Before I began working on internal hardware on laptops, I was checking a customers HP Pavilion ze4500 laptop. It had a bad keyboard, and also heavily infected with viruses.
The keyboard filled in it’s own keys even when not pressed, and other characters on various keystrokes. Anyway, during 1 of the virus scans, it shut down completely, and would not power back on, no lights, nothing dead. I took it to Computer Discount in Toledo, OH for them to check, and confirm if the mainboard went out, and here is what followed.
Told at counter, “diagnostics is $65…., I paid the diagnostics fee up front.
Computer Discount called me the next day, and asked if they can send it to another one of there locations in Toledo that had a “certified laptop specialist”,, in which I gave them the ok. They called me the following day, and told me the laptops motherboard is faulty, and needs to be replaced,, at a price they quoted of $400. In which I replied, “no, I’ll pick it up”
They called me the next day, and told me, “we fixed the laptop, we don’t know how, we just put back together and it powered on,, maybe loose cable?” I repied “GREAT, I’ll come pick it up.”
When I go to pickup the laptop, they then tell about a $75 re-assemble fee. A $75 re-assemble fee???? (please note they already had it re-assembled) They did not tell me this when I dropped it off for diagnostics, when told disgnostics is $65. Diagnostics means for them to check, and tell me what is the problem, and they knew the laptop would have to come apart because I told them, and they seen when I dropped off it had no power lights. They did not tell about a $75 re-assemble fee, it was already assembled by them, nor did they tell me this over the phone.
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They told me they fixed it by resetting the CMOS bio’s, and they had to take apart to get to this battery. The tech that called the day before told me on the phone, “we don’t know how, we put it back together it works….” Nothing was mentioned about the CMOS battery reset.
WRONG, CMOS reset hole on back of laptop.
I raised hell at there counter, but they were going to hold laptop until $75 re-assemble fee was paid. Told them to dis-assemble the laptop because I am NOT paying it. I ended up not paying the $75 assembly fee.
When I got back home, I knew the keyboard now has to be replaced, so I flipped the keyboard back over to remove the keyboard, and see the keyboard cable was not attached. So I connected the keyboard cable just for the hell of it, just to see. And when I do, guess what happens…… laptop does not power on. When I dis-connected the keyboard, the laptop power on and boots up!
The keyboard was the entire cause of this no power, possible bad motherboard scenario here.
Computer Discount did not fix the laptop, they left the faulty keyboard cable off which powered the laptop back on, gave the appearance it was repaired, but NOT. They most likely did not even dis-assemble the laptop in the first place, the cmos battery was accessible from the outside of laptop. They charge a $75 re-assembly fee of the laptop, which they DID NOT tell me about until I go to pick up.
Why the faulty keyboard was causing this I do not know, but the faulty keyboard stopped this laptop from powering on completely.
In any case this happened about 5 years ago, soon after is when I began servicing internal hardware issues on laptops due to the experience and business practices of this Computer Discount outfit in Toledo Ohio.
To summarize the above:
- $65 diagnostics fee for Computer Discount to check the laptop
- Bad motherboard, $400 to replace.
- Next day, “oh wait, we fixed it”
- $75 re-assembly fee when I arrived to pick up laptop
- Nothing was stated about a re-assembly fee when dropped off
- “We fixed it by resetting the CMOS battery on the mainbaord”
- CMOS reset pin hole accessible from back of laptop.
- No, you “fixed it” by leaving faulty keyboard cable off.
And I know damn well IF, I or anyone else with same experience would of told them to replace the motherboard, the board would not of been replaced by them. They would of charge me the $400, replace the $20 keyboard and the same motherboard would still be in the laptop. Big profit for them! Very funny Computer Discount!
The HP ze4500 is an older laptop, but it still runs today, with a new keyboard.
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