would be able to run the manufacturer's recovery CDs and be able to restore your hard drive. When I contacted Averatec, they informed me that the recovery cds were kept on a partition on the hard drive and there is nothing they can send me. I found that this recovery information was missing.

When I contacted Sam's Club and Cybertech, they then informed me that my hard drive had been replaced. I asked Cybertech why they did not include that on the repair paperwork they returned to me, and Damian with Cybertest stated Because you didn't ask. That was a completely unprofessional answer for damage or replacement to property that I own.

Both companies then told me I was responsible for the software on my computer which, for normal software, would be fine except they removed the only restore option available. They do not have the manufacturer's specified recovery image, so they sent me a generic operating system that was produced for a different model, one that's two inches bigger and that did not support the hardware given.

The manufacturer has explained to me that there are several problems with what Cybertest has done:

1) If they replaced the hard drive, they would have had to replace it with one from the manufacturer which would have been formatted with the correct recovery partition and operating system. Cybertest did not do this.

2) If they replaced the hard drive, the warranty stickers would have had to of been removed. Clearly they are still in tact.

3) Since the computer was sent in for a power supply problem, there was no need to reformat or replace the hard drive. Now, it's not completely unbelievable that the hard drive was damaged during shipping, but this is highly unlikely considering that the product was packaged very carefully in Styrofoam in the box that Cybertest had sent me. If the hard drive broke, it did so in Cybertech's care, and they should repair it back to the state it was sent to them, or at minimum to the factory defaults.

At this point, I have no way to restore my computer back to its original state besides sending it back to the manufacturer's warranty company and paying for the drive to be reformatted back to factory defaults. Although the fee involved is not unreasonable, the point is Cybertech replaced my hard drive (which may have been recoverable) without my knowledge or knowledge of how the restore system worked. They did not disclose this fact, and are now stating that it's my problem.

I have asked both Cybertest and Sam's Club for assistance in this matter. They both claim that this is a software problem, and if I send in the discs for recovery, they will fix the problem. Even after explaining this to numerous people in both companies, including Rob (((ROR REDACTED FULL NAME))), VP Business Development & Technology for Cybertech, that they have removed the only recovery option I had, they still insist that it's not their problem.

This "Software" problem would not have existed had they of used the 3200 hard drive from the manufacturer. I am taking the stand that this "software" problem was caused by the unnecessary actions taken, and if they had returned my laptop, I would have been able to recover the hard drive myself. Since they did not disclose the hard drive problem or return the hard drive to me, I believe that they are swapping people's computers without regard to condition, wiping the hard drives and sending them out to different users at their convinence.

Ironically, the people at Sam's Club Tech Support agreed that the actions taken were unapproprate, but are unwilling to find a new service provider who can service Averatec Laptops as inteded, such as Fremontek.

Now, it's not unreasonable to ask that if a product breaks while in the care of a company, they a) notify me of the problem (the paperwork they sent back did not state in any way that the hard drive was replaced), and b) return the product with the manufacturer's default settings. Instead, they returned the computer to me in a state that can not be repaired.

If a warranty service company breaks a product, shouldn't I be entitled for them to replace it with the same hardware for the correct model or fix it based on the manufacturer's recommendations? The hard drive that replaced mine was clearly not an Avertec harddrive for a 3200 model, otherwise it would have been formatted with the Phoenix Recovery system.

I would like a refund for the $65 + shipping I am going to have to pay to have this problem fixed this problem that was not caused by me or anything I did.

If you search further on this website, someone complained that they received an Averatec Laptop back in worse condition than they had sent it. Do you think, after my experience, that perhaps they did not receive their own laptop back?

Jessica
Magna, Utah
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/30/2006 09:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/NEW-National-Electronics-Warranty-Corporation-CyberTest-EquipFix-Repair-Facility/Longwood-Florida-32750/NEW-National-Electronics-Warranty-Corporation-CyberTestEquipFix-Repair-Facility-Sam-199012. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

NEW

AUTHOR: NEWSUCKS - ()

While I do agree partially that you agree to the terms, as a former employee of CHD and a former supervisor there we were required to tell you to back up your data before sending in your laptop. They are also supposed to advise you to send the disc. So the agent you spoke with was likely responsible for part of the issue if they never advised you of this.
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#2 Author of original report

Thank you! You point out exactly where the problems are!

