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Report: #192437

Complaint Review: Hewlett Packard - Palo Alto California

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  • Hewlett Packard 3000 Hanover Street Palo Alto, California U.S.A.

Hewlett Packard Uses strong arm tactics for consumer! should we stand for this? ripoff Palo Alto California

*Consumer Comment: Not an Expert at Everything

*Consumer Comment: Consumer Reports publishes tests on computers & PDA's

*Consumer Comment: strong arm wrestling

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Hewlett-Packard Uses Strong Arm Tactics for Consumers! Should We Stand for this?

Ken Garneau Orthopedic Physician Assistant

Caveat Emptor ~let the buyer beware. In a world of technology, large corporations, telecommunications, the sales and service process has broken down dramatically. We, as consumers are thrown into an endless maze of artificial intelligence, voice mails, E-mails, rude and unqualified service and sales personnel. Not to mention, inept people skills, integrity, and the incompetent managers who oversees these people. What ever happened to the motto The Customer Comes First, what ever happened to building bridges, relationships, and customer retention? Has this paradigm shifted to include looking at the bottom line first, and walking all over the customer, with minute warranties that's not even worth the paper it's written on? Why don't companies like Hewlett-Packard stand behind their products, with warranties that have value?

Have you ever thought that these companies, through their due diligence, product & development, know their product is vulnerable and subject to early repairs. Why do you think these companies offer extended warranties, so they don't have to pay for repairs on their inept products? In other words, you're paying for a warranty that they should have given you in the first place. This is like charging my patients and extra fee to pay for my malpractice insurance, before I will treat them, in case I screw up.

I am writing this editorial to inform and educate the consumer, and to stand up for those who don't feel they have a voice when they're up against a large corporation. Today, I would like to share with you the experience and dialog I had with Hewlett-Packards' technical support, over the course of a few months.

I'm a medical practioner in a orthopedic residency. I needed some way to be able to carry with me a large amount of medical resources. The most practical way was to use a PDA. I spent a couple weeks researching what brand, make, and model I would invest in. My research narrowed it down to two choices; the HP IPAQ hx 4705, and the Dell Axim 51v I decided on the HP model.

I received my hand held in November. I tried to connect the unit to my computer and it wouldn't work. I called HP's Technical support and worked on trying to get it connected. I explained to the representative. that I was not computer literate. We work on the problem for about 1.5 hours but could not make it work. During this time he asked me to perform certain functions on the computer. Not being knowledgeable in computers, this gentleman started to get agitated and yelled at me, saying Don't You Know Anything about Computers I explained to him that I didn't, for a second and third time. He said I needed to buy an upgrade of windows and Norton's antivirus.

I followed his directions and spent approximately two hundred dollars on products, and the PDA still would not connect to my computer (encounter #1). Later, I was told by Microsoft that I didn't need to buy the software that I could have upgraded free. So much for quality customer service!

After reformatting my hard drive I tried to connect the PDA and it still wouldn't work. Again I contacted HP, and after approximately .75 hours working on the problem, we still could not get the unit to connect. This particular rep. said there was a problem with the PDA and said I had to send it in for repairs (encounter #2). Note: I was not charged a service fee.

I received the unit back with a note stating they could not duplicate the problem. I tried once again to make connection to my computer, but no luck! In my frustration, I had a custom computer built. I also went to the Microsoft website to see if there was a newer version of the Active Sync software. I downloaded the new software and finally made a connection. I would like you to make an observation, all this activity and effort transpired over a four month period. How come it took these so called qualified technicians, over four months just to connect this unit to my computer!

I was finally ready to use this PDA. I purchased some medical software and began loading it on my PDA. I had also added a total of five gigabytes between two cards that inserted in the memory slots on my PDA. However I was having memory problems. I consulted a friend and he organized my programs to maximize my memory. I used the PDA for approximately 3-4 weeks. During this time the unit was protected by its case and part of the time it was stored in my medical bag. Again I would note that I had never dropped the unit.

