HP handles a bad experience.

I usually hear about my friend’s technology problems. They tell me either because they know I know about customer service or they know I know about technology. Sometimes I can help them fix their problems, othertimes I can provide the person with a suggestion as to how they can go about getting their problem fixed.

A week or so ago a friend of mine had a laptop charger that started smoking. The charger got really hot and burnt a hole through the wire on the cord. I suggested that she call the laptop manufacturer (HP) and see what they could do. The next day my friend told me that she had called HP and since the laptop was out of warranty, they would not replace the charger. My friend paid for a new charger and overnight shipping for it. She wasn’t happy, but was hoping the situation would be getting resolved soon.

The next day my friend got a charger, but there was a problem: the charger wasn’t the right size for her laptop. HP had sent her the wrong charger. It was noticeably too large for the laptop and was useless. She called HP again and the company told her that she would have to send the wrong charger back to HP, and then HP would send a new charger. It was getting ridiculous. She would have to wait for HP’s mistake. She went ahead and ordered another charger and paid again for overnight shipping. At least she could use her laptop.

When I mentioned that I had interviewed someone at HP and could try to help her out, she said it would be welcomed and appreciated. I sent Janice Liu and a PR person at HP an email about the issue. Both of them replied promptly and asked for some more information. After I provided the information, they said they would at getting a resolution.

HP followed through. Yesterday, my friend got a call from HP. The guy apologized and offered to send her a check for the charger and pay any other related costs. He also asked my friend to send back the defective charger so HP could check it out. Shortly after the first guy called, another person called to ensure the experience was satisfactory and that my friend was happy. She was delighted.

HP handled this situation well. It wasn’t an amazing experience, but it definitely made my friend confident in the company and happy with the end result. It also gave me some added confidence in HP and I’m glad that it worked out well.

The question is what could have been this experience a great one? One that would cause my friend (and everyone she told) to use HP because of the company’s tremendous recovery.

  • Obviously, not messing up the first time. If they had sent the right charger to begin with, it would have been a much better experience.
  • Making it so the frontline representatives can deal with the issue. Not all people have access to an executive at HP or are aware of Service Untitled – HP should try to empower representatives (or at least their supervisors) to resolve issues like this.
  • Extra bribes. HP could have offered them a free printer, a gift certificate on a future purchase, or something of that nature. Since I believe that HP makes more money on the ink for the printers, the free printer wouldn’t be a bad idea.
  • A further apology note. HP still has a chance to do this and the item below. Whoever called them should send a quick letter or card to my friend and again issue a further apology and thank them for using HP.
  • A follow up. In two or three weeks, HP should call my friend again and make sure that she received the check, that the charger is working okay, etc.
  • Send a survey. HP should send a survey over mail and/or email about a month from now to gather some additional feedback.

Overall, HP did a good job. Like with everything, there is room to improve, but they did a good job. Kudos to HP.

57 Responses to “HP handles a bad experience.”

  1. Gino said:

    Dec 04, 08 at 3:43 pm

    I am very upset, my laptop has always caused me problems, I have ZD8230US. I hate total care package, but I never sent it in because of reading forums. Well my notebook was accidentlly damaged. On my contract i clearly states 3 day turnaround time, My notebook was recieved on dec 1st. It shows on my order status that expected delivery date is Date:12/09/2008, I call the number listed and talked to someone in India. I tried to explain to them that it was 3 day turnaround, they just kept saying the same thing over and over again like a robot. I tried corporate number always busy. This is very unexceptiable I paid a lot for that notebook and the Total Care Package and now it get an Email that they will try and meet my expected delivery date and just give me the same number that goes to India. They wont transfer me to a US rep, who I spoke to when i filed claim!!! I need this computer its the only one i have so i have to do this at work. Thats the only way i can check my emails, 3 DAY TURNAROUND TIME NO WHERE DOES IT SAY LONGER. I DONT EVEN WANT THE NOTEBOOK. I WILL NEVER BUY AN HP PRODUCT EVER AGAIN. I JUST PURCHASED AN HP ALL IN ONE PRINTER WHICH I LOVE BUT I AM GETTING RID OF IT, Sorry am just so frustrated this day an age you need internet, i use it for personal and business and when I pay for Total Protection and it was HP’s best one and They keep me in limbo. I work for a big internet retailer and we use India as well, but people can easly reach us if they need to. It’s a shame i cannot talk to anyone to complain about the poor service and robot india reps that just say “shows you get Dec 9th” they do not understand anything I am saying. Well I vented. good bye HP and I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND YOUR COMPANY AGAIN.

