Question HP Depot Center won't repair my laptop uner warranty claiming USB ports failure is caused by water damage

May 8, 2023
Hi laptop tech support experts,

On 4/20/2023, my HP Elitebook X360 1040 G4 13.3" laptop purchased in June 2021 with warranty expiring in June 2024 all of a sudden had all 3 of the USB ports (1 USB-A & 2 USB-C) stop working (although the primary USB-C port does "charge" the laptop w/o data transfer working). I ran the system diagnostics test that showed all systems passed incl. 1 of 2 & 2 of 2 tests memory, SSD, Video (see screen capture #1). However, when I ran the "Components - USB Port Test", it Failed with a long "Failure ID#" (see screen capture #2).

I then called HP Warranty Support who created a warranty repair order and service ticket with all my Information including a note on the above diagnostics test results. HP sent me a return shipping label, so I backed up my data and shipped it to HP Depot Center on 4/29/2023. On 5/2/2023, HP confirmed receiving my laptop so I called and spoke withe their tech support personnel (the CSR lady looped him in) who specifically said they checked my laptop (quick diagnostics test) and confirmed "USB Ports Only Failure) and that my laptop will be replaced with a new motherboard that's in stock all within warranty and should be completed with repair work by 5/5 to be delivered back to me by 5/8/2023(Mon).

However, when I called the HP Bench team on 5/5(Fri) as I didn't get any updates, the lady (Susan) said the HP Depot Center technician reported "Customer water damage" as the failure reason with a "out of warranty repair order created at a total after fee/tax cost of $1,365! (Much more expensive than buying a brand new HP laptop). I demanded a picture evidence and the attached #3 picture was sent to me. Does this look like a water damage to you experts as I don't think so? Also, as I immediately responded to HP Bench team's email with this picture evidence as Susan promised to escalate this issue to "HP Customer Relations Management", I clearly stated that I *never* exposed my HP laptop to ANY moisture let alone water (as it's always stored/used in my secure home office desk) NOR did I ever even open the back cover of this laptop! Also, how could such a small isolated white dot (it looks more like condensation build up?) in the middle of the motherboard cause such "YSB Ports Only" Failure when the 3 USB Ports are so far away from it?! In fact, when I search up HP laptop USB Ports for my X360 1040 G4, attached #4 pictures are what I find - each port has its own small PCB regulating it, it seems. I also mentioned that their own tech support acknowledged this USB port failure was due to faulty motherboard and asked them to check the call recordings on 5/2(Tue).

So I'd really appreciate your expert opinions on this problem in the next day or two if possible with any of your recommendations to challenge HP Depot Center to get them to repair (replace motherboard) my laptop under warranty. I did hear that HP service centers often play this card to try to pin problems onto the customer's whenever possible to avoid costs. I'll be watching this thread closely and then call HP back with my disputed challenges to get their Customer Relations Manager (one is assigned now) to accept my laptop repair under warranty.

[UPDATE: 5/8/2023]
I called HP support today and found out that my CSO(service order) was *never* even ticketed with ANY escalation requests despite my Multiple requests over the phone and email... I was advised to "call the billing department (under Customer Relations Mgmt) to make this complaint". I told them I don't want to deal with a "Billing dept" when I've done no wrong *and* REFUSE to be held responsible for ANY cost of this repair... But I'll still call them tomorrow to see how/if they can really help escalate/despite case or not... I'll update this posting afterwards...

I'm really in need of this work laptop so I hope to get this resolved asap this week to get it fixed/returned to me. So I truly appreciate all your helpful I sights and recommendations in advance!

-TJ, Dealmaster3
Last edited:
May 8, 2023
Hi experts,
Unfortunately, I have not seen any responses yet... I'd really appreciate ANY of your expert opinions, especially IF this HP Depot's picture (attached #3) is even "water damage" (or just condensation buildup?) *and* if such pictured issue can ONLY damage the 3 USB Ports to fail (attached #2) and Nothing else (i.e. ALL systems diagnostics test PASSed (attached #1).

I'm still fighting this with HP... now with "Escalationn Casre Manager" assigned by their Customer Relations Management... So your expert inputs will be truly appreciated here to defend my case... Thanks much in advance for your valuable time and inputs.

-TJ, Dealmaster3 (OP)


File a claim with BBB as suggested. However, picture 3 does show some sort of possible liquid damage. Seems that is rather small and not widespread, at least from what the picture shows. Heck, that could have even been the result of a sweat droplet from whoever disassembled the laptop. But, something is there.
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