UPDATE: I Am Fed Up With HP And Bought A Macbook Instead

Reader Katy, whose laptop had disappeared into the black hole that is the HP repair department, writes us with an update. HP sent her computer back, but it’s still sort of broken. She’s going to work with HP to get the laptop fixed under warranty (so she can give it to her brother), but she’d had enough and went out and bought a Macbook.

Katy writes:

I got a voicemail on the 15th saying that my HP wouldn’t ship until the 29th. That is when I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the macbook that I wanted. I get paid every 2 weeks, so on the morning of the 16th I came into work early to purchase my macbook online before I started work at 9. I got the confirmation email at 8:30 from Apple. At 9:30 I got an email from HP saying that my computer had shipped the day before. I received my HP that afternoon. It works, but is still having problems with the screen blanking out and with freezing up. I was supposed to get start up disks sent with it as well, and that never happened. I will stay in touch with both the case manager that somewhat worked with me, and the contact that I got from you guys to make sure I get the warranty that was promised to me. The HP will go to my brother, so at least it will have a good home and not be a pain in my ass anymore.

Thank you once again for the help!

Ah yes. Capitalism.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ChipMcDougal says:

    HP is BRUTAL. Im sitting next to a 7,000 dollar plotter that was delivered about a month and a half ago, which is broken. Technicians have been out twice and still, no working plotter.

    Glad you decided to get a macbook

  2. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Well, hope you aren’t dependent on using any software that won’t run on a Mac :D

    Tht being said, the best thing I ever did for my Mom, computing wise, was get her an iMac.

    I haven’t had to mess with it after I set it up. It just works.

  3. azntg says:

    Maybe HP should start sending out an “I sent my HP laptop to the HP Repair Department and all I got was this stupid t-shirt” t-shirt to partially placate their irate customers.

  4. drandall says:

    @ jaysyn

    intel macbook +virtualization software from parallels or VMware = you can run just about anything you need to and run it all simultaneously.

    aside from 3D heavy games, there isn’t much you can’t run on a macbook these days.

  5. BlackFlag55 says:

    Apple user since 1980. Welcome aboard, Katy! Once you try Mac, you’ll never go back.

    BTW – for God’s sake, do not buy an HP printer. It’s an excellent boat anchor, but as printers go … ack. Even their high end stuff is useless.

  6. freshyill says:

    Katy, I hope you enjoy your new MacBook. I guarantee you’ll love it.

    But promise me this: Promise me that you won’t be one of those people who doesn’t understand how to drag applications into the Applications folder, and end up launching like 10 disk images every time you turn your computer on.

    It’s a simple process and a lot of people just don’t get it for some reason.

    1. Download .dmg and mount the disk image
    2. Drag app from disk image to Applications folder
    3. Eject the disk image
    4. Trash the .dmg

  7. SomeoneElseNotMe says:

    The good news is, everything runs on a Mac. If you have a program that’s Windows-only, just install a virtual version of XP.

    Welcome to the Mac community! You’re gonna like it here . . . :-)

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    My only question is, Is HP inept and uncaring, or are they secretly working for Apple?

  9. Jesse says:

    HP has always made just junk personal computers. It became even worse when they merged with the junk computer maker Compaq.

    They used to know how to make stuff – primarily printers. We have a few old HP lasers at work that are still going strong, and they are at least 8+ years old. I wouldn’t even buy a toaster from them if they offered one.

    We probably have Carly Fiorina to thank for that.

    You get what you pay for sometimes.

  10. freshyill says:


    Don’t download AOL’s AIM client. It sucks. Use iChat or get Adium.

    Download Perian to let QuickTime play most video formats.

    It’s not at all necessary to use Firefox on a Mac. Safari is pretty awesome unless you rely on certain Firefox extensions.

    Check out AppTrap for an awesome, free uninstaller that will trash related files when you trash an application.

    Contrary to what a lot of people tell you, you can do right clicks with the MacBook trackpad. Put two fingers on the trackpad and then click the button and you get a right click (or you can Control+click, but this seems more elegant).

    Use two fingers on the trackpad for scrolling and you’ll never miss having a mouse.

    I think you might need to turn these trackpad options on in the System Prefs.

  11. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:


    Nothing I use at work runs on Mac. These are programs you can’t or wouldn’t want to run through virtualization.

    AutoCAD, ArcGIS, Smallworld, MapInfo, Microstation, etc..

