HP and their *lovely* tech support

My laptop is toast. More like the hard drive failed. I can tell this, because the armature sounds like a cheap, plastic metronome when it strikes the non moving platters. No blue screen of death, but an error message saying that the IDE drive cannot be found. Hmm, I purchased the laptop on 1/31/05 and received it on 2/03/05. I remember the dates because I'd had leg surgery and I went back work the day it arrived.

I'm on Ed's pc (the one with the space bar that only works with my left thumb-grrrr) and go to HP's site. I type in the error code, fire off an email to tech support and wait. BTW, they tout on their website that they've won awards from JD Power and Associates for Customer service. Mr. JD Power hasn't talked to me about that award, and perhaps I should contact him.

I got an email back saying they'd contact me within 24 hours. Less than an hour later, James from customer care contacts me and takes me through the troubleshooting steps that I've already done (you all know that I know enough to be dangerous). Hmmm, what do you think of this paragraph?


After reinstalling hard drive then again reset BIOS and perform hard
drive self test. If test fails then the issue is isolated to hard drive
and it requires replacement. I'll provide you the part number and
specifications to purchase the part from HP Part Store or from any
third party vendor which ever is economic to you. >>>

Hmm, this laptop is under warranty. James was ever so kind to provide a phone number (notice how those have disappeared from tech support sites?), so I call.

Hello, India?

Yep, India. I was on the phone for an hour and fifteen minutes, with people who didn't understand me, didn't understand my issue and gave me a buttload of canned responses. It seems that my laptop was listed as being purchased on 12/23/05 (uh no, Ed's generous, but not THAT generous in the gift department). Then the operator (I hesitate to call it tech support when they've got a friggin script and nothing else) tries to get me to purchase another year's tech support and warranty coverage.

Lady, listen here:
1. This is the FIRST time I am calling HP and I've owned the thing nearly a year. Obviously, I'm not clueless.
2. My husband has built the computer I am sitting in front of, I've installed hardware in computers and sold computers. Between us, we have a clue-we can't fix a hard drive. Most people can't.
3. It's still under warranty, so why should I pay for warranty?

Aha, she can't fix her CRT to correct the date of purchase, so she goes to her comfort level,which is push the warranty. I wasn't cooperative, so I got passed on to "Mary". Mary also tries to sell me a warranty and INSISTS I have my purchase date wrong. After explaining to Mary that I:
1. Can get my hands on the receipt in less than a minute
2. Had leg surgery 1/27/05 and bought the laptop because I could not sit at the computer table while recuperating.
3. Know it was recieved on 2/3/05 because that was the day I returned to work and I cursed !$%#$% Murphy that it showed up AFTER I had to go back.

It rapidly became clear that I was not going to fall for the canned script. As soon as I asked for a supervisor, I got assurances that she'd 'fix the date'and get me a new hard drive. She also tried again to sell me a warranty. (So, how many times do you have to push extending the warranty per call to get paid, ladies?)

Then I got the five minute script on how HP is happy to meet my needs, interspersed with info I *did* need, so I couldn't hang up.

Until today, I have never had a problem with the myriad HP products in the house. My problem is more with their tech support than their product.

I have to send the busted drive back within 30 days or get charged for it. I called my buddy Henry up in Hagerstown, and he's willing to take a look at it to see if he can recover it. Oh, and my Toyota is NOT ready. (Henry's shop number is one digit off from the local Toyota dealer) I don't know of a little computer shop like his here-and I'd rather send it to a known quantity.

No, if you're going to watch Monsoon Wedding, A Passage to India or any other movie filmed there, don't invite me over. I might start throwing crap at your tv!


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