Hungry HP Repair Dept Captures Another Laptop

You gotta hand it to Hewlett Packard—they’re able to improvise quickly when it comes to making up excuses. Dustin wrote to let us know that so far, over the three weeks that HP has had his laptop in for repair, he’s heard these reasons for why they haven’t sent it back yet:

  • laptop warranty voided because of dog hair under keyboard
  • repair placed on hold because they need to reformat the hard drive
  • hard drive needs to be replaced
  • OS could not be replaced because product sticker in back was gone

It may not surprise you to find out that Dustin sent in the notebook to have the AC jack repaired, because it had started to come loose and the power cord wouldn’t stay securely connected. The keyboard, hard drive, and OS were all just fine.

Here’s Dustin’s sad, familiar tale (emphasis ours, because we think Dustin’s mentioning of dog hair was used against him later by a lazy repair technician):

Dear Consumerist,

I am bringing you another HP horror story. On May 21, 2008 I started to notice that my AC jack on my HP Pavilion laptop started to become loose and my power cord would not stay in anymore. I didn’t see this as a big problem so I called HP and setup a repair and figured I would be without a laptop for a week. I also asked the CSR to note to clean where the keyboard is as there was some dog hair (I think I might be a little OCD and a spray can didn’t get all the hair out) she/he put it in the notes and I sent the box out the next day.

The next week goes by and HP has an estimated delivery date of June 3, 2008. So when June 2,2008 comes around I call HP to see if everything went smoothly. However I was greeted by some unpleasant news, the CSR told me my laptop warranty was voided because there was dog hair under the keyboard.(I have two big dogs and they just lay on my floor and are never by the laptop.)

I had come to the Consumerist and started to search for any contact information for HP. All I found was the HP Case manage line so I called them up and was greeted by Dan who gave me the case or transaction number 7500453987, he was baffled by how I got the number but the call went on. He apologized to me and requested picture from the repair center. The next day I called Dan to see how everything was going, Dan was at lunch so another manager read my notes and told me that Dan authorized the repair and I was feeling happy.

Waited a few days to see if there would be an estimated delivery date and still nothing, I call the normal HP support line to see what the hold up was. The CSR told me that my repair had been placed on hold because they needed to format the hardrive (I called earlier in the week and requested not to have the hardrive wiped if at all possible because I forgot to backup some data). I understood and told them that they could format the hardrive.

After a few days I called to see if there was an estimated delivery date and nothing so the CSR placed a request for an update. I called back 24 hours everyday for a week and each CSR put a request in. The last CSR made a request for the repair center to call me and they did today at around 10am MST. He told me that the laptop was not being repaired for the dog hair because it was customer damage he also said that my hardrive needed to be replaced and they found nothing else wrong.

I told them to check the AC jack because it was loose and the reason why it was sent in the Repair Center guy (I didn’t catch his name) told me nothing else was wrong. He also added that the hardrive could be replaced but the Operation System not reinstalled because the product sticker in the back was gone. GONE! Which is a total lie, the sticker was worn out but not gone. I had used the laptop up to the minute the Fedex guy came to the door.

I called my Case Manager and he said he would get this sorted out. The Case Manager has been nothing but helpful but something needs to get done. I’m using a slow 433mhz/256ram computer and using this thing is giving me a headache. I emailed some executives and they said they would look into this but never replied. I don’t know where to go from here I am really missing my laptop and if things keep going the way they do I will never buy an HP product again!

Confused and Lost,

It sounds to us like HP’s repair monkeys just glance at whatever notes are in the file, then convert what they read into a “reason this isn’t repaired” excuse. Someone should make up a false detail the next time they send an HP notebook in for repair—”there’s a piece of a parakeet feather jammed between the keys that I can’t get out”—and then see whether or not that made-up detail is used against you weeks later when you’re trying to find out where your laptop went off to.

On a related note, Dustin, you may want to contact this law firm and let them know about your AC problem and the extreme difficulty you’ve had in getting it repaired.

(Photo: jorritf)