My HP/Compaq Horror Story

Back in September of 2003, I made the mistake and bought a Compaq Presario 2570CA laptop.

At first, it ran great, with an exception. The speaker cover was busted. Whenever I played a sound, it would rattle and sound horrible. I thought nothing of it, and figured that if it ever had to go in for repair for something else, I’d ask them to look at that. Within a month, Purolator was at my door picking it up for service. At that point, it went in because the fan wouldn’t turn off, and the speaker cover wasn’t attached properly. I got it back in a timely fashion. I turned it on when I got it back, and the fan was great. Then the big test came. I logged on to Windows to hear the login sound with vibrating speakers.

I forgot about it for a month, and then the hard drive and touchpad died. It went in for service once again. This time, they fixed both the hard drive and touchpad, but replaced the entire casing with a used casing that was all scratched. I’m very fussy about my computers. I make people wash their hands before they touch my laptop, so I was very upset to get it back in such a condition.

I decided to call someone higher up at HP. I got a quality control agent on the phone, who was an excellent help. She sent e-mails to several people at the repair depot telling them to fix it properly when it was sent back in. After dealing with her, I had some trust that after this repair, the computer would come back in perfect shape. To my surprise, the computer came back two weeks later, with a new casing, new speakers, and a used, oily keyboard.

I was very angry at this point, and called the Vice President of HP Canada customer service. This person didn’t care less, and told me to send it in again through a normal agent. I got frustrated, and forgot about it. I put it in a box, and left it in my basement for a month, unused, because I didn’t have the patience to deal with it again.

After a month passed, I decided to try again, using a different method. The service center was very close to my house (15 minute drive). I decided to drive it there directly, and get the head technician. He didn’t speak English. I finally got someone who did speak English. The person I got was actually the technician who fixed it. Right after looking at my laptop with me standing right there, he started screaming at me. He told me that it is perfect, and there is nothing wrong with it. I tried to show him that there was food in between the keys from its last user. He told me they never replace with used keyboards, but would replace it again. This time, they did extensive testing on the unit before shipping it back to me. A week and a half later, Purolator came to my house and delivered it. It turns out they replaced the LCD, because apparently it wasn’t up to spec, even though there was nothing visibly wrong with it. It looked fine after they replaced pretty much every part in the whole computer. I turned it on to find a nice bright blue cluster of dead pixels in the center of the screen. I drove right back to the service center. To my satisfaction, they admitted the screen was broken, and replaced it at no cost.

I now have it sitting here, all packed up in a box. While it’s now perfect, with the exception of one small scratch, I feel like it’s cursed and I don’t want it anymore – despite the fact it now runs better than ever. I decided to list it on eBay. Now the only trick is finding what kind of laptop to get next. I’m leaning towards a Toshiba. I have heard some great things about them.

I wanted you all to know about my experience with HP and their customer service. I also have a digital camera from HP – which has been horrible with severe software issues. I should have looked far more than I did before buying both my laptop and digital camera. Many people think that HP is a great company just because they have been around forever. This is definitely not the case. If I would have looked more, and consulted with more people prior to buying the laptop, I wouldn’t have had to go through that horrible experience – as they all say how poor HP’s service is. Don’t get me wrong, though, the laptop was great when it worked.