Hewlett-Packard Company Informative - Getting through HP support
After reading so many complaints over issues with HP service, I wanted to add some information that people may find helpful when calling HP support.
1. First and foremost. HP's US support is outsourced to India. If you call support, you will get someone who likely doesn't speak English. Or at least, not very well. This is the primary cause of frustration - trying to get a message across to someone who doesn't speak the same language.
Canada's support, on the other hand, is in CANADA. Canadians speak English every bit as well as you do. And they have those cute accents as well! When you call through for support, keep saying "agent" to the automated system, then ask to be transferred to Canadian support. Be patient. It may take 4 or 5 transfers. Keep asking for Canadian support. Once you get to Canada, they can assist you in troubleshooting, and can set up many types of repair or parts dispatch. The systems are different, so they can't do everything the US team can, but at least they can explain it in a way that makes sense to both of you.
Keep in mind, though, you should use this as a last resort. If everyone who calls demands someone in Canada, HP will change the system so that it's no longer possible to get there. Don't call and demand Canada to order a set of recovery disks - the people in India can handle that just fine. But if it's complicated troubleshooting you need, it might be worthwhile to try it.
Before you ask, NO, there is no direct number to Canada. You have to call the US line and ask for Canada. No other way around it... unless you can call from a Canadian-registered phone, with a Canadian area code (skype?).
2. If you don't like that support is in India, as 99.9% of us don't, don't take it out on your tech. Those in India will get very defensive, and those in Canada or the US (I don't think there actually are any in the US, though) are just plain sick of hearing it.
They have no control over it. If you want to fight for change, the tech is the wrong person to voice your opinion to.
Go to this website:
and send a message to the corporate team. They have the power to make the changes. If you tell them you refuse to buy an HP product until they provide support in the US (or Canada, or another English-first-language country), eventually, they'll have to start listening. One or two won't make a difference. Thousands will. It's all about the bottom line. Right now they save immense amounts of money by having support in India. If they start to lose an equal amount of money in lost customers, they'll be forced to reconsider that business decision.
3. Whatever you do, don't threaten to go buy a Dell because you are fed up with support in India. That is where their support is as well, and your threat will not be taken seriously. If you want to threaten to buy from another company, do some research and find out what company provides support from the US.
Dell and HP are about tied in market share (HP just recently pulled ahead of Dell). Dell has 58% of overall consumer complains against them; HP has 5%. So threatening to buy a Dell because you are unsatisfied with HP's support is really just a joke. Read more about that here:
Telling the agent what kind of support you would get if you called another company also won't help. First, the information you are providing is probably untrue. No one is going to come to your house and do onsite repair for a $50 printer, I don't care who you bought it from. Second, HP doesn't base their support on what others provide. Their support is based on what is economically feasable to provide for the cost of the product that you own.
4. Another good tip for navigating the tech support hurdle (not just HP, any support), is don't call when you're mad.
I know what you're thinking. You weren't mad until you called.
I agree, it's frustrating. Keep in mind, though, these techs have heard it all. Legal threats, death threats, threats on their job etc. They have built up a wall against anger, and when you call and take out your frustration on them, they close up. They'll get defensive. Yelling at the tech, no matter how much better it makes you feel, will NOT get your issue resolved! Yes, the tech may be stupid and incompetant. But telling them that will not make them want to help you! Save the frustration for when you get off the phone.
All big companies have a lot of red tape. There are always stupid, pointless hoops to jump through. The techs are there to help you through them.
No one said the system was great.
But if you are aggressive and angry with the techs, they'll be less likely to give you the information you need. They won't feel like helping you, and you'll get even worse support. This goes for Case Managers as well - maybe even more so!
So the big question here is... what DOES work?
When you call, be as genuinely nice as you possibly can.
A customer once called HP support. When asked "How can I help you?" He said "I'd like to speak to a representative from HP's award winning 24/7 technical support, please!" and he said it with a smile in his voice.
His issue was minor. It was out of scope. He was out of warranty. He wasn't covered.
He got free help anyway.
It won't always work, but it's a lot more likely to get you some decent assistance than "Get me a d*mn supervisor!"
5. READ YOUR WARRANTY. Most of the complaints posted are genuine, but there are many more "unhappy customers" that are simply trying to get more than they are entitled to.
HP phone support helps with *problems* with the computer. They are not a basics computer class. Don't call them to ask them how to burn a DVD, they don't help with that. Take a beginner computer class or ask a friend for help, if you don't know what you are doing. When you buy a car, it's expected that you already know how to drive, or will go learn. The car manufacturer won't provide lessons on that - and neither do computer manufacturers.
Don't call with a heightened sense of entitlement. You think you should get a replacement. The warranty says otherwise. In this battle, the warranty wins. If it's a repair warranty, you are going to get a repair.
Read it and find out what you are entitled to, and what you are not. That way, you know what to expect, and you know if you are not getting what you are entitled to. If your warranty says one thing and the tech won't provide it, by all means, ask for a supervisor. But HP didn't become #1 in the industry by handing out new computers like candy.
6. If your computer fails in the first few weeks.... take it back to the STORE! That is what return policies are for! Be proactive - buy from a store with a good return policy. 7 day exchange only, or final sale, can really come back to bite you.
At Costco, for example, you can take back your computer for a full refund, no questions asked, for a full 6 MONTHS after the purchase date. Imagine all the hassle that could be avoided by shopping there. No repairs, no shipping, no lengthy waits on hold. Just a full refund or a brand new (usually better) computer.
On the "being proactive" topic - don't buy your system at Wal-Mart! Here's the inside scoop:
Walmart dictates the price of the PC to the manufacturer. They are the ONLY retailer with the power to do this. Their price is significantly less than what other companies (Future Shop, Staples, RadioShack etc) pay. The manufacturers (HP and Compaq included) build PC's just for Walmart. Those computer have similar model numbers to other retail PCs. But don't be fooled - they are not the same. WalMart PC's are built with low quality, budget parts. The parts are often refurbished. They are not the high quality PCs you would expect from HP... they might as well be Acers. You get what you pay for.
That's my 3 cents. Sorry if some of it came across with some animosity, it was not meant that way. These are real suggestions that in my experience, actually work.
If someone out there can get better support with any of these suggestions, or avoid getting really BAD support, it was well worth it.