HP takes Customer for a ride

August 22, 2011

Redemption or Karma? Goodbye HP! I won’t miss you

Filed under: HP Customer Service — shrek2008 @ 3:37 pm
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Dear HP,

Looks like the gripes of millions of dissatisfied customers like me did catch up with you. Reading about your fiasco with a business that you claim that you are number one does feel like redemption when taken in the context of my personal tormenting experience with you. Congratulations on your successful purchase of a company that started the whole PalmTop revolution and successfully running it to the ground. Your WebOS ran twice as fast on an Ipad. Now isn’t that the ultimate insult! Perhaps, if you had invested money on R&D instead of trying to rip customers like me with your team of sharks, things might be different today. In my previous post, I clearly said that any company that takes its customers for granted has historically not succeeded here. You did that blatantly! No matter what your real reason was for closing the WebOS division (Touchpad) and PC division(Spin off – Yeah Right!!!), dissatisfied customers who were left
utterly helpless by your lack of customer service will definitely take a bit of schadenfreude in your misfortune.

Shrek2008

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December 1, 2008

My Customer Service Nightmare with HP

The Slimline Nightmare:

HP Slimline is a sleek and shiny htpc which will make a great addition to anyones living room. Or so I thought till I went through heavy duress trying to sort issues plaguing it via their hapless customer service. I still have not found a satisfactory resolution so far although I am well within their warranty.

The Issue:

My HP Slimline 3300t was purchased in February 2008 with a E4500 processor and 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT DVI-I, HDMI with a ATSC & NTSC TV tuner. The whole idea of purchasing this PC was to use it as a HTPC as well as receive over the air HD Signals. It was working fine for a few months and by the end of june, the system started freezing completely. The only thing to do was a physical reboot. At first, I thought it was a random occurance but slowly the frequency of the freezings/crashing began to increase. I thought it could be a driver issue and updated all the latest drivers from Mircrosoft, HP as well as Nvidia. Even after updating, the issue persisted.

HP First Attempt Replace Graphics Card:

I checked the error log and found this issue “nvlddmkm stopped responding”. I tried resolving it via their chat representative who suggested a few software suggestions and finally suggested sending a replacement graphics card. HP sent the exact same graphics card which was on my system (256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT DVI-I, HDMI). This replacement did not solve a thing. System crashes became a routine while watching TV in the media center, watching DVD’s and even while browsing the internet. What I discovered was the PC would run fine for longer duration if the case was left open. That is when I got the ntune monitor from nvidia and monitored my graphic card temperature. It reported temperatures in excess of 85 degrees C before crashing.

HP Second Attempt Replace Motherboard at Factory:

With this new information and research done online, I tried resolving this issue with many HP chat representative. Solutions like HP System restore, physically remove driver file by file etc did not work. All that it ended up doing was make me go through the hassle of reinstalling all the software that I used again and again. Finally, they said that this could be because of a compatibility issue of the graphics card and motherboard and they will replace the same. So I shipped my PC back to them for a motherboard replacement. I am guessing the motherboard was replaced but that did not change the system from freezing. Same exact issue and the only solution was physical reboot The event log had the same message

Further attempts by Chat Representatives:

This issue was testing my patience and I tried reasoning with a HP chat representative. I told him about the excessive temperature that ntune was reporting. Some suggestions by the chat representatives sounded like copy paste from websites which I had found online. Another round of radical suggestions was followed by a suggestion to underclock my graphics card which I flatly refused to do as I had paid for the graphic card to run at certain clock speed. Finally they assigned me a Case Manager Oscar.

HP Third Attempt Replace components at Factory:

HP case managers in my opinion are not really sensitive to customer issues. Oscar’s suggestion was to take it to any store in my neighborhood and HP will pay for repair or send it to HP for one final trial under his direct guidance. I was not sure about taking it to Bestbuy or Circuit city as I had purchased the PC directly from HP so I agreed to send my PC the second time. I clearly told him that this is the second time, I am sending my PC to HP and again without proper clarity as to what will be changed, but if this issue does not get resolved, I will demand a replacement. The case manager said something like he will ensure that it is fixed and tested thoroughly.

Case Managers or Case Damagers?

On receipt of the PC from HP after their second attempt at their factory to fix the issue, I found a note stating that the issue was duplicated and the motherboard, graphics card and hard disk were replaced. After installing all the software and configuring my PC, surprise surprise the system crashed again. At this point I was convinced HP was trying to run my warranty down. I called the same case manager again and was answered by one Mike who said he will ask Oscar to call me. When I called the third time asking for an update Mike retort went something like Oscar will call whenever he can. It may be tomorrow or it may be in a week. His tone denoted displeasure as if I am wasting his precious time. Please realize that my time is valuable too. HP if at all you are listening, please teach your Case Managers basic customer service. I can maybe look past the barely passable communication skills but without basic HR skills I wonder if they are Case Managers or Case Damagers. Try calling them and see how they speak. When I said I would like to speak someone above you who has better authority, I was first told there was no one above them and the people above them did not care about issues like the one I had. This coming from a case manager is not the image HP wants to convey to consumers. If they do record the conversation, I wish they sent the same to us like they do with their chat support.