    You’d have to set up Bootcamp to use these. MapInfo *might* run through virtulization, but I wouldn’t want to have to use it.

  12. temporaryscars says:

    I love how HP dicks people over, and people say “i’m switching to a Mac!” There are other brands out there you know…

    I love how macs look, and it’s all we use at work, and I can’t stand them. I have more problems with these macs than I do with my PC at home.

  13. kamikazee05 says:

    @freshyill: Thanks a lot! I’m a new macbook user too and am enjoying it tremendously… BUT it was annoying not knowing how to right click – and now I do thank to you! Also for some reason I couldn’t watch youtube videos on Safari – it would start and then stop adter 2 secs as if the video was over. I downloaded Firefox and it works perfectly.

  14. sir_pantsalot says:

    @freshyill: Doesn’t that advice go for any AOL application. When I see someone with an AOL email I just assume they are mentally not all there.

    I tried to email my resume to a recruiter who had an AOL email account and after sending the Word document twice and her not being able to open it I could only assume it was her not knowing how any of this fancy computer stuff works.

  15. EBone says:

    Enjoy your MacBook. Welcome aboard.

  16. ElizabethD says:

    Yay! Join the happy Apple crowd.

    – Mac user since early 1980s

  17. ianmac47 says:

    Obvious tag trumps asinine.

  18. Ryan H says:

    Mac repair is nice. There are dozens of certified Mac retailers in any decent sized city and most of them have certified techs. You just walk in and hand it over. Most of the time you can talk to the guy (or gal) who will actual work. No shipping. Real people to talk to if they screw up. And absolute worst case you ask them to get it from the back room and take it somewhere else.

  19. jeblis says:

    I’m sure you’ll find plenty of mac customer service horror stories.

    I’ve got a mac and 2 thinkpads (and a vista pc). The mac just annoys me. The build quality is pretty low and window management (and the finder) are atrocious.

    It’s unix underpinnings are nice though. X apps seem a little flaky.

  20. I switched on February 28, 2007 and never looked back. Well, only perhaps to kick yourself for not switching sooner.

  21. 51tiggy says:

    In my 10 years as a satisfied Mac user, have NEVER had to deal with a virus.

  22. jeblis says:


    That’s more a failure of mac design. It’s just not clear how to install an app properly. The drag/drop installation is actually worse than a simple installer. Apple is even using an installer for a lot of apps now.

  23. vastrightwing says:

    If HP made a toaster:
    The heating elements of the toaster would only work for 100 hours and would require a replacement set of elements. Even if the heating elements were still good, it would not matter, because HP would claim that the elements are only designed to toast well for 100 hours. After that, replacing them is your only choice. After market heating elements would not work because the official HP heating elements have a chip in them that the toaster verifies to ensure quality. The replacement heating elements would cost about $15, so after you’ve replaced them 2 times, you’ve paid for another toaster.

  24. SacraBos says:

    Good for you! Although I’ve never used a Mac, I would like to. Just don’t have the time to play with it…

    Anymore, except for laptops, I just build my own systems. Use spare gear and get stuff on sale at Frys, and end up with a much more powerful system for less money.

  25. SacraBos says:

    @Trai_Dep: Maybe their service organization will get better since they’ve bought EDS. If only EDS did laptop/PC repair…

  26. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I dunno. I think people are switching to Mac for the wrong reasons. But if it works out fine and suits their needs, then that’s cool too.

    If you want to stick with Windows and have good customer service, buy through Dell Small Business or buy a Thinkpad.

  27. Kevino says:

    Welcome to the good side ;)

  28. trk182 says:

    I just like how much he hates his brother.

    Hey bro, here’s a crappy hp that’s been broken and needed 3 months of dicking around to repair.

    Next year I’m buying you a used rusty Yugo for X-mas.

  29. e.varden says:

    I’ll second the POS that is a HP printer.

    I got an el cheapo HP OfficeJet 4315 all-in-one (two mistakes there…) for Christmas.

    What since then (5 months) I’ve never been able to make all the features work. When it scans, it scans well (NO booklet guidance whatsoever: HPsite “help” gives advice which works if you do the opposite of the advice, same with their inexecrable “chat” help.

    Getting ‘er to print is a chore because it insists on remaining in “fax” mode.

    Their solution? Unplug everything; plug in again. Press “6”,holding down while you press “start” for a print.

