Hewlett Packard Update

I have an update on my experience with Hewlett Packard and their customer support. I did not want to post anything more about my situation until I had spoken with their “Quality Customer Care”, as I was not sure whether things were going to turn out badly, or if they would make things right for me.

Well, it appears as though they are going to make things right, and I must say I am extremely impressed. All the same, it would have been nice to have them simply throw in an extra hard drive, or some sort of nice peripheral, but I am still overwhelmed by their response to my situation.

Within this blog entry, you will find the correspondence I sent to HP, along with their e-mail responses. I will then tell you about the phone call I received yesterday afternoon.


Following is the message I originally sent after receiving my computer back from HP:

To Whom It May Concern:
I must express my serious disappointment in the
customer service experience I have just had.

Here is a timeline of what has happened since I bought
my computer on April 1, 2007 on a recommendation of
how fantastic HP’s support is:

I was extremely impressed with the performance of the
computer from the beginning. I began installing all
of my software, and customizing the computer nicely.
On April 8, I had an issue while attempting to
re-format my extra hard drive. The computer no longer
would boot at all. I attempted a System Recovery, but
that would not work either.
On April 10, I contacted HP tech support over the
phone. The representative was extremely difficult to
understand, and was apparently carrying on multiple
conversations with multiple customers at the same
time. He only had a handful of suggestions on how to
diagnose my problem, each of which he repeated
multiple times to no avail, before finally realizing
he was not going to be able to diagnose the problem
over the phone.
On April 11, a customer service representative
contacted me on the telephone to notify me that they
would send me a box to ship my computer to an HP
repair facility.
On April 18, I shipped the box, after dealing with
problems with FedEx (which are obviously not any fault
of HP).
The package arrived at the HP repair facility in
Kentucky on April 20.
A few days later, I checked the HP Web site to track
my repair order. The Web site said that my package
had not yet arrived, and they had no estimate as to
when it would be repaired. So, I called Tech Support,
and they confirmed that my computer was, in fact, at
the repair facility, but they wouldn’t be able to
estimate a date of completion. They told me to check
back in 48 hours, and they would definitely have an
estimate for me.
I checked the Web site three days later, and it had
still not been updated. I called Tech Support again,
and they told me that they still could not give me an
estimated date of completion.
I then e-mailed you, and got the response below.
Finally, on May 10, 2007, the Web site was updated,
and I received an update in my e-mail telling me that
my computer had arrived at the facility, and that it
should be back to me by May 21, 2007.
I received the computer today. I opened it up to find
that the case had been banged up, with cosmetic
scratches all over it. In addition, rather than
setting the side panel on the computer properly, the
technicians forced the side panel on incorrectly,
bending some of the catches on the side, and seriously
bending the hole in which the screw goes on the back.

I have not been impressed with any portion of my
customer service experience thus far, except for the
courteous nature of the personal e-mail responses I
have received.

Needless to say, when I am considering a second
personal computer in the near future, I will seriously
re-consider the idea of buying another HP, simply
because of my negative experience up to this point.

I don’t know quite what could be done in order to
correct this issue, as I certainly don’t expect you to
completely replace my computer due to some cosmetic
and structural damage incurred by the technicians.
However, I am extremely disappointed in the fact that
my brand new computer is already damaged, due to the
actions of “professional” repair technicians. I
would, however, appreciate some sort of considerable
compensation for the problems I have faced.

Thank you, and I hope to hear from you, soon. Again,
I would like to point out that the one bright spot in
this whole experience has been the courteous nature of
the personal e-mail responses I have received. Thank
you for your courtesy, and I am sorry that I had to
respond with such a negative review.

I then received this response from HP within about 12 hours, to which I responded about a week later, this past Friday (I was in the middle of moving out of my old house and into a new one, but that’s a story for a different day’s blog entry) with the answers to the questions they posed:

Curtiss,

Thank you for writing back.

It is our goal to provide a resolution as quickly and efficiently as
possible. After going through the complete correspondence, it is
apparent that this issue requires the personal attention of the
Advanced Support Group (ASG). Please respond with the following
information:

Contact Information:

* Full Name:
* Organization:
* Mailing Address (No P.O. Boxes):
* Apartment/Building/Mailstop:
* City:
* State:
* Zip/Postal Code:
* Phone Number (including area code):
* Convenient Time for Callback:

NOTE: The ASG hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (MST), 7 days a
week.

* Alternate Time for Callback, (if we are unable to make contact the
first time):

Product Information:

* Product Model Number (ex: C1234A):
* Product Serial Number (ex: US12345678):
* Product Purchase Date:

Once the information has been updated in our database, one of the
representatives from the Advanced Support Group will contact you at
the phone number you provided, within the next 48 hours.

