September 22, 2009

Considering an HP laptop? Think again

Filed under: Customer grievances,DesiPundit,gurgaon,personal — Twilight Fairy @ 4:30 pm
Once upon a time, I purchased a fancy laptop from HP. And my life was never the same again in a rather unpleasant way, starting, the moment I parted with 65K of my hard earned money. This is the sordid saga of my tryst with HP. Read on, especially if you have ever so much as even dreamt of starting a consumer relationship with HP. My problems with HP started when I purchased a laptop from them 3+ years back in July 2006. It has been only a nightmare which refuses to get over. I would appreciate all the help I can get, in sharing this sorry tale with ppl who matter, in HP or out of it and planning to “purchase” HP.

Right from that time in July 2006, when I was given a different config than what was paid for (I was told by the person – Mr. Chandan – who took my order on the net/phone, that I would get a headset with mike along with the laptop, but got “earbuds” instead), TO the time I had to run after HP for first taking payment from me for extended warranty and then for more weeks for sharing with me my care pack warranty details (even though the money had been withdrawn from my bank account for weeks & no one reverted to my correspondence!), TO the time when I had to get my notebook’s problems actually rectified (which has been the worst experience which has still not gotten over) — it has just been a nightmare I would rather wake up from than have to deal with HP ever again.

Over time, my HP laptop predictably developed a lot of problems. The DVD drive would not read any media in spite of cleaning several times (forget burning any media), the card reader did not work, the fan had just stopped working, the laptop would get so heated up that one could fry an egg on it. And the worst was that it would just shut down without me powering it off! I was still trying to make do when one fine day, the display on the LCD just blanked out and I had to eventually get over the rightly founded apprehension of interacting with HP customer care and approach them once more. For getting repairs done, (this started in Jan 2009), I first had a brush with MM9’s service centre’s bad customer service to whom I had submitted my laptop for all the above mentioned problems. MM9 first returned the laptop saying that they had cleaned & dusted up everything and that now it was all ok. When I verified it, it was certainly not so! I have no idea how they could even try passing something off as OK when it was clearly NOT. Then they admitted that some parts were indeed not functioning and ordered those parts and told me to wait. I waited for a whole of 3 months and nothing happened at all. Then I wrote to Customer care and I was told by a Ms. Shivani Gogna, to go through the entire process once AGAIN with RT outsourcing since MM9’s contract for servicing personal laptops had expired by Mar’09! The lack of transition processes within HP itself, is not even something I would dwell upon compared to the problems they introduced in my life later.