    Ooops, apparently it has a mystery queue (no instructions for this in help: a print queue does not exist apparently) and out come the beginnings of thirty images I never authorized for printing.

    (This thing sucks ink like through a garden-hose, btw.)

    I shut it down, open and close a door or two, turn on the windshield wipers (this being and old Windows cure) and restart.

    Wow! Just the image I wanted. Looks great (on plain bond paper even!).

    Can I count on this next time?

    Sure. As long as I go through a version of the dance described above. (I’d be willing to put up with lower-quality imaging from this cheapo machine if I could press” print” and get a print. Instead I get excellent quality printing and imagery which takes me twenty minutes of futzing to make happen.

    HP is embarked on some super-merger with an IT co. (I forget who).

    When I read this, the image came to mind of

  30. Trai_Dep says:

    @jeblis: Are you nuts? You install a Mac app by dragging it where ever the heck you’d like. Done.
    No Registry edits, no OS tyranny demanding you can’t move it to a subfolder, no crossing-your-fingers when you uninstall hoping this isn’t the time that improperly removed Registery edits destroy your OS install, no “Are you sure you want to delete stupidcrypticname.dll? Some other apps may (or may not – flip a coin because we have NO idea – use it” alerts? No deciding to move your apps once installed.
    Mount. Drag. Done.

    Some app developers with more complicated builds (Adobe, say) use installers, but this is be design to allow for 3rd-party accessibility. Most don’t.

    If you don’t see this as an advantage, then Vista was built for people like you. Enjoy!

    @freshyill: I’m something of a Mac guy, and never heard of Perian. Thanks for the tip!

  31. Rootman says:

    You must not like your brother very much to give him the HP. . .

  32. freshyill says:

    @Trai_Dep: How about this: Let’s all agree that it’s imperfect, but still a hell of a lot better than anything else out there.

    Here’s some suggestions on how I would improve it:

    1. A right click menu item that will move it to the Applications folder for you.
    2. A warning with an offer to explain a better way to do it when you launch an app from a disk image.
    3. A way for developers to implement an install button when you open the disk image similar to the one that appears to burn a CD or empty the trash, that will move the files for you without opening the OS X installer.
    4. Armed thugs come to your house and beat you without mercy when you drag an app to your dock when that app is still in the disk image.

  33. trujunglist says:

    Maybe you could somehow get HP to give you a partial/full refund and just waste the busted laptop? Maybe small claims court for not providing adequate service under the warranty contract? I’m stretching, but man, I’d really hate to see your Macbook share desk space with that.. that… THING.

  34. jeblis says:


    You can have a bad install/uninstall program on either system. Just because it’s hidden by a drag-and-drop does not mean it’s any less complex or error prone.

    My point is that the drag/drop isn’t that intuitive for a new user. (hence freshyill’s checklist above)

  35. trujunglist says:


    I find that most disk images have directions in them that say something like “DROP TO APPLICATIONS FOLDER,” with nice icon art and everything.
    I think Apple has set up some nice Mac 101 stuff for people who are completely new/retarded. Still, it might be beneficial for them to find ways to proactively help people (like when you install/start OS X for the first time, it gives you a tutorial option like the iPhone video) so at least you’ll have your Applications in the Applications folder and not in disk images or *gasp* the desktop and know where to look in case you want to check out what hardware you have.
    But you’re right, it may not be obvious to someone who’s had to deal with installing/uninstalling their Windows applications, where you aren’t even completely sure which of the 1,000 files is the installer!

  36. trujunglist says:


    You forgot to mention Diskwarrior. I’m not sure why people don’t know about/use Diskwarrior, even though it’s 1000x more essential than Conflict Catcher was BITD (not essential for those who enjoy hours of migraine fun). Apple should definitely purchase Alsoft and include it in OS X. I’m not sure how Alsoft has managed to come up with something so great, but Apple really needs to get on that in order to provide a complete OS solution.

  37. jeblis says:


    That is one aspect of installers that basically works better.

    Run the installer and use the defaults and everything ends up in the right normal place.

    An experienced user will probably find either setup workable. But from an intuitive “ease of use” standpoint I think installers are better here.

    Having to read a readme or watch a video means something is broken in your UI design.

    The worst offender was the program that just presented and icon in a box and expected me to drag in to the next box, no words, no explanation.

