Monday, April 25, 2011

Calling HP Support: Hope you have AT LEAST an hour.

I bought one of the cool HP Mini Netbooks when they were brand new (I think it was early 2009).  I loved it.  Unfortunately, mine was one of the early models w/ an underpowered power supply for the bulky (and slow) hard drive they put in it.  The hard drive crashed about 13 days after the 90-day store warrantee expired; so I was left to deal with HP's support line.  After a long time (not kidding 3 or 4 hours), they determined they had to see my computer to see if they could fix it.  So I shipped it to them and waited.  . . .and waited and waited and waited.

After 3 weeks of waiting I called.  The exact hard drive my computer originally had in it was back ordered, so they were waiting for it.  I waited another couple weeks, and called again.  Still back ordered.  I put 2 and 2 together (duh), and realized the thing was back ordered cuz HP had discontinued using it--probably because it was faulty for everyone who had it. . .

Anyway . . . Very long story (a little) shorter, I spent more than 6 hours on the phone w/ HP support (NOT an exageration), and didn't get anything resolved.  After a few days of calling HP and yelling at various supervisors (about how I had bought the stinking computer and had been able to use it for a couple months, and now I didn't have the thing for what was then going on two months. . . yadda yadda), they finally said--why don't we send you a replacement computer.

So they did.  The new computer had a new/better hard drive in it, and everything seemed to be resolved.  Thanks HP (despite how long it takes to talk to you about support issues--which is the real complaint here).

Well, some time later I overloaded the software capacity (of the my replacement HP Mini), downloaded a virus, and found it necessary to restore the factory settings of the computer.  (Note to self:  NEXT TIME YOU BUY A NETBOOK, USE THE RECOVERY PARTITION IT COMES INSTALLED WITH--despite the fact that you didn't realize it was there--AND CREATE A RECOVERY CD BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE.)  Unfortunately, by the time I got to the 'restore factor settings' step of my trouble shooting the virus problem, the recovery partition was already corrupted, and I had to use an external recovery process.  I wiped the hard drive, and used the recovery CD from my original HP Mini netbook (that I had returned), and restored the operating system.

(man, I'm not making my "long story short" a very short story, am I.  Sorry.  ;)

The problem is the recovery CD for the original HP Mini netbook didn't completely match up with the chip set and components of my replacement netbook.  So now--since the system re-install--I'm missing some drivers and key features from my computer.  (For example, my system restore feature doesn't work, my system standby mode doesn't work, I can't get the right driver [no matter how many I try from] for my ethernet port, etc.)  I've been limping along without these features for some time, but I finally got sick of it today and decided I would call HP to order the ACTUAL recovery CD for this netbook.

Pretty simple conversation, right:  "Hi.  I'm Blaine.  I have a HP Mini NetBook and I want to order the system recovery CD for the exact serial number/product number computer that I have."  WRONG!

"Tell me again why you can't get the right drivers.  Why can't you download them from our website?  Why didn't you use the recovery partition?  How many times have you tried restoring it? etc. etc. etc."

LOTS of questions and talking to another supervisor (after LOTS of hold time) and repeating the LOTS of questions later . . . (literally about an HOUR after I started the call) I'm finally told "I'd be happy to send you the recover CD.  That will be $15.93 for GROUND shipping."  Really?  $15.93 for SHIPPING. . . A CD?!?!?!?

I started into a line of questioning that would have wound up with something like:  Do you KNOW how much shipping CD's costs for EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD?  (For those who don't know, it's about $0.42.  42¢!!!)  But I refrained--and politely paid the scammer that is HP Support.  (I was at his mercy on getting what I needed.  Good for HP for taking advantage of their stadium pricing ability in such cases as mine.)

But the price for shipping a recovery CD is not the issue.  (Although, I would have much appreciated if they would have told me that I was actually buying a CD for my $15.93--not ground shipping.)  The rant is that I knew exactly what I wanted from them, I succinctly articulated the need, and I still couldn't get off the line with HP Support in any less than AN HOUR!  I'm annoyed AGAIN by HP Support.

Sorry to "drag you down to my personal hell" as my brother sometimes puts it when I complain.  My advice to anyone wondering about HP Mini Netbooks:  Get an I-Pad!


Heather - said...

oh man, not a fan of HPs either. Next time, I'm going apple for sure :)

Nam Cherubz said...

You're indeed a patient man! ;)