Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 5, 2007
BLOG: The End For Hewlett Packard

My tribulations with Hewlett Packard, previously chronicled here and here, have reached their logical endpoint. To recap briefly, my brand new HP desktop didn't work at all, so HP was going to send someone out to look at it pursuant to the extended/in-home service contract I paid an extra $300 for; the guy never showed, and only later called to say the motherboard he was supposed to replace wouldn't be in until late May (later revised to late June). Once I got the second date I had them send me a new PC instead.

So the new PC doesn't work either; it has the exact same problem. I called tech support tonight, to get them to hopefully send someone out who would actually come. Naturally this led to an hour or more on the phone being tranfserred through five different people (one of whom was in laptop support, the prior person having ignored me when I said desktop), and having to retell the whole tale from the top for each one.

Finally, I get past the guys who wanted to run me through all the same steps that accomplished nothing last time, and onto the guy who could authorize sending someone out...and he tells me that until the old PC has returned the in-home service doesn't apply to the replacement.

Which, in the interim, still does not work. Even though it, like its predecessor, is brand new.

I have had it; I'm sending everything back to HP, getting my money back and never buying a computer from them again. I've now been a month without a working computer (I'm typing this from my wife's laptop) with no realistic prospect of having one any time soon. I keep reading all this great stuff about HP (the Wall Street Journal had a cover story recently on them surpassing Dell as the #1 maker of computers) but as far as I am concerned, a company that can't sell a computer that actually functions is not one I want to do business with.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:25 PM | Blog 2006-14 | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

I hope you send a complaint letter, though that has never gotten me anywhere with tech companies. Though I read that WSJ article too, a couple of things stood out to me.

The new HP PC division lead beat out Dell by going retail, making things simpler, excellent marketing(JayZ, Cuban, etc.), and hammering the supply chain. Not a word about true customer service, or quality. Meh. If Dell doesn't rise up to reclaim the lead in the next year or so, they never will - their future rides on WalMart.

Best of luck with it.

Posted by: Dave at June 6, 2007 4:37 AM

Since you live near me Crank, and you don't want to see the light and get a Mac, then you should get your PC at J & R. They know what they are doing, and know how to service customers like nobody else.

Years ago, I replaced the aging Dells in the office withy a few from CompUSA, including paying for their setup. What I was left with was no functioning office for a week. The only way I got someone to show up who did something(not a lot, but I had 1 limping computer), was to go to their store (I am near the 5th Ave. store at work), and had a public tantrum, including kicking over a large display of printer boxes. That got me into the inner sanctum, where they proudlyt had a lot of letters on the wall, thanking thwm for fixing problems that never should have happened.

That said, get a Mac. First, their quality control is great. Second, they have a store in Roosevelt Field, and two in Manhattan, populated by tech experts who really know their stuff. Hardware and software. It's nice dealing with a company where the employees actually like the product.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at June 6, 2007 8:57 AM

Did you get an American helpdesk support or one that was outsourced?

Posted by: Javaman at June 6, 2007 9:31 AM

I had the same experience with Compaq, which merged into HP...I bought a brand new, high end machine...they had me ship the sucker back to them at my cost...they kept it three months and then returned it with the same problem with a printout of their software diagnostics showing that it cleared diagnostics. The computer, upon arrival, would not boot unless you hard rebooted four or five times, which would have been noticeable to anyone that turned the thing off and back on the time I got it back, it was working on being a middle of the road computer and I could have bought the same thing for half the price...

I understand your frustration with that company...

They should stick to printers...

Posted by: AstrosFan at June 6, 2007 11:12 AM

Printers!? Still without our printer that we purchased almost 4 months ago now. Worked for about 2 weeks. At this point I have pretty much written that $425 purchase off. Phone calls, letters, etc. just get run though so much interference that it is impossible to get to anyone who can authorize anything. I am operating under the assumption now that we will never get this printer back nor hear from HP again. They SUCK!

Posted by: jim at June 6, 2007 11:46 AM

Daryl - Before I bought the HP off their website, I had tried CompUSA, but the one near me was going out of business.

Javaman - Oddly, the laptop tech support guy sounded American, but all the desktop people were clearly in India.

Posted by: The Crank at June 6, 2007 2:18 PM

Well, we have had quite a few workhorse printers...I have an HPIIIp that is attached to my work machine and it has to be 15 years, I admit, I haven't bought one in a couple of years, but that's in part because our office is still using the older ones that won't die...

Posted by: AstrosFan at June 6, 2007 6:28 PM

Well, we have had quite a few workhorse printers...I have an HPIIIp that is attached to my work machine and it has to be 15 years, I admit, I haven't bought one in a couple of years, but that's in part because our office is still using the older ones that won't die...

Posted by: AstrosFan at June 6, 2007 6:28 PM

I think the real issue is the elimination of personal service. Things don't always work. We expect cars to have issues, but computers have always had a far far higher level of failure--imagine Apollo. Those trips to the moon with such a low level of failure (yes, I know about 13, I lived through it). That's why I tout Apple. The software is exceptional, and has a higher level f success than Windows, so there are fewer things that go wrong. When it does, you reach a person either in Cupertino, or in the store. The store, it's important. You get a person, it means a lot. We are getting use to buying through the internet, and then expect a human interaction when we need it, which no longer exists.

Among other things, I am a woodworker (you google me, you see some of the things-shameless plug). Anyway, there are several tool companies that deal with imports, but the ones that last a long time are the ones that have a high level of customer service. Machines need tuning from the start, parts break, all of that. However, many companies still keep parts, have a good tech staff, and send parts. If small ones with a new tool break, often, Grizzly and others just mail them to you, no questions asked.

A funny thing about Grizzly. They import tools made in Taiwan, generally knockoffs of American tools, generally designed by Delta (formerly high end, but now crappy). They made it cheaper in Taiwan. Now, in one of their new catalogs, they say for one widget (I'm paraphrasing): "Don't be fooled by our competitors grinder, made in China. Ours is the Taiwanese original!"

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at June 6, 2007 8:50 PM

My HP PC from BestBuy has worked fine and is going on 5 or 6 years old. It even survived the move from Virginia Beach to Ohio. Now HP printers might as well be labeled disposable.

Posted by: largebill at June 6, 2007 10:02 PM

HP just set the non nappy headed ho named Paris free. Damn HP to Hell.

Posted by: abe at June 7, 2007 10:14 AM

I completely understood your frustration,since I face the same problem with HP for my printer.The printer become dead after a month of my purchase,I sent to HP for service..They sent back to me after a four to five weeks,But the problem still stays in my printer..I don't want to call them again...
Breakdown Insurance

Posted by: sakthi at June 8, 2007 5:55 AM

All I can say is that in the 12 years I have owned Macs, I have never needed to have one serviced. My wife even dropped her Mac Book Pro last week and dented a corner, but no problems!

Posted by: Jonathan at June 8, 2007 10:10 AM
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