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Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Dave!If you want to know why I will never, ever, ever purchase another product from HP, it's explained in an extended entry. Never before have I been treated so badly by so many. It's not very entertaining, but it is critical read if you are ever considering buying something from Hewlett Packard. But don't be too depressed for me... I've kept the call open on their toll-free support line and am running up quite a phone bill for them.

Apparently revenge is a dish best served long distance.

Speaking of idiots though, I finally got to watch my DVD of Idiocracy this morning...

Idiocracy DVD

It's by Mike Judge (who also created the brilliant Office Space) and was never given a theatrical release by 20th Century Fox for some reason. It's a pretty good flick in its own right, but fell way short of my lofty expectations... still, it's better than a lot of the crap in theaters, so I remain vexed by Fox's decision.

Anyway, Luke Wilson gets frozen for 500 years and wakes up in the future where everybody is stupid (the most popular show on television is Ow! My Balls! and fast food corporations rule the earth). Apparently this was because complete morons cluttered up the gene pool and eventually won out. Given today's events with HP, it seems like science-fact rather than science-fiction.

If you keep your expectations in check, don't compare it to Office Space, and want a few laughs, then Idiocracy is worth a rent.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled rant over the dumbasses at HP...

Way back in September, I ordered a Hewlett Packard Photosmart Pro B9180 printer. It's an okay printer... kind of middle-of-the-road for this class... that produces decent archival-quality prints. But my problem is not with the printer, it's with HP's "Home & Home Office" online store.

The day after I received my printer, I went to HP's site to order inks and paper. Sure I could get it cheaper elsewhere, but they boast about their "Total Care Service & Support" so I decide that's good enough for me. The paper their web site sold me is "HP Premium Plus Photo Satin", as shown in this screen cap...


When I received my order, HP had generously included some 4x6 packs of Premium Plus paper from a promotion. Wanting to see what my printer could do, I ran through the 4x6 freebies and got terrible, terrible results. I then contact HP support thinking that there was something wrong with the printer. They instead told me that the "Premium Plus" paper was to be used only for dye-based printers, and wouldn't work on a pigment-based printer like my 9180. Apparently the web site was in error, and shouldn't have sold me the paper.

So I immediately call HP support to arrange for a return of the wrong paper and place a new order for the correct paper. I am told that I will be issued a return label via email within a day. In the meanwhile, I send the above screen-cap to online support to let them know that their site had an error.

Two days go by, and I still don't have the email with the return label. I call again, they apologize for the error, and take all my information. I am told that they will try to set something up by mailing me a label. I note that HP has still not corrected their web site, and fire off yet another email to them.

Now it's November. No email return label. Nothing has arrived in the mail. I call HP for a third time and explain the situation. They apologize profusely and promise to get the situation resolved. I wait and wait. In the meanwhile I am still emailing tech support because they have the wrong information on their site.

December. I am working too much to be bothered with trying to figure out why my return has not been processed. I do note during my frequent ordering that their web site has finally been fixed, however.

And now today. I call AGAIN. They tell me that they cannot accept returns after 21 days. Never-mind that I have been trying to return this paper from day 2.

I ask to get transfered to a supervisor. She steadfastly refuses to accept the return. She also lets me know that the original return label request was found, but was cancelled. Unfortunately, she cannot tell me who cancelled it or why. By now I am starting to get agitated. It's been twenty minutes, and still nothing has been resolved over a situation that is entirely HP's fault. I am put on hold why she speaks to her supervisor. When she comes back, she's still refusing. Furthermore, she refuses to "go back and forth" with her supervisor... and then LAUGHS AT ME when I refuse to accept this ass-hattery.

Now I am totally enraged. I demand to speak with her supervisor. After listening to my story, I am transferred again. This time I get somebody who actually seems to want to help. He politely listens to my story, puts me on hold forever (but tries to check back so I know I haven't been forgotten). Ultimately, he comes back and says that HP simply will not accept the return, no matter who he talks to.

By this time, I am ballistic. I've now been on the phone for an hour to return a $50 package of paper.

Still more being put on hold. Still more being told that they will not refund after 21 days. The best they can do is offer my a coupon for $25. Still another request to speak to a supervisor.

At one hour and 21 minutes, all I hear is static on the line. I figure that I've been blown off, but since the connection is still established, I just put my phone on speaker and let it sit there since it was a toll-free call. Who knows, maybe I will just let it sit off the hook for a few days and run up a few hundred dollars on their phone bill. Oooh look... I'm at an hour and thirty minutes now...


I wonder how long HP's phone system will keep a connection? This could get kind of expensive for them after a few days. Oh well, they told me to hold... I'm just doing what they told me.

I figure I could go through all of this again tomorrow (assuming my phone isn't still holding), but I really don't have the time. I'm pretty sure this is what HP expects to happen... give you the run-around until you give up. So now I am stuck with a $50 box of paper that I can't use.

Oh well.

