Dealing with HP/Compaq non-support:

Do you believe that you'll get good technical support from a major PC vendor? Think again.

Here's the result of submitting a simple and clear problem report to HP/Compaq. Note that basically they ignored what I said and spit out some boilerplate instructions telling me to do what I had already tried - and what I told them I tried. Only after I repeated the same information did they get it. If they can't even read English how would you expect them to be able to speak it or help a non-technical person??

Think other mass-market companies are any better? Read my "Dealing with Dell" transcript elsewhere on this web site if you think they are any better than HP/Compaq.

Following is a transcript of the email exchanges. Nothing has been altered except some bold highlighting to make things readable and deleting of email addresses and customer information.


Original Support Request message to HP/Compaq:


From:*****@ATSPN.COM
Date: 10/26/2008 15:14:50 EST
To: HP Support
Cc:
Subject: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail support
hp e-mail support
Webform submittal date/time : 26 October 2008 19:15:08 UTC
language_code : en
language : English
Country of Residence : United States
product_line : 6J
product_oid : 437888
product_name : Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC
part_number : PN233AA
purchase month : 1
purchase year : 2004
problem area : other
serial number : mxm44608f2
operating system : Microsoft Windows XP Home
Was the CD/DVD writer drive built into the computer when you purchased it?
: yes
problem description : I want to restore to factory default. F10 does not
work. Brings up BIOS Setup insted of factory restore.


tech skill : Advanced
first name : *****
last name : *****
phone : 3153768879
email : *****
form url :
$emailformprotocol://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/email?product=437888&lc=en&
cc=us&dlc=en&lang=en&cc=us
form country : United States



First (useless) Response:


From: presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com
[mailto:presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:33 PM
To: *****
Subject: Re: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail sup



Dear Peter,

Thank you for contacting HP Total Care.

From your message, I understand that you wish to restore the Compaq
Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC to the factory settings.

Let me assist you in this regard.

HP and Compaq Presario desktop PCs are shipped with two partitions on the
hard drive (C: and D:). The D: partition is called as Recovery Partition.
This partition contains the image of preinstalled softwares, device drivers
and the Operating System files.We can use this partition to reinstall
preinstalled applications, device drivers or to reset computer to its
factory settings in the event of system crash or if system is infected with
Virus, etc.

In addition, to the Recovery Partition, system is also shipped with
Recovery CD/DVD Creator software. Using this software, we can create the
Recovery discs for the PC. Recovery discs also contains the image of
preinstalled softwares, device drivers and the Operating System files.

We can use the Recovery discs to reset computer to its factory settings,
if the Recovery Partition gets corrupted or if you have removed the Recovery
Partition. We can also use the Recovery discs to reset computer to its
factory settings, if we change the hard drive. However, its not recommended
to delete the recovery partition because, to run application recovery or
driver recovery or performing the recovery without using the recovery discs,
recovery partition is needed. That is main reason the customer's will not
able to perform the system recovery by tapping F10.


Peter, I would like to inform you that, in order to restore your PC for
factory condition you can perform the Destructive recovery with out using
the recovery disc. HP Presario PCs is shipped with the Hidden recovery
partition to run the system recovery. If you have not deleted the recovery
partition you can run the recovery from the recovery partition. To perform
the system recovery no need to proved any product key for the Operating
System.

To restore the computer to factory installed condition, I recommend you
perform the Destructive Recovery Process. The Destructive Recovery(Full
Recovery) which will format the hard drive and install the Operating System
and all preinstalled applications/drivers. However, you need to reinstall
third party applications which you installed after purchasing the computer.
Before performing the full system recovery please take all the back of your
Data.

CAUTION: If extra hard drives have been added to the HP Pavilion,
disconnect the IDE and power cable from the back of the
extra drive before performing a system recovery to
prevent data loss on the new drive.

1. Disconnect all peripherals and internal non-preinstalled devices
from the PC, except the monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
2. Turn on the computer.
3. When the initial LOGO screen opens, press the F10 key repeatedly
until a recovery menu appears.
The progress indicator that first
appearsdoes not indicate that a recovery is taking place. The
progress indicator represents the time before the recovery process
is started.
4. When the Recovery screen opens, click Next.
5. Click Advanced, and then click Yes to perform adestructive
recovery.

Please refer the following website to perform the system recovery:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&docname=bph07145

I believe the above information helps you to perform F10 recovery. If you
have any doubts or if you are unable perform the steps please get back to me
I will assist you further.