AUTHOR: Jessica - (USA)

Stockman,
Thank you so very much for your response.   The terms of my agreement have since been thrown away, so I don't know if they were as clear as you pointed out here.   You have pointed out every single flaw in purchasing an extended warranty, and how, under your current terms, they would have followed it to the letter, protecting themselves, yet leaving the consumer with a "less than desirable" replacement.

In addition, it concerns me (and should concern every consumer) that the terms sent via email AFTER purchase are not exactly what is presented during purchase.

I hope, so very much, that your response is read by consumers who search for the warranty information, as you have pointed out exactly the wording that allows them to take money from the consumer, and not follow through with what the consumer would expect in agreement with the purchase of the "extended" warranty.  You post has been the most helpful post I have ever seen on this situation.

I have since learned that if I have a product that is covered under a manufacturer's warranty, there is no benefit to an extended warranty - it would be a risky situation to submit something important to you in the off-chance you actually receive it back in the condition you sent it but "fixed."  TV's, toasters, and of course, computers.  

Thanks again for your post.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Thank you for the original report!

AUTHOR: stockman - (United States of America)

Sorry to hear of your problems.  I know it is years later, but I did a google search after reading the warranty info from NEW for a Walmart purchase.  MANY terms and conditions.  Dry reading, but it's hard to think of all the possible downsides to the terms; hence the search.  

Thanks to your report, I now see the true impact of limitation 21 of 24 "what is not covered" (all the bold emphasis in the reply is added by me).  It would otherwise be very easy to miss.
(21) ANY DAMAGE TO RECORDING MEDIA, INCLUDING ANY SOFTWARE PROGRAMS, DATA, OR CONFIGURATION/SETUP INFORMATION RESIDENT ON ANY MASS STORAGE DEVICES SUCH AS HARD DRIVES, CD-ROM DRIVES, DVD DRIVES, FLOPPY DISKETTES, TAPE DRIVES OR TAPE BACKUP SYSTEMS, AS A RESULT OF THE MALFUNCTIONING OR DAMAGE OF AN OPERATING OR NON-OPERATING PART, OR AS A RESULT OF ANY REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENT UNDER THIS PLAN; 

I don't know the wording of your warranty of course, but again thanks to your report, I see that if I had bought a computer from Walmart and taken this protection plan, the repair center could theoretically reformat the hard drive to make it only contain software designed to help them debug the service problem, and the owner would be responsible to use physical recovery disks to get the original configuration (including the o/s) back.  In other words, the service center need not contract with the manufacturer of the computer to allow it to restore the computer to the same configuration as when it was purchased.  This saves them money and costs you time, and so the given warranty is not as good as one which would restore your system back to its original (i.e. as bought in the store) configuration.  But now we know, thanks to your report.

One problem I was able to figure out on my own is the uselessness of the "no-lemon" coverage.  They are only liable up to the total cost of the product AND the no-lemon only takes effect AFTER manufacturer's warranty.  So how many products these days can be repaired 3 times for LESS than the cost of the item?  

"Limit of liability: For any single claim, the limit of liability under this Plan is the lesser of the cost of (1) authorized repairs, (2) replacement with a product with similar features, (3) reimbursement for authorized repairs or replacement or (4) the price that you paid for the product. The total liability under this Plan is the purchase price you paid for the product; in the event that the total of all authorized repairs exceeds the purchase price paid for the product or we replace the product with another of equal or greater value, we shall have satisfied all obligations owed under this Plan and the Plan shall terminate."

I bought a toaster oven for $39 on sale for a good discount on Black Friday.  Labor costs would likely make it virtually impossible for a repair to come under the value of the item FOR JUST ONE REPAIR , at which time they could (and makes sense that they would choose to do so) give me a toaster oven with a "value" (undefined contract term that might be as lousy as "its value as a used product", MSRP, or the not quite as bad regular selling price) of $39. or give me $39, which would be insufficient to buy the same toaster since it was at a deep discount.  

