Monday, March 22, 2010

Hewlett-Packard/arvato digital services llc- Can Customer Service Get Any Worse?

windows-7-logo-300x300 Last spring I ran across a great deal for a i7 workstation from HP -  they were offering a $350 discount off of their workstations, which were already at a decent price, which ended up working out to the machine costing roughly 1/2 of what the best I could do shopping the deal sites out there.  Great.

Secondly, I was happily running the Windows 7 pre-release demo on a few other machines, so I carefully timed the purchase to happen on the first day that the free Windows 7 upgrade for new purchases was offered (June 26th), which was something like a day or 2 before the sale was ending.  Great again…


Now, having to deal with computer hardware, software and related companies day in and day out at work I can give you absolute horror stories about a few of them and their absolutely abysmal service/support, but I’m I’m going to rank these guys as tied for first for the absolute worst, or at least most frustrating.

(I’ll save some of the others for later, I’m sure that a lot of IT people could probably name my top few easily, the funny thing is that the other absolute worst one sends you an email invite to fill out a survey after every time you contact them, and the never, I mean _never_ give you good support, follow up (other than the survey) or do what they say they will do).

Of course the whole upgrade procedure is more complicated then it really needs to be, I don’t understand why the couldn’t just keep a record of your sale and send it out when it was ready, but lets ignore that for now.  Their procedure:

  • fill out online form, according to their website that makes the status: New = order placed; proof of purchase not yet received.
  • they verify it and require a confirmation/proof of purchase.  That upgrades your status to: POP Received = proof of purchase received but not yet validated; processed within 7 business days of receipt
  • you supply a proof of purchase (there are a number of ways that you can do it, one of which is you can email them a scan or screen shot of your original sales receipt, which is what I did).  Once that happens (mine happened on February 22nd) you go to: Accepted = proof of purchased validated, and you move on to: In Process = preparing order for shipment. Typically 3-5 business days.

and that’s it… I’ve never made it past that.  I’ve called them 6 times now in the last month, the first few times was told that it should show up with a shipping number on their site within 24 hours and it never happened.   Since then:

Thursday 3/11- was told that they are very sorry for the delay and they will expedite my shipment and FedEx it, I should have the tracking number within 24 hours… nothing…

Tuesday, 2/16- was told that they were very sorry, they don’t know what happened but they will expedite it and FedEx it out, that I should see it within 2 days but the tracking number on their site might not get updated before I get it.  OK… these people answering the phones are worthless morons, but so far I’ve been nice to them… not sure why.

Thursday 3/18- No package.  I call them.  First I get some line about no records of the expedite, then I talk to the supervisor and get “our expedite department is busy, it could take 4-7 days for them to process the expedite (huh?  that is longer than the total time expected from their normal service!!!), at which point I got pretty irritated with the idiot on the phone, got passed to another agent who told me that “they would like to expedite my order but their computers haven’t been working all afternoon so they can’t even see my order and will update it later when the computers are fixed” (how did the first 2 pull up my order if that was the case???).  Finally I ended up talking to someone who identified himself as Peter Leonardo, the manager of the department who assured me that he was going to personally take care of it and I could expect to see a tracking number Friday or next Monday and my upgrade FedExed to me on Monday or Tuesday. 

Monday, 3/22 (Today)- Surprise surprise… no tracking number.  Maya and Alex assure me that they will process my order expedite.  Nope… tried that already.  Tried that THE LAST 3 TIMES.  They keep acting like they don’t understand why that is problem.  Finally Alex tells me that she will take care of this personally and I will have email from her with my shipping information in the next 2 hours.  5 minutes later I get:

Hello Mark,

Thank you for your continous patronage to HP and your interest for the Windows 7 Upgrade Program.

You are receiving this email as a follow up for your order.

We are now working on your expedited order. We'll be sending you another email notification once your order has been shipped. Rest assure that we have you on our priority list.

Best regards,


Windows 7 Upgrade Program

Alex, you have an hour and ten minutes left to do better than that.

10:50pm update- Nothing… what a surprise.


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