As told to me, I submitted my laptop at the RT outsourcing service centre for fixing of the problems.  Ms. Gogna assigned someone called Mr. Harjinder Singh, for handling the tech related issues. In spite of there being people assigned for a simple job, the incompetent staff at RT outsourcing went ahead and formatted my laptop HDD without even informing me, leave alone doing it WITH MY PERMISSION! I am appalled at the way HP treats its customers. I was told to take a backup and submit the laptop. I took a backup of my “personal data”. However no one told me that my HDD wd be formatted and no one even asked me once whether they shd indeed proceed. This is not only standard protocol but basic common sense! Before submitting my laptop when I had shown reluctance in giving my HDD along with it, I was told by Mr. Gopal Singh, who heads RT outsourcing, that any installation or removal of software will happen only with my permission. The same protocol had been confirmed later by a Mr Jitender Das, who is Mr. Harjinder’s boss. However as can be seen no one bothered to contact the customer in this case at all! All the software, the settings, the tweaking, and a lot of licensed software for which I do not have installers anymore since they were taken from the internet via “free for a day” kind of schemes – are all gone. Such softwares are free only for a limited time and are paid softwares after that. If I add up the actual costs of these softwares that I got for free in such schemes, they would come close to the cost of the laptop itself!
To add insult to the injury, the staff at RT outsourcing, specifically a Mr. Deepak Jain (In charge – Bench operation) had the audacity to misbehave with me! Not only did he behave rudely on phone when I tried finding the status of my submitted laptop, he totally insulted me personally later when I went to the service centre to collect the laptop. After my HDD got unceremoniously formatted and I complained about it, amongst other misbehaviour, he had the audacity to say “tum ro kyon rahe ho!!” (“why are you crying” – a very crude way of describing “complaining”). I am shocked at their way to talk to a customer who’s rightfully complaining of what stupidity has been done at the hands of the incompetent staff. Is complaining equivalent to crying? He also made exasperated faces at me all this while! I can not even describe how stunned I am to see this kind of customer service. Not only this, he tried imposing his imagination (lies) on me by saying that I had “been told” that the HDD would be formatted. Later he had to eat his own words when he checked the mail that was sent to me by RT outsourcing which did not even use the word “format” anywhere in the content and which certainly did not indicate that my machine would be formatted, let alone my approval on it. Even after this he kept arguing with me that “taking backup” means “formatting of hdd”. It definitely seems HP has employed illiterate idiotic ppl as customer care front desk staff who care 2 hoots about customers & a decent service they are supposed to offer.
I am an engineer myself and I KNOW that formatting of the HDD was not even required to begin with considering the components that were changed. The change of card reader meant changing the motherboard. HOWEVER that does NOT require a formatting of the Hard disk. Verbally their engineer  Neeraj, who formatted the disk told me that he did it because he was unable to install the device drivers of the card reader! He then “supposed” that this was due to presence of a virus. In order to remove the virus from my HDD, he formatted it. Clearly HP’s incompetent staff has never heard of anti virus software. Nor do they know the words “processes”, “permissions”, “customer”.
When I followed it up in mails, Mr. Gopal singh had the audacity to send me a scanned copy of the “service call report” which stated that in case of HDD failure, the HDD “may require” a format. However he forgot that not only was there NO HDD failure and instead it was his staffs incompetency which led to the format, but most importantly, there were no signatures of mine on that scrap that he scanned!
Apart from all the extreme harassment at RT outsourcing, & the formatting of my HDD for no technical reason & without permission, they not only had never bothered to fix all the technical faults, they even introduced new ones of their own. The DVD burner which was replaced made so much noise that it was impossible not to notice it before saying that it works fine. Even the replaced parts are not tested & verified for their smooth functioning. Somebody in fact damaged my Altec Lansing Speakers which were possibly the best attribute of this model of the laptop. It’s amazing to note that they do not bother to run a check to see if everything is functioning fine before they handover the laptop!
I had to continuously follow this up, and get the speakers changed. After this ordeal I installed some of the software on to the now formatted drive. Somehow the drivers of my camera did not work at all on this disk anymore. HP took my laptop again and tried to rectify this by running some registry cleaners. However they were not successful in doing that. Ultimately they resorted to the only thing that they are capable of doing – formatting the hard disk. So another formatted HDD was fitted into my laptop on which once more I had to toil to install everything.
After this got done, I realised that some incompetent person at HP had damaged my laptop panel and then tried to do a botched job of hiding it by sticking the broken piece with feviquick! (I’ll upload pictures of this later, I have them with me). Once I got this panel changed their staff just vanished from my life as if the problems had finished!
During this entire ordeal, I followed up this matter with HP (Mr Harjinder Singh & Ms. Shivani Gogna to begin with) and asked them to communicate the following in written:
1. The technical reason behind the formatting of my laptop HDD (in written) stating why was it even required.
2. The action that has been taken against the person who authorised formatting of my HDD.
3. The action that has been taken against Mr. Deepak who misbehaved with me.
4. A response to how they are going to procure the software that I do not have installers for. The list had already been shared with them in writing.
5. The reason why no one even BOTHERED to test the DVD drive given to me. Surely with so much noise that it made, no one in his/her right mind would call it new. Action against the person who verified its OK status.
6. Action/compensation that HP is going to take/give resp. about all the inconvenience I have suffered so far at the hands of its staff, including loss of data, harassment and unavailability of my laptop causing me further professional loss.
Till date I have not received any response from them in writing. What I have got over the phone after my follow up ONLY, is that they will get back to me & that the person who misbehaved would be given a notice. They have expressed their inability to do anything about the other points. I have still not been told the technical reason for the formatting of my Hard disk in writing. I would like to know what HP can do for my loss and I would like HP to take the strictest action possible against not only the person who did not have the insight to inform me or ASK me first but also Mr. Deepak Jain, whose idea of customer service means first causing damage to customer’s equipment & then insulting the customer! Mr. Harjinder & Ms. Shivani Gogna do not believe in the written word. They in fact had conf calls with me and even went to the extent of talking about me as if I wasnt there “If she wants it in written, give it in written Harjinder” is what Ms. Shivani Gogna told Mr. Harjinder, a style I find quite offending & unprofessional. However in spite of this I have never received any correspondence about above mentioned matters.
After raising a lot of hell with these incompetent and unprofessional people, Mr. Jitender Das was roped in. He took care of the hardware aspect and then disappeared. I called him multiple times and EACH time I was told by him that he’ll get back to me, that he was in a meeting, that he would call me that very evening. I had even told him that I am already facing another problem in my machine! Yet it has been 2 months to those reminders of mine as well. In the interim I had also happened to talk to a Customer care representative called Mr. Shekhar, when my technical problems had not been rectified & the laptop had been returned full of problems. I had then narrated the whole saga to him (arnd May’09) and he told me that I would be given extended warranty free of cost. After this he completely disappeared. When I followed up again and again and managed to get in touch with him again after 4 months, he said that the matter had already been closed because his staff said all problems are ok!! I had to remind him that he is the customer care in charge, not the staff care in charge and it is highly unprofessional of him to let his “staff” decide whether my problem has been solved or not! Clearly HP hasn’t taught even their customer care ppl that one needs to ask the CUSTOMER whether the problem is ok and NOT the staff! All this in spite of the fact that he said he’ll get back to me with extended warranty! This time also I clearly told him that my machine has developed further problems. At times it doesnt start up at all. The light just goes on and off. If it does start its CMOS settings get reset each time. Obviously even technical faults in the machine are of no concern to HP. Both Mr Jitender Das & Mr. Shekhar from Customer Care, have not bothered to get back to me about anything. During this process I had even written to Ms. Neelam Dhawan, MD, HP India, and as expected I never received any response.
The last I heard from Ms. Shivani Gogna was in April while the last I heard from Mr. Harjinder singh was on 5th May. After that Mr. Jitender was the sole contact who vanished after early August and never got back in touch. The last I spoke to Mr. Shekar was 2.5 weeks back when he told me that he’ll get back to me in a week. Clearly the extra weeks has been no use to him except for perhaps formulating what seems to be clearly HP’s strategy to avoid the customer till their warranty runs out – in my case it finishes on 28th September’09.
Forget basic etiquette from HP customer care, if you buy a laptop from them, beware – you would be running after them for the rest of your life, till your warranty runs out. I will never EVER buy an HP product ever again and advise you to do the same if you want some sanity left in your life.
I have just been told by some internal sources at HP that my case has been marked “closed” in June and that my response has been written as “completely satisfied”. It’s appalling to see that HP is indulging in not only unethical but ILLEGAL activities by fabricating customer responses and closing issues of their own will! Least surprisingly, I am unable to log in another complaint from their site as I am getting an error in their scripts (tho I tried different browsers)

