Saturday, May 27, 2006


I was without the use of my laptop these past couple of weeks. The reason: the motherboard of my HP Pavilion dv1312 AP (pictured above) zonked out and had to be replaced once again after only less than three months since its installation. The original motherboard that came with the unit burnt out only four months after my having purchased it. Essentially, within the past six months alone, the motherboard of my HP Pavilion dv1312 AP laptop had to be replaced twice.

Had it not been for the standard one year warranty that came with it, I would have, in addition, spent at least another twenty five thousand pesos for each motherboard plus labor costs; indeed, quite an expensive prospect for owning an HP product.

Just before the Easter holiday—when the replacement motherboard was beginning to show some signs that it, too, was about to bid me adieu—someone from Hewlett-Packard’s management, Erick Icasas, called me after I had called its customer care department twice to express my growing dissatisfaction. His affable nature was certainly disarming, but his candidness was unsettling—that HP knew about the motherboard problem with its Pavilion dv1312 AP model. However, he assured me the issue was supposedly addressed accordingly last August of 2005. I purchased mine on September after persuaded by its enticing half-page advertisement on Philippine Inquirer’s August 29, 2005 issue.

I retorted rather matter-of-factly that Hewlett-Packard may have not have done such a diligent job in resolving the motherboard issue prior to going ahead with its seeming aggressive promotion of the HP Pavilion dv1312 AP by buying a half-page ad space on a national newspaper. A jaded, cynical cousin would later opine that this is common practice amongst multinational companies — to liquidate their inferior products by dumping them on the Philippine market.

Be that as it may, I was further troubled when Erick Icasas insisted that Hewlett-Packard does offer an optional three-year warranty on this product; however, I was told the contrary by the store I bought it from, Silicon Valley at SM Manila, on the day of my purchase — that there was no extended warranty being offered for this product.

Since there is an ongoing motherboard issue, I asked him that I be extended the courtesy by HP by allowing me to purchase the optional three-year warranty. This would indeed demonstrate the company’s sincere concern and appreciation for its customers. I was assured that he would discuss it with his superiors and would promptly advise me. I never received a call back from Eric Icasas; not even from the voice mail message I left for him the other day. I will try him again on Monday.

As it stands, after picking up my laptop from an HP-authorized service center last Thursday, I no longer wanted the three-year extended warranty as I had requested from Eric Icasas, but rather, either HP allowed me to upgrade to a higher model fitted with a workhorse motherboard and peripherals that HP laptops are known for (and I’ll gladly pay the difference), or allow me to return the laptop and refund my money entirely.

In the States, there is such a thing as a lemon law to protect consumers; I do not know if there is an existing similar local legislation, but I am surely about to find out. For the meantime, I will seek others who may have purchased this same HP laptop model and trade notes with them. I would also appreciate if readers could share their opinion on this matter or any unfair consumer experiences that they might have gone through, especially with a high-priced merchandise.

I will keep everyone posted about this ongoing dilemma I am experiencing with my HP Pavilion dv1312 AP laptop.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 10:07 AM


Anonymous Major Tom said...

This "lemon law" idea is very good and I hope our congress could see it fit to enact it here. In our laws, primarily law on sales, we have the so-called hidden-defect rule, where buyers are protected from defective merchandises. But a real and specific special law is I think much more effective rather than depending on the very general Civil Laws.

What I like about these american computer manufacturers is that they always make good bout their guarantee although in dissimilar ways. I had a friend who was an Asus customer and it was surprising to have noted that the Asus office in manila always replaces defective or damaged motherboards even when the guarantees have already runned out.

Hey Señor,this sounds like a spam for a computer product but it ain't.---:)

May 27, 2006 12:07 PM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

Just curious. Which one is more expensive there in the Philippines, laptops or desktops? Here in Winnipeg, laptops are a lot more expensive that only a few can afford.

May 27, 2006 12:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Come to think of it, the title does seem like a spam message against a PC product, Major Tom. :)

However, this is in no way an across-the-board testimony against Hewlett-Packard. Actually, I never questioned the company's integrity when shelling out P114,000.00 to make the purchase.

In my job in NYC, I was given an HP laptop and was greatly impressed by it. I also owned at the time a Sony Vaio super slim laptop, which I eventually stopped using in favor of the HP. In fact, I even had my office PC removed and replaced with a docking station for the HP laptop. That was how much I enjoyed using it.

