Hewlett-Packard Company Complaint - Don't bother with HP "Tech Support" if you are past the warranty
I received a HP Photosmart 8150 printer as a gift some time ago. During a move, I lost the box & all of its contents, but I kept the printer, as I had taken it out of the packaging & set it aside. I simply had never gotten around to setting it up.
So, of course, unable to find the remaining cables with which to connect the printer, I viewed HP's website, found their toll-free sales phone number, and called in to talk to someone. I was bounced around 4 times, from sales agents to parts store agents, but I had no problem with this. The 2 different departments each had access to information on 2 different cables that I needed. So far, so good.
I found the parts numbers for everything I needed, but I had one more technical question: Would I BE ABLE TO USE a 3rd cable to enable the USB port on the front of of the printer as a datalink to the computer, or is data transfer ONLY possible with the Mini USB port on the rear of the printer?
As sales & parts departments weren't "qualified" to answer this question, I was forwarded TO THEIR "TECHNICAL SUPPORT" staff IN INDIA. Once connected with a man identifying himself as "RAUL"/"RAOUL", I repeatedly tried to ask this very simple question, but was interrupted repeatedly: Name, email address, mailing address, daytime & nighttime phone numbers. Fine. That all took WAY TOO LONG FOR THE OBVIOUSLY SCRIPT-PROMPTED READER to ask.
FINALLY, HE GOT TO THE ONLY QUESTION THAT MATTERS FOR THEIR "TECH SUPPORT" DEPARTMENT: WHAT IS THE SERIAL NUMBER OF THE PRINTER? HE ASKED THIS TO DETERMINE IF THE PRINTER WAS STILL UNDER THE 1 YEAR WARRANTY. WHEN HE FOUND OUT THAT IT WAS OVER 1 YEAR OLD, HE PROMPTLY ENDED THE CONVERSATION, SAYING THAT HE COULD NOT HELP ME, BUT THAT I WOULD "HAVE TO" CONTACT THE ONLINE TECH SUPPORT VIA CHAT INTERFACE. Hello?! I GOT THE TOLL FREE NUMBER THAT CONNECTED ME TO HIM FROM THEIR WEBSITE. NOWHERE DID I SEE A DISCLAIMER STATING THAT TELEPHONE TECH SUPPORT IS STRICTLY FOR CUSTOMERS CURRENTLY UNDER WARRANTY. He wasted 10 minutes of my life following moronic prompts, only to refuse EVEN CONSIDERING MY VERY BASIC QUESTION. I hung up, as "ASSISTANCE" was clearly not forthcoming.
I called again, and was lucky enough to speak with THE ONLY SYMPATHETIC "CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENT" I had reached after dealing with 5 previous agents, who was in their CENTRAL AMERICAN PARTS SHOP DEPARTMENT. This agent did not know the answer to my question of port functionality, but she had me hold FOR 30 SECONDS, asked her supervisor, & GOT THE ANSWER I NEEDED WITH VERY LITTLE FUSS. By this point, I HAD SPENT A TOTAL OF 45 MINUTES ON THE PHONE WILL HP STAFF. I WAS LUCKY IN THAT I WAS HELPED BY THE ONE AGENT WHO ACTUALLY DID HIS/HER JOB, & THIS PERSON DID IT IN 30 DAMN SECONDS.
THAT DEPARTMENT ALSO APOLOGIZED FOR THE LACK OF SYMPATHY, PERTINENCE, & STUPIDITY OF THE INDIAN "TECH SUPPORT" DEPARTMENT, AND HELPED ME FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE TECH SUPPORT SUPERVISOR. According to the parts shop agents, supervisors from different departments have the authority to do so. Who knows if that will lead anywhere?
BUT THE POINT OF MY STORY IS: TECH SUPPORT WILL MAKE YOU JUMP THROUGH HOOPS, WITH THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING IF YOU ARE COVERED UNDER WARRANTY. IF YOU ARE PAST WARRANTY COVERAGE, DO NOT EVEN BOTHER CALLING THOSE USELESS SCRIPT-PROMPTED READERS IN INDIA.
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