  38. trujunglist says:


    I disagree. There are a million different “Setup” files in every Windows installer. Which one do I click if I’m retarded? On a Mac, hmm, let’s see, one file to click, and it says here “Drag to Applications” folder.
    If there are no instructions at all for both cases, then the Mac user still wins because there’s 1 file only, so let’s see, which one do I choose.

  39. jeblis says:


    Umm it’s almost always setup from a CD. A lot of apps you download and install are one executable. No mounting a dmg file, just run the executable and go. Mounting a dmg file, dragging it, then unmounting it are not intuitive things for users to do.

    This is not strictly a mac vs pc thing. I prefer the mac programs that have installers.

  40. spinachdip says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: “I dunno. I think people are switching to Mac for the wrong reasons.”

    The wrong reasons? It used to be about the music, man!

  41. sgodun says:

    @Jaysyn: Well, hope you aren’t dependent on using any software that won’t run on a Mac :D

    There ISN’T any software that won’t run on a Mac. Any software that runs under OS X, Windows, Linux, or pretty much any other OS will run on a Mac.

  42. randombob says:


    Perian 1.1 hosed my ability to play .avi files on 10.5 leopard over the internet or downloaded. Beware!

  43. LVP says:

    I just ordered my Mac Pro last night. Although I am a fan of PCs, for Graphic Design I prefer an Apple machine.

  44. temporaryscars says:

    @trujunglist: Then you admit that macs are for retards who can’t handle more than one file?

  45. spinachdip says:

    @sgodun: Seriously. Find me a non-Mac that runs Garage Band or Final Cut Pro.

  46. HaloZero says:


    I’ve actually had good experience with HP printers. My laser printer works well.

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    @randombob: Ruh roh. Did you go to Perian’s website to let them know? They seem like they’d be interested. Might even have a fix.
    Think I’ll hold off a bit, just in case. QT plays almost everything, and VLC handles everything else. For me.

  48. revmatty says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: I’m genuinely curious as to what the ‘wrong reasons’ for switching are.

    Note that I switched from Linux to Mac, rather than Windows to Mac. I hated Windows enough that I switched to Linux in the 90’s when you still had to install via command line and know how to partition your HD properly for optimal performance.

  49. edosan says:

    @trujunglist: “There are a million different “Setup” files in every Windows installer.”

    Thanks for proving that Apple fans don’t misrepresent facts and resort to hyperbole.

  50. quail says:

    After my laptop experience when it came time to get a new printer I opted for Cannon. HP was cheaper but I was tired from my experience with them. (Side note: In pricing the laser toner it turns out that HP actually cost more in the long run. Good old Gillette marketing scheme in action!)

  51. kcrusher says:

    Take this coming from someone with 15+ years doing Mac and PC setup, installation and tech support – you did the right thing in getting a Mac.

    Myth – Macs are more expensive.

    Not when you count what your time is worth and what the resale value is like.

    Macs – very, very few worries about viruses and pop-up, adware, spyware, etc.

    “There are a million different “Setup” files in every Windows installer.”

    Maybe not a million, but usually 2 or 3. Which is the right one? Some installers auto-launch. Some don’t. Some have icons to indicate it probably is the right one to use, some don’t. After it finishes – what did it install and where? Oh wait – you will need to enable logging to possibly find out and that’s…a registry hack.

    Anyways – I’m sure you’ll love your Mac…!

  52. EmilioJobonee says:

    “I love how HP dicks people over, and people say “i’m switching to a Mac!”
    There are other brands out there you know…’

    HP, Dell, Gateway what’s the difference? They are just box assemblers
    slapping together parts. The real problem is Windows. Just look at Vista ME.
    What a dismal failure. Buying another PC just gets you more the same

    If you need Windows for a certain piece of software, just buy a Mac and
    install Windows on it and/or run Windows through a virtual machine. Then you
    can either boot up from Windows like any other PC and run it at full speed,
    or you can boot Windows up inside of Mac OS X and run it in a window with a
    small loss in performance.

    Plus, Macs are full featured. No stripped down budget hardware that you’ll
    be replacing in two years. Mac are useful for much longer because they come
    fully load, which is why they start at $1000. Plus, you get a better
    operating system.

    No viruses.

  53. SpaceCat85 says:

    That’s a longstanding AOL suite (for Windows) bug that (I think) relates to sending e-mail with inline attachments. It’s been awhile since I had to deal with anyone using the AOL suite on Windows within my family, but it’s definitely an issue with the suite software on their end being terrible.

