Hung up on HP's hinge recall

A reader hits a wall when trying to get his HP Pavilion laptop fixed for free

After reading Robert Cringely's articles on HP's problem with cracked hinges on some laptops, James felt he was entitled to a free fix on his HP Pavilion DV9000, too. Instead of the easy fix he expected, though, he was told his laptop -- despite its broken hinge -- was not included in HP Limited Service Enhancement Plan.

"I've contacted HP customer support, spent over three hours on the phone with them, and have not had any success getting my laptop repaired for free," writes James. "They suggested I send it in and get it repaired for $398 or buy a new laptop. The techs I spoke to would not move my case up to a case manager and refused to budge."

[ Frustrated by your tech support? You're not alone. Get answers from Christina Tynan-Wood in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]

Frustrated, James hit the Notebook Hinge Crack site several times before he found Gripe Line to ask for help. "I'm running out of options," he pleaded. "And I am quite frustrated with HP's lack of customer support."

Naturally, I immediately forwarded James' letter to HP. After a week or so, I heard back:  "HP has contacted the customer and set him up with a free repair and has returned the unit to him," an HP spokesperson told me.

If you own an HP laptop that makes a popping or cracking sound when you open or close it, has a display that feels loose or wobbly, or shows signs of cracking near the hinge, check HP's site to see if your laptop is included in the recall. Hurry, though -- this recall closes at the end of May.

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