On Your Side: Trouble With a KDS Monitor Warranty

I bought a KDS K-24MDWB monitor from Newegg in March 2008. Newegg and KDS both listed the monitor as having a three-year parts and labor warranty. When the monitor wouldn't power on, I contacted KDS, and it said it wouldn't warrant the monitor because I didn't purchase it from ASI, the exclusive distributor for KDS monitors in North America. Neither the Newegg site nor the KDS site said I had to buy the monitor from ASI for the warranty to be valid. Can you do anything to help me?

Sherry Marshall, Oklahoma City

OYS responds: When we contacted KDS about Marshall's problem, we were surprised to receive a response from an ASI representative. The rep explained that ASI provides warranty service for monitors, like Marshall's KDS model, that are manufactured by Proview.

Another ASI representative told us that the company should have honored Marshall's warranty. After we got in­­volved, ASI agreed to repair Marshall's monitor; but when it couldn't obtain the needed parts, the company offered to re­­place the unit with a slightly larger one from a different brand. Marshall accepted the offer and now has a 25-inch Hanns-G monitor with a three-year warranty.

If a company denies you the service you're entitled to, don't give up. You may have to talk to a number of people before finding one who will help you, but your persistence should pay off. If you're buying from a third-party retailer (like Newegg or Amazon), make sure you understand whether the product's warranty policy is through the manufacturer or the seller before you make that purchase.

Hard-Drive Headache

Pat Fanning of Aurora, Colorado, was un­­able to start up her Dell Inspiron 1420 laptop. During a tech support call, a Dell technician told her that the hard drive was damaged, so she ordered a new one (the machine was out of warranty). Fanning checked her order status regularly online, only to see the estimated arrival date pushed back repeatedly.

She called Dell numerous times, sent e-mail messages, and spoke with various customer service representatives, but all she was told was that the drive was "in production"-for six months. Thoroughly frustrated, Fanning asked us for help.

After we contacted Dell, a company representative not only shipped Fanning the new hard drive at no cost but also refunded the support-call fee.

HP Expands Battery Recall

Hewlett-Packard, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is recalling about 54,000 lithium ion batteries used in assorted HP and Compaq laptop PCs (Hp has posted a list of relevant models and battery bar codes). In May 2009, HP recalled 70,000 notebook PC batteries; since then, the company has received 38 additional reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured, resulting in 11 minor injuries and 31 instances of minor property damage.

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