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Hewlett-Packard Company Consumer Reviews - Page 2

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Hewlett Packard Case Managers Treatment of Customers
By -

As a result of an inquiry to the BBB Complaint ID: 1**, I am still being harassed by your case managers. Please listen to the recorded calls for ** 6:50 PM 1/19/2011 and ** 2:18 PM 1/25/2011. If I am called on my cellular phone and incur charges for listening to your case managers harass me and cause me undue stress, I will be forced to seek help from someone to stop HP representatives from harassing me. I am at my wits end and do not know what to do. I asked ** if he could research my problem and call me back and he said no. He forced me to stop working for 30 minutes so that I could sit on hold and listen to him type on a computer.

There was no need for me to be on the phone. Your case managers did not respect me and treated my problems like garbage. What has to be done for HP executives to stop this unlawful treatment of customers with warranties to fix your G series laptops with hard drives that fail numerous times?!

By -

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA -- I am extremely disappointed with HP and its practices when a customer needs service / replacement with defective devices. I spend countless hours / almost 30 days with your outsource company dealing with untrained, emotionless agents that just make my situation worse. When I finally reached a case manager, it was no better as he tried to replacement a lesser value monitor than what I originally purchased.

I was never told until just recently that HP doesn't repair defective devices.. So instead I received a used and out of warranty monitor that was also defective. I have emails and voice mails from my case manager indicating that if I sent back the 2509 monitor, he would ship out the 3rd 2558 monitor, then two days later he changed his mind..
Purchased brand new Desktop & Monitor 2/17/2010. Discovered monitor was defective, reported it and it took HP over 30 days to finally send out a replacement. I was told my monitor would be repaired instead.

Replacement that was sent was also defective and it was used and out of warranty. When I complained, I was sent a lesser value monitor without all of the features that I had purchased. I was then told my model is not made any longer, I was also told that HP could only send a refurbished unit. I was told they would send out another monitor like mine IF I returned the lesser value model, I said, "No problem", Then HP changed their minds and demanded both monitors. I stated that I could not be without any monitor since when I sent my new monitor, it took over 2 weeks to receive.

HP replaced my w2558hc monitor with a lesser value monitor 2509 that didn't have the features that I paid for. I was originally told to send my monitor and that it would be repaired however, I learned recently HP doesn't repair monitors. I was sent a used and out of warranty monitor. I have asked HP numerous times that they dropped the ball and I need the same model shipped to me and ensure that its inspected and comes with a 1 yr warranty. I also offered to have an HP tech come to my house with a working unit and in return, I will give to him the 2509 monitor along with the defective 2558hc.

All of my requests have been refused and HP demand both monitors be shipped back before they send out the true replacement. ** threatened to send this matter to collections to get their monitor back. They refuse to OVERNIGHT the next replacement. I was with no monitor for over two weeks in March when I sent out my brand new monitor to them (w2558hc).

I never refused to send back the other 2509 monitor, however HP still refuses to send another replacement until both monitors are returned. ** keeps reciting that HP has met its obligations and have acted in good faith throughout the process, which couldn't be far from the reach truth. She also threatened me with sending this matter to collections as I was holding their 2509 monitor "HOSTAGE".

Here is what I'm asking for HP to do: Ensure to me that the replacement has been fully inspected. Guarantee one year warranty. Replace a missing remote control that was inside my original monitor w2558hc and expedite shipping and stop threatening me and instead, make right of their wrongs towards me. More than 3 months have gone by and still no resolution only on HP's terms. I have lost trust and concerned the next replacement will be defective and then they will do nothing after that.

HP said "NO", I suggested they send out an HP tech with a unit that's been verified trouble free and in return I will give both monitors to him, I was denied again. HP isn't willing to accommodate any of my above requests. I am hoping someone will take out the time and read this complaint but even more so, resolve this issue once and for all. This complaint has been forwarded to the BBB, FTC and the Attorney General's office and now I'm consulting with legal counsel for further recourse if this matter is not resolved.

