Overall Rating: 2/5.0 store rating
Ease of Ordering: 4/5 stars
Customer Service: 3/5 stars
Selection: 3/5 stars
On-Time Delivery: 4/5 stars

Good customer sales support - Bad technical support

A review by thornhale written on Sep 27, 2010
Full review
My experience with HP needs to be differentiated. There are two parts to HP: The sales team, and the customer support team.

On the sales side, HP is doing a very good job.

I purchased a DM3Z for the Thanksgiving Weekend in 2009. On-line ordering was easy. Pricing was reasonable. HP was very accommodating in applying a credit to make up for the price differential between the time I ordered the laptop and the time of the promotion. Delivery was on-time. The general quality and build was superb.

The other side of the coin is the technical support after purchase. Here the story looks different.

At the end of July 2010, I started having problems with the wireless signal in my laptop.
Update 2010-11-20:

Rather than going into the details of each interaction, I will just lay out my interaction experience. It should be noted that ultimately HP was able to resolve my wireless issue.

Case Opened: July 21, 2010
Case Resolved: November 18, 2010
Time with fully functioning laptop: 7 months
Time during which the laptop could not be used: 4 months
Duration of Case: 4 months
Number of phone calls: 21

During this time HP attempted to perform the following fixes:
- Updating wireless driver -> no success.
- Rolling back wirelss driver -> no success.
- Uninstalling and reinstalling wireless driver -> no success
- Reinstalling Windows 7 -> no success.
- Changing the wireless card, and reinstalling Windows 7 -> no success.
- Sending a second wireless card -> no success
- Changing the wireless card a third time and reinstalling Windows 7 a second time -> no success.
- Changing the motherboard, the wireless card a forth time -> resolved the issue.


After more than 20 calls with the Technical Support line, it can be generally said that it may take a long time to work with technical support at HP. Bureaucracy, inefficiencies, and sloppy errors add to long hold times and unnecessary errors that further delay the case. Technicians are obliged to follow a flow chart to troubleshoot a problem leaving 0 room for independent thinking. And all three case managers I talked to admitted to not having a technical backgrounds but merely being administrators.

In summary, long delays, repetitive solution suggestions, technicians that do not pay attention to written instructions and apply a system restore to manufacturers condition as a standard band-aid to all problems - regardless of whether they are hardware or software related - have lead to a case that lasted for 4 months. In order to get the issue resolved persistence, letters to the executive customer service team, and a change in the case manager was necessary. It should be noted that HP ultimately did come through in fulfilling its warranty obligations. 

Shopping and customer service is very good. Based on my experiences, I have a hard time referring friends to HP for any products that may require technical supports. For low-tech products such as bag-packs etc., the purchase will be simple and pleasant. Should those products fail, one will not need to deal with technical support. For this reason, it is highly recommended to purchase extended warranties with HP laptops. These extended warranties may reduce the inconveniences in case of failure or need for repair.

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