If you have further questions, please reply to this message and we will
be happy to help you.

Sincerely,

Flora
HP Total Care

On Monday afternoon, a very nice woman with a mid-western accent called me at my home. She asked me a few questions about my computer, why I had sent it to HP in the first place, and then asked me about the damage to the PC. She asked if the shipping package had been damaged in any way, suggesting that the computer had possibly sustained the damage during shipment to my house. I explained that there was no damage to the shipping package at all, and that the damage to the computer could only have occurred through careless workmanship.

I explained to her that the technicians had obviously, rather than sliding the side cover onto the case the way it was intended, had forcefully jammed the cover on, bending a few of the catches that are supposed to slide into the holes on the side to keep it in place. Further, because the cover had not been set on the case properly, they were unable to replace the thumbscrew properly in the back, and, as a result, bent the grommet severely, making it impossible to replace the thumbscrew properly in the future. In addition, there are quite a few dents and scratches (which, on an older gray computer would not be that noticeable, but on a sleek black machine, they show up like a sore thumb) from the case being tossed around carelessly.

She apologized for the damages, and told me that they were going to make things right for me. She explained that it was obvious that the damage was done through no fault of my own, and that HP would accept responsibility by providing me with a brand new computer as a replacement. They are supposed to be sending me shipping labels in the mail within the next few days. In addition, a brand new computer is going to be drop-shipped to my house. When the new computer arrives, I am to place my old computer in a box, slap the prepaid shipping labels on, and send the damaged item back to HP.

You can’t ask for a better response than that. Provided nothing terrible happens during the shipping process, I will give HP my thumbs up for customer service and response.

We can’t always expect a company to provide perfect customer support every single time someone has a problem with their product. However, the way a company handles that type of adversity is extremely important, and I must say I am extremely impressed with HP’s follow-through on this situation. I will wholeheartedly recommend HP computers to anyone looking to be a pre-built machine in the future.

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5 Responses

  • Allen

    So you haven’t received the new computer yet? Will it be a refurb or a brand new model?

    Great letter you wrote to them. I would also send it to the office of the CEO.

    My PC is now about 2 yrs old and i just reformatted and loaded everything new. ie7, ff 2, thunder 2, etc. and it is running slow. that is with a 3gig p4 and 2 gig ram and a 256mb video card. amazing. i cant imagine how vista would run. clearly vista needs a dual core 2 duo. lame.

    i love how the tv salespeople say these new computers should last for 8yrs, no way.

    anyway, looking forward to hearing how you like your new pc!

  • I got the new computer on Friday. It is a brand new computer. I have it all set up and running.

    I packed up the one that got messed up, and have it ready to go back to HP. I’ll probably ship it tomorrow (all shipping paid by HP).

    I’ll update you more later, in a different blog post. :)

  • allen

    awesome curtiss – can’t wait to hear back – i really want a new machine…

  • Michael M. Breyer

    On April 29, 2007, I ordered a HP Pavillion Slimline s3000 PC. I also ordered an upgrade on the speakers with a subwoofer and remote. The computer arrived in a timely fashion but without the speakers. I have made 16 phone calls to customer service in the last 7 weeks. I was promised initially to receive it in 5 days. I called back a week later and was told it would take longer. I called again and was told it was on back order. An email was received 4 weeks later that it was on its way. They were again not received. It is now 7 weeks later. I just found out that it is again on back order. There is no promise as to delivery date. When I have requested to speak to a supervisor, the person is of limited authority to do anything. They have no ability to facilitate anything. No one in authority will come to the phone. I wonder if either they are too busy with too many complaints or just don’t care. I ordered a laptop a few months ago and there was no problem, so I ordered the desk top. I have wasted hours on the phone trying to rectify this situation. Everyone is sorry, but do nothing to resolve it. No one will accept responsibility and take care of this problem to its conclusion. HP Customer Sercvice is no more than “lip service”. I’m not sure if I’ll ever receive those speakers.

  • Lynn Lyon

    I ordered a 1650e pavillion in late 11/06, and have had lots of problems with it. Today I called HP support and they told me that my 2 year warrentee had run out. My Am Express bill shows 12/2/06 as the date of the HP charge, and the Packing Slip that came with the Pavillion shows 12/2/06 as the order date (12/14/06 as the ship date).

    I’m wondering I should just call it a day and purchase an Apple, or pay the $50. to exrend the warrentee for 14 days and then pay $350. to have them repair it?

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