** (Consumer Relations) is the contact person for this case **. Does anyone have the resource or names of high executives within the HP Organization? Having a case manager and dealing customer relations is completely a waste of time, they only recite HP POLICY, and NO we can't to anything you ask of them!`

Customer Service
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LAKE ZURICH, ILLINOIS -- An HP Mini 110 was purchased from Best Buy 14 October 2009. It stopped working within 4 days. Returned to Best Buy and they confirmed it was non-functioning. They did not have a replacement and suggested contacting HP directly. This time frame was when HP was changing over from XP models to Windows 7 and new models and Best Buy did not have any inventory for either model.

I discussed the situation with a Case Manager **€ and advised that I was departing to Asia for business and needed the Mini replacement before 9 November. Due to the model change over, she could not get and guarantee that a replacement would arrive in time. Case manager **€ and I discussed that my only option to get a working Mini before departing was to return to Best Buy, returning the non functioning unit and get and pay for an upgraded model and that she would send a replacement upon my return to the USA after December 1st.

I sent an email to Case manager December 1st advising my return and available to discuss replacement. I did not get a response so called the Case management line December 4th and was advised that Case manager ** was no longer on this case as more than 30 days had elapsed and I would need to work with Case Manager **. He gave me a new Case number and claimed he would look into my complaint. I did not get a reply so called again December 11th for **. At that time he advised that no replacement would be available, as policy had changed since my initial contact with Case manager **€.

I alluded to the email from Case manager **€ promising a replacement but ** made all kinds of excuses as to why it could not be done. Conversation ended with his disconnect. I expect HP to honor its commitment for the replacement documented in the email from **€. I would not have paid for the second model from Best Buy if I thought HP would renege on its replacement offer. Rather I would have taken a refund and looked for a different manufacturer to meet my time deadline.

I currently own four HP printers and a fax machine and have purchased HP replacements when needed. HP has always responded with positive results when problems required a replacement, until this instance. I am requesting a corporate review of my complaint and compliance to the commitment made by Case Manager **€. Should a decision be made not to honor her commitment, then I request an immediate refund and I will return to HP the Mini in my possession and allow me to purchase another more functioning brand.

I can't believe how HP treats it's customers and I'm not the only one!!
By -

I decided to order a DV7 3020ea laptop from the HP website after having had a bad experience with a mainstream electronics retailer where I ended up getting a refund. I thought I would order directly from HP and maybe I would receive the best service, how wrong I was. Anyway I ordered the laptop on the 1st Nov, it wasn't in stock but on website it stated usually dispatched within 2 weeks. Got an email confirming the order, then got another email a few days later on the 4th Nov stating that the laptop should be in stock by the 5th and normally is dispatched within a couple of days.

On the 6th I received another email informing me that the logistics dept were not able to get this item in stock due to complications and that they would have a better picture of when it will be in stock on the 10th. Got another email on the 9th stating that it will not be stock on the 10th and estimated date now is the 20th but I would be informed if in stock earlier. I happened to go onto their website the next day and saw that it was in stock, called them and they said it had come into stock that Tuesday morning and that it will be shipped out the same day. Received the laptop on Wednesday the 11th which was good.

I opened the box took the laptop out, something didn't look right, the protective covering on the lid had loads of bubbles in plus there were dirt marks on the lid, it has the moonlight finish so these marks were very noticeable. Opened the lid some keys had a small amount of dirt on them, and screen looked OK however I hadn't switched it on yet. Took the battery out and lifted the laptop over to put the battery in. There were 3 deep scratches on the underside, I put the battery in and switched it on, the initial startup screen was black and that's when I noticed a dead pixel near the middle of the screen.

Needless to say I wasn't happy, after paying £1000 for the laptop the condition was totally unacceptable. Called HP straight away who gave me a ref number and post sales said that they would contact logistics to arrange for a new laptop to be sent out and this one to be picked up, this would happen within "48 hours" of that call. I said "OK", packed up the laptop and resealed the box and package. The next day Thursady the courier came to pick it up, but no one from HP called me to let me know also there wasn't a replacement laptop.

Anyhow I let them take it and I phoned HP who said that the girl that was dealing with it was on lunch and she will call me back, she didn't. She emailed me later that day telling me that she had already informed me that it would take 48 "working hours" for logistics to contact her back, (from 48 hours to 48 working hours) my concern was that judging by their performance, so far the laptop could get lost in their returns as the post sales representative had not arranged for the pickup. I replied to her email and she replied back saying that she had not arranged for the courier to take it back and they had made a mistake, so who did then, I didn't!!

