Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why, HP, Must I Be Punished

I all fairness let me first say I am not really neutral on computers right not. I have been dealing for over a month with a three year old HP desktop computer that a local nerd, in the business to save computers, killed after losing 3 years of data.

Yes, I backed up, but to an external hard drive that failed. So I was forced to go shopping for a computer when I did not have the time nor the money. Nor quite frankly was I feeling warm and fuzzy about the boxes or the people that worked on them. But computer shopping I had to do. I am a small business and while I have a laptop for play I need the desktop for lots of year end business stuff and beginning of the new year submissions of art for fairs throughout 2011.

HP had a cyber Monday sale that extended through the following Tuesday and I found a computer, that while not the one of my dreams, met my minimum requirements, fit my budget and would be delivered within a week. The HP Pavilion arrived on December 6th and I unpacked and plugged it in. Suffice it to say I am not a novice at this, but the HP computer with Windows 7 would not boot up so I called tech support and was shocked to find that in spite of all promises to move their tech support back to the United States they are in Manila.

After 2 1/2 hours of trying to become belatedly bilingual I threw in the towel. The HP desktop would not even complete a short smart disk check and would not even begin a long one. I asked to speak to a supervisor. NOW. That took about 10 minutes of waiting. The supervisor, after getting my summation of the problem, wanted to refer the matter to a case manager (they are in the US) so they could get approval to repair my brand new, non-functioning HP computer.

Up to this point (well, accept for the NOW demand) I had been rather nice in spite of carpel tunnel from hitting F8, F9, F10, and F11 keys while rebooting. But repairing the HP Pavilion was not my problem. I bought and paid for a working computer not a repaired computer. They played broken record that they could not okay this. I played broken record that the only acceptable solution was a brand new working computer or a full and immediate refund. The Case Manager would call me back before 48 hours. I could only think of all the files that had to be rebuilt before the end of the year for my small business. Tick Tock.

Twenty-four hours, and two case report reference numbers, later I was called by a case manager. And like being in a doctor's office I had to again repeat all the symptoms of my still born HP Pavilion. I think they had the file in front of them and were looking for any discrepancies so they could negate my claim. Ok, I was getting paranoid. They did approve a new computer which they told me would be $35 more expensive. "Oh, no you don't," I said in a voice that made all the fur kids run and hide, "You eat that." We compromised on $5.35. Let them win the little issues.

I packed up the HP computer in its original box, printed out the approved pre-paid return label and dropped it off at the designated Fedex pick up spot. HP got it the next morning. Time was of the essence because I was informed they would not build my new replacement computer until the non-working HP was returned even though they have kept my money. I was pleased this morning to see they had processed my order. Build Date: December 28th! Maybe.

So I have two questions, HP. One, is why am I being punished for your errors on this Pavilion Desktop? And two, given that I would go pencil and paper before I went Dell, which computer company do I go to when I want to replace my HP Pavilion Laptop? Currently you are out of the running.

Customers used to be right. Now we have to prove we are not guilty and we are still punished via time and money for our mistakes. This mistake, HP, could cost me way through next June because of the fairs and exhibits I cannot apply for because through no fault of my own my old HP failed and my purchase new HP was trash. And your response to a small business owner that used your products has been hostile and frustrating.