Many thanks, Major Tom, for mentioning our local law on sales (hidden-defect rule). I intend to explore it further to help me persuade HP to allow me to upgrade.

I totally agree: to protect the Filipino consumers, we really need a real and specific special law. By the way, are class action suits allowed here as well? A lawyer in America filed one against Apple for the easily scratchable plastic screen of its i-Pod Nano.

Also, in the States, when a credit card was used to make a purchase, the credit card company has enough clout to assist its disgruntled cardholder by demanding a retailer to accept a return and issue a full refund. We really should have the same kind of consumer protection here in the Philippines.

May 27, 2006 1:31 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

General rule is, I believe, desktops are usually less expensive than laptops. However, the prices of laptops have significantly decreased.

I was thinking of buying a laptop in NY, but since I planned to use it more here in Manila, decided to purchase one locally even though I would end up paying more because of the additional import taxes.

I wanted to have the protection of a local warranty in case something happens to it. Unbeknownst to me, I ended up having one with a serious inherent problem that requires continual replacement/service. :(

May 27, 2006 1:41 PM  

Blogger Corsarius said...

This is a shame for a 'great' company such as HP. I was under the impression that when one buys a high-end, branded laptop made by multinationals, one would be getting the best package around -- best specs, best service, best warranties. If your jaded cousin's opinion holds true, then I'm certainly leaning towards availing of the Build Your Own Notebook (BYON) promo offered in one shop in SM North Edsa. At least, if the laptop goes bonkers, I'd only have myself to blame ;)

As of now I haven't had such tragic experiences with high-end products, though I know a lot of people who're suffering from the incompetency of the expensive Smart Bro (Internet connection). What's marketed as great turns out to be really trash.

May 27, 2006 3:21 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I am happy to see that you are blogging again! I thought you were too busy playing badminton and getting back into shape to blog ! ;-)

I own an old HP pavilion desktop model and a laptop from HP. I have mixed feelings about HP. The letter "e" key is not working properly. I think the Acer is cheaper and has an equal or better quality.

On the other hand all those computers are produced cheaply in China and other Asian countries. Luck or fate will depend if you are happy with your new computer. I don't think brand is a big issue anymore. More important is their customer care services in case of problems.

Since Mr. Icasas confessed that there were problems with your laptop model's motherboard I guess you can at least ask for a FREE 3 year warranty on the motherboard!
To upgrade your computer to a problem free higher model seem also acceptable to me (and a much better deal for you). In the end you spend a lot of money for a model with problems. Worse,they knew about the problem.

I am a bit puzzled about the 1995 date! Do you mean 2005?

You might be interested in the Republic Act No 7394


I think the Philippines has laws for almost everything. The problem is that most laws are not enforced.
What can you do? Go to court? You will be dead before your case will be presented to a judge...

May 27, 2006 6:26 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

All the desktops I owned from ten years ago, Corsarius, were all "build your own units." They were great and easy to fix. As for laptops, my very first purchase was the Sony Vaio, and the HP was provided by the company I worked for.

Had it not been for the problematic motherboard, this particular HP Pavilion laptop is a great piece of machine with outstanding features. I had considered an IBM Thinkpad and a Dell, but chose the HP.

Didn't know about Smart Bro, but quite aware of PLDT's Internet access shortcomings.

As Major Tom had mentioned, we really need a specific special law to protect us as consumers.

Thanks for your input, Corsarius.

May 27, 2006 11:02 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

All the desktops I owned from ten years ago, Corsarius, were all "build your own units." They were great and easy to fix. As for laptops, my very first purchase was the Sony Vaio, and the HP was provided by the company I worked for.

Had it not been for the problematic motherboard, this particular HP Pavilion laptop is a great piece of machine with outstanding features. I had considered an IBM Thinkpad and a Dell, but chose the HP.

Didn't know about Smart Bro, but quite aware of PLDT's Internet access shortcomings.

As Major Tom had mentioned, we really need a specific special law to protect us as consumers.

Thanks for your input, Corsarius.

May 27, 2006 11:03 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Why I put 1995 instead of 2005 was truly bizarre. Guess, it shows how exasperating this whole experience has been for me, Sidney. Anyway, I made the correction. Thanks for pointing it out.

Many thanks as well for the urls, I will definitely check them out.