Granted, the price I paid for the warranty was based on the discount price of the item...but I'm not really going to get a replacement of the item, I'm just going to get a replacement of the money I spent or somebody else's used toaster that they fixed and had on the shelf (and also terminates all their obligations).  So now I know.  This sounds similar to your situation with the computer repair.

At least the contract does seem to give an advantage of reimbursing me (Walmart gift card, not cash)  for shipping up to $15 during the manufacturer's warranty, which is probably good for a relatively heavy toaster over.  Though I wonder if it is a "small product" since only "small products that are non-portable and non-electronic" are covered.  Ha ha, just noticed it has to be small AND non-portable.  Might have to seek their definitions of each of those terms.  The toaster oven is small enough to move around, so in the strict sense it is portable (weighs 16 lbs).  Is 17" wide, 12" deep, 10" tall even considered small?  In any case, exactly what items are small, yet not portable?  If one claimed a small product is not portable, how would they be able to put it in a box to ship it out? ;)  So maybe that advantage is just a canard because there is no such product that meets the liability requirements. 

I note that the detailed terms and conditions that they give your prior to purchase (dated 8/11) is similar, but NOT the same as they email you after purchase.  One example is with the former, the contract calls for mailing labels emailed to you while the latter calls for reimbursement up to $15.  The former also specifies a contract difference dependent on price.
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#4 Author of original report

You totally missed the point...

AUTHOR: Jessica - (USA)

First, it's not "software" that was uploaded to my computer.  I wasn't asking for software or data to be covered.  I was asking for the hard drive to be sent back to me in the original state the manufacturer intended - formatted or not, they did not use the manufacturer's OS.

Cybertech reformatted my hard drive, INCLUDING the OS partition.  My hard drive was reformatted when I sent my computer in for an ELECTRICAL problem (that had nothing to do with the hard drive.)  When they reformatted it, they did not include the OS partition, nor did they tell me why they felt the need to reformat it.

Second, the virus it was received was while I was running and antivirus software, but thanks for that ever-helpful tip.  Do you work in computer repair?  You sure seem to know so much!

Third - you're talking about something that happened almost SIX years ago.  Why do you feel the need to chime in now?

Please - the next time you decide to troll a board an refer to someone as incompetent, at least comment on the issue being reported with something helpful.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Well...

AUTHOR: aoe2junkie - (United States of America)

No warranty company is going to take responsibility for software that get uploaded to your computer, except the possibility of an Anti virus software company.

If you didn't have antivirus software, or it wasn't up to date its clearly your fault you got a virus, not the extended warranty companies for not having outdated software on file to help fix your incompetent mess.
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#6 Author of original report

Thanx you from NEW for the offer, but.....

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

I've noticed on this post that a very nice person named "Doug" is offering for me to call in and he would help with my situation.  My update is directed to him:

Doug - the computer that this post regarded was purchased back in 2006.  My warranty was a three-year warranty, of which has fully expired.  The laptop in question is no longer in use, sitting on a shelf in my closet - I no longer have the receipt or brochure, as I tossed those shortly after filing with the BBB on Cyber-test and receiving the "sorry, we're claiming it's software" letter.  Although I appreciate your offer to assist, the only thing I requested was a refund on the $65 I paid Averatec to reformat my hard drive with the OS partition as designed.  At this point, I doubt that refund can be justified by your company, although I sincerely appreciate the response to this post.  If you feel it can, I'd be glad to call in and speak with you.

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#7 UPDATE Employee

Have you called?

AUTHOR: Doug - (USA)

Jessica,


I am still waiting to hear from you.  If you are needing assistance, I am still here.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Working with Cyber-Tech

AUTHOR: Dressage Rider - (U.S.A.)

I sent my computer to them for a hard drive replacement. I had to send it back to get to have another drive put in after is failed in 3 weeks.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

UPDATE...May I assist you?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

Jessica,

You can contact Sam's Club Service plan at 1-800-994-7267. Please ask for Doug the Resolution Specialist and they will email me. I will then call you once I receive your email.

I look forward in speaking with you.

