Sunday, February 13, 2005

 

Executive

When I first spoke to the executive office of customer relations I was happy to be in such a high-profile-sounding place. Despite the news that Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina had been dismissed earlier in the week and so executive areas might be a little rough. Regardless, I thought it was time to speak to someone who grew up in the states and perhaps understood my words instead of the mere fact that I was an angry American. I understand that outsourcing is the way it is. I saw the presidential debates, I see the out of work computer people in my town working as bank tellers and cashiers. Nothing against that either but its shall we say ROUGH. I do have a problem if the tech support in India cannot understand me. I learned the phonetic alphabet though and recommend its use to anyone in a similar situation.

A Alfa AL FAH
B Bravo BRAH VOH
C Charlie CHAR LEE
D Delta DELL TAH
E Echo ECK OH
F Foxtrot FOKS TROT
G Golf GOLF
H Hotel HO TELL
I India IN DEE AH
J Juliett JEW LEE ETT
K Kilo KEY LOH
L Lima LEE MAH
M Mike MIKE
N November NO VEM BER
O Oscar OSS CAH
P Papa PAH PAH
Q Quebec KEH BECK
R Romeo ROW ME OH
S Sierra SEE AIR AH
T Tango TANG GO
U Uniform YOU NEE FORM
V Victor VIK TAH
W Whiskey WISS KEY
X X-ray ECKS RAY
Y Yankee YANG KEY
Z Zulu ZOO LOO

In executive land though, English is the media. Possibly Canadian. Anyway he's very sorry about the whole thing and wants me to understand that everyone there is sympathetic to my position but there is nothing that they can do. In fact, he, my case manager, is surprised that I was quoted 295USD because this normally costs 600. He gives me a case ID and a phone number to call and says this is the caboose there is no place farther to go from here. I say I'm going to call all the HP numbers I can to spread the word within the organization that the product and warranty policy are crap. He says that will be a waste of time and I should just call him directly. I'm still astounded that this is even happening. Never in my life have I run into a product failure that tech support and customer relations had the audacity to stand behind. This guy, my case manager, was very cool though. The only time he got a little riled was when I asked how many laptops this has happened to. A little feminine squeal to the effect of "what does that have to do with anything?" Are you kidding? It has to do with a known design flaw and the continued production of a device that is known to fail. Thinkpads dont do this. Dells dont do this. I hang up angry, and call back in an hour to corporate headquarters in Palo Alto. Seemingly always staffed by delightful woman who appear after soothing light jazz on hold. I tell my quick story and they leave a message for my case manager who will call me back. They say. He doesnt.

Next time "Fear of the Record"


Thursday, February 10, 2005

 

Lets Get Started

So Hewlett Packard wants me to pay 295USD to have my hp Pavilion notebook repaired. I bought it a year ago for about a thousand dollars knowing it had a one-year warranty and expecting to have to use it considering all the luck Id seen people have with notebooks laptops etc. So the DVD drive fails to read DVD's fast enough to show them to me onscreen within 6 months but it turns out I really dont like watching DVDs on that stupid computer so it was ok. Then by 8 months burning CDs becomes risky. No buffer underrun, not a coaster, but data CDs that pretend like they have all the information you put on it but don’t really. Fine. Burn CDs on the desktop. By now though the AC power pin has become looser and looser. I can still get the plug to go in the jack and the computer tells me it is plugged in so fine. Then one day the alarm is going off because the battery is running out but it should be plugged in. Low and behold its not actually plugged in because the mofing AC power pin is not engaged with the plug. Its warranty time. Talk to tech support in India, (800-474-6836) and be damn lucky that I turned the machine off instead of staring at it because they tell me it’s going to be wiped clean. You can talk all you want about how firewire is silly but luckily in five minutes I was able to shoot all the data off to my external harddrive. Fax the receipt, call them back, schedule pickup. Pack the stupid ass thing. Leave it on my porch at the mercy of hoodlums because I actually work on weekdays. Get the email that says they have it and that the optical drive is the only problem and its on warranty. Call India again to say that the power pin is broken and I hope someone notices. Who knows what they are over there doing but I bet they have a battery that still works unlike mine here that barely did even before the Pavilion junked out. They say duly noted, the power pin must be fixed. Two days later I’m calling India again to say I wonder where my HP notebook is and I get a call on the other line from California saying Hi this is Hewlett-Packard, the technicians see that the power pin is broken and you will have to pay 295 to fix it because its broken off and that requires replacing the motherboard. Which is not covered by the warranty. I yell about how I am astounded and this is unacceptable and I bought this thing a year ago and just plugged the power cord in and took it out of the jack several times every other day. Regular use not the problem. I am very sorry there is no alternative. Let me talk to your manager. I am the manager she says. I am very angry. I say. Who do I call to complain about this? Then she gives me the number.

Call Them. 1-800-756-0608 extension 7 (on 10 Feb, 2005)

Next time: “The Executive Office of Consumer Relations




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