HP Cleared in Computer|Wireless Card Confusion

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Consumers cannot sue Hewlett-Packard for allegedly misrepresenting that the wireless cards for notebook computers could operate on different frequency bands, a federal judge ruled.
     In dismissing the original class action, the Northern District of California cited a lack of evidence behind the claim that HP represented certain wireless cards as available for custom notebooks and the entire model series.
     The plaintiffs also did not explain what “led them to believe that the wireless cards available in computers for purchase at retail stores are identical to the cards available in computers sold online.”
     In their second attempt, the class claimed that the “Overview” and “Help Me Decide” sections on HP’s website apply to both custom and off-the-shelf computers.
     U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel sided with HP, determining that the “Help Me Decide” link relates to a choice that is irrelevant with off-the-shelf computers. Clicking the link opens a pop-up that says each wireless card “provide[s] up to 270 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band.”
     The pop-up window does not include product descriptions, and an overview states that the actual price depends on the customized options chosen, according to the nine-page ruling.
     “Plaintiffs reasonably could not have relied on the information at the ‘Help Me Decide’ link in deciding what products to purchase at Office Depot,” Fogel wrote. “Even if plaintiffs made an honest mistake, the legal responsibility for that mistake cannot be attributed to HP.”

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