It was a dark cold night when my friend and I pulled into the local garage. The on duty mechanic looked up from his obligatorily greased stained desk calendar and greeted my buddy by name.
“How’s Betty,” the mechanic asked.
“Good,” Joe responded.
“And Louise, and Janice, and that one that plays soccer. “What’s her name? Don’t tell. Oh yeah Joanne,” the mechanic asked.
“Good,” Joe said. “Is my car ready?”
“Just finished up. That’ll be (whatever the hell it was). I’ll bring it right out,” the mechanic said.
Joe and I walked outside.
“How often do you have to come here,” I asked.
“More than I want. Why?”
“He knows the names of all the members of your family”
“That’s not a good sign,” I said. “You’re here too often.”
Unfortunately I am developing the same relationship, with the HP tech support staff as Joe did with his mechanic. I confer when them far too often and am learning their first names. They are probably very fine people, but I really don’t want to get to them that well – it means my stuff is busted.
I have discovered HP tech support is superb. It really is – because they have to be. It seems the firm’s products are so inferior; tech support gets a lot of practice. At least from me.
Let me explain.
I was a Mac guy for years. When it came time to finally bury my MacBook I went to the Apple Store ready to plunk down a lot of money for a new machine. The blue tee-shirted Apple rep told me I had to make an appointment to buy a new laptop.
In a huff, I stormed out and went two doors down to the Microsoft store and after some soul searching bought two 17” Touchsmart Envy Laptops. They were shiny and pretty. They seemed like the answers to our search at half the price.
I took these two machines home and my wife took one and me the other. Her’s didn’t work and soon we were on the phone with tech support from a distant land and we eventually figured out the #Envy 17 had a catastrophic problem. We brought it back and the Microsoft store swapped it out.
A small hiccup we thought. Blue skies ahead, but there were more bumps.
About two and a half months later I turn on my Envy 17 Touchsmart and nothing. No whir of the fan no sound of the hard drive: no nothing. We take my machine back to the Microsoft Store and thus began a saga of bungled tracking and delays that were eventually sorted out by HP tech support and an on-the-ball case manager.
I finally get my computer back and am so thankful that I write glowing reviews of HP Tech Support (well deserved I might add) on my blog. In fact I am so impressed I buy an HP 15 Notebook for toting around. They really did great work.
And then depression set in.
One morning, I turn my Touchsmart on and the fan sounds like a hovercraft on my desk and the spot right below the start button is so hot I can keep my coffee warm. I shoot off a tweet and the wonderful HP folks give me all the cool tips. Nothing worked so I send the same machine off again (second time in six months).
This goes much smoother as I bypass the Microsoft store and direct ship the computer via Fedex. Anyway, it comes back supposedly fixed, but it seems the same to me except the heat dissipates after 25 minutes and the fan seems to sound a bit more muffled – progress I guess.
That was last week.
So yesterday I’m in a bigshot meeting with the HP 15 Notebook and all of a sudden the keyboard goes whacko and I can’t type special characters or some upper case letters. I immediately jump on twitter and the fine people at HP Support do a great job of giving me resources to solve the problem.
After going through a gamut of fixes, I am forced to call the customer support folks and after two more, well intentioned, hours I have to ship yet another brand new machine to HP for repairs. It’s unbelievable.
100 percent of all HP computing products I have bought, have had to be returned for repairs or replacement. 100 percent! I have lost time, business, and reputation due to the inferior product. Thank God they have superb tech support. They need it.