48 hours pass by and still no contact by them re a replacement so I rang again on late Friday afternoon, this time I was told that the warehouse had recorded the return but they still have not arranged for a replacement, even though it is in stock. I was getting pretty frustrated with the whole thing now and wanted to know the day I will get my new laptop. I was advised that the girl who was dealing with my order was going to email me letting me know. I got an email but she said that logistics would probably get back to her next week Monday or Tuesday, it was Friday.

That was it for me, I emailed her to cancel the order and get a refund, no reply from her so I called HP and spoke to someone who said they will put the refund through the next Monday and it will take 5 days to be deposited back into my account. I'm quite worried about that as I just cannot trust them at the moment. The condition of the product was unacceptable and there was damage to it and their customer service is worse, they just don't care. I have been put off HP for life now, looking at buying Toshiba.

HP does not value its customers
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I have never been one to complain to or about a company nor have I ever made a complaint or written a letter to a company in my life, but my experience HP customer service has been inexcusably bad. I have never had a worse customer service experience and I can only conclude that it is by design on their part. I purchased an HP Pavilion from their website in August of 2008 and have had both a hard drive failure and a DVD drive failure within a year (and one month) of purchase. Both of these failures required that the parts be replaced.

I know that stuff happens and things break. I am willing to work with HP to get the issues resolved in a timely manner and do whatever diagnostics they might require (to a point that I will get into later). In the first instance, the computer began to freeze up intermittently. The problem got progressively worse. After spending over two hours on the phone with ** at customer service, he was not able to identify the problem which eventually got so bad that the computer would not start up at all.

A second call was made about a week later and I had to give the same information and run through the same diagnosis twice with two different reps. It was eventually determined that the hard drive had failed. I was told that a tech would come to my house on a certain date to replace the hard drive. I double checked the date and time with the representative just to be sure. Well, the part came in the mail that day but no one came to put it in. When I called back to ask why, the representative on the phone became defensive and insisted that I was wrong about the date they had given me.

She insisted that they never would have given me that date as there was no way the part would arrive on time. At this point, all I wanted to know was when we could reschedule to put the drive in but the representative was fixated on defending her position that I was not told that a tech would come on that date. She disconnected me and I had to call again. After several hours on the phone trying simply to get a date, the issue was resolved and the representative came when scheduled. I made the mistake of purchasing an extended warranty at that time.
The second issue with the DVD drive is yet unresolved.

I called on Oct. 9 and spent two hours on the phone with a representative who never asked the most basic question with a DVD drive... "Can you hear the disk spinning?", which it was not. The problem was clearly mechanical and he finally agreed with me that it was (if it was a software issue, than it would not covered under the extended warranty I had purchased). It became clear to me that the reps that you talk to on the phone have no authority to do anything on their own. He kept putting me on hold to have a "conference" with his supervisor.

He then told me that I needed to try a system restore to just to be sure it was not a problem with the drivers which we had just re-installed two or three times. I had just re-installed all of the software and I had already lost a lot of information with the hard drive failure and I was not willing to do it over again when the problem was obviously mechanical. When I told him that I would absolutely not do a system restore, he had another conference with his supervisor. He then told me that I would receive a call back within a half an hour and gave me a telephone number to call if I didn't. After 45 minutes, I called back and made quite a lot of noise to **.

** had the gall to tell me that the first representative I spoke with should not have told me to expect a call back within a half an hour because their window for call backs is an hour. It should be noted that I asked to speak with a supervisor several times and was not put in contact with them. ** at least pretended to be sympathetic and finally told me that a tech would come to my house to replace the drive on October 15 between 1 and 5 P.M. He initially gave me a date of October 13 for the tech to come. After my previous experience with the hard drive, I made him recheck the information he had to be sure that was the correct date.

I explained to him what had happened with the hard drive. He rechecked the information and confirmed that the correct date was the 15th and assured me that a tech would come on that date between 1 and 5. Well, nobody came and nobody called on the 15th. When I called HP customer no-service and asked why, I was told that the part was unavailable and that was the reason the tech did not come to put it in. They could not tell me when it would be available or when they could fix it. When I asked them why, they did not notify me that no one would be coming, again, the supervisor became defensive and had no answer.

