2008-02-06

Why HP Sucks Ass [AN PG T]

GREAT tech support story, also an implied "watchout" for manufacturers whose products break when you try to install their own sanctioned software upgrades! Note the background to this story is I was given a broken HP iPaq PDA - my older son and I replaced the screen and the dead internal backup battery, and this was going to be given to someone I work with so they could have a PDA (pretty nice model too, it's no iPhone but it has a keyboard, WiFi, BlueTooth etc.)

Anyway, it was all set, new screen working fine, backup battery reading 100%; so I thought let's see what software updates there are from HP. There were a few, the most important was a ROM update. Without going into too much detail, a ROM update is sort of like a "brain upgrade" for an electronic device. For many, the most familiar ROM update is when you plug in an iPod and you are told a new version of the iPod software is available do you want to install it.

Actual Tech support chat session

Mark says: HP iPaq model 4350 Serial ------; I went to install the HP ROM update 1.10.03 and the iPaq is frozen, it is a blank screen with “i.15” (in red) and “1.03” (in blue) at the top of the screen.

Automatically generated message: A Support specialist, Alan H has been assigned to your case.

Alan H says: Hello Mark, thank you for contacting HP and for your interest in our Active Chat online support. Here is SR ID # for your service request ###### . My name is Alan and I see you have a question regarding your handheld. I'm going to take a few moments to review your information and will message you back very soon. [At least he did not ask "how is the weather?"]

Alan H says: According to our records, your HP iPAQ is no longer covered under its limited warranty. As a result, we are unable to provide in-warranty support at this time. If you wish to proceed, out of warranty Instant Support for your HP iPAQ is available for a $25.00 USD fee. (Please be advised HP Support Services is offered as .best effort. only. Though we do have a high rate of resolution success for most cases, we do not guarantee a resolution nor provide parts through the Instant Support service. The fee will not be refunded if the issue is unresolved.) If you choose not to continue with out of warranty Instant Support, the following service options are available to you: Free online resources, accessed through www.hp.com, include:
Support forums: http://forums.itrc.hp.com/cm/1,,2,00.html
Manuals: http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html
Parts information: http://h20141.www2.hp.com/hpparts/Default.asp
For technical support, please call 1-800-HP-INVENT. There is a $49.00 fee to obtain out of warranty technical support by phone. Should hardware repair of your unit be required; any fees paid for out of warranty support will be deducted from the total unit repair cost. Thank you for your interest in HP.s Instant Support Group. Please note that the billable support offered is best effort only and that we do not guarantee a resolution or provide parts. The issue will be supported for 7 days from the time of the troubleshooting billing fee at which point if the case has not been resolved you will be billed again for additional troubleshooting. The fee will not be refunded if the issue is unresolved. Would you like to proceed with billable chat support?”

Mark says: The only question is that all was fine until I attempted YOUR (HP's) ROM update and it froze. Note GOOGLE for “iPaq 4350 ROM frozen” and you will see this is not an unique occurrence. So you are saying if a customer attempts a ROM update and the device is hosed it is the CUSTOMER'S problem?

Alan H says: There is a license agreement that you accept that says that Hp is not responsible for any data lost or any problems during update.

Mark says: I'm laughing because I just said to someone "I bet that's what they'll say." There is also an implied warranty that the ROM update should work. HP lists several dozen fixes, enhancements or improvements the ROM update takes care of so I would think it is necessary, plus that as the ROM update itself came from HP it should work.

Alan H says: There are no warranties on the ROM updates.

Mark says: In the US there is always an implied warranty on something like a manufacturer's ROM update; please speak to a supervisor or check the facts before saying something so silly. BTW - I have updated ROMs on several Apple laptops, 3 Apple iPods, 2 Palm PDAs and one Samsung Blackjack PDA and - guess what - they never locked up nor failed to work. Thank you anyway, but it is good to know HP does not have any warranty/guarantee on ROM updates.

Alan H says: I have checked agreeing to the license of the update says that Hp [sic] is not responsible for any data lost or any problems during update.

Mark says: Buh-bye [I must admit that sounded childish and I know this is not Total Bastard Airlines]

Alan H says: Mark, I am going to close this support request at this time. You may start a new session and refer to SR ID number ----- . If you should need assistance in the future, please try our Instant Support program again. Thank you again for contacting HP and have a great day. – Alan

**sigh**

Note this is the 21st century and ROM updates should be error-free and about as easy as falling off a log.

Note to HP: tell your tech support people that both the 'H' and the 'P' are capitalized. Jesus.

I also sent an e-mail to the iPaq support forum at HP. The auto-reply message - and I am not making this up - was: "Please note: At this moment we have an issue with this Mail System, your mail cannot reach the Support teams ." They must've been updating their ROMs.

4 comments:

Albany Lawyer said...

Awesome. I posted my chat session with HP from yesterday at:

http://albany-lawyer.blogspot.com/2009/03/hp-customer-service-by-chat.html

Similar ... but different.

Anonymous said...

I had a bad experience with them as well. I had asked them whether a processor was compatible with my mobo but instead they just kept linking to a 4 year old online manual which had the processor options for my computer at the time of its release.

Rather then instruct people to follow a set of guidelines they should hire some quality professionals who know what they are talking about.

HP Technical Support Number said...

Nice Blog ,Thanks for Sharing the information.Customer Satisfaction is very important to grow up the business.

OpusMark said...

With projected laptop reliability behind even Gateway - good luck with that sir!

http://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/SquareTrade_laptop_reliability_1109.pdf