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Monday, December 12, 2005

Compaq / HP Services -2/10

On a scale of 1 to 10, they get -2 from me. Why? IF you own a HP / Compaq or if you are thinking of buying one, I suggest you read and at least learn from my experience.

Back in the days of Inkjet printers, I had already been evangelizing against HP simply because they are not capable of printing true black (often ends up greenish and waste lots of ink). Well, I thought HP had came a long way and now with Compaq, its probably better. Compaq WAS better on their own. Trust me. Anyway, this is a story about a Compaq notebook, which unfortunately is now under HP domination.

It was quite a while back. The notebook was past its first 8 months and then the problem happens. The Centrino simply could not kick in. About 50% of the time the Bluetooth and the Intel Wireless card will just fail. I managed to live with it for a while, but had to disable the card in order to work sometimes as it interfere with other devices such as my PCMCIA Wifi. About 10 months down, finally send it for repair at HP. For security reasons, I wiped the HDD using Drive Scrubber. I did not know how well the send-in went because I am not the one who did it. But anyway, within 3 days it was back. No,w this is the shocking part. THEY ACTUALLY DID NOT FIXED THE BLUETOOTH AND THE WIFI CARD. They claim they can fix the HDD (What a tcch support department?) and they simply replace a new HDD for me. The Wifi card and BT, they just say tested and it works. WTF? I seriously wondered what they meant by tested? Bootup and it didn't say error? Anyway, nobody felt like going through RMA again soon, so we left it as it is. The BT and Wifi got worse. In fact, I think after the repair they totally wreaked it. now at least 80% of the time it did not work.

OK, its about the end of the warranty. At least I thought it is since its 1 year from the purchase date. It ended on a Sunday, so I thought maybe they will be kind enough to fix it on Monday anyway, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I was at the HP Service Center this time myself. There were full of people with broken Laser, printer, notebook etc. I had a bad feeling coming. When my turn finally came after 30 mins wait, I turned on the laptop and the F*CKING wifi actually worked. Anyway I told him the problem and usually it like happens after using it for a while and maybe even 5-6 hours. First thing he said, oh sorry, if its 5-6 hours we can test it. I tell myself, WTF? Even when i bought a cheap piece of RAM from Kingston and when I had problem, they actually ran test overnight for 3 days to confirm it and gave me a new piece (serve them right for not trusting me, but at least they did took the effort to fix it) and this is HP, telling me they cannot. Anyway, I told them the problem is the Centrino addon card and asked him to check the warranty. Actually I know I was late, perhaps I don't mind paying a bit. Guess what? He said it had expired in 19 Nov. I G*D D*MN got it on 12 Dec 2004 and WTF happened to the days in between. Apparently, HP warranty is not based on purchase date but perhaps their internal ship out date or manufacturing date. This is outright cheating. I dint explode yet. He then told me to leaving it for a check will cost me. IF the board is to be replace, it wont be just the Centrino cos they cannot just replace that only, they have to replace the whole F*CKING motherboard which will cost well above $600. This kinda remind me of the IBM case where the M/B cost $2800 where I bought the notebook for $2400, but thats another story.

So, whats the point? I told him forget it. I will probably buy a Dell. Hei, not that Dell is bad or what, but everybody else thought so. I personally don't cos I had very good experience with them. HP has managed to waste my whole morning and I suppose in order not to totally waste it, I should log this into my blog as an invaluable experience which I pray no one else repeats. HP managed to score -2 on the scale of 10 because :

  1. They cheated on their warranty. It was about 1 month less.

  2. They are (or at least intend to if I let them) overcharging for the hardware. I only need the Centrino addon board but they insist if replace, must replace whole M/B. P.S. Dont think I never deal with Intel. That board can be purchase seperately at $70 and actually I had gotten a whole batch of it last time for something else, but thats another story.

  3. Their tech department is totally incompetent and irresponsible. In the first place, they were suppose to fix the problem back then, they didn't. They fixed a problem which they came up with. Now they won't either cos they cannot test it for 5-6 hours. And they probably never knew how to low level format a harddisk anyway, so I suppose I probably couldn't trust them either.

So now I probably have to live with it or transfer the risk to someone else. Last resort, I will turn to Intel and see if they warranty their card. If there is any update on this, you will see it here. But I seriously urge you to think twice, three times even about buying Compaq or HP. IMHO, they totally sucks now.

To HP : Please don't bother to contact me. I had totally lost confident and trust in your company. Nothing you say or do can change my mind.

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