  2. Katherine said:

    Dec 05, 08 at 12:10 am

    Call the Corporate offices, ask for a manager, they will transfer you, they got me a great solution, I was furious as well and I ended up with a brand new laptop for free. If your laptop was sent more than 3 times, you can get a brand new laptop if you talk to the right people. Forget about the regular customer service number, call corporate and ask for a case manager, explain your case, they will help you. Also read this great forum, I found the “How to” with HP and finally after weeks of pain, got the solution.

  3. G-Money said:

    Jan 28, 09 at 11:02 pm

    I couldn’t agree with Technorati’s suggestions more: see the following I sent to HP’s CEO Hurd last night:

    Mr. Hurd,
    Here are some ways HP can better serve its customers: put policies in place that allow for customer support representatives to find creative ways to appease the customer outside of policy if needed, especially those that make economic sense for you and me. Don’t stack the deck totally in the company’s favor, against the customer, when it comes to good customer service.I’ve been a loyal customer of HP products. I’ve owned calculators, printers and PCs designed/marketed by HP. If my issue wasn’t customer service I could easily dismiss any problems to Compaq design and quality as opposed to HP. HP has always had a reputation with me for quality in every way. I called in for technical support this evening and was completely shocked and surprised by the abysmal options presented me for customer support. The lack of creativity, economic sense (for HP and me), and self initiative was dumbfounding. Last November (just 2 months ago) I bought a Compaq Presario desktop PC. Today the PC stopped booting up. I called for support and Jason was very professional and thorough. I did what I normally do not do and participated with him in going through a half dozen isolation steps which involved me opening the PC up. I spent over an hour with Jason as we isolated the trouble. In effect, I saved HP loads of money participating this way, trouble-shooting your product, in much less time than most customers by Jason’s own words. I’m sure that’s why HP puts its customers through what is otherwise not very convenient. He determined the power supply was bad. While isolating with him I discovered a data cable that was missing its locking tab among other things that were not right (metal debris rolling around inside the case; modem card not fully seated). I opted for having the new power supply sent out to me to replace myself—more savings to HP by not incurring the expense of shipping the whole PC back and forth. It obviously saves me time without my PC as well. When giving my shipping information to Jason I asked that a data cable be supplied in the shipment as well and I would replace that. Here’s where it gets ugliest. Jason determined there was no part number for the cable therefore couldn’t order one. It was a $3 part as he said, and apologetically suggested I go to Best Buy and buy one myself and replace it. Not tipped over quite yet as the customer I said I’d do that. I’d drive the 25 miles to the nearest Best Buy and buy it myself and replace it. I only asked to be reimbursed for the cost of the cable. Jason checked and found no avenue for that. I asked to speak to Mike, his supervisor, and suggested myself creative things we could do to treat the customer well and save HP reputation and costs: 1) send me a gift certificate for the cable’s cost; 2) buy a gift card online and send it to me and expense that; 3) find similar PC in the shop and take one out of it. Mike only knew how to say, “it’s not company policy” and “there isn’t anything I can do.” When I asked to speak to his supervisor he refused.
    Here are the numbers: money I spent buying your product-$461. How long it worked after I brought it home: 2 months. How long I spent saving HP money by assisting in the isolation- 1.75 hours. Number of suggestions the supervisor came up with to satisfy the customer-0. Cost of the part at the crux of the issue-$3. Cost to HP of me telling this story to all that I know and love-millions. (trouble ticket: XXXXXXX, 1/27/09.Tracking:TWYXXX-XX).

