White Coat Underground

Computer woes

So I’ve been dealing with a sick computer for a while now. It died ungracefully during ScienceOnline09, first giving me the dread blue screen of death, then giving me a black startup screen that said the pc equivalent of “piss off”.

My other computer is a mac, but the hospital’s system isn’t mac-compatible, and my wife needs it, so I’m in a bit of trouble. As far as I know, I don’t keep a lot of irreplaceable data on it, so I’m not too worried about that, but I really, really want my computer back.

It’s a lovely little hp tc4400 tablet pc. I don’t use it in “tablet mode” very often, but the touch screen is very handy at the office. Hp’s service is somewhat amusing. When I email them, they respond promptly, but when I try to respond back, I always receive an email that the case cannot be found or is closed. Phoning requires at least 10 minutes of being shifted from person to person (and likely from continent to continent).

Still, they promised to do warranty work on it quickly and efficiently.

Thank you for contacting HP eServices.

As per the information received I see that the LCD latch does not function, the Hinges are loose and also the unit boots up with an error message.

In order to provide you the complete resolution, I will be shipping you the drop box for you to have the notebook serviced in our repair center. A shipping box will be sent to the address provided under this case within the next two business days.

Please ensure that you back up your data prior to shipping the unit in, as our repair facilities may have to image the hard drive as part of the repair service. All passwords should also be removed, including the BIOS and Windows passwords.

Please send the AC Adapter as well as the Battery along with the unit as it needs to be tested in the repair facility.

We request you to read the ‘HP Mail-In Repair- Packing and Shipping Procedures or instruction’ sheet sent along with the drop box prior to ship the notebook. If you need to schedule a pick up then please call the number included in the Packing sheet. We also request you to ship the notebook within five business days from the box arrival day.

Note: If there is damage that is not covered by the product warranty, there will be an evaluation fee charged if the resulting billable repair is declined. The evaluation fee is $89 and covers the cost of shipping and diagnosis of your HP product.

**Note**
Please do not update this case 3604782943 through Support Case Manager. To check status on the mail-in or for any other assistance in regards to this case, please call HP Support at 1-800-HP-INVENT (1-800-474-6836).

You may shortly receive a survey regarding your experience with us. Kindly provide us with your valuable feedback.

Regards,

Some dude

After sending it back, I heard nothing. I called them several times, and each time, after several transfers I found that they had an incorrect email address listed. Each time they corrected it—and somehow it kept reverting back. Finally, I received some communication:

Hello

We have received an update from our repair facility. The part needed in order to repair you unit is currently on back order , the ETA on this part is 02/20/09 once we have an update we will contact you. Please allow 3 to 5 days for repair and delivery after part/s have arrived

Thank you
(unsigned)

Then:

Hello

We have received an update from our repair facility. The part needed in order to repair you unit is currently on back order , the ETA on this part is 03/02/09 once we have an update we will contact you. Please allow 3 to 5 days for repair and delivery after part/s have arrived

Thank you

I whined, and received the following:

Hello

I apologize about the delay. Your case has been escalated to our Customer Relations team, a case manager will contact you via phone within the next 24 to 48 hours to help you resolve this matter.

Thank you

We shall see.

Comments

  1. #1 THAT guy
    February 23, 2009

    What we need is disposable notebooks…16GB HDD’s so’s everything can be backed up onto a USB memory thingie when you buy and set up your new disposable notebook.
    NO CUSTOMER SERVICE except a discount for the next one.
    It’d save all sorts of wear and tear…the phone companies would be the only ones agin it since they rake it in on charges while you languish on hold.

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    February 23, 2009

    So, we need to start telling HP they’re responsible if we don’t get a new PalCast soon? I can do that.

  3. #3 D. C. Sessions
    February 23, 2009

    Sorry to hear that.

    FWIW, #1 Son is getting along very well with his $300 Acer Aspire One Linux netbook. Just works, if a bit smallish.

    However, no moving parts and I seem to recall you have someone in the household who might not mind small keys.

  4. #4 Tony P
    February 23, 2009

    A BSD tends to indicate a hardware failure. Probably a CPU fan. Good luck with HP service though, they are a pain.

  5. #5 Donna B.
    February 23, 2009

    When you talk to the Customer Relations team, ask them for a refurbished replacement, and for your old harddrive to be installed in it, if they’ve determined the problem was not with the drive.

    And how did they expect you to back up your data and remove all passwords and such if the computer won’t boot? That’s silly, unless you’ve got the ability to hook that drive to another computer. Most people don’t, especially laptop drives.

    Good luck!

  6. #6 Orac
    February 23, 2009

    If you can afford it, just buy a new laptop. Now might be the time to go Mac, my friend. Just install Parallels and Windows, and you should be able to access your hospital’s system running Windows through Parallels.

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    February 24, 2009

    As the Dell was dying its slow death, I got an hp,thinking that it *had* to be an improvement.Silly me.

  8. #8 perceval
    February 24, 2009

    The German computer magazine c’t regularly surveys laptop makers’ customer service. Dell regularly comes out top, Acer and HP – not so good. Don’t know whether that’s the case in the US as well. I have a Dell through work, and when my daughter spilled milk all over it, I had it back within 10 days – almost all new and shiny. VERY happy with the service.

    (And Macs are 10-15% cheaper if you buy from an outlet store.)

  9. #9 Tom Jones
    March 2, 2009

    Never EVER buy HP. In 2 to 3 years when your hard drive fails and you need to reinstall your windows operating system, you’ll call them and politely ask to send a CD – you didn’t get one when you bought it. Once they see it’s out of warranty, they’ll say “buy a new computer.” I’m an IT consultant & have seen this MANY times from HP.

    Also, if your computer is under warranty, don’t assume it won’t cost anything to have it sent in to look at. IT WILL! It’s completely their discresion not to replace anything, and when they tell you how many hundreds it will cost to service and you decide it isn’t worth it, they’ll bill you $89. Even though the support tech told you it’s under warranty and didn’t disclose the fee. They still charge you to look at it!

    Boycott HP!!!!

  10. #10 PalMD
    March 2, 2009

    I’d love to boycott them and get a mac, but they just sent me a newly refurbished tablet.

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