January 18, 2007

HP's Customer Dis-Service

Ahhh the joys of owning a PC. I purchased an HP Pavilion 7495.it back in October when my laptop motherboard crashed and burned. I’d been putting off buying because I was waiting for an AMD chip to come out but I bit the bullet and bought the system because I was in dire need of a PC and couldn’t wait any longer. The day I brought it home, I installed it, and then paranoid little nerd that I am, I went straight to the Microsoft Update site and started downloading critical updates. Things went well for awhile, but then something went very wrong. The pc went into a continuous reboot loop after I’d installed all the updates.

Seeing as there were really no apps installed yet, I did an F10 and started over. Because I was in a hurry, I let it go. Flash forward to January. I did a backup of my system (still paranoid) and thought – well, maybe there was a glitch – I’ll try this again. No glitch. The same thing happened. And I couldn’t boot in safe mode and any other fixes I tried all told me that the computer was hopelessly corrupt. I did the F10 maneuver again, but this time, I decided I’d get to the root of the problem before I put all my apps back on the system. So I went to the Microsoft site to see if I could get online support, and it told me to contact the PC’s manufacturer.

So I called HP in Italy and sat on hold for 4 minutes until the lady came back and told me to call back later because all the lines were busy. Nice. So I went online to HP and got an online techie. Alvin P is what he told me his name was. So I wrote out an explanation of what had happened, and what I had tried. I explained that I needed to know which one of the updates was not getting along with HP’s version of XP Media Center Edition 2005 and what I could do to get around it. His response – you have to do each update manually to figure out which one doesn’t work. Mind you there are 63 of them according to Microsoft. Mind you this has been a problem since October, and you’d think I wouldn’t be the only one with this problem, so maybe someone at HP and/or Microsoft had worked it out by then and could tell me. Nope.

So in the end, this is HP’s response – go figure it out by yourself. AND THEN WHAT!!!????? So once I know which patch is damning my system – which it will do again – then I’ll have to do F10 AGAIN and install all the other patches again and then hope that was the only patch giving me a hard time. However, that only isolates the problem. It doesn’t solve it. What do I do about the bad patch? Skip over it and leave my system vulnerable to whatever that patch was supposed to fix? I think what really annoys me most is that Alvin clearly didn’t go digging through any databases to see what might have happened previously. Nope he just blew me off with – well, you have to install each one and see what happens!!!

I did warn him that I was an industry analyst and if that was his last and best answer then I was irritated enough to blog. He said I would just have to wade through each patch and figure out for myself what was the problem. Now that’s fine if you’re a semi-literate person who likes technology. But what about HP’s thousands and thousands of customers who aren’t particularly literate? What would they do at this point? It makes me think twice about purchasing another HP system.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you'd buy an HP pc in the first place. An HP printer, yes. But never an HP pc. I'm sure you got what you paid for....

Ludovic said...

So it's not just with airlines, hotels and IBM laptops then?

Bad karma.

HP Customer Service said...

I'm not an HP fan...

HP Customer Service said...

my hp story

DJ said...

HP service is the worst. Have been working with a case manager since December 07 to resolve the laptop problems and now a senior case manager can't get my laptop replaced. Some service HP, never another HP product for me.