Best Buy Reportedly Voids Netbook Warranty after Customer Installs Linux


If you're looking for an excuse to upgrade to a newer netbook running Intel's next-gen N450 Atom processor, there are plenty of surefire ways to void your warranty and convince your significant other you're out of options. Submerge it in a tub of water, for example. Or set it on fire. Take a hammer to the chassis, or intentionally drop the unit off a 20-story building. Better yet, install Linux .

Wait a tick, what was that? Believe it or not, installing Linux, while not at all fatal, is enough to void your netbook's warranty under Best Buy's Geek Squad Black Tie Protection Plan, one user claims.

"My four month-old netbook's touchpad and power adapter all stopped working," the out-of-luck user wrote on the Consumerist blog . "I took the machine into Best Buy for service under the Geek Squad's Black Tie Protection Plan on Saturday, and demonstrated its problems. The manager of the Geek Squad informed that installing Ubuntu Linux on my machine voided my warranty, and that I could only have it serviced if the original Windows installation was restored. Furthermore, he insisted that the touchpad and power adapter had been broken because I installed Linux."

Now here's the thing. Driver conflicts and other quirky behavior really can creep up when switching from Windows to Linux (or vice versa), so Best Buy has a valid point. Fair enough, just restore Windows and all is well again, right? Wrong.

After doing just that, the user alleges the store's Geek Squad manager informed him that Linux had "permanently voided" his warranty.

In the age of the Internet, we have a hunch Best Buy will have a change of heart and end up fixing or replacing the netbook in question.

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