So I ordered a laptop from ebay about a week ago, despite the fact that the seller said it had “a small scuff on the cover”. When it arrived yesterday, I ripped the box open and dug through the packaging materials in anticipation. I could finally surf the web from my couch!
Eagerly, I plugged in the laptop, flipped open the screen and tapped the power button. As the 8 pound beast purred to life, I pondered all the nifty things I would now be enabled to do. Surfing the web from a coffee shop? Yup. Surfing the web from my car? Yup. Surfing the web at the local gas station? Yup. (Seriously! They have wi-fi!).
A minute passed…
The screen was still blank.
“Well, maybe something’s just loose!”, I thought.
Feverishly, I unplugged the laptop, pulled the battery, hard drive, and memory stick. After that, I held down the power button for a full minute to drain any residual power from the remaining components.
Then, I put everything back exactly the way it was.
“Ok, maybe it’ll work now.”
Nope. Still not working.
Two hours later, I get off the phone with HP’s tech support.
During the course of the call I discovered:
1. The person who owned the laptop before me purchased it only a few months ago in July.
2. My laptop was technically still under warranty and still has 200 days left!
3. I could purchase an extended two year warranty for *only* $249!
4. This extended warranty would cover everything, including accidental damage such as coffee spills or random drops from the roofs of 30 story buildings.
5. HP would have FedEx pick up my laptop on the morrow between 1 and 5 in the afternoon.
6. They would only take the laptop if I bubble wrapped it and boxed it up nicely first.
7. They will ship my laptop all the way to California, fix it, and ship it back to me by Wednesday of next week. All for free.
8. HP hires only Indian/Korean people.
So I purchased the warranty, raising my entire laptop cost to around $1,050. Considering that it’s a laptop with a 64 bit Athlon 3200 processor, 512 megs of RAM, 60 gig hard drive, DVD drive, CD burner, 15.4″ widescreen… I guess I came out ok. Sure, I could have bought it brand spanking new directly from HP for about that price. But I would have only ended up with a 1 year factory warranty that way. This way, I am totally protected against all damages.
Who knows? I might accidentally drop it one month before the extended warranty runs out, and HP would have no choice but to replace it with a comparable (read: better) model because two years from now, they probably won’t have any of these puppies still in stock.