    Anyway, to add another Mac tip, get an external FireWire hard drive and the paid version of SuperDuper. You can set it up to create a bootable copy of your laptop hard drive on the first run. Then, you can periodically have SuperDuper only update files that have changed (an option in the paid version). If you do it regularly, it’ll only take a few minutes for each update. That’s helped me backtrack from a few bad software/OS updates in the past while still having full access to my files.

    Or, if you’re afraid you won’t remember to backup regularly, set the external hard drive up with Time Machine. It won’t be bootable, but you can still boot off of your system’s restore DVD and use a utility on that to restore your system from Time Machine.

  54. officer10penny says:

    Thnk you OP, ChipMcDougal, for the tip. I was thinking about buying an professional printer / plotter. I will definitely think twice about buying from HP.

  55. ivanthepig says:

    I’ve had a Compaq C300 laptop for well over two years now, and aside from having a crappy battery that was replaced within a few days after a phone call to tech support – and an over-heating issue (that for some reason was cured when I decided to replace the hard drive). It heated to the point of automatic-shutdown.

    Other than those two quirks, I haven’t had any real problems with it. Granted, I run Ubuntu on it. Uninstalled windows. And format every other month. Maybe 98% of the world is having issues, and I must be that other 2% that is relatively content with it.

  56. k4_pacific says:

    I initially misread the headline as:

    UPDATE: I Am Fed Up With Bic And Bought A Matchbook Instead

  57. baristabrawl says:

    @BlackFlag55: On buying a printer: I know this is probably admitting my stupidity but I look at cartridge prices before I commit to a printer. The printer I currently have is a Canon and the cartridges are $6 for a black and $16 for color.

    The printer isn’t top of the line but I can print whatever I want. I started doing this when I was a freshman in college because inevitably I will run out of ink at 4 am when the term paper is due at 9. So I know that I could scrape up $6 to run to Wal-Mart. (I’ve since stopped shopping at Wal-Mart.)

    But does anyone else buy a printer in this fashion?

  58. baristabrawl says:

    @jeblis: I agree with this. I went to a friend’s house who had recently bought a Mac and he had about 25 of those little white disks all over his desktop. I was horrified!

    After I showed him what he was SUPPOSED to do he couldn’t believe it was so simple. He was also wondering why Apple would allow him to clutter his desktop in that fashion.

    I had to get used to the Mac just being easier. It took time for me to “unlearn” everything I needed to know just to use my PC.

  59. jeblis says:


    If by “easier” you mean less intuitive and confusing, then yeah it is. (in this instance)

  60. BlackFlag55 says:

    Trujunglist – hell yeah Disk Warrior. And Tech Tool Pro.

  61. wildness says:

    This is exactly what happened to me with two $3000 Sony laptops and Best Buy’s Geekless Squad service over the course of a couple of years… i finally gave up and bought a Mac.

  62. Trai_Dep says:

    @baristabrawl: I’m honestly at a loss when the disc image window says, in lettering that takes half the window, “Drag application to the folder you’d like to install.”
    Sweet baby Jeezus. Maybe Apple should bring up a series of windows, with dialogs, allowing you to “change” this, “change” that, set 1 of 5 configurations, verify your choice, scan your hard drive, tell you what version of OS you have (telling you to upgrade to OS X Premium for the ULTIMATE Mac experience, then confirm everything in a separate dialog via an alert asking permission.
    Then have a flashing window with an arrow telling you, “Drag it here. NOW!”

  63. coolkiwilivin says:

    Ewww. Sorry moving from an HP to a Mac is NOT an upgrade. But then again when you have a hardware problem you will have to go to a store and hope a “genius” can fix it. Goto the Small Business store at Dell and get a completecare warranty and get the upgrade to Goldcare. Yeah Dell is a one of the big companies but I’ve found that warranty set to be the best. They came out to my house and replaced my motherboard and powerbutton after my infant son threw up into my laptop. Two days I was back up and running.

  64. jwissick says:

    The OP should, unless she really hates her brother, send the HP on a one way trip to the dumpster. They are just not worth keeping. It will NEVER work right and will just make your brother angry at you.

  65. uricmu says:

    HP sucks. They keep outdating every product (printer, scanner, etc.) when operating systems change (e.g., vista) so you have to buy new ones.