He told me that they would call or Email me when the part is ready to ship. They offered me nothing else to fix this problem and I have not heard from any one at HP since I called. I will never in my life buy another HP product again. THIS CUSTOMER NO SERVICE EXPERIENCE IS INCOMPETENT TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT IT HAS TO BE BY DESIGN. DON'T BUY HP BECAUSE THEY DON'T STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS AND WON'T FIX ANY REAL PROBLEMS.

HP Nightmare - It has happened to us TWICE
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HOUSTON, TEXAS -- We are now trying to reach resolution for the 2nd defective computer received from HP after our first one was sent in for repair twice without being fixed. Now, the refurbished replacement computer's motherboard is bad, and HP Customer Care is stating that since the warranty period began in February 2008 (9 months before we received it), the computer is now out of warranty and they won't repair it for free. Even though the company's website states that the computer's warranty will be extended for 24 months after the original warranty began, which in our case, apparently happened BEFORE we even received it.

My husband is in the military and has deployed twice while all of this is going on, which has complicated the situation further. I JUST WANT A RESOLUTION AND A COMPUTER THAT WORKS. Here is a list of events during the entire process:

  1. Purchased first HP computer in 2005; 2. First 2 years of ownership-Defective HP Computer: Sent the computer in 2 times for repairs, never fixed properly- they would not agree to replace the computer, simply kept insisting we send it in again; 3. Sept-Oct 10, 2007: Defective HP Computer falls out of warranty. We are finally connected to a Case Manager, who made a decision based on the history that HP would finally send us a replacement;

  2. October 31, 2007: HP Replacement Computer still has not arrived. Case Manager cannot give me a tracking number, and never returns phone calls. As far we we know, my husband is scheduled to leave AT ANY MOMENT. He decides to purchase a new computer because he needs to have one while he is deployed; 5. November 3, 2007: I speak with Case Manager, who assures me the HP Replacement Computer will arrive soon. I talk my husband into returning Best Buy Computer # 1. We incur a 15% Restocking Fee of $90.00;

  3. November 16, 2007: No update from Case Manager. My husband has not yet left, but he still does not have a working computer. I write an email to the EVP of HP's Personal Systems Group, and speak with his assistant. She assures me someone will contact me regarding the situation; 7. November 21, 2007. Still, no update from Case Manager. My husband receives word that he will leave within 3 days. He decides to purchase ANOTHER computer, because at this point we don't think Case Manager will follow through on his promises.

  4. November 23, 3007: My husband ships the defective HP Computer to me before he leaves the states. Cost: $20.25; 9. November 27, 2007: Case Manager calls and is very polite and responsive all of the sudden. He informs me that the HP replacement Computer is on its way. At this point, my husband has already left. I will have to ship the HP replacement Computer to him overseas, and he will have to ship the new computer to me so I may return it and incur another restocking fee;

  5. November 29, 2007: A man from HP's Customer Advocate Dept. calls me. He has received the email I sent to EVP of Personal System's Group, and offers to compensate us for the restocking fees we have incurred, along with the postage to send the HP Replacement Computer to my husband; 11. November 30, 2007: The HP Replacement Computer arrives; I send the computer to my husband;

  6. August 2008: The replacement computer has started malfunctioning; the wireless internet and the DVD player have stopped working. According to HP's website, the model has a defective motherboard and is eligible for a 24 month extended warranty and free repair; 13. January 2009: My husband deploys again. We decide to send the computer in once he returns.

  7. September 2009: We send the computer in for repair and are informed that the extended warranty has expired because it is only good from the beginning of the warranty period on HP's system, which is February 2007. We did not even receive the computer until November 2007, and were told we had a 90 day warranty good until February 2008. Which should have given us until November 2009 to be able to send the computer back.

How can they say our computer is out of warranty when we didn't even OWN IT during 9 months of the supposed warranty period? How can they get away with this? Now we are faced with the situation of either paying HP $281 for a motherboard replacement or just selling the computer for parts and buying another one.

