I’ve referred to my computer woes a few times in the past month, and now that my tale of woe has come to a sad end, I thought I’d share it with folks. It’s part cautionary tale, and partly I’m hoping to encourage other folks who end up having the same issue with this laptop persevere with the absolutely horrendous first level of HP customer support system until the issue gets logged with quality control, because if enough people report this, then HP may address the the situation.
First off, this laptop is awesome. It’s an HP Pavilion dv7, and I searched for awhile to find this, trying to get the most up to date computer I could, without breaking the bank. It’s got a huge 17.3″ screen, awesome speakers, a fast processor (2nd gen i7 @2.00 GHz), 750 GB hard drive and 6 MB of RAM. Is it big? Heck yeah! Here it is next to my Juki:
Does it run better than my desktop? Yup! It’s who I depend upon for rendering videos for my online classes (this process is a huge memory hog!) But most important, I bought this so I could do real work sitting on my chaise next my hubby at night, rather than be chained to my desktop in the sewing room.
See why I’d rather be downstairs? I love this room!
Here’s the lowdown on the sadness around this awesome laptop:
- We buy the laptop in late November from Staples but it’s Christmas present so it doesn’t get opened until 12/25/11
- I notice almost immediately that there are what feel to be a couple of seams in the laptop front edge. It’s just the slightest bump then I happen to run my finger along the front edge of the laptop, so don’t think anything of it, besides the fact that it’s there.
- In early February, I discover that the “seam” isn’t really a seam at all, but a crack, because my sleeve drags across it and knocks the piece ajar. ACK! I push the piece back, ponder upon the design of the trim and think that perhaps it’s bit too thin where the speaker cutouts are, and contact their online support chat line.
- I chat with Faarhan A., explain to him the “what I thought was a seam=really a crack phenomenon”, he tells me not to worry, HP will fix it, and sends a fedex box to me.
- Sometime in the next week the little edge snaps off (picture 3) above the lefthand front speaker. Sadness! Now there’s a sharp edge under my left forearm when I type. Please note: This laptop moves from my lap to my bookshelf and back, occasionally making a trip up the stairs to my sewing room, I’ve not been carrying it around the world and bumping it into things! I really don’t know when exactly this happened, and I’m sure it was just cause by my sleeve catching on the crack.
- I wait to ship the computer out until 2/20/12, hoping to minimize the time I don’t have the laptop. 3/1/12 I get an email telling me to call Hewlett-Packard Customer Relations Management Department, I do so immediately and talk to Meka. (Yup, the computer got to them on 2/22 or 2/23 and it took them ANOTHER WEEK to contact me!)
- Meka tells me that it is determined that this is accidental damage, and I need to pay $270 to get it fixed. A very frustrating conversation ensues, as i tell her that this damage was discussed with Faarhad and he told me that HP would fix it. If he had told me that I would have to pay to fix it, well, I would have remembered that! Anyway, she wouldn’t let us talk to anyone else when we asked to talk to her supervisor, would only give us a street address of some sort of customer relations where we’re supposed to send a letter, written on paper, and addressed to no-one, to get our concerns taking care of. I can’t even begin to describe to explain how poorly this conversation was conducted, so suffice it to say that it left us extremely angry. Meka closes the ticket and puts the computer in the queue to be shipped out the next day, Friday, and then we would have to wait until the following Wednesday to have the laptop back.
- My husband tracks down a HP support telephone number and talks to a nice man named Charles. Who can’t do much, but at least gets the laptop to ship on THursday, so it arrives the following Tuesday. (So, I was without this machine for 2 and a half weeks! And nothing got fixed!)
- I angrily tweet and facebook about the poor HP customer assistance, and actually get a response via twitter DM (@HPSupport) from a nice guy named Eddie. I tell him my tale of woe (I used the text of the email to write most of this post) and he tells me he’ll take it up the ladder.
- Well, it went up the ladder, came back down again, and I got a call from him today. This problem has been logged with their quality control department. Because nobody else has yet reported this problem (and by report, I assume this means, somebody actually made it through the dragons they have on the other end of the phone – I’m talking about you Meka! – and got this escalated enough to actually have a case manager report this to quality control) they won’t acknowledge that there’s anything wrong with the laptop that should be taken care of with the warranty. He tells me I should have taken it back to Staples within their grace period. (But that would have required me wondering why there was a seam in trim and wiggling it to see that it was a crack in the first week I had it!)
- End of the story: they’ll give me a 25% discount on the $270 service to fix it, so I don’t have to type with a sharp edge digging into my left forearm for the next 3-5 years.
Umm…..pay $202 to fix a $850 laptop I just bought? Why should I do that? Is the trim strip worth 25% of the entire computer? See – this is what really gets me, the scale of the repair cost!
So, here’s what I have to say to people looking for a new laptop:
Don’t buy from HP.
If there’s an issue with it, you will get someone like Meka on the phone and she will piss you off, not give you any way to do anything except pay their God-awful high repair cost. It’s sad, because I really like the look and feel of their products…until a part falls off and I get scratched.
To the people who say I should just buy a Mac:
I have a lot of money invested in high-performance software for a PC and can’t afford to replace it. Yeah, I know, I can run a Mac as a PC – tried that, it’s not all peaches and cream. But most importantly, I like things the way I like them. A PC lets me customize file locations and all sorts of other things that I can’t do easily on a Mac. So, I am not buying a Mac.
To people who may end up here because they had this same issue:
Follow and Tweet to @HPSupport for help. Hopefully they will get in contact with you and you can end up reporting this to someone who can actually get your issue reported to quality control. If enough of us do this, maybe they’ll do something about the issue (besides giving you the offer of 25% off a $270 repair bill).
Here endeth my rant.