Report: #849268

Complaint Review: Hewlett-Packard

  • Submitted: Mon, March 05, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, March 06, 2012
  • Reported By: jane doe — Detroit Michigan United States of America
  • Hewlett-Packard
    3000 Hanover Street
    Palo Alto, California
    United States of America

Hewlett-Packard new HP software wrecked all the drivers on my computer, HP offered to fix for $99 Palo Alto, California

*Consumer Comment: just a clarification

*Consumer Comment: One does have to ask

*Consumer Comment: How did you lose everything on you computer?

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I needed a printer/scanner/fax for my job. And since I already owned an HP laptop I decided to buy an HP printer. My thinking on this was that the HP printer should have no problems marrying up to the HP laptop, and since the internet service here is extremely slow (10 to 20 kbps a second download speed) I thought having equipment from the same company might at least give me a little edge over having two different brands, and I wanted as much compatibility as possible.

So I bought an HP Officejet 4500 Desktop printer. Everything looked good after being pulled out of the box, I did have to buy the cord that attaches the printer to the computer separately, but the printer did come with ink cartridges so no big deal. It even stated clearly on the box that one had to buy the cord separately so no complaints there.

After following the very easy instructions I had the printer all set up and ready to attach to my computer. Now this wasn't my first rodeo, I had done this a few times before, both at home and at work, so I attached the cord to the laptop and let windows take over.

Windows gave it the old college try, but stated that it was unable to download the correct driver so recommended I use the CD that came with the printer. OK, not a problem, I inserted the CD and followed the instructions. Everything looked good but at the end of the install attempt the software stated that it was unable to install correctly, would have to uninstall itself, and then would shut down and restart my computer.

Total disaster! Upon restart all the drivers on my computer were switched off! The audio driver, internet access, everything! For what ever reason the printer software had effectively disabled my computer.

Now having had a lot of experience using computers I thought, no problem, I will just go into the control panel and restore the system to before all this happened. But when I got into the restore menu I discovered that the printer software had also removed all my restore points!

Needless to say, I was pretty upset. But I reasoned that maybe HP's customer support could help me out. So I used my iPod to find HP's customer service number, since it wasn't printed in the instruction sheets or on the box in any place that I could readily find it, and gave them a call.

After fighting through the annoying computer menu, which seemed to be designed to discourage people from calling, I got through to some poor guy in India. I explained the problem to him, but, since there was no error code for him to find in his trouble shooting booklet, he decided that it would be best if he sent me to his "supervisor".

All-righty then, I waited on the phone for a while and was finally rewarded with a "supervisor", this time in a Florida call center. I then explained the problem and she assured me that it was no big deal, and that it could easily be fixed.

And here is where it went South. I have owned the laptop now for a couple of years, so it is not under warranty. But I had just bought the printer. And had I not attempted to install that printer to my computer, it would still have all the valuable work data, 3,000 songs from my CD collection, and all the other software that I had spent a lot of time, trouble, and money adding to my computer.

Now although the printer software caused all this trouble, the "customer service supervisor" told me that she would only charge me $99.95 to help me fix this. That's right, to fix a problem caused by the brand new printer software I had to pay $99.95 for special premium service.

I then explained that first of all, I am only just a few dollars away from having to live in a VA homeless shelter. I have no credit cards and I barely scrape by paycheck to paycheck. Nor did I feel that I should have to pay for customer support to fix a problem caused by a brand new printer!

I then pointed out that when I worked as a customer service rep for a large auto company, I had run into many situations where brand new OEM parts had caused problems with out of warranty vehicles. And in everyone of those situations since the new part had caused the problem, it was our responsibility to fix all of those problems at our own expense, regardless as to whether the vehicle was out of warranty or not.

Undeterred, the "customer service supervisor" informed me that I had to pay for help. Truthfully in fact, I don't think she was a customer service rep at all but someone in their sales department.

In the end, I lost everything on my computer, and may lose my job because of it. I thought only the big banks treated their customers as patsies suitable only for bilking of their hard earned money, but I guess HP has decided to treat their own customers in the same manner.

I have worked for years in customer service and support myself, so this is especially galling to me and I will never own an HP product again.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/05/2012 09:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

just a clarification

AUTHOR: MochaG - (United States of America)

I am not sure what you mean by your other drivers are switch off? Could you elaborate it? Also, what windows OS are you currently using?

From what your wrote, I saw a few misunderstanding in your part. I will try to explain and hope that you would not walk on the same history again in the future.

1) When a computer has a brand, in this case is HP, it does not mean that the computer is made by the company. Therefore, any other products made by the company may or may not completely compatible with the computer.

2) When you install driver for modern printers (from my experience, all of them nowadays), you MUST NOT let Windows install it for you. You are supposed to ignore the pop up from the Windows. This should be written in the installation manual (quick guide) which comes with every printer.

3) You MUST install it using the CD installation which comes with the printer.

4) You MUST insert the CD installation while your printer is still NOT connected to your computer. The installation will ask you to connect the printer after it has finished the installation.

Anyway, if you can use the Internet, you may try to google for a solution. If the problem still persist, please explain it exactly in detail. No I'm not working for HP, but I have experience in this type and hope you could solve the problem without going through many hoops.
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#2 Consumer Comment

One does have to ask

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

If this printer "destroyed" your Laptop how are you writing this report?

What version of Windows are you running?

When you go on about how the printer cable wasn't in the box, one also has to wonder about your computer experience.  Because you will rarely see a cable included in the printer, and you seem to want to infer that this is something totally out of the ordinary to not have a cable.

You also say that you have lost all of your data?  How?  Figuring you don't have a backup(more on that below), you are able to get into the Control Panel so one has to figure that Windows comes up.  So your data should be there.  Also, from that point you should be able to manually remove the printer if that is the issue, and since it is an HP you probably also got a disk(or it is a mirror image on a restore drive) that has all of the original drivers.

Seems like there is a lot of things being left out.

Now, to let you know you should not be in this situation in the first place in terms of your data.  If this stuff is that vital to you why do you not do some sort of backup?  Even if it is as simple as copying the files to a DVD every so often.   But regardless I doubt your data is actually gone(unless you have done something such as a Restore).  Why not find another friend who may be able to copy the data off for you? 

Now, if the data is gone you probably have other issues, such as a bad hard drive or a virus.  Neither of which would be caused by the Printer installation.

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#3 Consumer Comment

How did you lose everything on you computer?

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

Losing drivers to run some of your peripherals would not wipe any sort of data from the machine. Your hard drive would still be intact as would all of the data on the hard drive. Did you use your windows recovery disk to repair your computer? Also, your computer should have come with a disk containing the drivers for your machine. Why not just reinstall the drivers?

Also, did you verify compatibility between your printer and your laptop? That shoudln't be an issue, but it could be depending on the age of the laptop.

While I understand your frustration, HP's warranty only covered the printer and not your computer. It sounds like you got a really bad install on the printer software, which may or may not be HP's fault. Also, if you are so broke that you are almost homeless why are you wasting money on computer parts to begin with?
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