Resolution Update 09/10/2009:

Resolved-I finally had a phone conversation with the gentleman from HP's Customer Advocate center; he is handling the problem for me and our computer will be fixed. If you can get in touch with these people, it is the ONLY way your problem will be resolved. I am still very disappointed with the way we were treated by several customer service rep's in the service department, who were like robots and would not deviate from script to help us. If you have a serious problem that can't be resolved, I suggest you try calling the EVP of HP's Personal System's Group (you can find him on the corporate website); if you can get through to his secretary, she is the one who forwarded my email and information to the HP Customer Advocate who helped me. GOOD LUCK.

Beware of Spanfish
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PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA -- Almost 4 years ago I purchased the HP printer scanner 1610v All-in-one. I had expected to be able to enjoy printing & scanning as I had been able to do with my previous units. Never, ever did I expect that my scans would be hijacked & held for ransom by Snapfish, a subsidiary of HP. [this according to the e-mail received from Snapfish]. The recipients of my e-mail received, instead of my scans, an e-mail from Spanfish [spf] saying that they had to register with spf before seeing my scans. They were then told that they could see my scans a specified # of times after which they would be charged for them. If they cared to, they could purchase copies.

I wrote to HP, furious. I received calls from 2 execs, each hedging on the connection between the 2 companies saying that they could get me to techs [from India, naturally, which I hate because I have difficulty in understanding their lilting English] but they couldn't guarantee that the techs could do any good. Well, after speaking to techs & supervisors I was finally able to have the connection to my computer system disconnected from spf. I received a message from Snapfish that it was taken care of. After more than 3 years of peace spf invaded again.

In March my granddaughter e-mailed me from Israel that she could not see my scan because she needed a registered name to give to spf. I told her I do not have one, either. I have never registered with spf. I have never agreed to have them poke their noses into my scanner, I have never given them permission to steal my scans. HP had never warned me, as customer, that Snapfish would be invasive when I sent a scan. Once again I went through more than a day of calls to HP who gave me more Indian techs who gave me more supervisors, all denying anything could be done to get spf out of my system.

Finally 1 supervisor admitted there was a phone # for them & gave it to me. I called and got threats that if I disconnected from spf, I would not be able to send scans. I raged! Finally there was a supervisor who agreed to disconnect me without disconnecting my scanning ability. Mission accomplished! Until a couple of days ago. When I got an e-mail from spf asking for my registration to see my own scan, I blew!

There was no longer an e-mail address for HP execs that I could find, no e-mail at all. I went to Google to get an e-mail address for spf. [I had been unable to find the phone # I had received last March.] Lo and behold, there was an option to click into for a phone # to call spf. I went to it. The entire site is that there is no phone # to call! What a sense of humor!!

I cleared all the paper from my desk & found the # I had been given in March. I called, after 2 techs, I was told they could not make the disconnect, I had to call HP. They gave me a #. I called. The tech denied that he knew anything about spf, that I had to call India. He transferred me. I was told that there is no spf, that Snapfish is a virus. They bounced me back & forth from the U.S. to India. Finally, someone told me that since I had no warranty or guarantee [I haven't since the 1st year expired] they could not help me. Suddenly, they know how to get rid of Snapfish but since I have no warranty or guarantee, it will cost me.

I screamed that since spf came into my computer without a w. or g., they can go out the same way. I finally hung up on somebody and still have spf in my computer. I have complained to the FTC. They took the complaint but will not act on only 1 claim. I cannot believe that there have been no other complaints on this piracy. Have people fallen prey to HP and accepted this theft of one's own property without a fight? I will try to pursue other avenues. I do not want them to get away with this garbage! Any ideas, anybody? Has anyone else had this problem? Can anyone help me?

Hp Slimline Hard Drive Crash And Cd Rom Problems
By -

On March 5, 2009 I ordered my HP Pavilion Slimline s3750t PC, monitor and wireless printer along with a two year extended onsite support warranty. The machine was delivered later in March and has been working fine until this past Sunday, May17, 2009. I had the following message on my monitor: Samsung HD642JJ Hard disc failure is imminent please back up and have the hard drive replaced.

I called HP immediately and spoke with ** - in India. After doing a few tests as he instructed he agreed that there was a serious problem and my hard drive needed to be replaced on my two month old HP PC. He asked if I had the system recovery discs and did not, so he would also send that out to me with the hard drive. He transferred me to another department and they were to set up the delivery etc. It was at that time I was told that I would have to remove the old hard drive and install the new one.