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  1. Hey,

    You seemed to have taken a lot of s**t from HP over a laptop. The bad stories about HP laptops are very common. But since you bought your laptop, they’ve come up with the cheapest in the market Compaq laptops. I’ve one myself and though my story isn’t bas as yours, it isn’t any good either. Cheap laptops cheap components is the explanation I guess.

    One suggestion about backing up your laptop when giving it for repairs. rather than backing up just data, prepare a clone using clonezilla. You never know what what happens once your poor little laptop is out there alone :)

    Comment by Nishant Kyal — September 22, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  2. Its dreadful how they make you run after warranty! The situation of customer service is so bad in here that sometimes they just cut the call in the middle and you have to go through pressing all the stupid numbers again (1 for English, then 3 for customer support and 7 for offers, blah!)

    Its high time they realize that its going to come back to them. And especially in today’s competitive market where EVERYbody is buying a laptop and everybody else is making laptops!

    I have a netbook and I’d be fine if it goes into the dump after 1.5 years cuz I haven’t paid that much for it anyhow. But notebooks are expensive!

    Comment by Juhi Raje Upadhyay — September 22, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  3. thankx a lot..I did the right thing of not going the HP way..however is Dell any better or are they brother’s in arms!!

    Comment by rahul — September 22, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

  4. What the hell?? Man, I didn’t know about this… Thanx for sharing!!

    Comment by Ankush — September 22, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

  5. That’s reason enough to go Mac! But seriously, this problem is present everywhere. Technicians normally resort to one of the problems to sort out issues with Windows machines: 1. Format the HDD 2. Reinstall the OS 3. Change the motherboard 4. Reinstall the OS 5. Format the HDD 6. Reinstall the OS.

    I;m hearing horror stories of Dell too, but I’m planning on buying one… any suggestions?

    Comment by Aditya Kuber — September 22, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

  6. I have had the exact same experience with HP except for the hard drive formatting. I bought mine for around 60k in April 2007 and the motherboard failed in exactly 14 months ! From June 2008, the motherboard has failed thrice – and each time the Sakinaka service center took 2-3 months to repair the laptop. So since June last year, I have used my laptop for just 4 months or so. The reason given is first that they have to verify if the warranty is valid and then delay in ordering parts.
    I have tried shouting, threatening, pleading and finally resignation. Now the warranty has expired and if it fails one more time, I will go out and buy a Dell. Please NEVER EVER consider a HP product. It may seem like a good deal at that time, but there will be hell to pay later.

    Comment by Pradosh — September 22, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  7. That’s it-No HP for me.

    If they can do this to a techie engineer, they’d fry with disdain the seedha aam junta.

    What a horror story.

    Comment by austere — September 22, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  8. I also own a HP Laptop and I am pretty happy with it. Service Center document clearly says please back up the data before you handover the laptop for repair. Also I think it is owners responsibility to ensure their data (which is comparable to an asset
    )is backed up periodically. You can’t blaim someone else for your mistake. Also none of the Hardware manufacturer gives you gaurantee for your data not even when you give your mobile phone for repair :)

    Comment by Nityanand — September 22, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  9. One thing I always regret about our country that everyone point finger at others for their own mistake and get into a blame game. I agree with Nityanand’s comments above. Its like if someone dug a path hole and you fell into it, you will go and try hold him responsible instead of observing it yourself.

    As far as the problem is concerned in the laptop. There are multiple service centers in Delhi, gugaon, Gaziabad and Noida. All of them are well good and the people are also professional.

    Comment by Amit Banerjee — September 22, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  10. I also own a HP Laptop and I am pretty happy with it. Service Center document clearly says please back up the data before you handover the laptop for repair. Also I think it is owners responsibility to ensure their data (which is comparable to an asset) is backed up periodically.

