My story from three days ago.
I bought a printer for my wife and thought it would be a snap to install.
Since I have installed about 30 or so of them in my life. It kept bitching
about a corrupted file. Dreading talking to a brain dead techie who can't
speak english, I toiled for over an hour, turning off firewalls, etc. I
tried every trick in the book. Nothing worked. Soooo....., I called hp
technical support line. I am still recovering from the trauma.
First I should mention that I have a hearing loss. My wife can hear a pin
drop from a block away. (Which incredibly complicates my life from time to
time) This heavily accented voice was almost impossible for my wife to
understand, let alone me. So my wife and I handed the phone back and forth
for an hour and a half trying to decipher this caveman techie's babble. And
if I did not have some thirty years of computer experience, this printer
would have never been installed.
The most stressful and moronic aspect of this whole ordeal was that all the
procedures were based on the fact that techies did not speak english well.
If they spoke normally, the call could be shortened by two thirds. And this
is the way that they are trained. Like parrots, they repeat what is before
them. They can't interact with you or make decisions.
Eventually the problem was solved with a simple temporary msconfig change.
This could have been included on a peice of paper in the printer box. In
that whole hour and a half we only tried about five things. Is hp really
saving money by pissing everybody off and have the caveman techies take many
times longer to do the same job because they can't speak english? Or engage
in simple reasoning processes?
Before going to bed that night, my wife gave me a big hug and thanked me. I
asked what she was thanking me for. She said, "For installing my printer".
I did not realize what a big deal it would turn out to be. HP has alway had
good printers and I never had problems installing them before. I spent two
and a half hours of hell installing a simple inkjet printer.
<grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch>
I hope I am remaining on topic for this thread.
On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 14:04:52 -0500, "Lee Michaels"
I've had two experiences with HP support (corporate account) in the
last five years. Both were about replacement hard drives for
Laptop # 1 - Talked to marginal English user and had to give the
snail-mail address 3 times - spelled phonetically each time - before
he got it right. Total call time probably 45 minutes.
Laptop # 2 (about a year later) - Talked to (apparently native)
English speaker who sounded like southern California and understood a
US pun. Call took all of 5 minutes.
The total "cost per call" has to be lower when the calls are handled 9
times as fast.
No experience with them in the last 24 months, so they may have gone
back into stupid mode...
Fifteen years ago I used to work for HP doing support. I wasn't dealing
with consumer products though, but rather UNIX mini-computers and
The funny thing is that the middle management was always touting about how
we were a profit center. The logic was that the quality of our support was
an asset to the sale and that the support plans sold to customers was fairly
profitable. Apparently long after I left HP realized that they could reduce
the quality a bit make a much bigger profit by sending jobs like the one I
I often wonder what RPM Bill and Dave are spinning in their graves.
At one time in my life was involved in high end data acquisition
system front ends.
Still remember the marketing mgr's comment about HP products.
"They are the standard of mediocrity", or something close.
Although must say, they had a pretty decent engineering computer, at
that point in time.
A few years back, around 1999, HP spun off the Test & Measurement Equipment
division. The spin off company is Agilent Technologies. They still build top
grade test equipment and trace their roots to Dave Packard's garage in Palo
Alto and the Hp200A.
I have to believe that Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard would identify
themselves more with Agilent than the company that bears their names.
You might find one of my experiences with Cisco amusing. One night a
few years ago, one of our offices started having connection problems
with the main office. Since I was on-call I went and started diagnosing
the problem. Got down to the Cisco router so I called their Tech
support. The person that answered the phone was actually a pretty good
tech, but his accent made me ask where he was. He was in New Zealand.
We decided that we needed a replacement router so he said he would make
arrangements to have one sent out. I told him that I would really like
to have the office back up and running by morning and asked where the
replacement was going to be shipped from. San Jose, California he said.
I said OK, I'm in San Jose so what is the address that it will be
shipped from? He gave me the address and as luck would have it, it was
very literally a block away. I was even looking at the very building
out the front window of the office I was in. I told him that I could
walk to that place in under 5 minutes and if there was a way to set it
up for me to go get it. He said they couldn't do that and gave me some
lame ass excuse. After I complained, he agreed that this seemed
ridiculous to him to and he went to speak to his manager. He kept
coming back to the phone about every 5-10 min to let me know that he
hadn't forgotten about me, and finally after about an hour it was all
set. I walked down the the building, traded routers, walked back and
had the office back up 30 min later (had to refresh the config).
The whole thing was just laughable to me. Here I am in San Jose, CA
talking to a tech in New Zealand about getting a product shipped from a
Did you notice that there were quite a few duplications. Before, if I
couldn't find a certain bit right away, I went out and bought another one.
I figured it would be cheaper to take the time to get organized than to keep
buying more bits. <G>
Alright Max.... just stop it. I can't afford to have the SO come in
and go "honey, look how nice his bit thingies are sorted. I'll bet if
you did that kind of thing with your stuff you could find things
anytime you wanted them".
Can't you just keep your bits in the little pouches and make sure you
don't jerk the drawer around like the rest of us?
== set down the label maker and walk away =
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