£150 laptop repair and still not working!!

  David-235429 21:47 07 Mar 2007

I took my 18 month old HP laptop to a local shop after experiencing problems with the power adaptor making a good connection, it was increasingly losing contact. The shop said that the connector inside was probably lose or broken and would need replacing which they did and charged me £100 but also pointed out that the outer sheath on the power adaptor was broken, so you could see the main wire inside so suggested I also bought a replacement adaptor for £50 telling me it was a genuine HP product. Got the laptop home and found that it wasn't a genuine HP power adaptor but none the less, seemed to work OK. Gave the laptop a full charge and disconnected the power adaptor. When the laptop was running low on battery plugged the adaptor in but laptop just died. Nothing at all happens now, no lights, no power. Returned it to the shop and they now tell me that part of the motherboard has burnt out and I sense an expensive repair but I feel very uncomfortable about paying for this as it seems such a strange coincidence that this should happen just hours after being "repaired". I did note that the laptop requires an 18.5v supply and the adaptor was 19v - could this have been the cause? Would be grateful for your thoughts.

Thanks guys

  PP321 22:23 07 Mar 2007

an undervoltage is usually ok (within reason) as is an overvolt say plus or minus 1 volt.

Whats more than likely happend is the new charger was the wrong polarity.

most laptops are plus on the center pin and minus on the outer, if your laptop went off isntantly , it sounds like the adaptor was wrong polarity.

check it.

  spuds 23:23 07 Mar 2007

If the repairer stated that they would supply and charge for a new HP branded charger unit, then that is what should have been supplied, and you may well have a claim against the repairer/seller.If you believe that the charger was the wrong type, and may have caused you further problems, then again, you may have a claim against the repairer/seller.

Contact Consumer Direct click here or your local trading standards for further advice.

  Forum Editor 23:47 07 Mar 2007

in good faith on the basis of a verbal description, and the goods are not as described you can claim a full refund. That part is straightforward enough.

If however, the wrongly-described goods have resulted in you sustaining a consequential loss you may have a claim against the retailer for compensation. The difficulty in this case is going to be one of proof - how can you know that the motherboard failure wasn't an unfortunate coincidence?

My advice is to consider taking the suspect power adapter to an independent electronics consultant, and asking for a report. If that confirms your suspicion you'll be on very much stronger ground with regard to a claim against this retailer. In the meantime you might discuss the matter with the shop - tell them that you are considering an independent report on the laptop and power adapter. You never know, they may discuss a settlement with you to avoid further action.

You could also consult Hewlett Packard, and ask them for their opinion.

  anchor 10:12 08 Mar 2007

If only we had the 2 year warranties that the EU recommended a few years ago.

This was not adopted by the UK as the government claimed we were better protected by existing consumer legislation.

I am sure DavidinMK would question this.

  grumpygramp 14:34 08 Mar 2007

Local computer shops can be a problem unless you check them out before hand .In 2003 we had 9 local computer shops not counting Dixon`s Comet Etc . Now we have 3 only one of which is any good .The good one built my previous PC and it was very well made and took just 2 days to build .
Your £100 pound bill sounds a lot ,but round here repairs charge an average of £30 an hour .Getting back on topic I would certainly follow our Editors Advice .It does`nt take much to blow a motherboard so try for a second opinion .

  Arnie 18:41 08 Mar 2007

If the power supply produced a 19V a.c. output and the electronic regulator circuitry was built into the laptop, it wouldn’t matter. The onboard regulator would happily deal with this minor voltage change.

On the other hand, if the power supply output was d.c. and it was reversed, unless a reverse protection diode was fitted preceding the main regulator, the laptop would be damaged.

The second scenario can be discounted because you said, “Gave the laptop a full charge and disconnected the power adaptor.” Therefore, it was working up to that point.

I think you should allow a qualified person to check that the power supply itself, is in specification regarding its on load output voltage. Any large deviation here could be the villain of the piece.

  Spark6 20:06 08 Mar 2007

I would certainly second F.E.'s advice re an independent consultant's advice. However, there is a statement in your post <the shop said that the connector inside was probably lose (sic) or broken and would need replacing which they did>.

The loose or broken connection was possibly at the motherboard. My advice would be to establish, in writing if possible, details of the repair carried out before the case is opened again. Should the burnt out part of the MB be where their repair was effected then the shop is liable.

  QinesiQ 17:38 09 Mar 2007

I had the same problem with my Sony Vaio about 2 yrs ago - only it went into Sony for a (just-by the skin on its teeth) in-warranty repair. Funny though it came back to me described as "liquid-damaged" and completely dead - no power at all! I took it to my local who charged £35 to re-solder the dc jack. They found no evidence of liquid damage but could not get it to work. They concluded that the mobo had shorted and together with all the other repairs it had to undergo during its lifetime they suggested that I make a claim on my home insurance (because my Vaio was specifically covered). My local provided me with full details and I also informed my insurance Co of the full Sony call history so they could make their own minds up but they were perfectly satisfied and after a visit and inspection my claim was successful. I felt like I would be fighting a loosing battle with Sony and their liquid damage, denials and general shouting at me for asking questions so I took this route and I have avoided Sony ever since!

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