I came home one afternoon and tried to sync the unit, but the PDA went dead. I changed batteries, and still it would not work. I called HP once again, they said something was wrong with the unit and it needed to be sent back for repairs (encounter #3).

I also talked to a technician from a third party company, and explained my problem. He asked me if the motherboard switch was working. I stated, I did not know what he was talking about. He guided me and I was able to locate the switch. He asked if it was intact and when you pushed on it did it spring back. I informed him that it did, he stated that was a good thing. He then stated that it appeared the switch was ok. I was also informed that it wasn't unusual for HP to say the motherboard was damaged and to charge $250.00 to repair.

I sent the unit back in the box they provided. Several days later I called to get an update. The technician said that the motherboard switch was broken and it would cost me $275.00 to repair. I stated that this should be covered by warranty. He transferred me to a lady in the billing department who informed me that it was not covered under the warranty, that it was human error. I explained to her that it was impossible, because I had never dropped or banged the unit up, nor were there any scratches on it.

I further stated that I had only used it sparingly for no more than 4 weeks. I asked how she new it was human error , she could not answer me. She said it had to be because it was classified that way. I asked to speak to a supervisor, she informed that I could not, and one will get back to me in no later than 48 hours. I explained that I was in an Orthopedic Residency and that I worked approximately 60-80 hours a week and I wouldn't be able to be reached. She didn't seem to care. (encounter #4) .Lets think about this for a moment. A PDA is called a handheld device. Why is it that a handheld device that you carry around with you is so delicate? Why do they break down so easily! Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

I waited a couple hours and called back, a female technician answered and asked me what I needed. I said I wanted to speak to only a supervisor. I explained I wanted the name and number of the regional manager. She said she didn't know who this person was! or perhaps she was trained not to give it out. She said if I would hold she would find a supervisor. She returned to the phone and told me she would transfer me; I made it clear to her that I wanted only a supervisor. She assured me it was.

I was transferred to a lady named Jena employee #4047. I stated the purpose for my call, and then she started to give the same song and dance that I received before. I asked her what her title is; she told me she was a customer service rep. in the billing department. Now, I was agitated and explained I didn't appreciated being lied to. Again, I asked for the regional manager's name, she said she didn't know. I said, what do you mean you don't know! Then I asked her if she had a company directory, she said she did not.

I then asked who the CEO was, she said she didn't know that either! I then asked her, you mean you don't even know who you work for! Ok, I said, then, give me the phone number to the home office! she said she didn't know it !. Once again I replied, you don't know! Ok, I said, then tell me what state it's in? She said she didn't know and for me to look it up on the internet, she then hung up! (encounter #5).

Approximately 4- 5 days went buy and I finally received a call from a supervisor named Isaac employee # 4039. I explained to him I was unhappy and that I didn't appreciate the service, the lying and the run around that I was receiving. I stated that there was no human error involved with my PDA. I also informed him that I have been having problems from the start.

Then, I confronted Isaac, and asked how do you know the so called human error was my fault. It could be a manufacturing problem, it could have been damaged when you shipped it back and forth twice, and it could have been damaged by your service technicians! Isaac, replied, and I quote He didn't Care, Who, What, When, or How, the Unit Was Damaged It's Still Human Error. Now agitated I in formed him I would pursue this issue further, even if I have to go public. Isaac's response to me was he didn't care, and if I didn't shut up and let him talk he was going to make a decision against me. He said he'd get back to me the next day. (Encounter #6)

Two days latter, after leaving a message, he basically decided it was my fault. However, for customer satisfaction he would take 35% off the cost of repairs, or they would send the unit back and charge me $49 (encounter #7).

In reflection, I was yelled at for my lack of knowledge of computers, I was lied to, I was communicating with employees who didn't know who their management team was, or for that matter who the CEO of the company is, I was told by customer relations that HP didn't care who was responsible for damages of my PDA, that I would be stuck with the bill, and I was threatened by a customer relations rep. Not to mention they were holding my unit for ransom!

