14 Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee

UPDATE: 9 More Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee

A former Hewlett-Packard worker could barely wait for their non-disclosure-agreement to end so they could spill 14 company secrets to The Consumerist.

1: Many HP Printers, like their laser printers, have a built-in page-count after which they won’t work. This resides in the a transpart sometimes called image or drum kit. Rather than get the printer fixed, it’s often cheaper to buy a new printer, OR you can do a NV ram reset. It resets everything in the printer, including all the page counts, but it’s not without risks.

2: To get past the voice prompt system, repeatedly say “Agent.” It will take two or three repetitions, but it will get you to a human.

3: If a set of cartridges cost more than the printer, don’t buy the printer. It’s considered a “throwaway” printer. HP service techs are told to spend no more than 30 minutes working on these because at that point, you are costing HP money.

[Photo: forester401]


4: HP cartridges have a warranty separate from their printer. The printer might be out of warranty, but the cartridges might not be. Cartridge goes plooey, call in.

5: Any HP printer that has been on the market for 6 months has its tech support outsourced. This means you might wind up talking to India, Canada or Costa Rica. Of the three, Canada at least speaks a variant of American.

6: If you have been told that you will receive a part by a certain date, follow up immediately. HP Parts Store was recently moved to Central America. HP Parts Store isn’t talking to HP Tech Support because the Tech Support CSR can see what is in the HP PS inventory and knows when they’re bullshitting. Every other part of HP hates HP Parts Store because of lost inventory, improper procedures, missed shipments, etc.

7: Using non-HP cartridges in your printer will void your warranty, and sometimes makes stuff blow up real good. The tech support will hang up on you if it is proven that the damage was caused by non-HP cartridges.

8: Just because the sales people say that your HP printer can use 120lbs paper doesn’t mean it actually can. You want the straight dope on a printer? Call up HP tech support or check the website.

9: If your printer is just out of warranty and you have a problem with it, call tech support anyway. You will first likely be directed to a “warranty agent.” Tell them firmly that you have an “extended warranty” and they will forward you on to tech support under “customer claims warranty.” The Tech Agent MUST give you support as per HP policy.

10: Don’t yell at the Tech Support CSRs. Most of them make just over minimum wage and just want to get the call over. If you have a problem, firmly request a supervisor.

11: If you threaten a lawsuit, HP CSRs are told to stop the call immediately and hang up.

12: Many HP CSRs are cross-trained into other departments. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they know about the product or problem if you get misrouted.

13. HP’s Beta Software website is at: http://www.hp.com/pond/ljbeta/. Only beta because it hasn’t been put on the distribution cds yet. A lot of drivers here will do stuff that the installation cds won’t. Also has fixes. HP maintains similar unadvertised websites throughout their system…

14. http://www.hp.com/pond/pnp Point and print = a new hp toy.

— BEN POPKEN