How did Hewlett-Packard (HP) die so quickly?

The notebook is connected to the wireless acce...

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It may not be totally dead yet, but I hear the death rattle.

Once a powerhouse of innovative engineering, one wonders how HP blundered so badly with the tablet idea — the TouchPad — (proprietary WebOS operating system did not help), crater the PC division, and apparently come to have systemic problems company-wide.

Well, I can count the ways in my own experience:

  • A High-end laptop that not only was supposedly Vista-ready (little did I know at the time that I would not WANT Vista), but in fact did not comply with Vista specs; AND had a lid hinge break — rendering it useless — repairable only by replacing $400 worth of parts.
  • A High-end netbook (yes, I always go for the gusto — an HP Mini 210 HD) for which it was important to be able to turn off wi-fi and still use the bluetooth mouse. The instructions and screens clearly demonstrate that such was the intent — but it won’t, and the endless calls with barely-English speaking tech support and emails with canned responses having nothing to do with my problem never fixed it. I even got the problem escalated and it just escalated the frustration and not the remedy.  Several driver updates later and that issue was never fixed.
  • My sister has a multi-function HP printer/fax/scanner device and the arm to the scanner light simply broke. The scanner has never been moved from where it was operated and it just broke.
  • Attitude: If you go to their site to do a review of a product, here is an interesting caveat from their website where one can write a review:
    Your review will be published within 72 hours if your review focuses on the product’s features and avoids the following:

    • HP Customer Service (emphasis added — guess they don’t like public criticism

So, to the constant stream of supposed deals and discounts from HP by email, I say “get off of my computer screen” because I’ll never buy another HP product. Of any kind.


About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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6 Responses to How did Hewlett-Packard (HP) die so quickly?

  1. Pingback: How Popular Tech Companies Got Their Names « ktrmurali

  2. kathybohlin says:

    I’ve used HP computers and printers for years, Compaq also (which was purchased by HP). As long as everything works well, all if fine, but I am fed up with the poor customer service when something needs to be repaired. When they have a laptop or other piece of equipment that needs repair, there is absolutely no urgency to get it back to me — no matter how much I yell and scream and demand. If I could find a computer company & retailer with good customer service, they would have my business.

    • Gil Jones says:

      Yep, customer service is the bottom line. Look at KIA with its 100,000 mile, 10 year warranty. Now I don’t know about their actual repair record, but the lure is that service will be available for a long time, and the hope (probably assumption) is that it will be good.

      Companies, especially tech companies, must re-INsource their tech support or continue to lose customers to those who can pull it off. The customer is always right, and they’re right about this.

  3. Pingback: Why HP sucks « The Heart Of The Matter

  4. Gil Jones says:

    I still use it daily and love it in most respects — just aggravated at such a simple thing.

  5. Ann Ragsdale says:

    Interesting analysis, Gil. I wondered why you never talked much about that little HP-netbook after you raved about buying it. Now we know the rest of the story. Sorry, buddy. It troubles me when good companies go south. One of my long time buddies (Grannies Gone Wild) works for HP in Houston and I’m sad for her. She is 61 and wants to work as long as possible. Betty endured the collapse of the oil and gas industry and the loss of her IT mgmt spot, retooled her trick box and went with EDS. Now she must face this. Sad for her and good folks like her.

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