By Kurtis Ming

When you buy electronics stores often offer an extended warranty. When a Sacramento woman had to use her warranty, she never expected they’d keep her computer. It was time to call Kurtis Ming to investigate. She sent it in to be fixed, but the next thing she knew, they sent her a check. But she wants her laptop back. So where is it?

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Walberta Hill got a great deal on the laptop on Black Friday of 2009.
“I think I waited for maybe like four hours or so,” recalls Walberta.
It paid off. She walked away with the $198 laptop. She also paid $60 for a two year extended warranty. That came in handy recently, when the touchpad stopped working. She filed a claim and the warranty company sent her a box to ship it out for repairs.

“There was never no saying of anything else but they’re going to fix it,” says Walberta.

So she was confused when she received a check for $215.33, the price of the laptop, plus tax. The check was dated a day before she sent off the laptop.

After a series of phone calls Walberta says Walmart called her back saying it was non-economic to fix her computer, so they cut her a check. But she doesn’t want the money because she says she won’t find a similar laptop that cheap.

“I just wanted my laptop back but by this time they’re telling me that it’s going to be hard to locate my laptop. Basically they don’t know where it’s at,” says Walberta.

All she had on her extended warranty was a paragraph at the bottom of her receipt saying she could get the full terms and conditions of her plan by calling or going online.

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“Most people don’t get the terms and conditions of the warranty,” says Gary Almond, President of the Northeast California Better Business Bureau.

He says get the full wording of your extended warranty and read it.
“They’re going to either refund you, or replace it or repair it. And it’s always at their discretion. It’s not what the customer wants, it’s what they want,” says Almond.

If you don’t like what you read in the terms and conditions the state of California says if you cancel in writing within 30 days you can get your money back minus any claims paid.

So where is Walberta’s computer? We got in touch with Walmart. They never got back to us. But the company sent Walberta a brand new comparable laptop.

“I absolutely love it. It’s actually better than what I had in the first place,” says Walberta.

If you ever have a problem with an extended warranty on electronics you can complain to California’s Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Electronics and Appliance Repair:

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