In March 2018 we bought what would be our third HP Pavilion laptop from Currys PC World, despite the fact that the previous one, purchased only three years prior, was already developing hard drive problems.
Within only a few weeks it started making a significant whirring noise, which at first we couldn't decide was coming from the hard drive or the fan. Here's the sound, for your delectation:
We took it back to Currys PC World who told us it was too late to exchange and that it would have to go back to the manufacturer for over a week (if we were lucky). My wife's a writer and, as she'd already begun her next novel and also needed to keep engaged with her significant social media base, couldn't afford to be without what was essentially the means to earn her livelihood.
We decided to put up with the noise for the time being, which subesquently became much louder and even more distracting for writing. There followed a hugely frustrating period of trying to find contact numbers for the right people, having conversations about 'fit for purpose' regarding our consumer rights and a complete failure on HP's part to escalate our concerns.
HP Twitter 'Support' (and I use the term loosely) referred us to their regional team, who got in touch to say they didn't provide email support and to call the technical helpdesk or chat support. When I went back to the Twitter team to say that path had got us nowhere, I was told they'd take it up with the regional office again, who should respond within 4 days. When they didn't, there was more back and forth with numerous cut'n'paste repsonses and three more lots of four days waiting, with no contact.
At this point I insisted on talking to someone in Customer Relations but was instead contacted by the technical team, who told me I couldn't talk to CR because they were already aware and had delegated back to them to make the call - only to repeat that we would be without a laptop during repair. Back to the Twitter team who said they couldn't override the decision and to continue to 'work with' our local support team.
I then received a call from the UK and Ireland office, who emailed me for more info and said they looked forward to a reply, which I sent (copying Dion Weisler, HP's CEO) - only to receive a message that the mailbox was unmonitored! Unsurprisingly, nothing from the CEO either. Over four months had passed at this point.
Both my wife and I were by then so incensed with the lack of ownership of the problem that we began venting our dissatisfaction on open Twitter and taking to forums, where we discovered that many people were experiencing the same issue - just Google 'HP fan noise' and it's now a widely recognised design fault, which HP have always denied. We've since exacted some revenge by warning people off buying HP Pavilions. You know what they say: "If someone has a good experience, they might tell a few people - but if they have a bad one, they'll tell everyone".
Eventually we just bit the bullet until I decided to take a peek inside the laptop for myself, where I discovered it was the vibration against the mounting of the fan that caused the noise - which would stop when you held the working fan in your hand. No attempt to buffer it with rubber or padded tape resolved it.
So there we are. Apart from never buying an HP product again (and we've also had printers), all we can hope for is that we might inflict some pain back on HP by discouraging others from buying their laptops.
Update 11 Dec '20: HP got in touch from their France HQ but, while I got lots of 'Thanks for feedback', 'We'll learn from this' and 'there was clearly miscommunication in the early stages' they did or said nothing by way of amends. In fact they batted the blame back on Currys PC World for not fulfilling their obligations by looking at the laptop instore, which contradicted another part of the conversation where they said it was still on one year warranty to the 3rd party retailer at the time, and also explains why Currys may not have wanted to invalidate that warranty by opening it up. HP did apologise though, even acknowledging we were 'loyal' customers, completely missing the point that they've alienated us.