• Report: #792313

Complaint Review: Hewlett Packard

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  • Submitted: Wed, October 26, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, December 02, 2011

  • Reported By: RLD — Wichita Kansas United States of America
Hewlett Packard
James A. Case Manager HP US TCO Escalations Team T Internet United States of America

Hewlett Packard HP COMPUTERS AKA COMPACT COMPUTERS "HP US TCO ESCALATIONS TEAM WARRANTY RIP OFF AND STOLEN HIPPA PROTECTED FILES Internet

*Consumer Comment: Not necessarily Robert

*Consumer Comment: Patient data?

*Consumer Comment: Indeed

*Consumer Comment: "YOU" feel raped???

*Consumer Comment: Deja Vu

*Consumer Suggestion: Not quite right Jim.

*Consumer Comment: Hey

*Consumer Suggestion: Stolen files? Unlikely.

*Consumer Comment: RLD, HEWLETT PACKARD'S STOCK HAS LOST OVER 38% OF ITS VALUE THIS YEAR..........

*Consumer Suggestion: Sorry for your data and software losses....

*Consumer Comment: RLD, SINCE HEWLETT PACKARD IS PART OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE...........

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      I am health care provider.  My computer crashed while trying to back it up.  The error read "CPU fan failure, shutting down to avoid damage to the CPU".  The computer was only a couple months old.  I called the store (Office Depot) where it was purchased.  They told me to send it in to HP.  I had purchased an extended coverage through Office Depot, but they said for the first year HP would cover the issues.  

      I called HP and spoke to James.  He told me that I needed to go back to Office Depot to have the files backed up.  I told him it was a 45 minute drive and I simply wanted the CPU fan repaired, so there was no need to mess with the hard drive or any of the files.  He assured me that he would make a notation on the work order and service authorization to not touch the hard drive and sent a package for me to have the unit repaired.  I have been unsuccessfully trying to get the unit repaired and it has now been over 4 weeks.

     On the repair/authorization order that was sent in, I wrote specific instructions for them to not delete any files or do anything with the hard drive without first contacting me.  I provided the contact phone number and my email address along with the service agent, James' contact information.

     About ten days later, I received my computer back, plugged it in and was totally surprised. The service tech had replaced my hard drive without contacting me.  The computer was just like it had been on the shelf in the store.  I had paid Office Depot over $100. to clean all the added promotional junk that is installed prior to sale.  It was right back and all my files had been stolen.

     I advised them that they were to not delete or remove any files and they took them all   About a gigabyte of the information was HIPPA protected patient files and records.  HP had no right to have access to them and James let me believe that they would not be touched.  I have written information from him that supports that claim.

     Immediately I called James and asked him to locate my discarded hard drive.  I am not sure he tried to locate it, but they were unable to return it.  So I lost all the software $5,000. to $10,000. as well as the personal patient data that was protected by federal law.  

     Initially James was sympathetic, but after about a 2 month period of being passed from one customer service agent to another and then to the "corporate" resolution section of HP,  I became aware that all the time I had spent to resolve my issues was to no avail.  

     Finally I was sent back to James and he simply told me that software was not protected with HP repairs and there was nothing he could do.  That is where this all lies right now.  

     I thought about small claims court, but just decided to let everyone I know how raped I felt and how adamant I am about not having anything "HP" or "COMPAQ" in my offices or home.  In fact I took a hammer to every printer I had and discarded anything in my office that was related to the two names.  

     Office Depot replaced the HP computer with another brand and has tried to take care of the issues that arose, but HP has continually sent to me from one "Pakastani, Indian or Phillipino" customer service agent to another.  They all forced me to go through the same process over and over again and then simply referred to me another department.  They promised someone would call me within 24-48 hours and not once did anyone return the call.  I had to contact them again and go through it all.  I spent over 60 hours on the phone trying to get some satisfaction, only to end up feeling totally abused and raped by their mechanical avoidance procedures.  HP CUSTOMER CARE STINKS!!!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/26/2011 09:25 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Hewlett-Packard/internet/Hewlett-Packard-HP-COMPUTERS-AKA-COMPACT-COMPUTERS-HP-US-TCO-ESCALATIONS-TEAM-WARRAN-792313. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Not necessarily Robert

AUTHOR: Jim Martin - (USA)

I have attempted to use the program you recommended in the past to restore data from a system reset to factory settings and it did not work.