    You can’t blaim someone else for your mistake. Also none of the Hardware manufacturer gives you gaurantee for your data not even when you give your mobile phone for repair :)

    I don’t understand this cheap stuff, you have been deleting my comments from the blog then why did you post your comments.

    Comment by Nityanand — September 22, 2009 @ 6:57 pm

  11. Nishant – thanks, will try clonezilla as well.

    Juhi – yes, customer service in India really needs to get its act together.

    Rahul, Aditya – no idea about Dell, I didnt buy Dell in 2006 coz it was only available online with hardly any support available in India. Else that was my first choice then.

    Pradosh – it’s the same story everywhere it seems. I have read many horror stories before mine and am sure even after mine I’ll continue to hear some.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 22, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

  12. Austere – arrey they treat customers like dirt, techie or no-techie. Their support ACTUALLY thinks they are the gods of engineering, believe me. They dont know a thing and behave as if they are experts on matters technical.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 22, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

  13. Nityanand – exactly how much time has it been since u have been using your laptop? Wait for maximum of a year to see the drama unfold. The problems are not just with hardware bt with anything to do with customer care, including extending the warranty! In any case I dont think you read the post carefully. I have quoted exactly what the service agreement states. It says that in case of hardware failure it “may require” formatting, Which was NOT the case with my HDD. Also, later HP representative shared himself that it was out of protocol that someone formatted (mentioned as well in the post). Even if they have to format HDD they take written permission from the customer before doing so. They do NOT just go ahead and do it.

    BTW have you commented on a blogpost for the first time? :) All comments were held in moderation! No one has been deleting comments. You should wait for a while for comments to appear on the post.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 22, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

  14. Amit Banerjee – doesnt look like you even read my post at all. Did you not read exactly how these service centres handled my laptop? These ARE the so called authorised (and supposedly professional) service centres of HP, not some roadside chaiwalas that I went to! What are you even writing “All of them are well good and the people are also professional” for? The whole story is EXACTLY about how they are the opposite. It’s not some imagined stuff, it’s a reality which is on record in HP everywhere! Why dont you do an actual submission of an HP laptop n then speak from experience, instead of generalising something?

    BTW if there’s indeed a path dug up illegally, without permission & without informing everyone of the danger, it definitely is a fault of the authority which dug it. Scan the newspaper for many such cases which have resulted in deaths, have been highlighted and MCD has been held responsible for it.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 22, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

  15. Nice website and great Article on considering an HP laptop. what a change for the better. Keep up the great work. I check it regularly and I really like
    your new format.

    With Best Regards.

    Comment by Computer News Help — September 22, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

  16. One of the reasons I’ll never buy a laptop. You never know what these people do in the name of warranty. Though I’m not a techie I took the pain to understand how to assemble a computer, so I’m my own technician.. no jack ass is gonna format my system unless I feel its time.
    As far as your problem goes, I’m surprised you never approached consumer court. Approach a consumer court lawyer and find out if your case is valid or not. If it is, sue them and since it’s consumer court the case will be resolved in a month

    Comment by Chupchap — September 23, 2009 @ 6:11 am

  17. Wow, quite a bit of learning for us lay people

    I have only bought a much more economical Acer laptop 3 years ago – and use it for only very basic stuff

    Reading experiences like these makes me think, are these new slick desktops a better idea? Have a high end desktop at home and use a netbook when travelling – I think that’s what the future has in store !

    Death knell of the high end notebook PCs?

    Comment by Gautam Ghosh — September 23, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  18. That’s too bad TF..HP is pretty bad in their customer care even in the US, so obviously India would be much worse. Being a buyer in India in itself is a problem Barring a few companies here and there, you are bound to face problems with after sales service in each and every single thing and thank your lucky stars that you aren’t in hyderabad.

    Comment by Shantanu — September 23, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  19. Do i know you? Oh yes! we used to be sailing in the same boat :P. I changed it to a mac now :P.

    HP sux. The horrible DVD ROM is a problem i have heard from atleast 90% of HP owners. Also there is a huge list of other problems. Wireless card is another problem which is faced by many. And then to add the cherry, their over-helpful staff.

    I had a simle request to uninstall vista and install XP. I was even willing to pay for the original XP disk, but they refused and showed me some crappy sheet which had some stupid policies written on it saying HP doesnt allow its customers to use XP :P.

    So to all the HP-owners, please visit a temple once a week with your lappy and pray for its health :P.

    Comment by Mehul Parekh — September 23, 2009 @ 10:56 am

  20. That’s sad. I have been using a compaq for more than 2 years, with no issues at all. touch wood ! :)

    Comment by xylene — September 23, 2009 @ 11:02 am

  21. “HP refused to replace damaged front panel, damaged due to its design defect. Legally and as per company’s terms it is possible to replace such parts under cosmetic damaged parts category. Again, approaching CERC solved, front panel get replaced without any legal procedure.”

    This might help you.