Doug
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#10 UPDATE Employee

UPDATE...May I assist you?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

Jessica,

You can contact Sam's Club Service plan at 1-800-994-7267. Please ask for Doug the Resolution Specialist and they will email me. I will then call you once I receive your email.

I look forward in speaking with you.

Doug
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#11 UPDATE Employee

UPDATE...May I assist you?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

Jessica,

You can contact Sam's Club Service plan at 1-800-994-7267. Please ask for Doug the Resolution Specialist and they will email me. I will then call you once I receive your email.

I look forward in speaking with you.

Doug
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#12 UPDATE Employee

UPDATE...May I assist you?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

Jessica,

You can contact Sam's Club Service plan at 1-800-994-7267. Please ask for Doug the Resolution Specialist and they will email me. I will then call you once I receive your email.

I look forward in speaking with you.

Doug
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#13 UPDATE Employee

May I assist you?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

Jessica,

I currently work with NEW and I would love to assist you with this issue. Please contact me so we can resolve this issue.

Thanks,
Doug
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Sue

AUTHOR: Nicholas - (U.S.A.)

I've had a similar issue. Cybertech did have to replace my hard drive but they did not create the recovery partition. They could have easily done so. When I sent my laptop in I sent in the recovery CD. It took arguing and threats of a lawsuit but HP did send me a recovery CD.

When I got my laptop back, as mentioned, there was no recovery partition. The main issue I had with Cybertech was the unprofessional and incompetent attitude. Both companies told you that it's a "software" issue. No. Bluntly they are trying to blow smoke up people's butt that they think don't know any better.

It's not a "software issue" it's a "failure to follow proper repair procedures" issue. The people at Cybertech are ignorant. On the side I repair PCs and laptops. Therefore I'm quite knowledgeable of the proper procedures. Try asking them technical questions, sit back, and get ready for a good laugh.

I'm about to send my laptop back for a motherboard failure. From what I was told by N.E.W. they are now using a different company called Image Microsystems. I guess enough people complained about Cybertechs crappy customer service.

If I were you I'd threaten a lawsuit against Cybertech. They are the ones legally responsible for restoring your computer to factory default conditions.
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#15 Author of original report

Check your brochure

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

If you're trying to reach N.E.W., I would suggest calling the phone number on the brochure from Sam's Club or whichever retail provider your warranty was through. If you're trying to reach the company that messed up your PC the N.E.W. sends them to, I'd look for the shipping materials. If it was Cyber-Test, then you'll want to google "Encompass Service Solutions." Looks like they were bought out.
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Me Too!

AUTHOR: Lovdiamnd - (U.S.A.)

I am fighting with the same people right now and would like to know the number to the executive offices. N.E.W sent me the wrong power cord for my computer and it fried it.
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#17 Author of original report

And Besides....

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

Mr. "CHD Tech @ New" - First, the person who filed his complaint filed it in October of 2005 (do you research on this site, buddy, before slinging mud). My issue happened in June of 2006. There is no way he "was actually the person who owned the one [I] kept."

Second, you work for NEW. You don't know that your techs put "do not remove" stickers on the hard drives to show that they've been tampered with. You don't work at the company that did the "repair." And even if they did, the stickers leave a reside that says "VOID" if they're removed - that residue would have still been there. They did not replace the hard drive.

Third, to both "CHD Tech @ New" and "Jen" - this happened over two years before you responded. Thanks for sending over the insults a little too late. Since that time, I've become quite informed on computers and operating systems.

My compaint is not baseless. If it was, then how come many others have the same complaint about the same companies all over this site? My conclusion is that Cyber-Test is not a good repair company. They simply believe that reinstalling the OS will fix all the problems (see other reviews regarding them on this site.) However, the problem was a minor electrical problem that didn't warranty wiping my hard drive and then covering it up by stating they replaced it. Either way, I fixed the problem MYSELF and will never, ever, do business with any of these companies again.
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#18 Author of original report

UPDATE

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

I DID NOT TRY TO KEEP A COMPUTER THAT WAS NOT MINE! I tried to reason with them - they claim their "Quality Control process" would not let them make that kind of mistake.

