HP Customer Support – Big Fail


Below is the long, long saga of the lack of customer support I received from HP and the excellent support I received from the Department of Fair Trading and OfficeWorks.

Long story short if you don’t want to read it all, HP computer died, HP took forever to fix it – and never did.  I found out my rights and got the computer replaced at OfficeWorks with a new ACER.

As an Internet Marketer, not having a working computer I can depend upon means I don’t work.  HP never seemed to take that into consideration and couldn’t see that spending 10 hours waiting on a diagnostic to run or doing a full Factory Restore and still not getting a working solution was a problem that needed an urgent solution.

Now that I have my new Acer, HP seems to think that means everything is fine and they have no responsibility towards me.  I would appreciate your comments at the end to see if you agree.

The Saga

I bought myself a HP Pavilion in August 2011 from OfficeWorks as an early Birthday Present .  I’ve owned different HP computers for about 5 years now and was happy to get another one.  I liked that I had a phone line for customer support and that they would do repairs in the home.

The first one I bought in August never started.  I bought it home and it went straight to a blue screen and wouldn’t start.  I contacted HP Support, we tried a few things to get it working and the next day I returned it and got a replacement.  No problems, I was happy with the support provided.

Fast forward to November/December and I occasionally had a blue screen appear.  It only happened when I was away from the computer, it restarted up immediately and I thought it was just because of an update or ‘something’.

Contacting HP

Then I hit January and it started doing the Blue Screen of Death weekly.  Time to contact HP so I contacted them on February 8.  I explained what was happening and that as an Internet Marketer I needed a reliable working computer.

We tried a couple of things, some of which ran for hours, and it got worse.  I had to run diagnostic programs, I had to do system restores, I had to do a factory reset, I had to do a back up every week just to be sure my info didn’t disappear in a hard drive failure, and I still got Blue Screens, about 3 different blue screen messages, never all the same and never for a reason (ie I log into this program and I crash).

I rang HP again a week later and advised them that it was getting worse, rather then better.  They made me try a few things again (some of which I had already done) and finally they decided that they would have a repairman come out to my home and fix it.

I was advised someone would contact me in 5 – 7 working days.  I had a phone call on Monday 20 February, saying that parts had been ordered and someone would be in contact with me.

No more phone calls, no contact for 2 weeks and I again called HP on 4 March asking what was going on.  I usually call weekends because I work full time and as each call takes at least 30 minutes to an hour, I just don’t have time during the week.

They informed me that someone had called at my home on 21 February and I hadn’t been at home.  Helloooo?  I work 5 days a week, no one rang to advise me about it to be at home and nothing left on my door to advise me of it.  There was no follow up phone call in 2 WEEKS to let me know they tried to call and I’m left still with a continually restarting computer as the cycle of blue screens of death had increased.

HP apologised and then said someone would call me about this.  On Monday, I received a call saying that someone would be around soon and that the technician had called in 28 February, not 21 February.  I advised that even if it was 28 February, I would like someone asap.  I was advised someone would contact me Urgently.  Wednesday morning, I’m up at 6 am to watch a webinar and guess what, blue screen of death, wouldn’t restart and my laptop is at work.  Wonderful.  I rang the contact number and left a message asking for someone to URGENTLY contact me.

The Repair

I get the call on Wednesday, finally some good service with a phone call and it’s organised for Thursday.  On Thursday, the tech was available for a time frame of 2 hours which he HADN’T told me about the previous day and I was 45 minutes away in another town.  His next time frame was sometime the next week.  Luckily I had someone at home who could let the tech in, he did the repairs and rang to advise at 3.20 pm that the ram and system disk was replaced and it was working fine when he left.

I was at a friend’s place for dinner and get home at 7.10 pm to see THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH yet again.  I rang HP support and whilst talking to them, the system rebooted 4 times in 30 minutes.

HP Support then told me that as it had failed they would need to take it away, have a tech examine it, and that would take 5 – 7 working days.  During that time – no computer.

No problems with that – I don’t have a home business that requires a computer, I didn’t pay $750 for a WORKING computer, so losing it for 7 days was just NO PROBLEMS at all.  Yes, that was all sarcasm.

I advised HP Support that that was not suitable, that I believed that the batch of computers I got 2 from were faulty and that I wanted a refund.  “Oh”, HP Support said that would need to be escalated and would take 10 – 14 working days to be actioned.

By this time, the computer wouldn’t even open in safe mode – well it would, but without a mouse or keyboard being loaded.  The keyboard worked when asked to select which safe mode I wanted, but wouldn’t work after windows was loaded.

HP Support kept apologising for the fact that my repair hadn’t even lasted 4 hours however they weren’t willing to do anything to help.

My Rights

Next step was the Department of Fair Trading in NSW.  I advised them of the situation and the problems I had been having.  They advised me of my rights and that as the computer was suffering from a Major Fault, that it was not providing what I had bought and that as I had had it repaired and it was still not working, I could get the computer replaced.

I rang HP Support AGAIN advising of what I had been told.  Yes Ms Shipman, we will send an urgent email to HP Australia, they will contact you within 48 hours, and you can discuss it with them.   This was Friday, I was up to my 4th weekend of having to spend the weekend trying to get my computer fixed since contacting HP and my 6th weekend of annoying problems.

I decided to ring OfficeWorks and talk to them.  They found my receipt and told me HP had been in contact with them and I was to bring in my computer.  The computer was so bad I couldn’t even log on to do a factory reset, though I had done one 2 weeks before so there wasn’t much on there.

I arrived to be told HP had talked to them and they would be sending my computer off to be checked.  I advised that I did not want it repaired, I wanted it replaced.  Matt, the Manager, was called and I told him of my ongoing saga with HP, that I had contacted Fair Trading and I was requesting either a replacement or a refund.

The Replacement

Matt is a legend.  He agreed with what I was entitled to and after checking that I hadn’t missed anything, we went and checked out what computers were available.  There was no HP’s available in the price range I had, however after what happened, I wasn’t in the mood for HP.  We settled on an Acer Computer and the new one couldn’t be found.  Matt lent me a display computer until the new computer could arrive so I could at least have a weekend with a working computer.

Social Media

I decided to go to Social Media and posted on Twitter about the poor support I had from HP.  @HPsupport replied back, asked me to DM and then email detailing the problem.  I did and got a DM back saying that someone from HP Australia would contact me in 48 hours.  Second time I’ve had that said, and I still haven’t had a single conversation with HP Australia.  Remember up above, when someone would call me?  Never happened.  It was the technical people who contacted me for a repair, not HP.

Thursday I get a call from OfficeWorks that my brand new Acer computer had arrived and I could pick it up.  I did, I’m working on it now and so far, it’s doing exactly what I want.

It’s Saturday, 1pm when I’m writing this post and more then 48 hours since I was told HP would contact me and still nothing.  Back to Twitter to comment and I get a reply from @HPSupport that 48 hours didn’t include weekends.  Now, if Eddie had mentioned that to me in the original DM, I would have said that I expected a call by COB on Friday OR I would not have been expecting a call within 48 hours.

I have to love twitter – I have a copy of it and nothing is said about working days mentioned.

@HPSupport has DM’d me again asking if the computer was replaced which it has been.  HP seems to think that because I had to organise to get a new computer and I had to find out my rights, and that I have a new computer now, that HP has done all it can.  I don’t think it has.

Do you?