I have no complaints with HP's customer service and its authorized service centers. I do, however, find the snoty attitude of its 24-hour help desk/call center reps (from Bangalor, India) disconcerting.

Asking for a FREE 3-year extra warranty sounds good. I will add that as one of my options.

Thanks, Sidney!

May 27, 2006 11:21 PM  

Blogger Berniej said...

I feel your pain (sort of). I had a similar bad experience with HP notebooks recently: We bought six (6) HP pavillions notebooks for the senior execs in our office. Within a span of three months, five out of the six units were returned/replaced and finally relegated to our office staff because of less than stellar performance and hardware problems. Two had defective LCD which manifested itself within the first month of use. One slowed down and the problem was traced to defective motherboard. The two others, though did not experience any problems were relegated to the senior executives' staff because these bosses doesn't want to risk it. The one that stuck out lasted for a year but after a few weeks of the lapsing of its warranty, its hard drive conked out wiping out the data stored in it.

Because of this experience, HP notebooks is "banned" in our office (we're either get ThinkPads or Dells).

As for your problem, I suggest you find a ranking HP officer and air your grievance to them. Otherwise sell it immediately and get a different notebook... I hear Dell makes a rather stable and not so expensive laptops.

As for me, I'm eyeing the newly released Apple MacBook -- its ability to dual-boot OS X and WinXP more than justifies its cost. Its like having two laptops at the same time: a big boon for LAN Administrators like me who wants the security and stability of OS X and the interoperability of WinXP in my Windows-centric office.

Hope to get your problems resolved.


May 28, 2006 9:27 AM  

Blogger BW said...

My feeling is laptops don't have a long life bro. This is my third laptop since 1998 - good that it is supplied by my office. I was given a NEC laptop in 98 at the time when laptop prices were quite prohibitive. It lasted for 5 years and broke down. Then I was given a refurbished IBM Thinkpad. My company got a good deal from a dealer and bought some in bulk. It lasted 3 years. The monitor just died this year. I just had brand new IBM Thinkpad T43 two months ago. I don't know how long this will last this time.

The problem in Pinas is PC stores are very shrewd and don't care about customer service. That's their 2nd nature. It really sucks. I've heard horror stories of people being ripped with their laptops. Honestly, its better to buy them here where you complaints can be listened to. I'd go and complain to a senior executive officer in HP Manila if I were you.

May 28, 2006 12:22 PM  

Anonymous jhay said...

Oh, no wonder we haven't heard from you in a long while.

Well what a coincidence. My own pc broke down just last night, it's 4-yr-old hardisk finally throwing the towel on the floor. Now I'm squatting at my dad's Mac G5, and only for a few hours, because he is using it throughout the day and even at night. I miss my own pc...*sighs*

Anyways, you should get a new laptop instead, 3 motherboard replacements within a year? That's so unfair.

May 28, 2006 8:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

My jaded cousin might be right, Bernie; considering, that HP laptops in the US are known to be certified workhorses, but those sold in PI have questionable quality.

I'll give Erick Icasas of HP another chance to work with me. If he's unable, I'll go to a higher ranking HP personnel. I will also launch a letter-writing campaign, and cc the HP president in the US.

As for selling my laptop, I do not have the heart to sell and pass on the pain/frustration that come with this less than dependable laptop to an unwitting soul.

I do appreciate your comments, Bernie. Again, I will look into a MAC the next time.


May 29, 2006 9:18 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

So far, BW, I've brought my grievances directly to HP and have not involved the retailer I purchased it from. However, come to think of it, I'm rather perplexed why the sales staff told me there was no optional extended warranty available for it, when HP now tells me there is.

Thanks for your input, BW!

May 29, 2006 9:23 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You can't imagine how frustrating it is to all of a sudden not have the use of your only computer equipment at home. To make matters worse, I do not enjoy hanging out at Internet cafes all that much.

If I were to buy a new one, Jhay, a Mac is probably more like it. I'm sure people at Apple are more protective of their integrity as a whole. But then again, this HP laptop had put quite a dent on my savings and I'm not quite that ready to spring for another big ticket item.

Hope you already got a chance to fix your PC.


May 29, 2006 9:31 AM  

Blogger Rey said...

I've had a bad experience with HP computers myself. That's why I switched to Fujitsu. Since then things went ok.

