A Warning to Laptop Purchasers.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

In August of 2005, I purchased a Fujitsu laptop. It was a perfect laptop with beautiful screen. But the honeymoon didn't last forever. Having worked at a Circuit City a few years ago, I knew the importance of extended warranties for electronic items, especially laptop's. Note: this isn't a blanket endorsement of all extended warranties, as you shall read below.

A few weeks ago, I started noticing that even when the AC adapter was plugged in, my computer wouldn't show it as charging or on AC power. I would have to move it around a little to get it to actually show that it was plugged in. The problem gradually grew worse and could very well be related to the issues I was having with either my hard drive or motherboard (boy, do I sound like I know what I am talking about)! The problems reached its peak when I had a week left of school and still had 5 papers to write. I had done 4 system restores, including a complete C: drive erase and this ate up my time like no one can believe-all of this during that last week of school!

My parents were flying into town for my graduation and I knew I would just send my laptop with them to take to Fry's, where I purchased my laptop and extended warranty, so they could fix my hard drive, motherboard, and the AC adapter (the jack, specifically). I was shocked and pissed when my step-dad called and said I would have to pay AT LEAST $200 for them to fix the jack as they considered that "physical damage" which voids the warranty.

However, the warranty contradicts itself in that it specifies that it would repair anything caused by "normal use" and the jack broke through normal use. Also, they wouldn't even run a diagnostics test on my laptop until I fixed the jack as they said the two problems (problem iwth hard drive and/or motherboard) could be related. I called and spoke with the store manager and tore him a new one. When I finally calmed down, he stated that they would fix the jack and run a diagnostics test for free if I would purchase a new jack online, which I did. He did this not because he bought my argument about the warranty but because of customer service, which I definitely appreciate.

Yet this reveals a significant problem with Fujitsu laptops and Fry's as Fry's could claim that any problem someone has with their computer is "physical damage" and in essence, their warranties cover nothing. And, I would argue that their warranties are contradictory as they claim to cover anything that breaks under normal use but won't fix that which is classified as physically damaged. Argh. The problem with Fujitsu jacks became even more of a problem when I was told my sister, with an earlier model of the same laptop, had the same problem with her jack.

I have called and spoken with Fujitsu and they claimed that if the jack had broke while it was covered under their warranty, unless the broke jack occurred because of abuse or neglect, they would fix it for free.

So, my warning is that you read every word in an extended warranty and you avoid Fujitsu laptops until this jack problem is resolved. Well, and maybe we should all switch over to Mac's because I am so sick and tired of crappy computers, the problems with Windows, and all of that.

God be with those of you who have a Fujitsu, enjoy that beautiful screen while you can, and those of you who have an electronic item covered under a Fry's extended warranty.

With that said, any recommendations for extended warranties (who has good ones, who has bad ones), laptop brands that are good, or any other advice relevant to this post, would be greatly appreciated.


I've killed a laptop in exactly the same way - it's a huge flaw in the design of power jack, if you ask me.

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