Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buyer Beware! Hewlett Packard Products and Service...

This is a review that I wanted to make sure I shared with anyone willing to listen.

I bought my wife an HP Pavilion DV6809wm NoteBook on December 9th, of 2008.  While the laptop was reliable for a time, the reality of this horrible company and its products quickly sank in May of 2011.

The laptop has a known issue by the manufacturer where the motherboard shorts out specifically in regards to the video card's connection to the board.  The timing is completely random but, the event itself is very well known.  Not only to other consumers (do a search on Google) but, also to HP.  Here are the symptoms for this problem...

My wife was working on the laptop when it suddenly powered off immediately.  Any attempt from that point forward to power it on resulted in all lights, including the quick buttons, flashing on for only 1 to 2 seconds.  After much frustrating trouble shooting and investigation on the internet, I was able to determine that this is a widely known issue with almost all models of the Pavilion product.  What follows is the service experience of contacting HP.

To start, we must travel back in time to the dawn of the purchase.  The laptop only comes with a 90-day limited warranty.  So, that being said, HP only backs up the quality of this product about 3 months.  At this point I know, as the consumer, I should have probably done a few things different.  Such as thrown a red flag at the warranty length as an indicator of the product quality and service.  Or, purchased an extended warranty.  But, that is neither here nor there.  The tale must continue.

My wife first attempted to contact HP through their support number 800-474-6836.  After waiting a lengthy amount of time on hold, she spoke with a non-technical representative.  Explaining the problem to the phone representative, she was told it would be a minimum charge of $50.00 just to talk to a technical support representative.

It was at this point that I spoke with the representative myself.  I explained that this is a known problem with these laptops and we were simply looking for an answer: Can it be fixed? If so, how much does it cost and do we send it to HP?  I did, and still don't, feel that you should not have to pay for an answer to such questions.

It was at this point that I was placed on hold for around 50 minutes before a click and the hold music died.  At which point I was hung up on.  I then took it upon myself to detail the entire situation and email it Executive Office contact form found on HP's site.

A very helpful woman put me in direct contact with a Case Manager on the escalations team.  Free-of-charge!  Here is the conversation that developed.

Hello,
My name is Wallace and I am a Case Manager on the Hewlett Packard AMS TCO Escalations team responding to your request to speak to someone concerning your recent Hewlett Packard support event.  I just tried calling the phone number listed in your customer record (***) ***-**** and unfortunately was unable to reach you.  I will make several additional attempts to contact you via phone over the next 3 days.
Please feel free to respond to this message to provide a better contact number, to let me know the best time to reach you, or to provide additional information about your issue.  Please do not change the subject in the subject line so I can locate your e-mail quickly.
You may call me at 1-877-917-4380 Extension # 93  You may ask for me by name, if I am not available, the Case Manager taking your call will work with you to resolve your issue.
Our office hours are Monday - Friday 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Central time.
Please keep this message as a reference so you will know how to reach us as we work to resolve your case.
Your case # is: **********
Thank you,
Wallace R
HP Case Manager
HP AMS TCO Escalations TeamTel: 1-877-917-4380 ext. 93

At this point I replied with the following:

Good Afternoon Wallace -

I am sorry that I was unable to accept your call.  I am typically unavailable from 8:00am through 5:30-6:00pm EST.  So you can reach me anytime after that time.  I am not sure how much of the details you have been given regarding our particular issue.  So you may or may not be able to provide me some further details without even having to call.

My wife's laptop, which is a Pavilion DV6809, started experiencing the exact same symptoms listed in the following link:

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f108/hp-pavilion-dv6700-laptop-will-not-power-up-540543.html

She currently gets a blue indicator on her power input.  If she hits the power button or the quick start button her LED lights throughout come on for about 1 second.  Then shut off immediately.  This problem is reported numerously through out the internet and we are just trying to get some assistance in figuring out if...

  1. ...she needs a new laptop due to a faulty motherboard or some expensive component.
  2. ...this is something can be reset or corrected simply by performing some troubleshooting steps provided by HP or a parts manufactorer.
  3. ...she can send the laptop in to be repaired.
Please feel free to contact me either here on email or anytime after 5:30pm EST.  Thank you again.

And the reply I received was as follows (not during the times I listed in the previous message):

Michael,
I attempted to reach you today, My name is Jaime, I work 1:30 until 10pm EST. I have reviewed the email you sent to Wallace as well as the account, at this time we can offer a repair for the notebook at a cost as it is out of warranty. If you would like to discuss the option feel free to call me at 877-917-4380 Ext 93, case number 7501955506 or by repling to this email.
Jaime S
Hewlett-Packard
Case Manager
Hours: 1:30pm-10:00pm M-F EST
Phone #: 877-917-4380 ext 93
Fax#:800-563-6319

And I again replied with the following:

Good Morning Jaime -

Before I commit to sending the laptop in for repairs (at a cost) I would like to see if you can answer some questions for me first.

  1. This issue I am having with my wife's laptop, is it a known issue that you all have to take certain measures to correct?  In other words, do you have other cases similar to this which have been successfully repaired in the past?
    • If so, what was the ultimate solution (video card replaced, mobo replaced, etc)?
  2. What will the repair costs be?

Thank you all again for your assistance.

Which at last I was replied too with the following:

Michael,
From what you have stated about the issue, we may be looking at the Motherboard to be replaces, which would also include the video card. Unfortunately I have not had this exact issue with this notebook before but with the repair there should be no issues after repair, you will get a 90 re-repair warranty if the issue comes back up, where we can have the notebook back in for repair with no additional cost as long as there is no physical damage to it with in the 90 days.
This notebook, the regular cost for a motherboard replacement would be $329.00 plus your local taxes, I can discount that by 100.00 making it $229.00 plus taxes.
Jaime

To me, as a consumer and also an experienced provider of products + customer service, this is a horrible company.  I have in the past championed HP, Compaq, and even Palm products but, no longer.

An automobile company will issue a recall notice on faulty products but, this does not apply to HP.  Most laptop companies give a 1 and even sometimes up to 3 year warranty on their products.  Not HP.  And most will not make you pay just to talk to a human about your problem.  Not HP.

I personally will no longer purchase any products from that company and, I would recommend that each of you reading this note also do the same.  Or, at the very least make sure you read and purchase extended warranties on their products.  Do your homework so you can prevent a situation like this from happening to you.