7 On Your Side helps man with dead laptop battery

January 29, 2010 7:30:01 PM PST
Electronic gadgets are becoming more and more a part of our everyday life, but often it seems their lifespan gets shorter and shorter.

How long should your electronic device and its warranty last? Well, certainly you do not expect it to be expired or broken before you even buy it. Unfortunately, one man had just that experience.

When Fred Kenner's laptop battery died, he went out and bought a new one, plugged it in, and it worked just fine, but only for one month.

"I looked on my indicator and the battery wasn't charging in any way," said Kenner.

He got the dreaded red "X" on the battery icon; zero charge going in, zero coming out. Kenner's $130 battery was new, but dead. So he called the manufacturer, Hewlett Packard.

A call center agent looked up the serial number and Kenner received a big surprise.

"It had expired approximately a year and a half before I bought it off the shelf at Fry's," said Kenner. "I thought it was a little fishy."

His receipt shows he bought it last October, but the call center agent told Kenner it had expired way back in May 2008, and he would have to buy a new one. So that is what Kenner did. And his computer roared to life, but he did not think it was fair.

"Why would I have to spend more to buy another battery when the one you sold me was defective in the first place?" said Kenner.

So Kenner contacted 7 On Your Side and we traced the problem down. First, Fry's electronics, where he bought the battery, said those things sell so fast, there is no way it sat on the shelf since 2008.

Hewlett Packard looked into the case and it said the "call center" was wong. Kenner's battery actually was made in March of 2009, but no matter how old it is, batteries come with a one year warranty that starts on the day you buy it, not the date it was made.

This battery was apparently defective and HP promised Kenner a full refund.

"So as a result of calling 7 on Your Side, I got a call the very next day from a Hewlett Packard representative and the problem was and I've got my battery, I'm getting my $130 back, and I thought it was great," said Kenner.

When you are dealing with a call center, it can be hard to assert your rights.

HP says a call center will provide you with a fax number or address so you can send in a copy of your receipt, showing the date of purchase. If that shows your product is still under warranty, the item will be repaired or replaced.