No matter what I said, the technician (who was very difficult to understand) kept arguing with me that it was my responsibility to install the new hard drive and even when I said I had the in-home warranty and that it was only two months old; it would not change that I had to install the hard drive.

When I said I wanted to speak to a supervisor or his manager, it took about five minutes for him to come to the phone. He was very rude also. When I said it was unacceptable to have to do all this for a two month old pc and that I wanted a new tower shipped out to me, he told me that would take at least 48 for me to hear back from the case manager and they usually do not ship out a new tower when something like this happens. I am so disappointed in every aspect of HP. Never once was I even told that HP is sorry and they stand behind their product. I was instead belittled and bullied for an hour and a half because their product crashed after two months.

So an hour and a half later I am off the phone, I was told the hard drive would be shipped by Fed Ex and the technician would come on Thur. between 8 and 12. On Monday night, the in home technician called me and gave me his cell number to call when the hard drive was delivered.

The technician came this morning, installed the new hard drive and he was unable to load anything on my machine because now the cd rom reader is not working! He just left and said he would call HP and let them know. They will order the new piece and he will come back after it is shipped. He was very apologetic for the situation, but really was nothing he could do. This has been such a disappointment and totally unacceptable. Would never recommend HP to anyone!

HP Charges for things that are not broken
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COLUMBIA, MISSOURI -- I bought a Compaq/HP laptop back in April 2007 from Staples. Since I bought it, the battery quit in less than 6 months, the motherboard went down and had to be repaired in 5 months after getting it, there was a recall on this same motherboard and it had to be fixed free last year. Now, there is another motherboard recall that I did not know about until I called to report the same issues I had going on the last time they recalled the thing (wireless stops working, computer shuts down on its own, video does not work right, and more). I was told I qualified for the recall and they sent me a box to ship it back free of charge on March 23.

My order online stated it was under recall and no charge would be made. Now I look online and see that they are not sending back my laptop and want proof I purchased it and to pay $320.50! I called and demanded my laptop be returned NOW! I told them I was not paying for anything as I was told it was being recalled. They said they could not do anything about it until tomorrow because their systems were upgrading! I asked why I could view my own info online if everything was upgrading!

I told them I was not paying for anything and that I better get my laptop back or I am calling the Missouri Attorney General and then calling whomever they tell me to call to get my laptop back. At this point I am treating this as stealing! I was told to call back Sunday to fix the issue. I am sooooo pissed off! I am a student and need my laptop that I PAID for! I should not have to use my kids computer when I bought my own.

Part 2: Called HP back today as told to do. The man looked up my info and saw that I was covered under the warranty program (recalled motherboard). The recall extended the warranty 24 months from the first day of the start of my original warranty. So, April 2007-March 2009 is 23 months. The agent said I was not passed the 24 months and it would be free to fix the recalled motherboard. Side note: aren't recalls a free fix anyway??? This must be why they worded it "extended service warranty" HA.

Anyway, the agent said the repair center is supposed to call before they charge anything. I told them I never got a call or email either way. He made sure they had my phone number entered correct; they did. I was then given the number to the repair center and was told they were open today. I called and they are only open Mon-Friday... lets see what this place says tomorrow. HP said it was free. I either want my laptop back in the condition it came in or fixed for free as promised! EERRR

Part 3: I called Hp repair department today and was told that they were fixing the motherboard for free and that the charge was got the power cord and optical drive. They claim that the repair guys could not get one of their disks to read. I told them that my power cord is brand new and that I was playing movies and cds on that drive no problem before they got their hands on it. I told them that they are only authorized to fix my motherboard as told to in the first place from the recall of it.

They agreed and said there was not charge and they would send it back when fixed in 7 days. I then called the Computer Center I got my power cord from. They told me that they have this issue from HP a lot and hear horror stories from HP customers on the V6000 series all the time. Right now, HP is losing so much money that they are trying to charge peope for things that are not wrong with the laptops in that series and a few others he named off from them.

But, ** from Computer Center said to bring my cord back in and they will test it in front of me and, if needed, give me another one. I asked ** what brand laptop to get that was reliable. HE said no laptop these days are 100% reliable, but HP was the worst of them. He told me the Toshiba I found at Bestbuy was probably one of the better ones and to go with that.