It depends on which reset the tech used when he fixed the computer.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Patient data?

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

You said yourself that you sent unencrypted patient data files through the mail to HP tech support.

I don't know a lot about HIPAA regulations but I bet they don't allow that.  You could be in big trouble, unless, that is, this whole thing is greatly exaggerated, a pretty common occurrence on ROR. 
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#3 Consumer Comment

Indeed

AUTHOR: Lorenzen - (U.S.A.)

This incident should serve as fair warning for everyone to BACK UP YOUR FILES !!!!!  I do this task every Sunday afternoon.  It takes all of 15 minutes.  AND -  Please, the acronym is  HIPAA,  not HIPPA  -  Health Insurance  Portability and Accountability Act
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#4 Consumer Comment

"YOU" feel raped???

AUTHOR: Lawrence - (USA)

It's your patients that should be feeling raped. By You! How dare you be so careless with patients personal files. I believe all medical files should Never leave the premises of wherever they receive care instead of being allowed to go home with an individual that can lose them or have them stolen. I am mortified!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Deja Vu

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

I remember a lawyer complaining not long ago about a similar issue, where he lost accumulated files due to the lack of regular backup preceding the problem.

Given the nature of the data you lost, you had no right to be that careless with it.

As Ken pointed out, YOU ignored HP's own advice to get the trapped data backed up at the store before sending the computer in.

You clearly knew there was a risk of them tampering with the drive, or you wouldn't have belabored the point with their rep.
You simply wanted to save yourself an inconvenient drive to the store. Given your position and the nature of that data, you did not have the right to make such a choice.

How long had you gone without a proper data backup before the fan died? You had no excuse not having external, even off site backup done at least daily, so your potential data loss on any given day would be minimal.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Not quite right Jim.

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

 If they did this, your data is gone as part of the restoration process is reformatting the main drive to the original factory setting.

Data that has not been overwritten can be recovered from a reformatted disk (high level format.)  The program I suggested for her is not what the pros use but it is free and will recover data on formatted disks.

FYI, there are special tools that are used to recover data that HAS been overwritten.  This is why it is important for folks to WIPE any sensitive data from their hard drives.  The wipe program should use MIL SPEC approved wiping algorithm (approved for wiping classified data.)
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#7 Consumer Comment

Hey

AUTHOR: Jim Martin - (USA)

I work on computers as a side job.  I understand from your report that your cpu fan malfunctioned.  From previous experience, I know that on occasion a fan shorting out can cause other parts to short out too.  I don't know for sure that this is what happened but it is a possible explanation as to why they would have "replaced" your hard drive.  You should have been contacted before this was done even if you had not told them not to touch it.

Another explanation would be if the order not to touch the hard drive did not make it to the tech that was working on it.  Most computer companies will automatically use the pre-installed restore program when you send it in for service.  If they did this, your data is gone as part of the restoration process is reformatting the main drive to the original factory setting.

One very easy way to avoid this in the future is that unless you are having problems with the operating system itself, most problems can be solved by the techs without your hard drive, so you could just remove it before sending in the computer.  The computer will power up enough to make sure the cpu fan is working without loading the os.

Just a side note, I did get a bit of a laugh when reading your post.  One of the advertisements on the side of the page was for HP.

FYI, I have not bought a factory built computer in 10 years because of this very problem.  They mass produce them and hope that each one works until just outside the warranty.  Then when you have a problem, they try to sell you a new one.  This is exactly why I build mine from scratch.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Stolen files? Unlikely.

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

The service tech had replaced my hard drive without contacting me.  The computer was just like it had been on the shelf in the store.  I had paid Office Depot over $100. to clean all the added promotional junk that is installed prior to sale.  It was right back and all my files had been stolen.

