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HP – A FIRST TIME BUYER After purchasing a Hewlett Packard 9740 Pavilion PC, over a year after purchasing the item itself, I am still experiencing problems with Hewlett Packard. This is an account of the problems that have happened within the last year, with regards to Hewlett Packard. The PC firstly arrived around one year ago, but unfortunately, this is when the problems first occurred. After plugging in and starting the computer, it became apparent that the supplied keyboard, although very aesthetically pleasing, only worked on half it’s side. After a short phone call to the helpline (which of course is a premium rate phone number), a new keyboard was despatched with no question, which duly arrived the following day, and finally, hooray! A working computer! However, shortly after purchasing a DVD (The World Is Not Enough, to be precise) and inserting it in the DVD ROM, I was confronted with an error message stating that the PC has not got the correct ‘DVD region’. After several calls to their premium number, we were asked to re-format the PC using the recovery CD. As you’ve probably guessed, the recovery CD was in fact the incorrect CD for this machine. As a result, they posted another CD. After many more calls to their helpline, and after re-formatting the PC many times over with many different ever-so-nice individuals on the phone, I was pointed in the direction of a website, which provided a ‘patch’, which, when installed, finally solved the problem. All was well until a few months ago, the hard drive in the machine started to make rather large ‘clunking noises’, and following this, stopped functioning. Again, after calls to the premium helpline, the ever-so-resilient individual on the other end refused to believe it was a hardware fault. Again, after several failed formats later, they acknowledged the problem - as a result, it was taken away the next d
ay. However, to my surprise, the PC was returned just two days later, with a new hard drive (double the size of the previous one) and a new CD writer, or so I thought! Apparently, the previous CD writer was actually faulty, and was replaced with another. However, after attempting to write a CD using the CD drive, it became apparent that the CD drive had been replaced with a CD ROM. Again, I called the premium helpline again, but after convincing the individual it was the incorrect drive, I was told that the PC would have to be taken away again. However, after explaining the warranty is due to expire in the next week, I convinced the individual to post a new drive, which I would then replace, then send the previous drive back. Therefore, I write this report as I have just installed the new drive, which now works perfectly. Although the past year has been, to say the least, a struggle with Hewlett Packard, the PC now works as intended, albeit after receiving a number of very expensive phone bills. However, I do commend Hewlett Packard on the swift repair and return of the PC, which was taken from London, to Warrington, then back in a matter of three days. But thankfully, the new CD Writer and PC works perfectly, but as I write this review on the now fully functioning PC, I have a few words of warning.. Firstly, when a problem occurs with a branded PC, calls to the help lines are usually charged at premium rates. Secondly, most call centres use computer programs called expert systems, which ask a series of questions for you to answer. Then, on an elimination basis, the source of a particular problem is then identified, however, you will not be sent any new hardware, or your PC will not be repaired unless you have responded to every question has been answered. Finally, On-Site warranties are very rarely what they mean – with several problems occurring with my PC, Hewlett Packard could
not find ANY employees to come out on-site to fix the problem – they requested that the PC is posted back to their factory, which they then return when the problem has been fixed. To conclude, although this computer is aesthetically pleasing, beware of after sales services.