Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bad customer service alert

I can't help but have the song with the lyrics "Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey Goodbye" going through my head right now.  It appears that Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker may soon be ousted.   And may I personally say, in my opinion, good riddance!

Several weeks ago I faxed Leo a one (that's 1) page letter outlining my trouble with three (3) HP laptops, two of which I own and one of which I considered buying but for the fact that HP shipped them without ensuring that the switchable graphics cards (it had 2) actually worked and were switchable.  HP subsequently, after months of complaining, came up with a work-around to be implemented by the consumer - a BIOS update and the installation of a new driver (why HP couldn't do an automatic update is beyond me, but its choice).  So, customers spent $1,000 plus on a laptop and then were turned into unpaid HP techs who had to put that model laptop into workable condition - the condition it should have been in when it was delivered!  I would not buy this third laptop unless and until it was shipped in working condition.

In any case, 4 business days later I get a call from (we'll call her "G") G in the HP "Executive Customer Relations Office".  Apparently, the thought of discussing THREE HP products was beyond her ken.  She clearly hadn't read my letter, she had no understanding of the three products in question, had not reviewed the products prior to G calling me, and complained to me that I wanted to discuss too many products.  Now seriously, how much information could I have put in a business letter of a single page and 12 point font about three products?  

G's main concern was not to understand the problem (I asked Apotheker to explain to me, a long-time HP customer, why I should remain a long-time customer after having 1 HP laptop go through a class action lawsuit due to defects, have a second HP laptop die after 1 year of moderate use, and the third, which I was considering buying, but had not yet purchased, was released without HP ensuring it worked properly), but was to ship me off to a Case Manager about the third laptop (which she mistakenly thought I owned and could not be dissuaded from this mistaken belief) as quickly as possible.

After going through the issues and status of the three computers with G  three times, G still was unable to keep them straight (she was insisting I owned the third which I considered buying and chose not to until the problems were resolved).  I therefore offered to read G the letter directly.  As I was reading her the letter, she was interrupting me with "I am not going to argue with you."  Who knew reading a letter to try to help G keep the three computers straight was arguing?  After making her statement, G hung up on me.  HP has been known for having bad customer service, and this epitomizes it.  Remember, G stated to me that she worked in the HP "Executive Customer Relations Office".  If this is Executive Customer Relations representative and her behavior is this unprofessional, that speaks volumes as to why there is a long, well-documented history of HP's poor customer service all over the Internet.

I drafted another fax to Leo and sent it to him immediately after that phone call 8 days ago.  I informed him that if he wished to keep me as a personal and business customer, I expected a phone call from someone other than G who knew the products and could have a rational discussion.  To date, no response.  I hope the entire executive team, including those who work for the so-called Executive Customer Relations office join Leo on his way out the door.

The only downside to this, is, that if the Board of Directors kick Leo out, he walks with almost 36 million dollars.  

No CEO should be rewarded for failure.  I know how to pay off the federal debt quickly:  tax all so-called golden parachutes at 90% and put that money directly to paying off the national debt.

I can only hope that karma visits G as well in this whole management shake-up.

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