This just in from the Dad In The Headlights Consumer Protection Division: Hewlett-Packard royally sucks.
I am completely convinced that HP has developed a secret technology to cause products to fail right after the warranty has expired. This has happened to me twice with HP products over the past several years.
The first was with a laptop. The week after the warranty expired, the power jack broke off inside the computer. I contacted HP support and the only thing they could offer me was a “great deal” on an upgrade. It turned out that their awesome deal was more than everyday prices at any local computer store. I checked into getting it repaired, but it would have involved replacing the entire motherboard. In the end, it would have cost more to repair than to replace. So, I tore it apart piece by piece and spread the remains across eBay. I probably got about $200 for a laptop that cost a lot more than that.
Fast forward to 2007. We had problems with our HP printer several times throughout the year. It would suddenly just start printing out blank pages–even with full cartridges. Each time, I would get with technical support and go through excruciating steps to finally get it working again. Well this week, even technical support couldn’t get it going again and they said there was nothing more they could do. And yes, you guessed it–just a couple of weeks after the warranty ran out. They once again offered me these incredible deals on upgrades that were not such great deals. I pointed out that their own records showed that the problems started well before the warranty expired. However, they politely said that they would be happy to replace the printer–if it was still under warranty. Grrr….
Whatever happened to good customer service? I know, they are not required to do anything beyond the letter of the warranty. I get it…pipe down. If I were running a company, I think that I would have an unpublished grace period on warranties. If a product fails within “x” number of weeks of the warranty expiration and the customer requests it, I would replace the product. At the very least, they could have actually offered a good deal on a new printer and I would have been happy.
Instead, if this post deters just one person from buying an HP product, they are money behind by not keeping me happy. (Evil laughter)