    Comment by Harit Kothari — September 23, 2009 @ 11:52 am

  22. I would have read your post in full, but the red background, white text, small text, and no space between paragraphs made it impossible to read past one paragraph.

    Comment by Just Some Dude — September 23, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

  23. best thing is whatever u write to HP. mark a copy to National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissioner – need not send them a copy but just to remind them the existence of something like consumer courts- chances r there that u may get a better service…:))

    Comment by Gagrin — September 23, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

  24. Just some dude – oops. cant do much abt the colours of the theme, tho personally I find them fine. But yes, I did put space between all paras. wonder why it din show up. Will put it again. One quick dirty fix would be to read the post through a feed reader :p. Hope that helps! :)

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 23, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  25. Gagrin – would you have their contact details or mail id etc?

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 23, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

  26. Harit – Oh HP replaced my panel alright, I made sure they did, but the situ is now stuck at something else plus of course at what they will do about all the harassment at their hands.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 23, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

  27. Gautam – the service provided for desktops/laptops is same. Equally bad or worse.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 23, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  28. Thanks for letting me know regarding the blog, today I went to the service center to check the terms and conditions regarding data loss. The form given to the customer carries all terms & condition explicitly. Last point clearly mentions “Repair process may require formatting of Hard Disk which may lead to loss of customer’s data. All customers are requested to backup important files/data & programs. HP will not be held responsible for the loss of customer’s data.”

    I am not sure if you have signed the above form (agreement) before handing over your laptop to the service center.

    If you have then you can’t claim the remedy in the any court against the company. If you haven’t signed this document and also some one from Service Center hasn’t informed you to back up the data before giving the notebook, you might want to look at the legal options seriously.

    Comment by Nityanand — September 23, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  29. nityanand – yes, as written in my post, I did not sign on any such agreement form neither did RT outsourcing bother to make me aware of any such thing even verbally. In fact I have already written that an HP representative agreed that it was a mistake on part of HP and that the normal protocol is to TAKE PERMISSION from the customer before proceeding even if HDD format IS required.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — September 23, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  30. This may not be true for HP alone, while I personally have opinion that HP service is NOT the best in industry.

    Its more to do with the people involved in the act. I stay in India and like it. But unfortunately your experience in this case is experienced by many from different vendors in India. The people involved do not have the commitment to the work and good people suffer.

    This view is purely based on my (bad) experiences with different after sales service incidents from different companies.

    If you have any more energy left, make up a case with consumer forum. It may take few years but you can expect something…again, no guarantee :)

    Comment by Kiran Ghag — September 23, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

  31. HP has always been such a sad story.
    I changed my HP after a year to Dell and I must say their service is awesome….I never had an issue with their support for 3 years.

    Comment by Prats — September 23, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

  32. I was considering the purchase of tht new HP laptop with LED screen (featuring email facility without the boot up)since its front page ad in yesterday’s newspaper but NO MORE now. Thanks to your story. Thanks to Pradosh & Prats as well.

    P.S.: Some of the comments like that of Nityanand’s seems to be from HP people …or why anyone will take pains to go all the way to a HP service centre just to make sure about their T & C. (A prospect will always approach a Dealer to cross check it ). Does anyone here known to this person? I want to dig further :P

    Comment by Ashutosh — September 24, 2009 @ 2:21 am

  33. &/or – u will find list in the contacts sec…:)

    Comment by Gagrin — September 24, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  34. Remember the time you were buying the HP. I suggested to buy IBM instead and you said only HP has the DVD writer. I hate to do “I told you so” and would not do it. If only you would have listened to me then .

    Comment by Satya — September 24, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

  35. first time here. I would not recommend HP to anyone. Why dont you try linked-in to find the right person and email it to them. When i had a problem with nokia, they changed my handset. I am sure HP will do that too

    Comment by aniruddha — September 25, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  36. I both a new 6830i notebook two month ago. Since then they’ve changed once the motherboard, the built web cam never had worked, and HP worldwide support failed even to answer to me. I asled severa times help from them, and always some guys from India told me either everything is OK or they are not covering my model or I have to pay for aditional services. B… sh….!.

    Miroslav Vargaž

    Comment by Miroslav Varga — September 27, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

  37. Problems with HP are nothing new; in fact I have been at the receiving end of the poor quality of HP / Compaq laptops for over two years now.

    I purchased my HP/Compaq dv3000 series laptop in May 2007 and had to run to the service centre within 9 months because the screen would blank out during bootup and then simply refuse to work. I managed to find some friendly engineers at the HP service centre in Hyderabad and they replaced the motherboard which was apparently at the heart of the problem. Another persistent issue which has never been resolved till date has been that of the mouse pointer jumping rapidly, vertically on the screen. I am forced to use a mouse because of this and disable the touchpad. I chatted / spoke / interacted with HP folks to no avail. Working on the ‘sensitivity’ of the pointer hasn’t helped either.

    I have been part of a few HP / Compaq support forums and have come across a few hundred users with the LCD problem as mentioned. In almost all cases, the motherboard needed replacement. If someone’s unlucky enough to get the problem after warranty (and has not availed of extended support) then God bless his / her soul.

