22 September 2009

Hewlett Package Tech Support = EPIC FAIL

If you want a great lesson on how to alienate your customers and destroy brand loyalty that has taken years to build up, take a close look here...

Y'know this is really a very sad story. Hewlett Packard makes some really great products--that's not the sad part. What's sad is that if you ever are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a position of having to deal with their tech support, consider just junking the equipment and buying something else.

Unless, of course, you're dealing with re-installing or upgrading your printer drivers.

I don't know what's going on at HP these days but after the last ten or so contacts I've had with their tech support department, I can unfortunately no longer recommend that people purchase their products. And it's a damned shame, too, because they make some of the best printers out there.

Case in point: I own an OfficeJet Pro L7580 and an OfficeJet Pro L7680. When I went to upgrade the printer driver for the OJP7580, it wound up not working. So I was then left with a printer driver that no longer worked. I went from a fully-functional four-in-one printing device to a 50-pound brick sitting on my desk.

After three calls to HP Tech Support, I just gave up. There went over 25 hours of my life that I will never, ever be able to get back. And for naught! The issue remained unresolved. I lent the printer away to a non-profit organization for them to use as a copy machine (sad that a 4-in-1 would be restricted to the sole function of copying documents). I mean, let's get real here. Why do I have to wipe out and re-install my entire OS just to upgrade or reinstall the printer driver? Why does uninstalling their software/printer driver not function correctly and really muck up your system?

So I bought the OfficeJet Pro L7680, and this time I kind of learned my lesson. At first I tried installing the printer driver onto my system, but that totally didn't work as there were remnants of the printer driver for the L7580. I ended up having to get a new hard drive as my original one was starting to fail, so I did a clean install of the OS and this time, I installed the updated printer drivers the first time around.

But then I ran into another issue, and spent a few more phone calls, and another 25 hours on the phone with, HP Tech Support. The last call I placed to them, where I gave them access of my computer for remote troubleshooting, ended up with me having to use Windows Restore to get my computer to a functioning point again. And I really, REALLY hate having to use Windows Restore. Oh, wanna know what the issue was? I can't print freaking envelopes!

The envelopes are loaded into the printer, everything is set correctly in the software and driver side, but the printer continues to say that no envelope is loaded into the device -- even though it's there plain as day! I mean, I totally love love love my OfficeJet Pro 7680. But now, I'm going to have to wipe out my hard drive, reinstall the operating system, and then install the latest drivers in order to get it working again. As it now stands, the tech left me with a printer that can print (after running Windows Restore) but I can't scan or fax from the computer to the device -- just print! :(

Unfortunately, this technical UNsupport isn't limited just to HP's printers. It affects their computers, and other devices, too.

I had to contact HP Tech Support on behalf of a client who owns an HP Notebook computer. Six hours of my life that I'll never get back later, the issue went unresolved. He ended up selling the notebook and buying a Gateway.

My sister has an HP Desktop computer. Something happened and the system just stopped working. Five hours on the phone with HP Tech Support (where I told them what steps I'd taken, and they had me RE-DO them ... even though I'm an IT Consultant and have done help desk before so I know what the hell I'm doing), we end up sending the system back to HP for repair under warranty. The system comes back, with the same exact problem still being there! I ended up getting an Acer desktop for her to replace the HP system. I'll tinker with the HP System and see if I can get it to work w/ a new hard drive running under Linux but I'm not hopeful....

And these are just SOME of the issues I've had to deal with over the past 18 months; there are other stories I could tell but they get even more complicated and sordid than this.

Even tweeting with people high up on the chain of command at HP has been of little to no use.

Therefore, as much as it pains me to do so (because IMHO HP makes the best printers on the market), I am no longer going to be purchasing HP products or recommending them to any of my friends/clients. And that, my friends, is what's so sad.