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¶ Why I hate Hewlett Packard
I had an absolutely awful experience with Hewlett Packard customer service this past week, and after being given the telephone run around for hours upon hours, repeatedly denied, explictly lied to, and hung up on twice, I have resolved never to purchase a Hewlett Packard product again, and will strongly recommend the same to everyone I care about until their technical and customer support improves dramatically.

A summary of my complaints:
  1. HP told me my laptop would be repaired under warranty and returned within 3-5 business days. 6 business days later I had to call and find out that I would be charged $300 for repair. HP did not make any attempt to contact me and inform me of these charges, or of the delay.
  2. Five separate service representatives failed to explain to my satisfaction the type and extent of the damage that was not under warranty. Two of them gave explicitly contradictory descriptions of the damage - Mike said the damage was internal, and Sam said the damage was external.
  3. I was blatantly lied to a number of times. Mike said a service technician would call me in within two hours. Nobody ever called. Sam said he did not have the authority to authorize a repair on the laptop, and 10 minutes later he actually did so.
  4. My questions were never directly answered. For example:
    • I asked Mike the name of his supervisor. He responded by asking what he could do for me. I asked him to answer my question, and he did not refuse, but instead asked unrelated questions. This repeated several times.
    • I asked many times to be connected to a supervisor, or a case manager, and was never told "yes" or "no". Instead, they responded with "please tell me what is wrong with the laptop" or other unrelated questions.
  5. I was hung up on twice. I have never before experienced a dropped phone line in my office building, and don't expect to again unless I am on the phone with HP customer support.
  6. The original reason put forward to explain why my laptop was not repaired and returned to me turned out to something that did not affect the working condition or structural integrity of my laptop, and had nothing to do with the reason I sent it in for repair.

My experience
Last September, my lab purchased an HP Pavilion dv1000 laptop for me to use in my research. Nine days ago on a Sunday, the laptop suddenly and quietly turned off when I was using it, and would not power on again despite my most valiant efforts and pleadings. I called HP tech support, and after an hour of going through diagnostic procedures, was told that my laptop would need to be sent in for repair. Additionally, I was told that this problem was covered under my warranty and that my laptop would be returned to me in 3-5 business days. Fine, I can work on something else for a few days.

Tuesday morning rolls around and I receive a Fedex box for my laptop so I bring it to the nearest Fedex/Kinko's and bid my laptop farewell for a few days. Later that day I receive an automated email tracking my laptop and find out that is received the next morning. Go Fedex.

Thursday and Friday roll around and I don't hear anything, and wonder what's taking so long, but don't worry about it too much.

On Monday, I still haven't received my laptop and so I call HP customer support to determine the status of my laptop. It turns out that the laptop is not repaired and they've determined that there is "damage to the upper assembly" of the laptop that they do not consider to be covered under warranty, and that I will have to pay $300 for repair. Of course, I am astounded and upset. I ask again for more specific details on the type and extent of the damage. What does "damage to the upper assembly" mean? Is it internal damage or external damage? What is the upper assembly? Is it a scratch? Did a cable break? Did someone (not me) smash it with a hammer?

I explain to the service rep that when I sent the laptop in for repair, that the exterior of the laptop was in pristine condition, without any scratches or blemishes, and ask her to clarify the damage. She is unable to do so, and asks me to call again the next day. Confused, I agree and hang up. A few minutes later, I resolve to get the issue fixed and call again. This time I'm connected to someone named Mike. I ask Mike to transfer me to someone who can tell me what's wrong, but he doesn't. I ask Mike to transfer me to a supervisor and he doesn't. I repeatedly tell Mike that the laptop was never dropped, shaken, or physically mistreated since it was purchased, and that this purported damage could not have been caused by me. Whatever, it's not like he's listening to me anyway. Mike puts me on hold for a while and eventually tells me that he's arranged for a service technician to call me within two hours and explain the damages to me. Suspicious, but somewhat appeased, I agree and let him go. Of course, nobody ever calls me. Bold-faced lies.

