Last September, while I was on sabbatical in the States, I bought an HP laptop (along with my HP tablet and HP phone). I ordered it online and specced it to have a full HD display and a Radeon video card in addition to the built-in Intel video, and was very happy with it.
The one complaint I had was that the fan started making noise after four or five months (at which point I was back in Lebanon). I tried disassembling the laptop to clean the fan, and it didn’t fix the problem. So I just let it go, and, eventually, the noisy fan got quieter.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that my laptop was running visibly slower than usual, and I rebooted. As came back up, I got a warning from the BIOS saying that the fan was no longer working correctly. I put my hand next to the fan outlet, and there was almost no air movement. The fan wasn’t completely dead, but it sure wasn’t working the way it should. When Fedora finished booting, it was running slow again. I checked the sensors, and, sure enough, it was running hot. Very hot. Obviously the fan needed to be replaced.
I checked the warranty status on my laptop, and found, to my surprise, that, even though I bought it in the US, it was covered with a world-wide warranty. Supposedly I could take my laptop anywhere in the world and have it repaired for free.
Now, I’ve lived in Lebanon for many years, and found that ‘customer service’ here normally consists of waving goodbye as you walk away with your new purchase. And a warranty is worth its weight in gold… until you leave the shop. Then it no longer applies, because, obviously, warranties aren’t intended to protect you once you’ve started using the product. This applies to the bigger international companies as well as the smaller mom-and-pop shops. I remember asking the local official Skoda dealer about a warranty on a used car and he told me, “I’ll give you a verbal warranty.” For some reason, I was less than impressed.
I contacted HP in Lebanon and they directed me to one of the HP authorized repair centers called Computer Information Systems (CIS). I took my laptop in last Friday and fully expected to be told that, for some obscure reason, the fan wasn’t going to be covered under warranty. Instead, they took my laptop without any hassle at all.
On Tuesday (two working days later!), I got a call from CIS telling me that it was ready. I went back in and got my laptop back, again with no hassle at all. They did tell me that I was in luck that they had the part because it was a US model, but they would have ordered the part if they hadn’t had it in stock.
So, while I’m not impressed that the system fan died so quickly, I’m very impressed that HP automatically gave me a worldwide warranty and I’m astounded that CIS did the work quickly without trying to find some way to charge me. Thank you both for your professionalism!