Sincerely,

Rosario
HP Total Care

***Do Not Delete Service Ticket Number***
{ticketno:[8017563827]}
***Do Not Delete Service Ticket Number***

Our advice is strictly limited to the question(s) asked and is based on
the information provided to us. HP does not assume any responsibility or
liability for the advice given and shall not be liable for any direct,
indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages in connection with
the use of this information. Always back up your data. Stay connected and
protected with HP's new online storage and sharing service, HP Upline. To
try it FREE for one year, please visit:

http://redirect.hp.com/svs/rdr?TYPE=4&s=upline&tp=upline_email&pf=cndt&local
e=en_us&bd=pavilion&c=none
For more information, including technical information updates, please
visit our Web site at http://www.hp.com/support.
HP does not require you tosend any financial data in your reply to this
email. As a prudent reminder, do not insert credit card details or other
financial information in any e-mail replies.


My Reply (I repeated the original problem description):


From: *****
To: presario_support_en@MAIL.SUPPORT.HP.COM
Subject: RE: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail sup

"problem description : I want to restore to factory default. F10 does not
work. Brings up BIOS Setup insted of factory restore. "

F10 RECOVERY DOES NOT WORK. Pressing F10 either brings up setup or does
nothing at all.

 


Second Response (Oh, now they get it...):

-----Original Message-----
From: presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com
Date: 10/27/2008 18:06:49 EST
To: *****@ATSPN.COM
Cc:
Subject: Re: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail sup



Hi Peter,

Thank you for writing back.

In reviewing you e-mail I understand that, the issue with the F 10 recovery has not been resolved even after performing the troubleshooting steps provided in your previous mail.

I apologize for the inconvenience caused. I appreciate your efforts to troubleshoot the issue.

Peter, the possible cause of the issue could be with the recovery partition in the PC might be corrupted, so to resolve the issue you need to obtain a new set of recovery cd's for your PC. To obtain a new set of recovery cd's I request you to visit the below web links:

===Read this before ordering your Recovery Disc Set!====

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00707939&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=1843604&os=228&lang=en

NOTE: Clicking the link may give an error indicating it is
invalid. If this occurs, copy the portion of the
address on the remaining line(s) and paste it at the end
of the address showing in your browser until the
complete address is displayed in the Address box.

===To Order the Recovery CD's===

https://warp2.external.hp.com/driver/dr_country_select.asp?Product=5069-7837&lang=en&cc=us

===Performing system Recovery===

Once you have purchase the Recovery CDs, you can perform Full System Restore. For your convenience, I am providing the link which helps you on Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows XP. Visit the below web link where you can find the detailed step by step information with pictorial representation:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/genericDocument?docname=bph07145&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&dlc=en&lang=en

NOTE: Clicking the link may give an error indicating it is
invalid. If this occurs, copy the portion of the
address on the remaining line(s) and paste it at the end
of the address showing in your browser until the
complete address is displayed in the Address box.

However, if you have any issues then please get back to us as we are here to help you any hour in a day. We work here to
help our customers 24/7.

Sincerely,
Vicky
HP Total Care

***Do Not Delete Service Ticket Number***
{ticketno:[8017563827]}
***Do Not Delete Service Ticket Number***

Our advice is strictly limited to the question(s) asked and is based on the information provided to us. HP does not assume any responsibility or liability for the advice given and shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages in connection with the use of this information. Always back up your data. Stay connected and protected with HP's new online storage and sharing service, HP Upline. To try it FREE for one year, please visit:
http://redirect.hp.com/svs/rdr?TYPE=4&s=upline&tp=upline_email&pf=cndt&locale=en_us&bd=pavilion&c=none
For more information, including technical information updates,please visit our Web site at http://www.hp.com/support.
HP does not require you to send any financial data in your reply to this email. As a prudent reminder, do not insert credit card details or other financial information in any e-mail replies.

 


"Followup" email from HP:

From: presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:57 PM
To: *****
Subject: Re: Re: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail


Hello Peter,

This is Rosario from the HP Pavilion Desktops Email Support Team, following up on our recent email.

I am personally following up on your case and have not heard from you, since our last communication. This

e-mail is to verify whether the information that we have provided has solved your purpose or not.

I would like to share this information that you will be getting a survey to fill up regarding the serviceprovided

to you. I greatly appreciate your time to fill the survey regarding your e-mail support experience. It is very

important for us to get the issues resolved and have a feedback from you for our e-mail support. It helps us to

improve and provide a better support to our esteemed customers.

Thank you for your Patience and Cooperation.

