The hard-drive in my 2 yr old Pavilion went out unexpectable. I paid 50 dollars for the HP technician to help me diagnosis the problem over the phone. Seemed like a great fellow, his name was Mayank, he was from India. I purchased a new hard-drive through him for 100 dollars. He said it would come with recovery discs. So far so good, or so I thought.
Hard-drive came the next day, but no discs. Even though I didn't know I couldn't do anything without the discs, I called back to have tech support help me install the hard-drive. I talked to this guy named Gus, who told me it would cost another 50 dollars to get tech help. "Huh?" I protested. "That isn't what Mayank said. He said it would all be covered under my initial service charge". I ask for his supervisor, and Gus puts me on hold for 10 minutes. I eventually realize Gus was never coming back on the telephone. "What a jerk!" I think to myself.
I call back and talk a wonderful woman from Canada named Donna. She says, "Whoops!!! The recovery discs Mayank said would come with the hard-drive required a separate purchase..." I say good-bye to another 30 dollars since there wasn't anything else I could do. From her tone and the ensuing discussion, I surmised she was familiar with disgruntled and confused customers. I still thought that nice guy named Mayank was simply mistaken when he said "The discs come with the hard drive".
At this point I was still thinking things were on the up-and-up at HP. Mind you, Donna had told me that her supervisor confirmed HP would offer tech support for the hard-drive installation because we were still resolving the problems addressed in my initial service request. Donna also told me she documented this fact in the work- order notes. I sure wish the whole company only hired people like Donna.
Okay... the discs show up. I call tech support back up. Here is where HP convinced me to never do business with them again. I proceed through a series of phone calls, with each person answering the phone insisting I pay another 50 dollars. Anyway, one of these people from India (named Sam) tells me over and over that the company had issued a refund, and I would have to pay another 50 dollars to get any more help. What? Who authorized the refund? When was it given? What time was this done? No answers...Only "I don't have that information here" Well, luckily I acted stupid and naive enough to keep Sam thinking I was going to shell out another 50 dollars, and he is putting me on hold, checking this-and-that. Eventually Sam gets bored and puts me on hold for good.
It was about here I realize HP was being blatantly dishonest, manipulative, and unethical. So I call up again, and get a fellow named Myrad. Very nice man. Told me my order had been closed by Sam. Huh? I explained my dilemma in detail, and this gentleman guided me through the rest of the installation. So far everything has been working fine.
Thank God for the few people who were sympathetic to my needs. I will never do business with HP like this again. I will investigate all other options before having to buy an HP product. The worse thing is the sense of powerlessness I experienced in my communication with the service techs. When people were blatantly lying to me, I didn't know it. When people were "checking on something" putting me on hold, I took them at their word. I imagine now they were probably taking me for a fool, and having a good laugh about it on the other end of the phone. There was not a damn thing I could do to help myself, I was totally at their mercy. In the middle of my dilemma, there was no recourse available whatsoever, and the people supposedly helping me knew it. They have total control over the situation, and they exploit it stupidly for their own advantage. In my case, trying to get another 50 dollars cost them a customer.
My good fortune is that my experience had a favorable outcome. I can't imagine ever putting myself in that situation again. Good luck to all of you who have to still awaiting answers. I don't know if there is anyway to protect ourselves from their willful malicious misconduct; from their heartless disregard of integrity. I don't think they have it in them to recognize my customer experience with them was insulting and disgusting. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.