It's annoying enough when you suffer a high failure rate on the PCs you're getting from a vendor. But, as one reader has recently experienced with HP, what can be vastly more aggravating is when you can't get them to tell you the solution, even though they apparently know it.
"I have some news for you regarding HP that, on one level, really isn't news...but it's still pathetic," the reader wrote. "Ten months ago one of my clients accepted delivery of 24 HP DX2200 desktop systems. We bought extended 3-year next-business-day onsite warranties for each system -- we only buy warranties because we expect a small number of failures. To date I've called in three bad motherboards, with a fourth call about to be placed later this week; plus two dead hard drives; and today, I found one hard drive on the brink of failure. That's a 25 percent failure rate."
The reader felt that such a failure rate should elicited some serious concern from HP. "A few years ago I reported to Acer that I was experiencing a four percent failure rate and they freaked out. Ever since Dell opened up more to the channel, all my major Dell problems either went away, or got solved at a pretty high level, and got taken care of pretty quickly. And Dell is ever so mildly racist in their selling 'North American' tech support for an additional $69/desktop system. There was not a hint of racism in the sale of HP's extended warranty product. Sadly, there's not a hint of competence in the people answering the phones at the HP tech support centers either. They are mostly either script readers (and their diction and elocution leave MUCH to be desired), or tech dispatchers."
"What I've described with the DX2200 failure rates happens to every computer manufacturer once in a while, right?" the reader wrote. "I understand that. It's how they FIX it that makes me determine who I'll recommend next. When we called for HP's onsite service, four out of the five times we've needed a tech for desktop PCs, they showed up at least one business day late. They were usually two days late, but not always. When we had a LaserJet 3800 with three years of next-business-day onsite service, the tech took FIVE business days to show up. I was ready to kill them. I let it pass because we'd had only one other hardware failure at the time."