Help! My HP Envy doesn’t work. Can I get a replacement or a refund?

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By Christopher Elliott

The touchscreen on Satoaki Omori’s new HP Envy laptop doesn’t work, and the computer has been discontinued. Can he get a full refund — or a replacement?

Question

I recently had a very, very painful experience when I bought an HP Envy x360 2-in-1 laptop. I received it a few months ago, and the product was defective. 

The touch screen did not work. I wasted 40 hours on the phone with HP tech support but could not get a replacement screen. I finally sent it back to HP for a repair.

HP recently told me that it couldn’t get a replacement screen because it discontinued the laptop. I asked the company to send me a similar product, the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop,  or refund the $1,434 I spent. But HP denied the exchange and refused me a full refund (it said I could not get the sales taxes back). 

I’d like HP to replace my broken laptop with one of equal or better value or send me a full $1,434 refund. Can you help? — Satoaki Omori, Anaheim, Calif.

Answer

Your new HP laptop should have worked, and if it didn’t, the company should have repaired it promptly. But this goes back to the old “repair, replace or refund” question. Companies always start with repair, even when they’re wrong. And in this case, HP was very wrong.

Here are the red flags: Your computer never worked. HP couldn’t fix it for three months. HP couldn’t repair it remotely and asked you to send it back. Then they couldn’t find the parts for it because your Envy model had been discontinued. To me, that suggests the model may have been a little buggy to begin with. 

Do HP’s laptops have touchscreen problems?

Your case raises a bigger question about HP’s touchscreens. My advocacy team has received a growing number of complaints about defective touchscreens in HP laptops. And we’re not alone. Owners of various HP laptops, including the Envy x360, Spectre x360, and Pavilion Gaming 15t, have had similar issues.

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What’s going on?

  • Multiple users have reported issues with the touchscreen functionality, including erratic behavior, unresponsiveness, and complete failure.
  • Although the problems seem to be widespread, it appears to primarily affect devices that were manufactured between 2018 and 2020.
  • Some customers have reported spending hours trying to troubleshoot the issue, only to find that the problem persists.
  • Frustrated owners have taken to social media and online forums to vent their frustration and ask for help.

Worse, the cost of a repair or replacement can be substantial, ranging from $300 to more than $1,000, depending on the model and extent of the damage.

HP has not issued an official recall. But the company has acknowledged the issue and provided some guidance on troubleshooting and repair options. However, many consumers feel that this is insufficient and are calling for more comprehensive action.

My advice? Do your research before buying an HP laptop with a touchscreen display. Read reviews and check online forums for any red flags. Also, double-check the warranty options and customer support offered by HP before buying your laptop.

Will HP repair your laptop?

Careful documentation is the key to resolving a problem like this. Keep a record of all your chats and emails with HP. Take pictures of the defect if necessary. If you had purchased this computer through a retailer like Best Buy, you could have also leaned on the company for help. But in this case, you bought the laptop directly from HP.

You did a great job of blazing a paper trail. You have to give the system a chance to work, but once you are stuck in a holding pattern, it’s time to escalate your complaint to the next level. You can appeal in writing to one of the HP customer service executives I publish on my consumer advocacy website, Elliott.org. I also have some tips on how to resolve your own customer service problem, which may help you fix the problem yourself.

It’s unclear why HP couldn’t refund the sales tax after you requested your money back. But I didn’t think you should be on the hook for the tax, so the refund offer wouldn’t have worked for me, either.

I contacted HP on your behalf. The company agreed to send you a new HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop as a replacement, which you accepted.  

About this story

The more I research HP’s touchscreen problems, the more I suspect there are hundreds — perhaps thousands — of unresolved cases out there. My advocacy team and I wish we could help all of them, and if you contact us, we’ll certainly try. I’m grateful to my team for lending me a hand with this case, including Will Leeper and his team on our Facebook group, Mel Smith and Dwayne Coward in our advocacy department, Andy Smith and his excellent team of editors, and my brother Dustin Elliott who did the art for this story. You’ve made the world a better place through your advocacy.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in São Paulo.

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