Trouble with HP Technical/Customer support

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I have encountered a dilemma and don't know where to turn.  To cut to the
chase, I have sent in an iPaq HX 4700 PDA for a repair and I was called and
told it was outside of warranty and I would be required to pay for the
repair.  Since I purchased the product on Oct. 18th of this year, it is
hardly out of warranty.  When I pursued the issue deeper, I was then told
that my iPaq had been internally tampered with and an internal seal broken
and therefore out of warranty.  THE ONLY TIME I HAVE EVER OPENED MY IPAQ WAS
And that was simply to remove the battery.

On December 11th, while on the way to the movies with my family, the iPaq
quit producing sound.  The reason I noticed it was because I was using it
with a GPS receiver and it was announcing turns.  Since it was connected to
the GPS via Bluetooth, the iPaq was on my wife's lap.  I assumed there was a
configuration issue and intended to deal with it when we returned home.

I was called by the Compaq repair facility, and after such an enjoyable
encounter with HP technical support was taken aback by an abrupt and
unfriendly encounter with someone on the phone who claimed to be from a
billing department and that I needed to pay a bill for the repair.  I was
totally confused since I was awakened by the call and did not relate Compaq
repair service to HP. When I tried to pursue the issue further, I could get
nowhere.  I asked to speak to a manager or supervisor and was told that
their policy was that I would receive a call-back.  I was told that I might
get a call back within 48 business hours but not to expect one until after
the new year.  I was unable to find out any information about how my PDA was
violated.  All I was told was that a seal had been broken that voided the
warranty.  The tone of the interchange was less than enjoyable and I must
admit, that if such people worked for me, they would be seeking employment
elsewhere.  I immediately called my vendor and questioned him as to whether
he had sold me a used or refurbished PDA.  He assured me he hadn't and
directed me to examine the box it came in as to whether is was properly
sealed.  As best to my knowledge, all items were sealed.  Though I purchased
an extended warranty, he directed me back to HP.

Finally I was contacted by Isaac Gutierrez of HP Customer Relations Case
Manager.  My e-mail to him says the gist of the conversation.


I left voice mail for you yesterday.  You assured me that you would send me
an E-mail with the terms and conditions you stated yesterday morning that I
must comply with in order to have my Ipaq HX-4700 returned.

Since you have not done so, allow me to summarize our discussion.

1. You stated that I must pay for a new motherboard, that I have violated a
warranty seal.

2. You stated you are willing to negotiate on the cost of the new
motherboard but I must pay for one nonetheless.  You did tell me I was
informed of the cost of the motherboard in the initial E-mail though no
e-mail had ever been received nor was I aware the problem was a motherboard
until the day before this conversation.  I asked you to check your E-mail;
you placed me on hold, came back and changed the topic.  Several times in
this discussion you implied I had gotten e-mail from your organization that
I never received.

3. You stated that you cannot prove that I did not open the Ipaq and void
the warranty.  You said this seven times.  The discussion digressed into
litanies about whether negations can be proven, until I moved us on.

4. When I mentioned that possibly the unit was not operating optimally all
along and had been locking up periodically since I received it, you stated
"why didn't you do something about it then?"  I still don't know what
bearing that has on this case.

5. You stated that an affidavit attesting that I have never opened the Ipaq
would not mean anything to you.

6. When I offered to take a polygraph from a certified and highly respected
examiner, your reply was "We all know how unreliable polygraph tests are"
and "people beat polygraphs all the time."

7. I pointed out that I had purchased both a PDA (the Ipaq rx3115) and a HP
Pavilion Home PC, both with extended warranties, as Christmas presents.  I
asked how I was to know the same issue would not arise if I were to return
either of those items for repairs.  You assured me it wouldn't.  When I
asked why it wouldn't you went into a homily of non-sequiturs that amounted
to "this is a different situation."  I still do not know what protection I
have that sending back any HP product will find the same fate with the same
"Isaac".  I am debating returning both to the place of purchase for a full
refund since neither are yet one week old.

7. When I asserted that I would not pay for the repairs on a device that was
only two months old, was under the extended warranty that I purchased and
for a warranty I had never violated, you stated "you will still be required
to pay an evaluation fee before the Ipaq will be returned to you."

8. When I stated that I would not pay an "evaluation fee," you stated that
you will hold my Ipaq until this fee is received.

At this point the discussion was spiraling down rapidly out of control so I
informed you that I would continue pursuing this via your CEO.  You then
demanded that I forward you any and all correspondence between Ms. Fiorina
and myself.  I told you that based on the comments of many of your workers
in the billing department; I had assumed that you had "been in the loop."
You placed me on hold and at that point I gave the phone to my wife because
I was running late for a 10 AM appointment.  I told her to provide you my
cell phone number.

Before I was in my car, the cell phone rang and you demanded I forward you
my E-mails from the CEO.  I told you I would not send you anything and you
stated you would not do anything until those e-mails were received.

I did forward you the E-mails I had sent her but not her replies since I
believed then, as I do now, that it is highly unethical to forward to you
e-mail that the sender obviously intended only for myself. I also believe
your demand in exchange for additional action is highly unprofessional,
borderline voyeuristic and should be worthy of your immediate dismissal.
But that is for others to decide.

Though all but the very initial call have been conferenced and mostly
recorded on my end, I may not have the exact wording correct.  Please feel
free to correct and stand by any of the above statements if they do not
reflect what had actually taken place.

Early on I was trying desperately to have my Ipaq returned to me before
returning to work Jan 2nd. When I first called technical support on December
11th she said that having it back by then would not be a problem at all.  I
actually asked if I could have a one for one replacement but she said my
warranty did not permit it.  I asked if I could upgrade my warranty to the
one that permits it but she assured me that that would not be necessary
since I would assuredly have my Ipaq back with time to spare.  I pointed out
that if there was any doubt, I would keep the unit in its present state
until after my January trip since sound was not important.  She recommended
I send it in immediately.  The entire discussion was on speaker phone with
my wife present since she had to read the S/n for I did not have my glasses
with me.

You still have not returned to me the terms and conditions for the return of
my Ipaq.  You stated yesterday with the exact words "Close of business" that
I would have such.  You failed to keep this agreement as with several

This entire affair is becoming costly to me.  The actions I will be required
to take will be even more costly.  But this is the only choice you have left
me.  I believe I have exhausted all others.

Remember, all I have wanted is for HP to honor their contractual agreement
and return my Ipaq repaired.


Mr.Gutierrez reply was that I would still have to pay for the motherboard
but he wold negotiate on the price (I believe half).  If I refused to pay
for the motherboard, I must still pay for an evaluation fee in order to have
my unit returned.

I have declined to pay for the motherboard.  Doing so wold be an admission
of guilt and therefore render the remainder of my warranty period null and

I need to know if anyone else has encountered such obstacles.  I'd also
advise all to examine their PDAs and insure that the seal in questio is in

Re: Trouble with HP Technical/Customer support

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Where did you buy the iPAQ from?  Your warranty is with the seller not the
manufacturer.  You should approach the seller.  If an internal seal has been
tampered with, it may be that the iPAQ was not new when it was sold to you.
If you cannot get satisfaction, then the Small Claim Track of your local
county court may be the way to go.


Re: Trouble with HP Technical/Customer support

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I have of course assumed that you are in the UK since there is no
information to the contrary.


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