After Dell, we get HP Hell

Laurent – a colleague here in the Belgian office – told Philippe and myself an amazing story about HP’s support for PC’s. This was so bad that we both had the same reaction, send me an email with that story so we can blog about it. Read it and weep! After that, link to the story to make sure they notice.

Here’s the story from Laurent:

“I bought a 2.5 years old HP Presario 2500 laptop on Ebay. I bought this for my girlfriend during her maternity leave so she could stay connected, even while “imprisoned” at home. I took the opportunity to initiate her to the joy of IM and she pulled her mother and half her family into the service. I also showed her how to use Ebay , which  was a bad move though, as  she spends all our money on baby clothes :)

A few weeks ago, the “h” touch died. I checked on the web and apparently it’s a common problem with this model (or at least, people have been vocal about the “h” touch). But, ok, she could live wit tat, h is not tat important is it? ;) Yesterday night the whole keyboard stopped working. “e” gives “w”, backspace, delete and enter don’t work… that was the end of my wife surfing the internet and having fun with her family every night.

So, arriving at the office today, with all the references in my pocket, I surf to the HP website to find an after-sales/customer service number I could call to solve this asap. It’s not critical, she does not need the computer for work matters, but it has become really  important in her life and I don’t want to let her without that. Ok, number found..doh, a 0900 billed 0.74€/min…?? Ok, the computer is probably not guaranteed anymore, but still. 

First call, robot voice spelling me a huuuuuuge (this is stupid by the way, who can possibly remember that?) url I could check to read about HP privacy policy, press 2 to get someone answering, wait wait wait, at least, a friendly human voice. The guy asks for my postal code so he could give me phone numbers of companies that could repair my laptop. I hung up the phone after he had given 3 numbers.

  • 1st number : unknown (you know, that Belgacom lady that tells you that number does not exist)
  • 2nd number : yess!! It rings!! Bad luck for me, that company does not repair computers from people, only corporations
  • 3rd number : unknown again (same Belgacom “lady”)

Hmmm, ok, I have an issue there. Back to my 0900 overtaxed number (again 2 minutes waiting time to get that humongous url spelled), press 2 to get someone answering, a lady now. I do the postal code thing and she gives me a 03 phone number. I kindly ask her to give me a # close to my place (why asking for the postal code otherwise? 03 stands for Antwerp and that’s not even close to where I live) and she tells me that’s the only one she has (??) The number? : 03.382223366. For those of you who don’t know, Belgian phone numbers do not contain 8 figures. And that’s what I told her of course. She puts me on hold “to check sir”… the line was cut after 10 minutes waiting time :-/

Back to the HP website, a bit angry and bored, I see a small link allowing to estimate what the repair price could be. If I can not get the contact of someone who can help me, maybe at least I could figure out how much it would cost. Click, click, click, my computer model? of course I have the reference,  click click again : 389€ estimated repair price…but nowhere I could type what type of reparation I needed, so how can that estimation be right?”

I guess you all agree this is a terrible support experience. We all know DELL is listening, and looking at the comments on Philippe’s post about this they’re listening so good, that they even try to help on HP issues ;). What I want to know is what HP is going to do about this though. Are you listening HP?

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