Friday, November 7, 2008

Fact: Do not buy an HP computer.

I realize that the concept of blogging about disapproving phone support or tech support is rather cliché and probably shouldn't be done, but hey. Who gives a flying fuck. I sure don't.

Against my advice, my parents bought an HP Pavillion Notebook for my younger sister to take to university with her. I had recommended a Mac, as she is going into music and quite frankly, Macs are infinitely better than PCs are for music work. But, my advice was disregarded.

So, about 2 weeks ago, I get a call from her in absolute tears. Lauren's computer won't turn on. I check and see if it's plugged in, battery's in, etc. It all is. So, I tell her I'll come take a look at it. I get there and promptly remove the battery, drain excess charge, that sort of thing. No dice. I check the hard-drive. It's connected. I check the RAM. I reseed and swap slots. No change. I pull a RAM chip - nothing. I pull the other, putting the first in the same slot. Magic, it boots.

Okay, no problem. All I need is a piece of 1gb SO-DIMM PC2-5300. HP'll prolly just send one out, charge and refund a credit card. We can do that! So I call up HP. I'm a techy guy, I know what's going on. The conversation goes something like this.

Me: Hey HP. I need a new gig of RAM for my sister's computer. It won't boot unless the RAM chip is pulled. Okay?
HP: Sure thing. Got a credit card?
Me: Nah, I'll have her call with mom's. I'm broke as fuck.
HP: Cool.

Okay. That's interaction one.

Lauren gets mom's CC info and calls up to set up the repair. The agent speaks to her for ONE AND A HALF HOURS, having her remove the hard drive, reseed the RAM, do the hokey-pokey, who the fuck knows. Suffice to say, she had a very inexperienced 18 year old girl pulling her computer apart. Adding on to this, the agent didn't have Lauren take the basic steps. For instance, when I was working on her computer, I made sure to ground myself every minute or so. The agent didn't inform Lauren of the dangers of static discharge inside a computer.

Then, the agent told Lauren that she'd have to send the whole computer in. Of course, we had already been told we could be sent the RAM we needed in the mail. Lauren asked to speak to a supervisor. The agent then put Lauren on hold for TWO MORE HOURS, listening to HP's atrocious hold "music" (see below), without coming back to check on her or let her know what the wait will be.

She messages me from her currently-working computer in tears (again), because basically this agent has fucked off and taken a 2 hour lunch at her expense. I agree to go ahead and get in touch with HP. I start by calling up and using their chat option. The chat option took about 10 minutes to get through. The agent was unsure of her English, and took an extremely long time (about 6-7 minutes) to respond to my basic questions, like, "So, can you send me this part or not?". I wasn't pleased.

Then, there was waiting on the goddamn phone.

I waited for about 45 minutes to get through. Okay. I'm patient, I can wait as needed. But the hold "music"...oh boy. I have never heard anything so annoying in my goddamn life. It had these soft, supposedly smoothing tones playing in the background, all very digital, like a hippie playing a keyboard. Then there was a woman speaking over it. Constantly, advertising various HP products, explaining the website option (which I was doing simultaneously), directing me to online search, all while I slowly seeth and grow more angry.

Now, to add onto this, the piece was cut by a retard. The various segments the woman was speaking through were chopped together at random. It looped, so after the third loop I got to notice the points. Generally, the music stopped for a second too, giving you that hope that someone was picking up. Now, get this, the woman misspoke in the middle of the recording. But instead of just doing another take, they kept her error, her cough, AND the part where she said "excuse me". WHY THE FUCK WOULDN'T YOU JUST DO ANOTHER GODDAMN TAKE! IS HP THAT FUCKING IDIODIC?!

Well, they sure are. I spoke to a fellow named Vincent, who was actually quite nice. He tried everything he could to get this taken care of. I explained the troubleshooting steps I had taken. He agreed that it was probably the RAM chip. He looked into it and told me what Lauren had been told - HP does not ship out RAM chips for this model. I politely asked if he could look into another option, which he did. This guy was great, he kept updating me as to what was going on. He escalated the case to a case manager, who called Lauren back and apologized and explained that HP does not send out parts for the model. He promised her the turnaround time for a mail-in repair was 3-4 days.

Okay. So I'm still upset, because there's no damn reason to go through all this for a three inch long chip. Hell, the fucking shipping alone is worth more than the damn RAM. But, she sent it in. Lo-and-behold, HP calls her back, saying they can't find anything wrong with it. Why? They said the RAM looked fine. Lauren asked if it would boot, and they said, "Well, no. The cause hasn't been determined." She asked if they had swapped out the RAM. They said no. Sounded like a load of BS to her.

Then - get this - afterwards, they said that, "Even if it is RAM, we can't replace it here. We'll ship the model back to you with a note for HP. Then HP can send you the part."

..., they will send us the part, which is what we wanted in the first place, only after their random repair "experts" can determine that it's a part needed? Why can't they get the part in? Why doesn't a computer repair depot have the most common RAM in the world lying around? WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST SEND US THE RAM IN THE FIRST PLACE?!

This whole process is retarded, and the run-around has totally lost HP both myself and my sister as customers. I really recommend to you that you avoid HP like the plague. I am not telling you to buy a Mac, but look into Dell, or Toshiba, or Compaq, or someone other than Hewlett-Packard.

HP blows goats.

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