Tuesday morning (today), I call HP tech support again and ask why I wasn't called. Initially, the service rep (another Mike, but I don't know if it's the same one) tells me that there is no record that anyone is supposed to call me. I insist that there is and after a few minutes of "checking", he concedes that someone was supposed to call me. Whatever. Once again I try to apprehend the extent of this "damage to the upper assembly" and after another 15 minutes, manage to get Mike to tell me explicitly that it is internal damage, but he's unable to tell me what kind of internal damage. I ask to speak to a supervisor. I continue to protest that the laptop is under warranty and that this $300 charge is bogus unless they can explain the damage to me and why it's not covered. He keeps saying something about "accidental damage is not covered under your warranty" but will not tell me what the damage is. I ask repeatedly to be transferred to a supervisor and after about the 10th try, he agrees. After being put on hold for an additional 30 minutes without anyone picking up, I have to hang up and leave for a meeting.

After the meeting, I call tech support again and Jason Victor answers the phone. I cut right to the chase and ask to be transferred to a supervisor, because it is evident to me that the people I've been speaking to aren't able to answer my questions. After 15 minutes of asking to be transferred to a supervisor, he agrees to do so and puts me on hold. 34 minutes later, the line disconnects and I am back to square one. Funny, I've never experienced a dropped call from my office before.

Undeterred, and extraordinarily frustrated, I call again and Sam answers the phone. First, I make another brief attempt at understanding exactly what this damage is. Sam puts me on hold for 5 minutes and then tells me that there is damage to the exterior of the upper assembly. Hold on a second, Mike told me that the damage (whatever it is) was to the interior. So if it's exterior damage, is it a scratch or what? Sam has no idea and is unable to find out. He says he'll have a technician call me tomorrow. I call bullshit and decline. I ask if Sam has the authority to authorize the repair without charging me, and he says no, he does not. I ask if his supervisor has this authority, and he says no, his supervisor does not have the authority. I ask who does, and he says, "the case manager". I ask to be transferred to the case manager and he refuses.

Next, I try a different approach and ask Sam to explain to me why it is that I was never contacted about this repair, and why I had to wait until Monday to call and find out that it wouldn't be repaired unless I paid $300. Sam has no explanation, and puts me on hold. Five minutes later, he tells me that he's going to authorize a repair to the power supply of the laptop, but that he won't authorize the damage to the upper assembly. I ask him to clarify and eventually understand from him that the damage to the upper assembly does not affect the structural integrity or working condition of the laptop, and that the problem with the power supply is what's preventing my laptop from working, and is covered under warranty. All of a sudden, I am extremely confused. I was given the impression from the very beginning that this damage, which nobody has explained to me yet after 5 hours on the phone, is the root cause of the laptop's problems. Now, I am told that it is merely cosmetic exterior damage, and that my power supply will be repaired under warranty. I make him repeat and confirm to me several times that the laptop will be returned to me in proper working order. Finally, I ask him to explain all of the discrepancies I've encountered, and he is unable to do so. I ask to be transferred to a case manager, and he puts me on hold. 20 minutes later, the line disconnects again. Surprise surprise.

In short, this was an extremely unpleasant experience that smacks to me of deceit, and an intent to defraud a customer out of a service (the repair) previously agreed upon in a written contract (the warranty). I have gained absolutely nothing from this exchange, and wasted hours of my time speaking to customer support representatives who are trained to do nothing but deceive, lie to, and otherwise mislead customers. It will be a cold day in hell before I, or anyone I have influence on, purchases another HP product again.

Re: Why I hate Hewlett Packard
Posted 15 years, 4 months ago by Rikard S. • wwwReply
You need to report this to a Hewlet Packard office, the tech support is usually handled by contractors, even if they say HP. I would also like to take it to court, as a fraud attempt :-) Anyhow, while working for Ericsson, I've had excellent HP support here in Sweden, they came within two days and replaced disc-drives when they died in our laptops.
Re: Why I hate Hewlett Packard
Posted 15 years, 1 month ago by Chris Plesiuk • • Reply
I Hate Hewlet Packard. Less than 1 month hard drive mysteriously fails. Almost 1 month after the hard drive fails and I am supposed to be sent a replacement there is hard drive. I don't get called or informed unless I call ask specifically ask... I have no idea when or even if I will ever get my hard drive. Even if I do get it, no one seems to know where my recovery discs are... HP Hates me, and I in turn Hate HP.

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