Have you notified your patients that their personal information may have been compromised?  You have a duty to inform them of this!  Additionally, you might find yourself liable for any credit monitoring needed to identify any possible identity theft that might arise.  I doubt the files were stolen.  It is more likely that they were merely deleted.

The first issue is whether your hard drive was ACTUALLY replaced or simply reloaded to the out of the box configuration.  If it was merely formatted and reloaded, your data can be recovered.  Heres something YOU can do to determine if your data is still on the drive currently in your machine.  You need to download a program from Pirosoft called Recuva.  This is a FREE recovery program and you can find the download by performing a google search.  Download the program, install it on your machine and then perform a deep scan (select from options) of your hard drive.  It will take some time to scan, but it will list any files that it finds that it can recover for you.  This is FREE and it will only cost you some time.  If it finds any files, you should recover the files to a DIFFERENT DRIVE.  If you dont have a secondary drive, I suggest you PURCHASE an external USB hard drive.  This way you can recover your files and in the FUTURE, you can back up your files to this secondary drive.

Another issue is the keeping of HIPPA protected files on a HOME COMPUTER without security encryption.  Do you realize that if someone breaks into your home, steals your computer, and then subsequently access and uses the personal information of the patient files that YOU can be held criminally and civilly liable?  Thats a fact that NY State learned a few years ago.  These patient files should be encrypted.

It is up to you, as a medical provider,  to ensure that these HIPPA protected files are protected from unauthorized use.  In the future, you need to make sure that these files are WIPED (not merely deleted) from your hard drive before sending your computer out for service.  The SAME applies to certain copying machines that have built in memory-the memory needs to be wiped.  It is questionable as to WHY you are storing patient files in your home.

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#9 Consumer Comment

RLD, HEWLETT PACKARD'S STOCK HAS LOST OVER 38% OF ITS VALUE THIS YEAR..........

AUTHOR: Karl - (USA)

according to information available on the web.

Anyone can go to the CNNMoney website and type in Hewlett Packard's symbol- HPQ, and go to 'YTD' and see that Hewlett Packard's stock has plunged since the beginning of the year, right?

HP's stock was trading at over $50 a share in early 2010, correct? It's currently trading at $25.75 a share. That means it has lost almost 50% of its value in less than two years.

WOW!!

Have a nice evening.

***MOB ALERT: Don't forget to stay at this site and type in- US GOVERNMENT, and go to Ripoff Report #472051 to see if "MOB SONG 13" is available in the consumer comments section.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Sorry for your data and software losses....

AUTHOR: Ken - (USA)

"He told me that I needed to go back to Office Depot to have the files backed up."

You chose to ignore this advice.

"It was right back and all my files had been stolen.      I advised them that they were to not delete or remove any files and they took them all   About a gigabyte of the information was HIPPA protected patient files and records.  HP had no right to have access to them..."

Regular backups would have meant you lost only the data before your last successful backup....this means backups aren't done to the hard drive but to a separate drive or external device.

It IS hard to believe they proceeded without contacting you in advance...but MOST repair locations specifically exclude loss of data, software or files when the computer is worked on. Looks like you AND HP share some responsibility.

"So I lost all the software $5,000. to $10,000...'

This one I don't understand at all...don't you have the original program disks to restore the software?

"... just decided to let everyone I know how raped I felt and how adamant I am about not having anything "HP" or "COMPAQ" in my offices or home.  In fact I took a hammer to every printer I had and discarded anything in my office that was related to the two names.

How smart was that?  I'll bet you really showed them!

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#11 Consumer Comment

RLD, SINCE HEWLETT PACKARD IS PART OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE...........

AUTHOR: Karl - (USA)

it might make sense to send a copy of your Ripoff Report to Ben Bernanke, so he can alert his bosses at the Bank of England, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, all of the Lehman Brothers, along with the others who make up the Fed, including Mr. Rothschild, right?

You can 'Google' this- WHO OWNS THE FED?, and go to the site with the 5 charts and you will see that Hewlett Packard is listed in 'Chart 3', correct?

It's always best to go right to the TOP with any complaint so the bosses know what's happening, wouldn't you agree? 

Good luck to you!

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