I recently purchased an HP laptop through Fry's on-line service, Outpost.com. I ordered the system on 12-10-2006. On 12-15-2006 the unit arrived via DHL. So far, so good. The first time I started the system I received an error message indicating the hard disk is full, please remove unneeded files to continue. I phoned HP's tech support number. After being on hold for nearly an hour I was told the unit I had was purchased in Canada and they would not be able to help me. They did transfer me to a tech center in Vancouver B.C. The first thing the tech in BC said was You bought this in Canada? No. Then they asked did you buy this in July? No. After an hour of trouble shooting and downloading fixes the problem seemed to be corrected.
The next morning I went about setting up the system, creating restore or recovery disc etc I found the DVD drive would not write to any disc. I tried to call HP, couldn't even get through (to be fair it was just days before Christmas.) So I went on-line to their on-line support chat site. After getting a tech and entering my serial number the first two questions were You bought this in Canada? and You bought this in July? No to both. After running several tests and trying to re-install the drive I was told you really should get a hold of Outpost and just return the unit there's obviously something wrong with it. Plus the issues of it being purchased in one country and being manufactured for another and our system showing the warranty started back in July just call them and send it back. So I called Outpost.com's customer service department. After three hang-ups and nearly an hour on hold I was told no, the issue is with HP. We'll call them and then we'll call you back. I explained this was a Christmas gift and I really needed a resolution ASAP. They never called me back.
On 12-27-2006 I made several attempts to reach Outpost.com, no luck. I sent them an e-mail explaining the problem and that I needed to return the system. I then went back on-line and exchanged messages with HP. We again re-installed the drive and ran several tests. Several times I was told you need to send this back to Outpost. I repeatedly explained that I've tried to return it. HP agreed to send me a new DVD drive. On 01-04-2007 I received the new DVD drive and installed it. This did not correct the problem. The next morning I received a reply to my 12-27 e-mail to Outpost.com. It was a very general response and did not address my specific case. It talked about how to return (or more specifically why they won't take back) DVD's, video games, opened software etc It did state they would not accept any returns without an return authorization number. So I called them to get an RA. After being on hold for an extended time I was told No, we're not accepting the unit back. It's under warranty. Call HP and have them repair the unit. So back to HP's chat.
I was in the middle of explaining the whole story again when some how I was disconnected. At that point I decided this is just insane and decided to call my credit card company to dispute the charge. At first they seemed rather reluctant to reverse the charges on the purchase. They wanted to know why I didn't simply return the system. Long story short (if that's possible at this point) I ended up faxing them 27 pages of chats and e-mails. Couple hours after faxing it I got a call from them saying that's just nuts; we'll be crediting your account by the end of the day. I told them the system is sitting here all boxed up and ready to be returned, just need a pick-up from DHL. And no I'm not paying to ship it back. Two weeks ago I would have, not now. I've spent a min. of 7 hrs trying to resolve this insanity. And to be fair to HP I firmly believe they tried to resolve this issue. In my opinion the fault here lies completely with Outpost. They have no customer service and are a complete rip-off. Don't get sucked in by any deal with them. Whatever you might save money wise could cost you in the long run.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Fry's Electronics