Thursday, July 03, 2008

I've just dropped the following letter into the outgoing mail (postal mail, that is):

July 3, 2008
Customer Service
Hewlett-Packard Company
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185

To Whom This May Concern,

I am writing regarding a recent experience I had with your technical support representatives (Ticket #801330xxxx). On June 28, 2008, I purchased the HP Photosmart Pro B8850 printer and several packages of Advanced HP photo paper. I ordered these items online via The items were delivered in June 30, 2008.

I unpacked the printer and began setup. When I plugged the printer into the wall outlet, the printer received no power. After troubleshooting via telephone with one of your support representatives, it was determined that the AC power adapter was likely faulty. Your representative shipped a new AC adapter to me. It arrived on July 2, 2008.

The new AC adapter did not solve the problem. I called technical support again, and after troubleshooting, the representative determined that there was likely a problem with the printer itself. While I was disappointed, I understand that this happens. Hardware fails. It’s the way of the world, when it comes to computers.

What I was most disappointed in, though, was the solution offered by your representative. She offered to replace my brand new printer with a refurbished one. I explained that this printer was brand new out-of-the-box and was dead on arrival. I paid for a new printer. I expect replacement with a new printer. I could understand a refurbished replacement if I’d owned the printer for some time and it needed repair, but this printer was not used. The support representative agreed with me, but that she could not guarantee that the replacement would be new, and that she had no other options to offer me.

I find your policy of replacing brand new, defective items with used, refurbished ones to be completely unfair. I spent $549 on your product in good faith that it would work when I brought it home. When a brand new item is defective, I expect a brand new replacement - not just from HP, but from any company.

I am a photographer and a professor, and despite the advice of many of my colleagues to purchase an Epson (the reigning king in the professional photo printing arena), I decided to give HP a shot. The B8850 might be a fantastic printer. I did not get the opportunity to find out. Based on this experience, HP is not the kind of company I want to do business with.

As a result of my disappointment in your company’s policies, I have returned the HP printer and papers to Circuit City and instead purchased the Epson Stylus R1900 and Epson papers, and will recommend to my colleagues and students that they do the same.  



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