That explains why you haven't posted for so damn bloody while. :)

May 29, 2006 2:52 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

My having decided on an HP laptop was mainly based on past experience, which was very good. I had no idea these new models coming out nowdays are no longer the workhorses they were used to be.

Yes, Rey -- not having this laptop has been very inconvenient for me.

May 30, 2006 6:19 AM  

Anonymous Joaquin Zamora said...

I feel your pain. HP has good servers and desktops. But when it comes to laptops/notebooks I believe they're in the bottom of my list. Go with Toshiba, Fujitsu or IBM next time. Pricier yes, but tough as nails.

June 04, 2006 10:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks for the advice, Joaqy. I'll certainly look into those more in the future.

BTW, I was just checking out this morning your "Sariling Atin" group site. I love your new pics! I'll always be a fan.

June 04, 2006 11:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi just bought an new hp laptop.. thought that the deal was a bargain.. but come to think of it.. within one month of purchase the screen suddenly developed a crack.. no big incident involved... my personal opinion.. hp should start making glass vases in stead of laptops... or they should display the warning "careful or fragile"... a laptop is an equiment that shluld be carried around.. such fargile things can never be laptops.. whoever in hp thinks they are doing a good job should read this and keep shut... with this quality of product, i can not predict a very long life for the organization...

June 09, 2006 6:15 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You didn't mention where you purchased yours, anonymous, but had it been in the States and you had used a credit card, you could actually have your credit card company come to your aid.

Call them up and explain to them the problem. They in turn will refuse to remit the retailer until this issue has been resolved to your satisfaction. You can actually demand for a new unit.

If purchased in the Philippines, do what I did, remove the retailer from the equation and present your complaint -- about the flimsy screen of your unit -- directly to HP Philippines head office.

I am now in the process of resolving my issues with HP and will post an entry about it for everyone's perusal.

Many thanks for your input.

June 16, 2006 8:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to share that me and my friend both had the same experience. We both have the HP DV1312 and we both experienced the same motherboard burnout thing. Having gone through that I have asked HP if its possible to extend the warranty but to no avail. Its a bummer to realize that most laptops here offer just one year of warranty with the exception of Macs.

July 11, 2006 7:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Senor Enrique!

An HP DV1312 is up for resale in They're selling it for only 53K. I really wanted to purchase it. I mean with the specs it has and the low low price of only 53K. Where can you go wrong? Well, apparently, the motherboard can. Now, I'm seriously thinking of not going thru with the purchase.

Haay, sayang, 53K for a second hand laptop at with those specs would have been a great steal. And here I thought HP was one of the best computer companies out there. I have a HP scanner and 2 HP printers. No problems whatsoever with them though.


August 11, 2006 5:16 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

If I had in some way prevented you from going through what I am going through with my unit, then I can say to myself that I had my job.

There is really an inherent problem with this particula HP model and what I'm dismayed about it is the cover up.

Currently, I had filed a formal complaint against HP and the retail store I had purchased it from with DTI. I will keep everyone posted of developments.

August 11, 2006 5:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up!

I was looking for any reviews of this laptop and all that came up in google was your blog. Buti nalang di ko tinuloy yung purchase ng secondhand laptop.

August 12, 2006 2:07 PM  

Anonymous EVA said...

Interrest to buy laptop, find tips to buy laptop before you buy own laptop.

October 15, 2006 12:10 AM  

Blogger Pakpong said...

Hewlett Packard Pavilion 9260 HP Pavilion DV9260 LAPTOP

April 06, 2008 11:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To everyone who has read Señor Enriques column about the Hp Laptop model DV1312 AP. I was trying to find out how much this model would be selling right now when yahoo brouhgt me here to this specific webpage. I just want all of you who've read this to know that I also have the same model from January 2005 which is still working til now without any problems. I still use it even after I purchased a Toshiba A200 equipped with a Sindows Vista OS for the reason that it is a lot faster than the core 2 duo equipped laptops. Maybe, just maybe, i was lucky enough to get one without any defects; but then again maybe Senor Enrique was just too "malas" to get one that has been giving him problems. But I bought mine for 130thou.

July 15, 2008 10:55 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

If it was indeed "malas" or bad luck that I happened to have purchased a lemon product from HP, so be it; hence, no one else will have to experience the madness I went through with HP and its legal representatives.

I take it you're now planning to sell yours, Anonymous?

July 15, 2008 12:08 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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