    And hey, dont’ even get me started on the crappy battery!!!!! HP’s battery check has been detecting a failure / poor battery since a coupla years now. Thankfully I have an official laptop (it’s an awesome ThinkPad) and I use it for all my usual stuff.

    My wife bought an HP laptop about a year ago from the US and it’s not without its own fair share of problems… More on that some other time? :)

    Comment by Pratish — September 30, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  38. Satya – well you are already doing the “I told you so” bit :). anyway you know I wdnt have bought IBM coz it didnt even have the config I needed!

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 2, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

  39. Miroslav – it surely seems to be the case. HP sucks consistently! :)

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 2, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

  40. Pratish Hope HP ppl are actually reading all these problems and wake up to consumer reality!

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 2, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

  41. I have had similar experiences. I dont even want to sit back and think about the nightmare of an experience that I have had with HP service in general. They just won’t accept the fact that they sold me a defective product. 3 motherboards replaced in ~6 months. Thats HP for you.

    Comment by Jaskirat — October 7, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

  42. Wow, this is really appaling behavior on the part of HP.
    Have you written to the CEO’s of HP India and HP USA? You should really do that – it can have an impact. Put them in the To line and add CCs to HP Regional Head in your area. It’ll take some googling to get all these email addresses, but the search will be worth it.
    Do you have a BBB (Better Business Bureau) in your country? CC them as well.

    Comment by anon — October 17, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

  43. Please, change the bright red background to something that’s easy on the eyes? And the “Submit Query” button below the comment box to “Submit Comment”?

    Comment by anon — October 17, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  44. Well…I have had bad experience with Dell, Compaq (pre-merger with HP) etc. Each is better than the other in “Inglorious Customer Service”!

    Currently on Sony Vaio… no serious negative experiences yet (haven’t we learned to live with system being slow, firewall gets cranky, etc etc).

    1 year old and it is already tired…may crash anytime, too lazy to backup …waiting for the D-Day :)

    Comment by RagsTweets — October 19, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  45. Found your blog while reading an article in Mint. Coincidentally, I was just trying to choose between a HP laptop and another brand… glad I found out the possible problems before I made the choice! Thank you.

    Comment by Nitya — October 21, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  46. Anon – yes I have to try the USA angle also. I had registered at a site where ppl complain about HP US and apparently action is very fast, however my account didnt get approved as yet over there.

    Button text – yes, have to change that, actually it’s part of the theme & I cdnt figure out in code how to change the text.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 21, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  47. Nitya – thanks for visiting. Could you share the link of this mint article? I dont remember any recent article, so wondering which one this is.

    and yes, it’s better to stay away from HP given their customer care. All brands have a problem but perhaps HP is the worst. At least choose the lesser evil.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 21, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  48. Using HP for last 2 years..its awesome.

    Comment by Sanchit Gulati — October 22, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  49. […] i have been thinking about the state of the PC industry for the past few weeks.  This post from Twilight Fairy [one of the earliest bloggers from India) made me think a lot […]

    Pingback by SAST Wingees | Maybe a herd but it ain’t Microsoft’s doing — October 25, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  50. Hi,

    I bought my hp laptop in sep 2006. i too had most ofthese problems. Laptop heating like anything, and warrarnty issues, i faced the same issue as it is mentioned here, i extedned my warranty for 3 year, and they deducted 135$ account, and even after a year i don’t know what happend to my 135$, now even that is expired. when i bought my computer, i was not too eager about mac, if is it today certainly i will go for apple products, i feel it is the same as dell.lenova has got a better rating in cnet site.
    Laptop heating is a very big problem, i am facing for last three years, now my laptop is sitting on top of a cooler. i will never recomment hp laptop to anyone, what a bad customer service in this competitive market.

    Comment by Karthik — October 26, 2009 @ 8:04 am

  51. Sanchit – yeah? wait for ur first experience with “customer service” then. good luck!

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 27, 2009 @ 12:49 am

  52. Karthik – welcome to the club. as I can see clearly, HP has a VERY bad reputation in the market. Still they choose to keep their eyes shut!

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — October 27, 2009 @ 12:50 am

  53. I paid 2000/- + 2000/- for getting my laptop repaired without any satisfactory explanation about the nature of the work done or parts replaced withing twenty days of the first repair.
    I have forgotten how many times I had to visit the service shop, roadside cycle repair shops are much better as per my memories of school days.

    Now I have finally concluded that its use and throw situation, buy the cheapest working laptop alongwith their maximum extended warranty and a backup disk drive.
    After the warranty is over give it to someone and buy another cheapest working laptop.

