The sound from my HP nx7400 laptop left speaker is distorted for quite some time now.
1. I have an onsite warranty and when I called up the support center today, they asked me if the problem was apparent across media (mp3) players.
2. When they asked what media players, I said itunes, winamp.
3. There was an "innocous question" whether it was also on VLC.
4. I said it was on all players, itunes, winamp, vlc, etc.
Immediately, the question was repeated, "does it also happen on VLC media player?"
5. When I said "Yes", the support person immediately jumped on this and said "If you use VLC, warranty is not available".
This is supposedly so since VLC can be run at 400% volume levels which can cause problems. While it doesn't mean that I have run at these (or lower) levels, mere presence of this software has voided warranty now.
While I somewhat agree with such company policies, I have few major issues with this.
1. The line of questioning of onsite support is misleading and bordering on cross questioning with an intent to find fault. It is just not downright ethical.
2. If there are known software which will void HP's warranty, they must provide audit software which will help customers chose, install and use right software on their computers.
3. Such information must also be provided during warranty purchase / activation. Afterall, I paid close to Rs.4000-5000 for annual warranty and that is by no means cheap money in India (or anywhere else).
I provided feedback to the customer support on point (2) above and was asked to get in touch with email@example.com to provide feedback about such improvements. I certainly will.
So, beware - of such - policies and software.
I feel quite cheated.