Defective Product and Poor Service
BETHESDA, MARYLAND -- I am writing to you in an effort to get resolution to a problem with a Compaq Presario Notebook that I purchased on Nov. 13, 2003 from a Best Buy location in Rockville, MD. Within just a few weeks I had two hardware problems arise. The ac power cord when plugged into the computer would not work. It appeared to be a loose connection in the back of the notebook. Also, the main cooling fan would not spin when triggered by the thermostat control in the unit, thus causing it to shut down due to over heating.
I contacted the HP Support on December 21, 2003 and the associate who handled my case was excellent in letting me know that the unit was defective and he made all the arrangements to have Fed-Ex pickup my unit the very next day. He told me the repair was covered under warranty and I would receive my repaired unit on Friday, December 26, 2003. As I would be traveling on that date he told me I could elect to have the unit shipped to an alternate address on that date.
On Friday, December 26, 2003 the unit did not arrive at the alternate address and I called the support number to inquire. I was told that the policy on warranty service was 5-10 business days for the repair and I should not expect my unit back until the following week. I explained that I would no longer be at the alternate location the following week. They told me to call back on Monday, December 29, 2003 to see if the unit had shipped yet. If it had not, I could change the return shipping address back to my home address with no problems at all.
On Monday, December 29 I contacted HP support again and was told the unit was still under repair. I explained the situation regarding the need to change the shipping address and the associate who assisted me was very kind and again said that I could change my return address with no problem. With that comfort, I changed the return shipping address to my home address.
On Wednesday, December 31 I received a call from the location in New York that I was no longer at. They told me that Fed-Ex was at the door with my laptop. Well I was now 400 miles from that location and could not take receipt. I spoke via telephone to the Fed-Ex associate and asked that he return the shipment back to HP since they delivered to the incorrect address. He explained that he could not do that. If I chose to refuse the delivery it would go back to HP with no further instructions on how to delivery to the correct address. So in fear of losing my pc in the process I had the Fed-Ex delivery left at the New York location. I then called HP Support and explained what happened. The young women on the phone was very nice and pulled up my record. She showed the new correct address in the system and could not understand why it did not ship to the new address. After putting me on hold for 5-6 minutes she came back and admitted that the gentlemen I spoke to on Monday did the shipping address change, but failed to do all the proper updating and that is why it went to the wrong address. I then explained to her I was no longer at that New York address and that I needed HP to arrange for Fed-Ex to pick it up at the incorrect New York address and deliver it to my home address. She said that even though they, (HP), had made the error, now that it was delivered they were no longer responsible for it. After many minutes of disagreeing with her to no avail I asked to speak to a supervisor. She placed me on hold for a few minutes and then came back and told me he was busy with another customer. I insisted that I wanted to wait to speak with him or her. She placed me back on hold. I then waited over 10 minutes when she returned and explained that he was to busy to speak to me and there were no other supervisors that I could talk to. I insisted that I wait to speak with someone and she rudely placed me on hold and I then waited over 30 minutes. Finally after 40 minutes I hung up.
I then contacted the Hp support number again to try to speak to someone who could satisfy my complaint. After being routed through many automated menus and speaking to 3 different individuals I was given the telephone number to the Executive Office in Palo Alto, California. I spoke to one of the Executive Assistants and she was very gracious in listening to my frustrations. She also accessed the records of my repair and was also surprised as to why the mistake was made and could not understand why the unit was shipped correctly. I explained to her that my only frustration was that HP Support acknowledged they made the mistake and would not rectify it. She gave me a Fed-Ex billing number so that the persons in New York could ship the notebook to me and not have to pay the fees. I was very pleased with this resolution. Although I had lost faith in HP/Compaq at this point, I was again won over with her compassion and assistance.
On Monday, January 5, 2004, I received the notebook from the previous location. Upon initial receipt everything appeared to be in order. I was first surprised to see that included with the returned product was a check list that is filled out by the HP technician detailing all the repairs and tests that were completed on my notebook. NONE of this form was completed. It did not have dates, technician name or I.d., or any other comments in regards to the work that had been completed.
Upon using the notebook the problem with use of ac power was corrected and the connection appeared to be working fine. However, within 20 minutes the same problem arose regarding the malfunctioning of the cooling fan. To say the least I was irate at this point.