    Comment by Hemant — November 5, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

  54. A few things you can do :-
    1. Send a mail to few newspapers.


    3. Write to Acer, Sony, IBM about it, ask them if they want to use it at casestudy on how not to treat a customer.

    4. Or get the media (tabloid mid-day ), Bring your friends, Throw your laptop from the building , crush it with a Bull Dozer, Shoot a video Upload it on Youtube, Become famous and make some Adsense moolah.

    peace & stay :)

    Comment by bombaylives — November 6, 2009 @ 12:36 am

  55. bombaylives – much appreciate :) .. i do plan to do some of the above at least.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — November 6, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

  56. Seems like all manufacturers are going down the drain. My 3 month old dell has had quite a few parts replaced: display card, front n side panels, a speaker panel – the last because the paint would bubble up when it got up – can you believe it?

    Looks like we’ve to take the dell approach to laptops – build it urself. buy the components elsewhere.

    (If anyone wants to and can do it competently, this chap can be your next customer! :P)

    Comment by Prasanna — November 8, 2009 @ 1:33 am

  57. btw, the submit comment button
    thingy says “submit query” ??!! Kinda weird…

    Comment by Prasanna — November 8, 2009 @ 1:34 am

  58. Had a Toshiba Protege for 3 years – no problems.

    Now have a Lenovo Thinkpad R61 – 2 years – no problems.

    Comment by Aditya Deshpande — November 27, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

  59. went through hell.I am planning to buy a laptop, glad I went through this review..HP is definitely out of my list. :-)

    Comment by navneet — December 1, 2009 @ 7:16 am

  60. get a mac. the end of all troubles.

    Comment by deepansh — December 4, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  61. I have purchased a Hp Compaq 510 LAPTOP after aid and advise of one of your employee Mr. Sajjad Ali Khan who inturn deputed Ms.Fatima of Future Gate Technologies but after completing the deal I realised that I have overpaid them as this model is avilable at much lesser price than what I was charged. Could you please let me know the final price of the confrigution 2gb ram and 320 gb hdd. I would like you to have a proper machanisim regarding pricing as your system are sold according to the price fixed by your dealer and agent.

    Comment by Shashi Sinha — December 12, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  62. Shashi sinha – doesnt look like you get it. This is a post by ANOTHER CONSUMER. I am not the OWNER of the organisation – HP.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — December 12, 2009 @ 8:23 pm

  63. Hi, Thanks for sharing the info and I am feeling sad that you had to go through so much trouble after spending a fortune on the laptop and facing the music thereafter.I have also bought an HP laptop from U.S. during our recent visit there, but it is working well, touch wood. Actually, these electronic gadgets are very delicate. Once they go phut, there is no rectification thereafter. And in India, the company rep’s dont worry about after sales; they are happy to fleece the customer once only – and that’s that. In any other country, the laptop would have been replaced -without questions.

    Comment by Ravi Matah — December 16, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  64. I hate HP
    hp is got a major problem with their motherboards. They crash and no recovery ever is possible with it. I bought a HP dv 9000. it worked for a year with a hell lot of problems. Then it crashed. Gave it to 10 places. Everywhere they said “sir, aapka motherboard gaya hain naya fix kardein” They did fix another but even that broke down. HP service center was my last resort (Bcoz these HP guys know only one thing, to make the customer spend so much that he is hellbent on buying a new laptop). A motherboard which HP said would cost 15-20k, and only with a so called warranty of 90 days, is equivalent of buying another laptop!!

    My friend’s case was the same, as he had a HP tablet. It crashed after the 1yr basic warranty ended. He spent the money and put another motherboard. after a month or so the motherboard crashed!!! Luckily under warranty he got it exchanged.

    I’ve switched to the DELL and believe me, if you in the market for a tough and hassle free laptop, just close your eyes and buy a DELL studio 14/15/17..

    And yes MAC is not an end to all troubles. As MAC is in its own world. Although Windows 7 has copied stuff from the MAC but has done it in a superb way, as you have Compatible PC with the functions and the stability of the MAC. MAC has a hell lot of compatibility issues.

    A 1 Warranty period is a period where your laptop will have no problem, but the day the warranty period ends, that is it, your computer will have enough of problems to give you for the rest of its life.
    Advice: Always take an extended warranty of 3 years when you buy a laptop. Its worth the money.

    Comment by Shree Jaisinghani — December 27, 2009 @ 12:27 am

  65. Hey Fairy,

    Pls try a mac, seriously, they are so trouble free! In my 15 years of personal computing i have had to buy only 2 of them (bought the 2nd only 2 yrs ago).

    I am sure had i been using a pc, would have had to change atleast 5 in 15 yrs.

    Comment by Paras Johar — January 2, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  66. Customer support is fcked up almost every vendor. However, HP guys definitely have no clue on building laptops. I had a HP-Compaq which LITERALLY disintegrated into pieces because of age :P

    Comment by Joe Steeve — January 3, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  67. Have used 6 different laptops in past 3 years.I spent my had earned money on two and the rest four were these gadgets that your office would bless you with to suck away your personal time.

    My experience with HP has been fine, though I have heard many of my friends complaining. I had a terrible experience with Dell and Windows Vista played it’s part.

    Lately, Apple has completely changed my notion of technology. Yes, they are expensive but they are the best. Now am awaiting Islate by Apple.Though I am typing this on my window’s laptop :(.

