On the Bombay trip, the LCD screen suddenly went near-dark! Connected to a CRT terminal and managed for a couple of days.

Back in Bangalore, asked cousin to take a look at it - essentially the 'power supply' (in lay terms, there *are* propah terms for suchlike which I do not remember) to the LCD had a teeny diode gone kaput. Simple enough fix, or replacement of a small part. Except that HP does not list this as a part !!

Their solution - replace the LCD!!!!!! And if not under warranty, the cost would be 30k, the lady at the service point said!

This is highway robbery under a corporate policy garb! The diode would cost 25p, and even the power supply or whatever would be a couple of hundred bucks (INR, please). thirty-thousand-rupees for that !???

"We only change components" the lady said helplessly.

Well, you could define the whole laptop as a 'component' and I would be able to do precious little about that either. Its akin to saying that the car's engine needs replacement since the starter's gone bad. Or pulling down and redoing my living room since the door to it will not do its job anymore.

One should be able to go to HP's assembly line, see what 'components' they have in independent bins on the assembly line. I'm sure this power supply bit is an independent enough piece to be classified a component - it looked like a clearly plug-n-play bit, except the connectors were all very model specific and stuff (i guess to try and lock me in for sure!)

I want to badly create a fuss about this, and ensure HP takes notice. The current way of doing stuff is clearly unethical, and customers must be bleeding for minor electronic failures! Even if you factor US labour costs (which you shouldn't, logically) this is unjustifiable. Hewlett Packard, are you listening ? (Well, I'm guessing here that this is true for most manufacturers.)

After this, is it surprising that customers go looking for grey market stuff ? I really want to take this all the way up to the big boys and girls at HP.

Of course, what I'm probably going to do is - having ranted on this blog, pay HP some more money and buy a 2 year extension on the warranty now that they've managed to instill the fear of the big brand in me.

In the future, no more 'big-brand-so-proprietary-components' electronics for me - especially delicate stuff like laptops. Robust take-it-all desktops if I can live with that, or possibly some stuff assembled from commodity parts bins.

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