November 17 2006

HP = Hellacious Phones

I have a Compaq Presario V2000 Laptop I bought in October of 2005. At the time I purchased, for $349.99, a 3 year warranty extension that included accidental damage such as liquid spills and express repair. Before anyone bitches me out for buying an extended warranty, I only do it on laptops due to the nature of the product. That’s just far too much stuff crammed in to a little space.

So, when I got the care package, it told me to register by postcard within 10 days, which I did. I remember commenting at the time how silly that was since they could so easily claim they never got it….yeah…darn my guessing that would happen. Flash forward to November 16th, 2006, my laptop starts shutting down randomly due to over-heating, the fan had stopped working. I called it in, the tech was very helpful, but informed me my factory warranty expired on October 2nd, and he had no record of the extended warranty. He took pity on me, helped me, discovered the BIOS was having problems and said it needed to go in for repairs, but that couldn’t be arranged until the warranty situation was fixed. No problem, told him I would do it and he said to call back and arrange for it to be picked up. I headed up to the warehouse at 2 AM to get the warranty stuff faxed in and came home, went to bed.

I got to work at 9:30 AM and there was an email telling me they needed more info…thus begun my 8 hours of hell. Ok, took care of the warranty about 2 hours in to it, and then I had to call in to set up the laptop being shipped back. Oh dear lord this was hell. I could hardly ever get to a hardware tech, and when I did, it was either A)”Let’s try some more troubleshooting” B)could hardly speak English and C)”Our phone systems are down”. Yes, all the calls were going to India. The couldn’t speak English one…oh that was amazing. I was in my 6th hour and was getting angrier by the moment, and I admit, I got a little nasty, but I was quite frankly tired of talking to people in India!

Me “I need to arrange to send back my laptop for repair. The fan stopped working and it was traced down to the BIOS.”
Him “Your computer is not booting?”
Me “It’s booting, but it’s randomly shutting down due to overheating.”
Him “Your motherboard is broken?”
Me “…”
Him “We can work on that for you sir.”
Me “You know…perhaps you really shouldn’t be in a phone related job.”

By this point, I had to step outside for a few minutes as I was about to throw my phone across the office. Even the last one, who FINALLY got the job done gave me grief.

Me “I really need to send this back in and I have been working on this for 8 hours now!”
Him “I am sorry for that sir. Are you in front of the computer?”
Me “No. I have no reason to be.”
Him “Oh, well we could try some more troubleshooting and…”
Me “DEAR GOD! I paid $350 for an 8 hour circle jerk! Now will you just give up and let me send this damned thing in for repairs?!?”
Him “…yes sir.”

Quite frankly I have loved HP products…up until today. The hoops I had to go through to activate my warranty were amazing. If you can see I bought the warranty with the laptop, why not just activate?!?

This day just sucked! Oh! And express repair? I won’t have my laptop back for about 2 weeks and they will be totally formatting the drive so I get to re-install everything when it comes back…lucky me! Avoid HP/Compaq, and yes, I’ve learned my lesson, no more extended warranties!

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General Rants Science & Technology

  • I don’t think extended warranties have to be a bad idea. My husband and I bought one on his refurbished Acer though it was only $75 and only against manufactuerer’s defects that crop up later. I figured it was worth it on a refurb. in case they missed something the first time around.

    Anyway, PC laptops are crap. I don’t say that as a Mac-centric user though I can say that as someone with experience with both Mac and PC laptops. Apple may not be perfect but they are a a lot better for service than Dell and apparently HP as well. If I were you, I’d be sure to at least write a quick e-mail saying that HP lost a customer because they outsource their support to non-native speakers and the experience is maddening.

    I think, btw, that the postcard verification of the warranty is intentional so they can tell you they never got it. Pissing you off and giving you the runaround probably costs less than fixing your computer.

  • Shari –

    You hit the nail on the head on all accounts. Yes, the postcard is a blatant attempt to make claims of non-coverage. (although, it now appears you can do it online, but that did me no good) And the outsourced phone support WAS maddening. I think they expected me to finally give up, and there was no way in hell I was going to!

    I do plan on complaining, and seeing as I currently have 4 HP printers, 1 HP desktop, 2 Compaq laptops, and 4 Compaq desktops…hope their outsourcing was worth the “savings”.

  • Jo

    OMG I thought it was just my week for bad support calls. The last call was me talking thru clinched teeth and swearing at top volume in my head. Finally it was fixed, I hope, but for the love of god, why do these CSR people never listen?

  • I have no clue, but I was ready to fly to India after that one guy. I still need to find whom at HP to complain to and let them know that my days of praising them are OVER!