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HP - Bad Consumer Support

Tags:
  • Support
  • Phones
  • Computers
  • Hewlett Packard
Last response: in Opinions and Experiences
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Anonymous
a b α HP
April 3, 2001 1:41:16 AM

First let me tell everyone I'm very disappointed in HP and probabily WILL NOT buy another computer from them and would recommend not buying any product that does not have a toll free consumer support phone number.

I recently bought an HP Pavillion XL876 from Sams Club. Brought it home, set it up, then spent 9 hours, 7-8 phone calls to HP and 6-7 calls to my cable internet provider, to determine that the computer had a bad network card. The bad part is it was the internet provider that identified the problem. HPs response was either send it to use for repair (computer would be gone for 3-4 weeks) or take to an out of town repair facility (computer would be gone for 2-3 weeks). Solution return to Sams Club, no problem, GREAT JOB Sam's.
Brought the replacement computer home and the floppy drive had a physical grinding sound, (faulty floppy drive). Called HP, there solution after talking on the phone for 2 hours, having the PC tech listen to the sounds over the phone, SLICK THE HARDDRIVE and reinstall all software. I still have the problem.
Additional problems:
Can't burn CD-RW, CD-R burn fine,
Keyboard sticks and certain letters i.e. R,O,S take you to different shortcuts will you are typing. Replaced the faulty keyboard with an old Keyboard and it works great. HPs recommendation slick the harddrive again. (I didn't do it this time because of all of the software installed.)

I have tried to talk to a supervisor but the Tech placed me on indifinite hold and then came back and said the Supervisor was too busy to talk. Also requested an HP corporate phone number, but consumer support did not have a number, which I found hard to believe.

Then I got the my phone bill. I spent over 220 minutes talking to HP and so far none of the problems have been fixed. Called HP and they said that they would sent me (2) 30 minute phone cards, after some protest HP said they would send a total of (7) 30 minute phone cards. All I've seen is (2) cards.

Still waiting for a call from Director of Customer Services, I'd call but I don't have a Phone Number.

Sorry so long, but I'm frustrated and now where to go for help.

More about : bad consumer support

April 3, 2001 9:44:38 AM

I said it before, and I'm going to say again. There's no tech support that matches self-built computers!

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This site is cool.
Anonymous
a b α HP
April 4, 2001 1:13:14 AM

I can't speak for HP's tech support since I've been fortunate to never have to deal with them. In fact, I'm the ONLY person I know who has a Pavillion with absolutely no problems. Course it was an HP8290 w/ 400MHz PII which I've since handed down to my younger brother after building my own super system. I do have a couple comments about your experience though. The network card that comes in a Pavillion is most likely a cheap generic OEM card worth $20-30. Once they identified that card as faulty, I would have demanded they send you a new card. Failing that, your time is worth more than that network card, so just buy a new one and forget it. As for the faulty floppy on the second computer. Those are worth $10. Seriously not worth the phone call to tech support. And I haven't a clue why s/he thought reinstalling would fix it. The keyboard issue is real simple. Uninstall the silly software that enables all the nifty HP added buttons. The default Windows keyboard drivers will take over and might even recognize some of those buttons anyway. In fact, uninstall any nifty HP specific software that came with the machine. I did, and that might explain why my Pavillion actually worked.
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October 5, 2001 12:19:55 AM

Problems with HP's customer service:

No toll-free access, unless you're a reseller or corporate customer.

HP outsources the majority of their tech support services to a company called Stream International, whose hiring method is basically "If you know anything about computers, we'll train you for three weeks and have you doing tech support." Many of the techs are qualified, knowledgeable individuals, but find themselves limited by the next issue...

As if a lack of knowledge and training weren't enough, HP simply does not support these third-party agents. They are not informed of new product releases, and often only have access to the newest products by walking into the local computer store. New operating systems get almost the same treatment: a handfull of Windows XP machines were set up in one call center, and the techs were essentially told to train themselves.

I could go on and on about problems within the HP customer support structure, but those are the major problems I can think of now.

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| WILL WORK FOR HARDWARE |
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October 11, 2001 4:53:46 AM

Oh, and I'd like to more directly address a couple of those points:

No, HP support people don't have the corporate number. They did, once upon a time, until corporate got tired of taking calls. Now all they can do is give out an address.

They seem to have a serious shortage of supervisors, especially during certain hours. Their shortage of *competent* supervisors is even worse.

The constant suggestions to slick the HDD every time a problem comes up is because HP is pretty insistent that they "don't support software conflicts" and there's no easy way to rule those out, so they just have the techs tell you to recover.

The phone cards are a joke. I've heard it's like pulling teeth to get just two sent out.

HP loves the line "Don't call us, we'll call you."

Yes, this post is a bit disjointed, but...oh, well.

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| WILL WORK FOR HARDWARE |
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October 24, 2001 2:38:17 PM

I was not aware that HP did not have a 800# for tech support... In this day and age this alone would be enough reason for me to not buy an HP...

<b><font color=blue>Perception is Reality!!!</b></font color=blue>
November 5, 2001 2:57:11 PM

More in the HP support story :) 

Here are a few excerpts from a listing for positions at the company that handles HP's support. The same ads are used for HP contracts:

"Here is an opportunity for you to enter the computer field. You need no prior technical work experience, just good computer savvy. Keep in mind, the experience and knowledge you have gained with your home computer use may be enough to get you started in the computer field.