I applaud Hewlett-Packard. This new paradigm shift in quality and service is cutting edge. I would encourage them to get a patent on it before someone else does. They have managed to hire: bullies, ignorance, liars, a management team that doesn't exist or at least no one knows who they are. Not to mention, a customer relations department who uses intimidation to relate to customers. In fact, this sounds like the methods of organized crime. No, wait, that can't be HP doesnt have organization!

One interesting fact I discovered in my research, is that these switches could be replaced for a fraction of the cost. However HP will not do piece work, so instead they stick it to the customer.

In all fairness to this editorial, Mark Hurd CEO, VP of Hewlett-Packard was delivered through restricted mail, a copy of this Editorial. I explained my intentions on making this public if he had not rectified the problems with staff, and the repair or replacement of my PDA. As a professional courtesy I expected this matter to be resolved and in two weeks this would be sent. I guess that Mr. Hurd's leadership reflects that of his employees. Thank you for your attention in this matter. The consumer should never have to be victimized. I would appreciate passing this on to everyone you know, by any means possible.

Ken Garneau Ortho PA-C

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us we are dependent on him. He is not an outsider in our business he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.

~Unknown Author~

Corona, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/20/2006 07:45 AM 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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#3 Consumer Comment

Not an Expert at Everything

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

POSTED: Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I use a computer, that doesn't mean I need to know everything about it. Much like the fact that I drive (use) a car, but I sure couldn't repair the transmission or engine. I also watch (use) television, but I'll be darned if I could explain technically how it works, all those air wave transmissions and things. It's unrealistic to believe that someone is going to be an expert at everything they use inside and out.

When a reputable company places a product on the market there is a reasonable expectation that the product is sound and effective. If problems are later identified with the product, a reputable company will repair, replace or recall the product. Hewlett Packard is not behaving like a reputable company, hence the complaints.

There ARE consumer reports, thank goodness. But in the fast-paced market of electronic devices, new products are on the market everyday. Somebody is going to be the first consumer. I had been watching for a laptop with particular needs in mind for many months.

The day HP came out with the HP Pavilion zd8000 notebook, I was on it like maple syrup on pancakes. It was my dream laptop. I hadn't heard or read anything bad about HP at that time, other than one friend warning me off of HP, but other informed friends told me they thought it would be fine. This notebook was not cheap, somewhere in the range of $2300. So the statement, "you get what you pay for" if applied, would certainly assure that I was purchasing a fine product. Surprise, the statement was not true!

Go easy on us specialists who work in other fields and use hardware to assist us. We don't know it all, I will be the first to admit that. I MUST depend on and trust others, experts in their own fields to make the products that I use reliable and dependable. When they don't do their job, then it DOES affect my job.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Consumer Reports publishes tests on computers & PDA's

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

POSTED: Tuesday, August 01, 2006

and also brand frequency of repair statistics. Maybe y'all will find it worth your time to read.

I don't use a PDA... I have no reason to. But if you are going to use anything in your profession, common sense dictates that you should understand what you are doing. Who wants to be the patient of a doctor who does not understand everything he is using? Not me.

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#1 Consumer Comment

strong arm wrestling

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

POSTED: Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am doing my best to spread the news. BUYERS BEWARE! I have posted another thread with RipOff Report regarding Hewlett Packard's Notebooks:

"Hewlett Packard Ripoff Consumers Beware of HP Notebooks, laptops, and HP Service Internet Nationwide *Consumer Comment ..No Confidence"

My son and I own HP Pavilion Notebooks. My son's notebook has had multiple hardware failures. I have just experienced the third hardware failure with my notebook. To add insult to injury, we have had to deal with Hewlett Packard's customer service which is non-responsive for the most part and inept.

I have opportunities to present professionally at conferences with professors from institutions of higher education. In turn, these faculty members teach thousands of students who are potential HP customers. I plan to share the personal experiences I have had with Hewlett Packard with as many people as possible.

Anybody, or any company, who thinks that the mistreatment of one individual customer is not that important, is sadly mistaken.

At this point, I am giving serious consideration to the pursuit of a class action suit against HP.

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