I will give this one to my oldest until I can afford to get her a more reliable one. It will at least work for her until I get my next refund from school loans to get her one like my new one. Again, HP laptops suck... maybe their desktops are better. I heard their servers are great! Their repair center and customer service in India is VERY bad. The repair center talks to you like crap. Wow, if you want me to spend money... why not treat me like a customer? Let's see if they give it back or now in the 7 days promised.

Throw-Away Peripherals

My wife pestered me for an inexpensive scanner/printer so she could archive old pictures and print out copies for family members. In the 80's, my old HP PC was virtually indestructible and I have six HP 1200 B&W printers (about $290 each) that have shown great reliability even with heavy office use.

In early August 2008, I bought her an HP 5250 for around $90. Not surprisingly, the ink cartridges were almost as expensive as the printer ($60). But, I knew most manufacturers of low-cost printers sell them a loss leaders and then make up their profits on supplies. Still, the item was for home use and would be, essentially, a throw-away item. I realized, and accepted the negative aspects of the purchase. I did not realize I would be throwing it away so soon.

In mid-September, the photo paper feed began to malfunction. It would no longer autofeed the paper properly. Often, it would attempt to feed two pieces or none at all. She was slightly disappointed, but the printer/scanner still 'worked'. Besides, she printed only a few photos a month and the scanner seemed reliable.

In November and December, we began seeing 'previously owned' HP All-in-One printers stacked at Sam's Club. This was not a good sign. My wife commented that 'I must be lucky' because there was always a supply of these 'used' $50 printers on the 'bargain' 'as-is' table. In late January, the letterhead feed began to make an 'odd noise'. The paper would feed, but it would sounded like a kid's bicycle with a playing card in the spokes. I checked the printer for her. There were no paper jams or slivers of torn paper. Tearing the printer down, only as far as the owner's guide recommended, revealed no obvious broken parts or foreign material.

"It will either live or die", I pronounced. "Keep using it and we'll see what happens." I was planning a trip to Office Depot, so I checked my wife's HP supplies at the house. She had used about 25 sheets of the 4x6 photo paper, and her original ream of letterhead was down about 100 sheets (50 in the printer). I fired up her Mac and checked the ink levels using the HP maintenance utility. They were almost empty.

The printer was plugged into a live outlet at all times, so the ink should not evaporate that quickly. And, the printer had only seen light use. I deferred buying more ink, as she still had the sealed 'starter' cartridges. Given that the printer was acting up, I was not excited to buy more $60 ink. Smart move. Last Thursday, she called me from home and told me 'the scanner died'. When I got home, I looked at it. The internal diagnostics reported 'scanner failure' and the scanner would not journey more than 1/2 way across the platen (glass copy plate). I called HP customer service.

**, the HP CSR, spoke excellent North American English with a trace of South Asian accent. He helpfully told me, "This is a software problem. You will need to shut down your computer, re-boot, and restart the printer." It didn't work. "You need to uninstall the device driver and re-install it, then reboot, and retry." It didn't work either. "You now need to remove the operating system and re-format your hard drive." "That isn't going to happen", I told **. The symptoms were consistent with a mechanical failure. "How do I return the device for warranty service."

"You must ship it to (gave address) prepaid (both ways) and insure the item. If the device is not covered by warranty, you may be charged for labor, parts, and diagnosis. If the problem is not with the printer, you may be charged a diagnostic fee (varies). And, you must ship it in the original box (I still had it.). I boxed the item up and took it to the post office. Postage and insurance would be $22 each way. So, it would cost $44 and 'maybe' a diagnostic charge, and 'maybe' a repair charge... and CERTAINLY new ink cartridges for $60. Potentially, well over the cost of a new printer/scanner.

I took the HP5250 home. I took it out of the box. I opened the sliding door onto the small balcony outside my study. I heaved the printer onto the concrete patio below. It made a delightful crunch and exploded into 5,000,001 pieces. The HP5250 is truly a 'throw-away' peripheral device. I never had so much fun throwing an item away. I highly recommend my method of disposal (always check the target area first).

But, I do not recommend the HP5250 unless the buyer realizes the device is truly a throw-away. It would be a shame for a kid to save up his/her money, for 'grandma' to buy one, or for a minimum-wage worker to spend $150 (a little over two days of work) to buy one of these devices; and then have it fail within a few months.

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