Between my eternal phone call (that they have to pay for) and warning people not to buy HP products, maybe it's a fair trade? I can't decide. All I can say is that this is the last $50 that HP "Home & Home Office" will ever see from me again. I may be stuck having to buy HP ink for my new printer, but I won't be buying anything else from a company where supervisors of supervisor's supervisors can't even take care of a problem that their own records show was their fault in the first place.

What I REALLY want to do is sue HP in small claims court! HP Corporate is located in Palo Alto, which is kind of cool. After my court appearance I can drive up to San Francisco for fortune cookies! Sweet! I wonder how I would go about doing that? If nothing else, I'd get something new to blog about. HP sucks ass.

Hmmm... since they really DO suck ass, I should let Google searchers know this...

I strongly dislike Hewlett Packard. HP sucks. Hewlett Packard sucks ass. Don't buy HP. Don't buy from the ass-hats at Hewlett Packard. HP can lick my balls. Hewlett Packard has awful customer service. HP blows donkey. I was anally raped by Hewlett Packard (metaphorically speaking). I would prefer to be anally raped by HP than buy one of their products. Hewlett Packard kills puppies (at least I assume so after the way I've been treated). Does HP anally rape puppies? I'm guessing the answer is yes! Buy from Hewlett Packard and get fucked (but not in a good way). What do I love about HP? Nothing! HP fucked me and all I got was a $25 coupon! Hewlett Packard blows. Hey! HP both sucks and blows, which is pretty nifty trick. Eh, I'm bored coming up with crappy things to say about HP...

UPDATE: Still holding at 2 hours and 20 minutes now! I hope HP has a good rate plan with their long distance carrier.

UPDATE: Waaaah! I had to use my phone and had to cut the call just before the 5-hour mark! Bummer.

Categories: DaveLife 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. Jill says:

    I had an HP printer once. I didn’t like it at all – the print quality wasn’t that great, and it was always jamming up on me. I have an Epson now, and will never go to another brand – I absolutely love everything about it.

    What is the phone time now? I’m betting the connection will be cut off at four hours 🙂

  2. Kyra says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that they’re not trying to actually help you. I HATE having to deal with companies now, because they all seem to be like that. 🙁 I’m going to become a hermit that is totally self reliant. The world will pass me by, and I’ll be the only one who survives the processed food poisoning, and then have free run of the earth! Muahaha! er… sorry.

  3. Chase says:

    I buy mostly HP stuff…but mainly because my brother is a big money computer guy for them. But he does stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with customer service, so I feel it’s safe to say that here without you wanting to bomb our house.

  4. Mooselet says:

    I had a similar problem with UPS. They pissed me off so much that when they attempted to patch things up with me with a free overnight label for an envelope, I sent it back to them with a nasty letter telling them I would never subject anyone I know to their poor level of service and to stick their label where the sun didn’t shine. Sure I didn’t make a bit of difference to their bottom line, but it made me feel better.

    Customer service is dead, I fear.

  5. jodypup says:

    Eight years ago I temped for 10 weeks at an HP plant before quitting. I swore I would never buy another HP product, and I havent. The HP employees did some stupid stuff, and were pretty snotty (and overpaid).
    50% of the broken stuff that came in just needed a new spring and a cleaning, but we couldnt just do that, we had to make the customers pay through the nose. The engineers wouldnt let us adjust the magnets either, we had to use a brand new part.
    The product development people did some really stupid things too.

    You have my sympathy

  6. nicole says:

    HP sucks. They allowed some asswipe to order an iPaq with my credit card even though they provided the wrong security code from the back of the card (since they didn’t HAVE the card as I never lost it). So this thief gets free merchandise and HP won’t even tell me where it was shipped. It was MY card! I had to close the account and the saddest part is I still don’t have my new card # memorized 9 months later. Bastards.

    Links to the whole tale in case you’re interested: Here and here.

  7. James says:

    *Glances over at HP printer*

  8. Rob says:

    Wow! Now that is bad CS. For a lousy fifty buck pack of paper they have lost a customer that could have given them praise and won them many new customers. But instead they loose one and many more including me. Although they lost me a long time ago when I discovered the better print quality from my Epson. Now the deal is sealed and I doubt I will ever buy any of their products again.

    BTW. How long did you tie there phone line up?

  9. Jeff says:

    Great rant! You’ve actually made ME hate HP, and I’ve never done business with them!

  10. adena says:

    Hmm….5 hours on hold.

    I think that’s gotta be a record..

    That whole thing is just ree-donkulous.

    You really need a flamethrower.

  11. Avitable says:

    I’ve had mixed experiences with HP. They have the best laser printers out there for high-speed black and white printing like I need for my business, but I always call, get a sales rep, and keep their extension. If I have any problems, I call the sales rep directly, and she’s the one who takes care of the issues for me. It’s amazing, and I love the product.

    When it comes to accessories or support, though, they are the absolute worst. Their site never finds the accessories that actually match my printer, and they’re always overpriced. I order everything I need through local vendors who give me better deals.