No Solution so far:

Finally after getting real annoyed at the run around, I tried chatting with their Support group. I demanded a refund as they had failed to fix it twice at their factory location. I asked them to call me with one of their supervisors and was told that there was no one authorized to do it. They had called and gotten my CC info before shipping the graphics card so I knew this was not true. All they would say is that they have escalated the case and a case manager will call me within 2 business days.

My Take:

The bottom line is if at all you have issues with the PC, HP support will do nothing about it. HP does not seem to care about the customer. Although my warranty does not expire for another 3 months, HP seems to be keen on running out the clock. Customers are left with high level of stress and no solution in sight. A customer’s patience is thoroughly tested and their stress level rises especially if someone tried reasoning with their Case Managers. If you do get assistance, the assistance is always half baked and the most common solution is restore to factory settings. HP has to understand that for many customers, this is highly undesirable and they have to reinstall and reconfigure the PC again. The obdurate and arrogant attitude displayed by case managers leave the experience in bad light. Unfortunately, the first purchase from HP will be my last.

Here is a link to the chat logs. If anyone has any solution to my issue, please leave a comment.

December 4, 2009

Gave up and rebuilt PC with what I could salvage

Thank you for the feedback. I tried all the suggested methods. I did not have the energy to fight with HP in small claims court so I did not do that (HP you win but remember if you take customers for granted you are doomed).

If anyone is reading this, please do not ever buy HP products if you want to upgrade. Their system powersupply is non standard. Their connector is 2×12 on the motherboard (which is non standard btw and none of the Frys/Microcenter in my city carried it). All I could salvage was the RAM and processor. I ended up spending close to $350 (on motherboard, graphics card, case, power supply and other components)but for the past 3 weeks my PC has been working without any issues.

March 25, 2009

Second Update Failure to resolve via Credit card

I tried resolving this issue through Chase. They agreed with me initially and even refunded my money. But HP came out some technicality on the grounds that the credit card company has jurisdiction for disputed transactions only for six months. They gave some crappy story about trying to resolve with me. I was informed by Chase that another Quality Case Manager will call me and see if a replacement can be offered. I tried calling HP as suggested by Chase and was promised that someone who deals with my case will contact me in 24 hours. That was 3 weeks ago. According to a few Consumer Lawyers, the warranty continues as long as the issue remains and was reported within the warranty time. I reported my issue long before the warranty expired. This is very frustrating. I get a feeling that I have lost my money on this purchase. It looks like all the efforts have gone down the drain. I am not sure if there are any other alternate actions that I can take.
Looks like HP will go out of the way to make sure customers are not satisfied. I hope people who do visit this page at least get to know about shady customer service practices of HP. I hope you guys at HP and their Customer service team are proud of swindling the money of a customer. Mark Hurd and HP please remember that “What goes around, comes around”

December 23, 2008

First Update HP Customer Service Issue – Trial via BBB

Filed under: HP Customer Service — shrek2008 @ 11:09 pm
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One of my friends suggested that I use BBB to get my issue resolved. So I went ahead and tried solving the nightmare that HP is subjecting me through BBB. I should really thank BBB for providing me with a forum to address my grievance. I contacted them and hoped HP will try and resolve this issue. After 3 weeks of no activity finally HP’s Executive team sent a response stating that it agrees completely with the findings of the Case Manager. After replying in detail with the chat log and issue in detail, HP continued to maintain that it will stand by its Case Manager. I was asked to contact the Case Manager at the same number again(Call and speak with Oscar and other Case Damagers again and hope they do provide a reasonable solution what a great suggestion HP.).

In all honesty I was expecting a better response from HP. HP, do you call that a solution when I clearly had told you about the hassle that I went through communicating with your case manager twice? Whoever you are at the Executive office, you could have emailed or called me directly. So it looks like HP obviously is not concerned about customer service. The Case Manager said something like the people above him do not care about issues that I have. From the terse and unsatisfactory response provided by the Executive team, it looks like HP and its executive team really do not care about the customers. Congratulations HP! Your idea of timing out my warranty seems to be working. Your customer service experience and my monetary loss will ensure that I will spread my message about not using HP to all the people I know. I hope this blog helps people in thinking twice before buying a HP product. I basically am stuck with an useless HP Slimline 3300t which is now a nice Black Tin Can.

Here is the link in BBB to HP Headquarters. http://sanjose.bbb.org/BusinessReport.aspx?CompanyID=207934. Interestingly it has a rating A from a non profit organization like BBB. “The condition that lowers this grade from AAA is not what we believe to be a significant one.” Is that so BBB? Why Silicon Valley BBB does not seem to show the actual problem and company response but just a statistic of the problems and resolution by HP is a mystery to me. So in my case BBB resolution did not work in my favor but they did provide me with a medium of communication. I will post the entire BBB communication log here if anyone is interested.

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