    Stumbled on your blog, nice read! BTW I dont support LGBT prades, because I just dont support parades. Just toooooo much of Traffic Jam!

    Comment by Anything — January 16, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  68. I have one more point to make –

    HP, Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, Lennovo and all these companies have no real support in India. Our Nation is Dumping ground for all these firms. Hope we ma sue them for racism or something :|

    JUST compare services abroad with what they give us. Pricing remains same and rather a little more when you compare Purchasing power Parity.

    Comment by Anything — January 16, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  69. you faced a lot of problems…just wondering…why didn’t you went to consumer court..??

    in such type of cases,, customer is provided a new free product from the compony.

    Comment by himanshu — January 19, 2010 @ 2:17 am

  70. Hi there, I read a few suggestions here to approach the consumer disputes forum but that is just as frustrating as the ordeal you’ve already been through. A legal notice to HP’s customer services head and their contracted outsourcing partner should atleast wake them up if not replace your machine instantly. Yes these folks are big enough to absorb the negativity of being sued but they are more scared of the bad publicity it generates and how it will affects their sales. Though doing anything legal is the last option, I have a feeling you’ve already reached that stage…

    Comment by Grey — February 9, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  71. Oh and next time you visit their offices or their outsourcing partner, get a spy cam in your bag! :)

    Comment by Grey — February 9, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  72. I live in the U.S., and naively bought an HP laptop a couple of years ago. Now I am ready to SHOOT IT!!! In the past few months, it has “frozen” on me about a dozen times, and now has taken to sending my messages into Cyberspace.

    Well, it just dumped the rest of my messsge for the third time since I started. I assure you that when I was a Sr. Technical Editor for “BYTE” Magazine for six years, most of the laptops we tested over and over again were fairly reliable and efficient. As you can tell tho, now unfortunately, that situation doesn’t exist anymore and good quality is LONG GONE… So are the Service people that used to be magicians and gurus at fixing nasty, wretched, rotten problems with all laptops — even HPs!!!!!!!!!!!! jjb

    Comment by Janet J. Barron — March 6, 2010 @ 1:18 am

  73. I just bought a Dell Notebook and this article played an important role in my purchase decision. Thanks to Priyanka and all commentors!
    BTW did anyone come across a similiar complaint over Dell??? Do lemme kno ;)

    Comment by Ashutosh Mehta — March 6, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  74. Can anybody guide me which laptop should i buy. HP laptop DC6 2159 TX, or Dell inspiron/stuidio.Pls email me on

    Comment by bob — May 20, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

  75. Hi, Can any body guide which laptop should i buy: HP DV6 2159 TX or Dell Studio/inspiron, Pls Email me at

    Comment by bob — May 20, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

  76. ashutosh am glad I was at least able to dissuade someone from going in for HP. It is the worst product I have ever seen with the worst possible customer support. Wonder how the employees even work there. Isnt it unethical to promote something so wrong?

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — May 22, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  77. bob do you think anyone here would recommend an HP to you? Go in for Dell anytime! Much better customer service.

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — May 22, 2010 @ 8:35 pm


    Comment by RAJU P.S. — May 23, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  79. My HP/Compaq experience was even worse, i got a configuration which would heat up and shut down on its own, was accepted in the service center only when it refused to restart after such intermissions … and once in the service center it stayed there for 2-3 weeks, effectively means that i was away from it for almost 3-4 months during the warranty period itself

    Comment by Neetish — August 10, 2010 @ 11:41 am

  80. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Comment by Samsungwave2 Opinions — September 13, 2011 @ 3:49 am

  81. samsungwave2, I am using wordpress with a free theme. There are several themes available – both free and premium. Your site can always have a different look with that

    Comment by Twilight Fairy — February 1, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

  82. I SO wish I’d read this a year and a half ago when I bought mine. My experience is almost as bad as this, and I too so desoerately wish I had the good sense to not buy it

    Comment by Bhumil — May 4, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  83. Thanks for the clarification Jass. That makes sense. I hope HP is aware of all these issues and is taking concrete action.

    This comment was originally posted on SAST Wingees

    Comment by Sukumar — October 26, 2009 @ 11:33 am

  84. @Sukumar:

    Excellent analysis!!

    You have brought out the reasons very well. Even I have wondered why recent laptops were so unreliable while old ones worked like w/o much maintenance. You really have brought out insightful points.

    We bought a branded HP desktop in 2002 and it worked perfectly till 2007. My dad then went for a HP Compaq Notebook (don’t know the model) in 2008 and the hard drive crashed within 3 months after buying.

    I bought a Dell Inspiron 1520 with Windows XP in Dec 2007. It is working perfectly so far. *Fingers crossed*

    Never used a Mac though.

    This comment was originally posted on SAST Wingees

    Comment by Saraswathi — November 13, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

  85. @varshamohan well i havent used a Dell myself so cant vouch for its goodness, bt can defi vouch for HP’s monstrosity.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

    Comment by twilightfairy — February 12, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

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