    If you decide to get paper and toner, here’s a hint: look on HP’s website for their authorized dealers or repair centers locally. Find a non-franchise and call them. I get my toner, which is usually $180-$210 each, for $120 from them because they’re a dealer and they deliver it by hand to my door for free.

  12. Hil says:

    There are very few times in my life where I have become one of “those people” who actually contacts the Better Business Bureau to make a complaint, and even fewer times when I contact the Bad Business Bureau. This would be one of those times for sure. Amazingly, eDiets finally found my three requests to no longer be subscribed to their service AFTER I contacted those agencies six months later…funny that.

  13. Damn, after 5 large Saki’s (sp), this post about put me under. I can only imagine your frustration. That’s just freakin’ nuts. Can no-one understand that you tried to return it on Day 2?!! This is the kind of stuff that just kills me. Literally. Ok, so HP off the photo printer list. Rambling? Maybe. I’m interested in the outcome though. Good luck!

  14. Karen Rani says:

    Oh Jeebus! I hope every potential HP customer finds this through Google. We ought to all email HP with a link to this entry. 🙂

  15. Take it from a call center girl, Avitable has it right. Always go through the sales department. A salesperson will bend over backwards to help (since there’s no chance of a sale with you they’ll fix the issue just to get you off the phone), and have much more leeway to fix issues than any other department.

  16. Come on Dave, admit that you’ve been seriously tempted to get ISDN or a second phone line or some such thing just to enjoy this a little more 🙂

  17. yellojkt says:

    They don’t return your calls for six weeks and you can’t return it after 21 days. That Catch-22 is some catch.

    Ass-hats. I will never buy paper from HP in solidarity with you.

  18. Kevin says:

    You should’ve used your cellphone for the second call instead of hanging up. That would’ve been far funnier. Call them back!

  19. Wow. That really blows. I am reading the new Carly Fiorina book (the former CEO and Chairman of HP)…If I find anything in there that might help you get your $50 back, I’ll let you know. (Carly not a huge HP fan either, by the way.)

    I think you should sue. Fortune cookies sound good right now.

  20. ms. sizzle says:

    FIVE hours!? I’m flabbergasted. And I don’t use that word very often.

    On a brighter note, you look hot when you flip people off. 😉

  21. karla says:

    I’m certainly never going to use HP again because of their horrible record with puppies….THAT is completley unacceptable….

  22. Laurence says:

    C’est hallucinant ton histoire !!! 5 hours…

    P.S. I love Luke Wilson… Oh, it is a bad thing if this movie is not good..

  23. Miss Britt says:

    At the very least a report to the BBB – or SOMETHING. That sucks ass Dave!

  24. thanks for the movie suggestion! it sounds cool and I’ve never even heard of it!

  25. Eve says:

    FIVE HOURS? No way, no way! Someone would have to die in exchange for keeping me on hold for five hours. I feel sick just thinking about it.

  26. sandra says:

    A tip: email HP’s media relations team (you can find email addresses on their website usually — either that, or search for press releases and email the contact listed on one of their printer releases). Mention some media who’d be interested…think labs guys at InfoWorld or CNET…and see what happens.

  27. Aargh says:

    You were more than likely talking to some outsource call center so all they do is follow process and procedures as dictated by HP. They could care less how you feel about HP as long as they make it through their shift. If you send an email to HP directly you stand a better chance of getting someone who gives a rats ass about your problem. I used to work at a call center that handled HP business and saw this crap everyday.

    Sometimes you luck in and get someone who will actually do what is necessary to help you out when you call. My advice do not call send email and I have found it got me results.

  28. Andy says:

    I’m assuming you paid by credit card so send hp an email, copy to yourself that you are requesting a chargeback for the $50 worth of paper that was sold to you by their mistake as it was incompatible. Then request your credit card to refund you the $50 due to the fact that hp sold you paper that was not compatible, mentioning you have requested a refund and spent 5 hours on hold – you should get your refund from the credit card company and hp will get charged their $50 and a penalty for the chargeback.

  29. delmer says:

    HP used to be the best. About 6 or 7 years ago I was on the phone with their support people and the guy I spoke with went waaaaay beyond what I could have expected. And I’d had good experiences before that.

    Not long after that they started sucking horribly. A couple of years ago I had a notebook in for service that was supposed to be back to me in about 10 days. It was our CEOs’s. At 20 days I called and was told I’d have it tomorrow or the next day. At 21 days I was told the same thing. At 22 days the same thing at which point I just reacted and sort of blew up. When I spoke to a supervisor I was told the notebook hadn’t even made it to the bench yet … “So,” I said, “The likelihood of me having it back ‘tomorrow or the next day’ are pretty slim.”

    I have too many stories like this and I get irritated just typing about them.

    I blame it all on Carly F, but really, everybody’s support seems to be worse than it once was.

  30. Brandon says:

    Long live President Camacho!

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