I called the same HP support number and went into great detail with the technician. This was very frustrating as this person had very poor English dialect and we could not communicate effectively. He explained that I will need to again send the unit in. I asked that the part be shipped to me and I would have a computer specialist at my place of work (Marriott International Headquarters) switch the part out. He told me that would not be possible and my only option within warranty is to ship the unit back for repair. After explaining how this was unacceptable he assured me that if I sent it back I would receive 4 day Door to Door Repair Service and the unit would be returned by Monday, January 12, 2004. I hesitated but since the unit was only 6 weeks old I felt I had no choice.
The unit was picked up by Fed-Ex on Tuesday, January 6, 2004. I monitored the process of the repair on the CSO website. On Monday, January 12, the day I was to receive the unit back, I check the website and it showed the unit still under repair. Not surprised by this I waited a few days and checked later in the week. Again, on Friday, January 16 it showed the unit being under repair. I called HP support. The technician placed me on hold so he could get more info on the status of the repair. He came back on the line and told me the unit was repaired and that they were performing diagnostic tests. He also stated I would receive it in just a few days. Although I did not believe him I thanked him for his help and agreed to wait.
On Monday, January 19, I again went to the CSO website to check the status of my repair order and it stated that the repairs had been completed and they were preparing the product for shipping. I assumed that this went within 24 hours.
On Tuesday, January 20, I again tried to go to the CSO website and received a reply that the web page was not available. All other web pages are working fine so I know it is not with my computer and also attempted from both my home desktop pc and my work pc. I then used the internet based HP Web Chat Support to see if someone could check on my order. They checked the status and told me the unit was still under repair and I would have to call 1800-OKCOMPAQ. I tried to explain that I had done that and I needed a better level of service but they offered no additional resolution.
On Wednesday, January 21, I again tried to go to the CSO website and received a reply that the web page was not available. I the tried again to get a status update from the HP Web Chat Support. Jane assisted me and gave me the same response that the unit was under repair and that I would have to call the 1800 number. I expressed my frustration and told her some of the history behind the repair. I told her I was very upset at this point and asked for a name or phone number for the department that assists customers that are having challenges. She again reiterated that I would have to call customer service or the 1800-OKCOMPAQ number.
Today is Thursday, January 22 and I called the customer service number for an update as the web site is still not working. I was told the unit was in repair, preparing to ship but did not have a ship date, but assured me I would get it in 1 2 days. How in the heck would he be able to say when I would get it if he did not know when it would be shipped out? The technician asked if that answered my problem and I said no. I gave him a brief history of the problems I have had with this process and he again reiterated he was sorry but rest assured I should have the unit in 1-2 days. So now we have gone to Will have the unit in 1-2 days to Should have the unit in 1-2 days.
At this point I am absolutely at my wits end with HP/Compaq customer service. As a loyal HP customer I purchased my Desktop Pavilion PC last year and have purchased many HP ancillary products over many years. Although I have been encouraged by many friends and colleagues to look at other brands such as Dell and Gateway I have always considered HP a great product and worth my loyalty. I was a bit concerned about purchasing a Compaq product and how well that would be supported. I see now that I have been correct in that assumption. I can fully understand that making a high quality product is not a perfect science. Parts are parts and will always be subject to failure through no ones fault. However, customer care and service is always in each associates ultimate control and to date I have experienced very little of that.
To recap here are my outstanding issues:
1. My 2 month old Presario Notebook is in repair for the same problem for the 2nd time in 30 days because it was not repaired correctly the first time it was sent. It has now been in HP support or shipping possession for more days then I have had it since I bought it on November 13, 2003.
2. On both repairs I was told I would receive 4 day Door to Door service. The first repair took 10 days and was not door to door. The second repair has been going on for 17 days and I still have not received my unit.
3. The CSO website has been unavailable for three days and I have to keep calling or using the Support Web Chat Service to check the status of the order.
4. When calling the 1800 support number the menu will not allow me to speak to a technician using the Existing Issue prompts. Each time I attempt to use this prompt and the first two digits of my case number the system tells me that is invalid and disconnects me. This happened each time I tried beginning on December 26 through yesterday. So I have to go through the menu as a New Issue to get to speak to a human being.
In closing I would like to request a prompt update from a leadership member of the HP team on the current state of my notebook and assurance that it is going to be returned to me fully repaired within the next few days. If this can not be achieved I feel I am entitled to an immediate replacement of a new unit and the unit under repair may stay in your possession.
I appreciate your time and assistance in this matter and look forward to a quick and satisfactory response.