I completely agree with you.
I received an HP Pavillion entertainment/tablet PC in November of 2007. I should have returned it from the outset when I became suspicious about the quality after seeing the poor resolution of the external monitor and the horrible resolution if I connected it to the docking station. A phone call to HP about the above issues just resulted in a lot of transfered phone calls but no solutions. I just gave up on the $50 dock and moved on and accepted that the quality of the tablet really wasn’t very good and did not remotely compare to the quality I had observed on other tablets.
But then, in May, the tablet feature suddenly stopped working. Eight hours of phone time didn’t resolve the issue, and the call backs I was supposed to receive from technicians never arrived. I needed a computer, so I kept using it…
And then in July or August, it started making a high pitched screaming noise if it wasn’t muted or plugged into an external headset, but I didn’t have time to call HP, because I knew it would require losing my laptop for days if not weeks, and who is able to do that?
But in September, when I was finally ready to call HP for repairs, the wireless just stopped working. The drivers would just disapear and not install. Another 8 hours on the phone with technicians from all across the world, and no solution (though each insisted on going through the same routine over and over). I sent it in with the promise it would be back in less than a week…
Nope, it took a month. And when I got it back, how long did it work? Three hours! After three hours the wireless drivers had uninstalled themselves. And then it wouldn’t respond after sleep mode for a day before I called HP. When I did get them on the phone (time 2 1/2 hours), I was told that “HP’s have trouble with sleep mode.” A modern PC that has difficulty with sleep mode? Regardless after 2 1/2 hours on the phone the wireless problem wasn’t resolved, yet I was promised a call back the next day.
After waiting by the phone for 5 1/2 hours I called HP and insisted on a replacement or refund. I was lead to understand that I would receive one. Guess what, when the person contacted me to “arrange” a replacement he was really calling to say that they do not do that. Only if your HP computer has been repaired three times are you elgible for a replacement (do the math: three times at a month each time). Refunds are called “buy backs” and are based on (get this!) “the current value of the PC.” Everyone knows that my PC is currently worth nothing!
My new contact at HP also insisted that they only see major problems such as mine in “about 5″% of their products.” If any of you can do that math, you must realize that 5% of the number of HP products is a huge number. Few businesses are willing to operate on the premise that 5% of their products will have serious defects that may reach the customer, but apparently HP is not one of them.
So what is the point?
1. Do not buy HP products, they are cheap and break often and the company is aware of this but lets you, the user, discover that you have a cheap product that you will spend more hours trying to fix than actually using
2. Do not buy HP products, their customer service is abysmal and they will spend more time transfering your phone call from one agent to the next, or shipping your product from one repair location to the next, or even insulting you, as one technician did after failing to repair my device and stating “IIII am the technician here, and I say that it is fixed.” (If it doesn’t work, it is not fixed).
Do not fall into the trap of HP’s units being affordable given the number of features they offer, there’s a reason they’re so much cheaper than the competitors: they aren’t competing.