Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hewlett Packard support fraud?

In my last article, Hewlett Packard HDX18 Woes, I wrote about the numerous problems I've encountered with my HP HDX18 notebook and how Hewelett Packard intentionally makes the support process difficult for the consumer. What I never expected was that they would sink to a new low by claiming out of warranty liquid damage and ignore the fact that I spent an extra $120 on a year of Accidental Damage Protection (ADP). A quick internet search shows that HP is willing to call just about anything liquid damage if it helps them avoid warrantied repair. This post at Ars Technica is just one example where HP's "proof" was laughable.

Here's the photos of my notebook sent by the HP representative.

Notice that there are no pictures of the actual motherboard or other electronic components, only the keyboard tray and DVD ROM case. Could this residue be a result of a spilled liquid? Possibly. Does it indicate that the notebook was damaged by spilled liquid? Not unless that keyboard tray or DVD ROM case is malfunctioning. Their claiming the fan and touch panel needed to be replaced and those are located on the other side of the notebook.

As I said, whether or not there is actually liquid damage is a moot point since I paid for Accidental Damage Protection at the time of purchase (less than a year ago). I was able to locate the original email confirming purchase and registration of my ADP coverage and provide the ADP serial number, however they had already escalated my case to corporate and insisted that I must wait to be contacted. When I asked for the contact information for the department handling my case I was told, "I cannot give you that information until your case has been assigned and you've been contacted."

I don't care how good of a deal it is, I would have never purchased a Hewlett Packard computer if I had known the kind of hassle I'd have to go through to get a working computer. Next step: Better Business Bureau.


  1. UPDATE: I tracked down the number for HP Corporate's support staff (877-917-4380 x93) and my case was assigned to Gerald who was very helpful. He completely disagreed with the assessment of "liquid damage" and submitted an override with an order to expedite the repair. While I'm happy with how Gerald took charge to fix things, the real test will be how long it takes them to get it back and whether it's fixed.

  2. I purchased a best buy ADP and when I sent it in before the warranty expired for the problems it had, they were upset at all the damage, but they did fix it. When it came back they called me and said, "Your operating systems as system errors, and we can fix them for you for x amount." I said, "really? that's interesting. What all did you do to my computer again." he started listing everything they had on the system. Then I asked, and did you reset the bios. Then he paused and replied, "No." I said, "Well can you get my computer, and turn it on." he said "yes." I said "Alright, what do you see." he said "A prompt for a password." and I said, "So how could you know if my computer has system errors." He said "well they run a cd at the service center" and I said, "I don't think they ran the cd without resetting the bios, but if they did I want to know how right now." the manager got on the phone and assured me no one accessed my computer and that it must be a mistake. when I picked it up there was nothing about a system errors on my receipt, or any mention there of. Another example of how the business are preying on the non-tech savy people.