Considering an HP laptop? Think again 82


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warranty and then for more weeks for sharing with me my care pack warranty details (even though the money had been withdrawn from my bank account for weeks & no one reverted to my correspondence!), TO the time when I had to get my notebook’s problems actually rectified (which has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.
UPDATE:
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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82 thoughts on “Considering an HP laptop? Think again

  • Hemant

    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.

  • bombaylives

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

    2. Write to http://ncdrc.nic.in/ NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

    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 :)

  • Prasanna

    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)

  • Aditya Deshpande

    Had a Toshiba Protege for 3 years – no problems.

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

  • Shashi Sinha

    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.

  • Ravi Matah

    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.

  • Shree Jaisinghani

    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.

  • Paras Johar

    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.

  • Joe Steeve

    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

  • Anything

    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!

  • Anything

    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.

  • himanshu

    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.
    JAGO GRAHAK JAGO..!!

  • Grey

    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…

  • Janet J. Barron

    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

  • Ashutosh Mehta

    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 ;)

  • Twilight Fairy Post author

    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?

  • RAJU P.S.

    NEVER BY HP LAP TOP. MY SON BOUGHT ONE FOR ME IN US ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO. I APPROACHED HP INDIA FOR WARRANTY EXTENSION. ENNESS CORPN BANGALORE (I THINK SERVICE FRANCHISEE OF HP) CONTACTED ME PROMPTLY AND COLLECTED ABOUT RS.6000/- FOR TWO YEAR WARRANTY. THEN EVEN AFTER 4 TO 5 MONTHS I DID NOT GET ANY WARRANTY CERTIFICATE. ON CONTACTING ENNESS, THEY WANTED TO KNOW PAYMENT DETAILS. ON FURNISHING PAYMENT DETAILS, THEY WANTED PROOF OF PAYMENT, ON FURNISHING WHICH (I HAD TO GET IT FROM CITYBANK AFTER PAYING RS.100) ENNESS SAID THEY CANNOT PUNCH MY WARRANTY CERTIFICATE AND HENCE MY MONEY WOULD BE REFUNDED (THAT IS AFTER SIX MONTHS). SO I AM LEFT HIGH AND DRY AND MY LAP TOP IS WITHOUT WARRANTEE. NOW I AM SCARED TO USE IT AS IF IT CRASHES I WILL HV TO INCUR LOT OF EXPENDITURE. THE SILVER LINING IS HP INDIA IS NOT RESPONDING TO MY MAILS ASKING THEM SOLUTION TO THIS.

  • Neetish

    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

  • Samsungwave2 Opinions

    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!

  • Twilight Fairy Post author

    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

  • Bhumil

    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