Volume 4 Of The Saga

9 August 2003

Current Status: Today is Saturday. Though FedEx delivers on Saturday, I had no hope or expectation that HP might return my laptop today. Instead, it was time to place another call to HP. It went all the way to Bangalore, India and I was told by a woman who had deep difficulty speaking English that my laptop would be returned in 4 business days. By the time you’ve finished The Saga, you’ll realize just how unreliable that kind of information can be.

When I concluded Volume 3, I had gone to bed fuming. The power had been off since Tuesday morning, July 22. It was miserably hot, dark and amazingly quiet. None of that soothed my frustration with HP, a company I had once admired a great deal.

Monday, 7-28-03, was a bright new day. I still had no electricity. However, Brian had assured me that my laptop would be picked up by FedEx on Monday the 28th. It was packed and all paperwork, numbers and notations were where they were supposed to be.

I decided not to leave the laptop on the front porch, but instead, I stuck a note on the front door alerting HP to knock so that I could provide the shipment to them. With burglaries escalating so rapidly, I didn’t want to take any chances.
Positioning the box near the front door, sign in place, I sat down to read.

The heat was miserable. I read and I sat. My sister brought me some ice for a cooler. I drank a coke. I read and I sat. The day grew long. At 5:45 p.m. I placed another call to HP. I held for a long time. I got cut off. I redialed and held for 35 minutes.

Trebecca(sp?), a woman who shouldn’t even try to speak English without several more months of classes, finally picked up the phone. She glanced at a computer screen and said, ”your proof of purchase has been rejected. You must call 800.374.5828.”

I did. They couldn’t help me at all. I wasn’t even calling HP. I had been told to call a number that went to a firm that apparently sells extended warranties for HP. They were clueless as to how to help me, but seemed resigned to the fact that they had been getting lots and lots of calls exactly like mine.

Sheila said they had tried to tell HP that it wasn’t doing any good to have people trying to track their repair problems calling an extended warranty organization, but HP hadn’t been able to correct the problem.

Then, day became dusk and dusk became very, very dark. FedEx never stopped by.

For those of you keeping score at home, we’ve now faxed once (F1), placed six phone calls (C6) and talked to four people (P4). From now on we’ll keep score by indicating (F1/C6/P4).

With real determination after talking with that extended warranty firm, I called HP once again. I was frustrated because the laptop hadn’t been picked up. Now it seemed that something had apparently gone wrong with the fax I sent in.

Again, after dialing HP’s number, I held for almost 40 minutes. By the time Dan answered the phone, I was ready to be firm, factual and as unconcerned about HP’s internal messes as I could possibly be. This phone call took the score to F1/C7/P5. Dan was about to raise the score some more.

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