Have a Nice Day.

Sincerely,

Rosario
HP Total Care


My Reply:

From: Pete Newell
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:44 PM
To: presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com
Subject: RE: Re: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail

I will give you feedback right now.

If you review the transcripts for this support incident you will note that in the initial submission I clearly stated the problem, namely that the F10 function did not work. Yet the reply from HP was to press F10. This is most unsatisfactory and a waste of my time.

I could have just reinstalled Windows, assuming I had a Windows XP installation CD. However it would have to be one acquired somewhere else, since HP did not ship one with the computer, nor any other set of system recovery disks.

I have ordered a set of disks because I have no other choice if I want to get everything back, however I do not feel that I should have to pay for a set of recovery disks in order to recover the software that was purchased with the computer.


HP Reply:

-----Original Message-----
From: presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com [mailto:presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:05 PM
To: *****
Subject: Re: RE: Compaq Presario SR1222NX Desktop PC e-mail

Hello Peter,

Thank you for your feedback.

Peter, I would like to inform you that the Recovery Disks set is not shipped along with the Pavilion PCs. Instead, Pavilion PCs use a hidden space (partition) on the hard drive to store the recovery information. Using a hidden partition provides a convenient, more stable recovery process that eliminates the need for fragile Disks that can be lost or damaged.

Peter, HP strongly recommends making a Recovery Disks within 60 days when the computer purchased to avoid making recovery disc set before experiencing any problems.

The information stored on the hidden partition is important system information consisting of a copy of Windows as well as all other original software. The partition is hidden to prevent accidental deletion of any of the files. For previous Pavilion products HP provided recovery information on compact disc(s).

HP no longer includes recovery discs because of the following reasons:

* Compact Discs are easily destroyed by scratches.
* Compact Discs fail after prolonged exposure to sunlight.
* Compact Discs can get lost.
* Recovering from the hard drive is substantially faster than Compact
* Discs and does not require Disc swapping.

However, there may be times when Recovery Disks are needed to restore the computer, like when a virus destroys the recovery partition. By using the HP Recovery Disc Creator program, you can create a physical set of recovery Disks from which you can restore your computer back to its original condition.

HP strongly recommends making a Recovery Disks set before experiencing any problems. The Recovery Disk Creator program can be used to make "only one set" of recovery DVD/CDs for the PC. The Recovery Disks set contains a complete set of the original operating system, drivers, and application software that shipped with the PC.

In such a situation agent redirect the customer's to purchase the Recovery disc from the third party website. You can very well make your computer to the factory setting by performing the system recovery.

Sincerely,

Rosario
HP Total Care


My reply (waste of time probably):

Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:37 PM


I understand that some systems include provisions for making recovery disks.

However, in my experience, I have found that most users don't make those disks when they get the computer. This could be because they are so inexperienced that they don't understand the importance of making disks, or that the recovery disk creator program is not obvious or easy to use.

I also understand that disks can get lost or damaged. However, it is also very likely that hard drives can and will fail after a few years. The storage life of CDs when treated with any care at all is way longer than the average service life of a hard drive when used more or less continuously as most computers are. CDs can be broken but so can hard drives - by being dropped, jarred, subjected to power surges, large temperature changes, etc. Not to mention software problems such as inadvertent erasure or reformatting or malicious action of malware.

The best solution would be both the factory restore partition and a set of disks. Therefore any computer manufacturer who does not include the disk set should make it extremely obvious that a disk set can and should be created. Evidently this is not done by HP, because if it was done, then I wouldn't be seeing so many instances of people who don't have the disks.. It would be easy enough to include the disk creation as part of the initial setup that can not be bypassed, or if it is bypassed during setup a reminder that can not be easily disabled should pop up every time the computer is started until the disks are made.


HP Reply:

From: presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com [mailto:presario_support_en@mail.support.hp.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 12:01 AM

Hello Peter,

Thank you for your feedback.

Peter, Let me first appreciate your enormous amount of efforts and patience you have put in to resolve this issue. We greatly appreciate your initiative to keep us updated. We have forwarded your comments to our concerned department. We aim at providing world class Services to our customers and this is just an exception to the Standard of services we provide. We value your comments.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. HP values the relationship with its customers. I realize that you have been greatly inconvenienced by this situation. Please do feel free to get back to us if you need further assistance.

We will be available here round the clock and will be glad to assist you further.

I once again apologize for the inconvenience caused in the regard.


Sincerely,
Vicky
HP Total Care


and so it goes...

Buy your computer from me and you won't have these problems.