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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HP laptop dies at 18 months; everybody hates Microsoft Vista; FedEx provides staggeringly bad customer service.

My laptop (a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dv6000) was barely over a year and a half old when it breathed its last. Its internal power supply and/or motherboard failed, it quietly chunked away cycling on and off with a black screen, it would have done it for hours. I took it to a trusted computer guy who said: "It's dead, and you should never have bought an HP. If you won't buy a Mac, I can only recommend Dell or Lenovo."

So first I want to ask: when did it become ok for us to spend multiple hundreds of dollars on pieces of equipment which die so quickly? Why is it ok to sell such rapidly-destructing machines?

I need the laptop, I run my recording business on it, and I couldn't find a Dell without the loathed Microsoft Vista operating system, so I opted for a Lenovo from

So second I want to ask: why is it ok for Microsoft to force all computer sellers to put the hated Vista operating system on new computers? Some sellers will, as a special favor, for $120 extra wipe out Vista and install the older system, XP, but you still have to buy Vista.

My daughter is trying to sell a one-year-old computer because she hates Vista so much, but when buyers hear it has Vista on it they say: "No, thanks."

I bought a Lenovo with XP, and it was supposed to arrive yesterday via Federal Express.

I was home all day except for my 45-minute donkey walk. I left a note on the gate when I left with Jethro, and signed it, hoping that would get my computer delivered. The note was still there when I returned, but there was an email in my inbox: FedEx had tried to deliver my package but nobody was home.

This morning at 9:30 there was another email: FedEx supposedly tried to deliver my package at 8:46 am but nobody was home. Hah, there were three of us awake and already enjoying pumpkin pie in the kitchen. FedEx hadn't bothered to come down the driveway.

That bothered me, but what bothered me more was the response I got when I called. Using's advice (call 800‑463‑3339, say "representative" at each prompt, ignoring messages), I did get a human, but she might as well have been a machine, because she merely repeated "I know how you're feeling" to my every sentence.

The upshot: the drivers cannot be contacted (no cellphones?), and neither can the dispatch center! She said I could GO to the dispatch center (a half-hour drive) and talk to them, but they have disconnected all their phones so nobody will call them. So there will be no redelivery, even though the guy may be only blocks away...

So next I want to ask: why is it ok for a business, excepting of course the IRS, to disconnect its phones so nobody will call?

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At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that many credit cards (used to purchase items) double the mfr's. warranty. So, e.g., my HP that came with a one year warranty is covered by my credit card for a second year.

But, maybe laptops start with less time under warranty and it looks like you've bought a replacement. Still, though, if you can get it repaired free, the HP might be a good backup or second system.



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