"Minimum educational requirements ¡V High School Diploma or GED.

"Job Description- The majority of your time will be spent on the phone helping customers solve a wide variety of technical problems¡Xsome routine and straightforward, some complex and challenging.

"Requirements:
„h Good Customer Service
„h Internet, Windows 95/98 or NT Knowledge
„h PC Hardware or Software Knowledge is a plus

"Pay Rate...start at $9.00 an hour. After three weeks [training] you will advance to $10.00 hr. Ninety days from start date you advance to $10.58 hr. Paid training is provided."

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| WILL WORK FOR HARDWARE |
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March 25, 2002 11:02:48 PM

I think I can understand HP's position.
As far as no 800 number goes, HP had an 800 number about a year ago and they were getting calls on how to turn on a computer, how to connect color coded speakers, what the difference is between a monitor and a tower (some call it modem) etc AND people would have had to wait half an hour before they got through to talk to a tech.
As far as software support goes, They have to do Format and Recover when all else fails because they weren't trained in other software programs. Instead of spending hours troubleshooting a piece of software they don't really know about, it's easier to just wipe out everything and start clean so you know that if it fails at that point, something is wrong with the hardware.
For HP's corporate number, you can get it at HP.com
As far as phone cards goes, they aren't doing that anymore. They aren't sending out anything at all.

All in all, I agree with Machow "no tech support that matches self-built computers".
PS. I know that cuz I know someone who works for HP as a tech support person.

:cool: Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get
March 26, 2002 2:04:18 AM

> I think I can understand HP's position.

I can *understand* it, but I still don't like it.

> As far as no 800 number goes, HP had an 800 number about
> a year ago

Funny, I was working for HP support a year ago, and they said then that there hadn't been an 800 number for quite some time.

> and they were getting calls on how to turn on a
> computer, how to connect color coded speakers, what the > difference is between a monitor and a tower (some call
> it modem) etc AND people would have had to wait half an
> hour before they got through to talk to a tech.
> As far as software support goes, They have to do Format
> and Recover when all else fails because they weren't
> trained in other software programs. Instead of spending > hours troubleshooting a piece of software they don't
> really know about, it's easier to just wipe out
> everything and start clean so you know that if it fails
> at that point, something is wrong with the hardware.

Here are a few departmental statistics, as best I remember them.

HPs phone menu took about 2 minutes to get through
The average hold time for a caller was 3.5 minutes
The average talk time once a call was answered was close to 15 minutes

HP's target talk time was 13.5 minutes.

My personal average talk time, for the entire eight months I was there, was 9 minutes. In my first two months, I won best quality of service awards for my team. In my third month, I made best in department. In my sixth, I made employee of the month. In my eigth, I quit for a better job building servers :) 


Here's why I won all those quality awards: I refused to slick the hard drive unless I had reason to believe there was a hardware problem first. So I *did* spend the time troubleshooting software, to the point that I was once reprimanded for going outside my "support boundaries" by spending an hour trying to make MLS (real estate software I had some experience with from a previous tech job) work on a laptop. I used to get in arguments with mentors (tech support for the stumped techie) because they would cry "recover!" before I could even describe a problem.

Still, my call times were incredibly low--because I knew what I was doing. I could clear most calls in five minutes, and the customer never need to call back.

Most HP techs, however, have no technical experience whatsoever, and those who do are generally know-it-all high school kids who think themselves computer gods because they built three systems and cut a hole in the side of one or two.

> For HP's corporate number, you can get it at HP.com

The last number I saw on there was the same number we gave anyone who made threats of legal action. It seemed designed to run you in circles until you got bored and gave up. That number accomplished nothing. It might have changed...but, knowing Fiorina...I doubt it.

> As far as phone cards goes, they aren't doing that
> anymore. They aren't sending out anything at all.

All I know is that as of November last year they were.

> All in all, I agree with Machow "no tech support that
> matches self-built computers".

Hehe...you've never tried to get support from a Taiwanese component manufacturer, then :) 

> PS. I know that cuz I know someone who works for HP as a
> tech support person.

Me too...I know a lot of people who do...all those who didn't lose their jobs to Canadians when half the call center got pulled out from under them a month after I left for much greener pastures.

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| WILL WORK FOR HARDWARE |
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April 3, 2011 8:25:04 AM

Hello,
Got a call from my Mother in Law saying she'd paid $59.99 to get her computer fixed and after 2.5 hours it still wasn't fixed-could I come down an look at it.
Sure enough, next day after about 10 minutes of a safe-reboot and sweep, it was a malware, loaded Malbytes and reswept-got rid of the rest. Asked her who she called and was amazed when she said H P Support! She went on to tell me the rep got really angry with her and told her her phone was bad, thats why the connection was bad-adn was dropped. Funny, it happened to me as well and I was using a landline?
After calling them myself ready to chew 'em out but I couldn't understand them too well, the connection was horrible and the accents were so pronounced I thought I was in a James Bond movie. Got the run around and after about 45 minutes, three phone calls later I was told all H P had to do was make a reasonable attempt to fix the computer. NOW is this B*llsh*it true? My MIL is on a fixed income and is elderly-they took advantage of her and it stinks! How can a company like this more or less steal $60.00 from a senior without correcting any problem?
!