Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Here we go again

Warning: This is ultimately a political statement but unpaid.

I will accept contributions, however. I need the money to replace the failed Samsung Galaxy Tab, and to save up for a new desktop.

The Tab was just over 6 months old and the HP Pavilion Desktop is still under the two year warranty and has its second failed hard drive if you do not count the one they first sent with a hard drive that never worked.

Every time I have trouble with my HP I get the MAC users telling me how trouble free their MAC's are. Go away. In the last three months I have had three MAC friends (PC's vs MACS is about as entrenched as Republicans vs. Democrats so I count myself lucky we still talk) that have had failed hard drives. And from what I gather their customer support sucks. HP, the last time this happened, did offer data recovery. Not MAC.

One of my friends with the failed MAC has informed me that 99% of all hard drives be they in a Dell, MAC, HP or tablet or laptop of any of those brands probably come from the same off-shore company. And what incentive do they have for making a dependable product? NONE. It is win/win for them even if we lose. They get to continually make replacement hard drives. And all their people that can speak even a modicum of English get employed in tech support centers.

We have come a long way since my mother's 25 year old Maytag that was still working when Dad bought her a new washer and dryer set. 

So it is not all about American jobs overseas. It is about accountability. Your neighbor working at the assembly plant in Detroit took pride in his role in producing Fords and he did not want to hear us complain about them. But the workers in China do not know us. And if introduced would not even understand what we were screaming. I wonder at times about even the tech support people.

HP does seem to be working on its customer service image. It was once rated one of the worst in the industry. Just a bit better than Dell. I have a friend that told me Dell has gotten better but I have no intention of finding out. But this time from HP I received an e-mail I am able to respond to about the tech problem being experienced. Last year it took me something like 6 days and twice as many phone calls to get my problem escalated (don't you love that word) to someone that might actually own a computer and know that the DVD tray is not a cup holder. It did take me over 30 days to get the computer fixed. And then it didn't work when I got it. Fortunately that time I was able to immediately talk to someone that speaks computer.

So this morning I emailed HP and let them know I think the solution their tech (I do hate using that word for someone speaking from a set list of phrases that constantly has to put you on hold to go ask someone else what to do if that just did not work) came up with is wrong. A recovery disk returning the computer to factory specifications won't work. There are bad sectors on this hard drive. And if I have to go to the problem of restoring all my programs and backing up all my data I want it to work.

I do not want to go back to the incident on the last computer where I insisted it was a hard ware problem and they were adamant it was not. Two days of erasing and recovering and it did not work. Turns out that when they replaced the memory sticks (those had failed in 30 days) they had unplugged the wireless internal modem.

But I do not know that industry today wants anything to work. They make too much money re-selling you a new version of the failed product and promising that major improvements were made. It isn't just that all our money goes overseas it is that it does it again and again and again.

My first computer lasted me over 12 years. I bought a new one because of the internet and a need for more RAM because I changed what I did with it. Since then no computer, except my laptop, has made it past four. It is the manufacturing version of the food industries smaller packages at the same prices. In case you hadn't noticed there is no such thing as a 50 pound bag of dog food any more. And the 25 pound bag is now 17.

I do not think I want to trust my government to a CEO. Their track record with the products I purchase is not that good.