If you are employees of N.E.W., then be warned that only suckers buy these kinds of warranties. I was a sucker in the past, but I will never EVER buy any extended warranty for my computer.

Also, if you are employees fo N.E.W., then you should also keep a better handle on the companies you do business with - this one was reported to the B.B.B. in Florida many times.
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#19 UPDATE Employee

Your problem is not the service, but greed

AUTHOR: Jen - (U.S.A.)

If the computer you got was not the one you sent in you are greedy for keeping the better computer. I bet the person who got the computer in worse shap has your original computer. If you had contacted the Service Center or NEW it would have been straightened out. Beyond that, had you read your Service Plan Contract it states that Software is not covered (including the operating system, preinstalled software and drivers) and it is your responsibility to get the correct information from the manufacturer. The main problem in this case though is that you kept something that wasn't yours and now are paying the price for your greed.
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#20 UPDATE Employee

Your complaint is baseless

AUTHOR: Chd Tech@new - (U.S.A.)

Your complaint is baseless. Of course a mistake was made, and that could have been rectified immediately. However, you kept a laptop that obviously wasn't yours when it was sent to you by mistake. Instead of calling NEW back to have the situation straightened out, you were arguing with a Cyber-TEST(you miss-spelled that) employee about a recovery disc.
True, software is not covered. Software is subject to operator error, which makes up the bulk of our calls. The license to the software is owned by the manufacturer of your computer. They support the software as they will, that has nothing to do with us. As for your software no longer being produced; when you purchase a computer that does not come with recovery discs, you are given the option during the initial setup to make a set of these. That option is available until you either make them, or the the hard drive fails. Making these discs is your responsibility, not our company's.
Then again, there is always the possibility that the software for YOUR laptop was still being made, had you taken the steps to get YOUR laptop back instead of keeping someone else's.
Also, the hard drives we use as replacements are up to manufacturer specifications. We are not required to purchase these from the manufacturer, and our techs put "do not remove" stickers over the hard drive access every time one is replaced. This shows them if it was tampered with if the unit comes back in for service.
And Jessica, perhaps the person who received their laptop back in worse condition, was actually the person who owned the one you kept instead of sending it back.
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#21 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Might suck but you agree when you buy it

AUTHOR: Brainwobble - (U.S.A.)

When you buy these extended contracts from walmart, hsn, officemax, etc for laptops, printers, desktops there are going to be stipulations. these warranties terms and conditions are available and include all of the details as to what is covered and not covered. unfortunately alot of the time the store associates understate the stipulations and tell customers things that just aren't simply logical, such as receiving a brand new laptop if you have any minor hardware issue.

over all the company responsible for paying for these repairs incurs much more money for the costs of these repairs then the customer paid for the contract.

averatec has an obligation to send you those recovery discs and i'm almost positive you can get the recovery discs from averatec for your specific model. unfortunately their techs may not be the most upfront or honest.

national electronics warranty is only a middle man in the repair process. sam's club sold you a warranty and the terms and conditions of the contract were probably not explained to you in detail unfortunately. once the contract is sold (on whatever pretense the associate made) and after duration of the manufactuer warranty n.e.w. resolves issues based on the terms and conditions of the contract, as negotiated between sam's club and n.e.w.

if anyone is to blame it is sam's club for misrepresenting what the contract covers.
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#22 Author of original report

Thanks for the comment, but...

AUTHOR: Jessica - (U.S.A.)

Thanks for the comment - however, the manufacturer wouldn't send me disks, and that's only half the point. If the hard drive was replaced, the "void if removed" stickers would have had to of been removed to reach the screws. The bottom line is that they randomly wiped my hard drive for no real reason, and from now on, I will not ever buy an extended electronics warranty.
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

You must have the software.

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I used to work as a call-in support tech and am a certified computer repair tech. None of the harddrives are made by the computer manufacturer, but must have the backup partition installed onto them. Most computer manufacturers no longer send out the OS free, but you can order it from them for less money than buying it off the shelf.

Though it is possible to recover the operating system from a partition on the harddrive, all harddrives will eventually need to be replaced. So even if it had the OS on it, the new one will not; in order to use the PC in the future you will need the OS on CD.
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