  4. charles miller said:

    Oct 20, 09 at 3:30 pm

    Never in my life have I dealt with a redicilus problem like I have dealt with Hp Customer Service. The opical drive on my laptop went out and I understood that I would have to buy a new one as my computer was out of warrantee. I was ok with that. I call HP and order the oprical drive and paid for the overnight shipping. I was happy. The next day the drive arrives and install it; low and behold it isn’t compatible with my laptop because it’s the wrong part even though HP told me that it was becasue the part numbers were indentical. I thought I was ordering the optical drive that originally came with my computer, but the one that arrived was not the correct one. After calling HP and letting them know this I was directed to do a facotry system restore on my computer (wiping it clean of everything and losing all my data) and then seating the new drive so it could be recognized by the bios and device manager on my computer. That still did not take care of the problem. After calling HP back again and letting them know that this did not fix the issue I was told that they would send another drive out to me like the one that was sent. The one that was sent did not work in the first place and was incapitable with my computer why send me another one if it won’t work? After asking HP this they then told me then my computer would need to be sent for repairs. Absolutely ridiculus. I asked HP since it was there mistake in the first place why won’ they just send me the optical drive that I thought I was ordering in the first place. I was told no outright and that there was nothing they could do to help me. Absolutely paposterous. I would think that with a multi-million dollare company like HP the customer service, willing to help people with their problems, and relationship with their customers would be better. I was wrong and it just goes to show me that it’s all about the dollar.

  5. ellie said:

    Nov 11, 09 at 7:10 am

    I feel for you and can say first hand just how bad they are, we brought a laptop less then two moths ago, as well as extra insurance and a monthly mobile internet contract it is obviously still under warranty, form day one it has been unstable, crashing, refusing to connect, once connected taking so long to load it times out, and much more wonderous and refreshing delights, i tried restoring it to factory settings- still terrible! virus scan- no defrag- no, in the end i called hp, who refused to help until i faxed them through my personal bank details on my o2 contract as proof i had purchased the laptop- i tried to point out this was unsafe and surely the receipt was better proof and contained none of my personal details, the man said he could be fired and would not help unless i did, he guarenteed he would call back as soon as he received it- needless to say that was some time ago and i am still waiting for his call, so after putting a security lock on my account i tried emailing- they took almost a week to respond and just suggested everything i had tried- i explained i had done these things they sent a duplicate email with some ridiculous extra suggestions that were irrelevant to the issues with the laptop, i asked them to collect it- i am still receiving emails suggesting i defrag etc on a daily basis- yet they ignore all my pleas for them to fix it, they are truelly awfull- to this day it is still borken and i am still forced to pay for it monthly despite being unable to use it!

  6. Denis Logan said:

    Sep 18, 10 at 3:40 pm

    HP used to have good service a couple of years ago, but that is a thing of the past. I don’t know how many HP products I have bought over the years. Right now I have 2 LaserJet printers and 1 OfficeJet printer, I buy new every 2 years or so. My wife and I use computers and printers in our business and to have them working is absolutely necessary. I am so sick of service from people that can’t speak English. A service phone call is a very difficult time under the best of circumstances. But when HP is using sub-standard phone equipment with a lot of noise and the service rep, speaks broken English at best, it is just impossible. You do notice if you call to buy something the phone lines are crystal clear and the sales person speaks perfect English. HP knows the difference; they just don’t give a crap anymore. I’ll buy my Computers and printers somewhere else.

  7. gary white said:

    Mar 16, 11 at 10:08 pm

    I bought a HP laptop for my girlfriend for Christmas and the mouse pad has been defective from the start. At times it won’t charge or start properly and is useless for her business or personal use We have done exactly what they heave asked us to do and now they are telling us the computer needs to be broke in. This is a lame attempt to honor their products warranty statement in it’s self! I am now developing a group of HP customers who have experienced the same bad customer service and dishonesty to bring this to the attention of the media and bring a class action lawsuit against Hewlett Packard.

    If interested in joining me in my effort for what is just honest and right please contact Gary atgwwhite99@gmail.com