I am seriously upset with the Hewlett-Packard Company for their declining product quality and recent changes in their policy for dealing with warranty issues. Historically, I have been a big HP fan. I bought their first (and several more recent) calculator and their first ink-jet printer and have bought many of their laser printers for my home and business. HP had carefully built up a reputation for quality and service from their beginning in electronic instrumentation and kept it as they moved into calculators and printers. However, my recent experience indicates that they have abandoned their focus on quality and have compounded that mistake by also abandoning their reputation for service.
In March I bought a new HP Deskjet 9800 printer (11 X 17 inkjet printer) to replace a similar one I had been using for about 4 years in my office and had finally just worn out. Ten days ago that new printer just quit working and sent my computer a message that it had a “carriage fault”. There was nothing I could see wrong with the printer so I took it to my local independent computer repair shop. They reported that it did, in fact, have a carriage fault caused by a broken carriage belt and attachment point and that they could not fix it because HP would not sell them repair parts. When I called HP they said warranty repairs were handled by sending the broken printer to HP and they would fix it and send it back in 3 to 6 weeks. When I protested that this offer was completely unacceptable since I could not shut my business down for a month waiting for them to repair the printer, they offered that I could pay them $50 to send a refurbished (I think this means “previously broken”) printer and then I could send my printer back in the same box. It seems to me that HP has tried to increase their short-term profits by making cheap printers and living off their reputation for quality. That resulted in a lot of warranty claims so they are attempting to reduce that expense by making it difficult to get warranty service (no local shop service, just mail in your printer at your expense) and hoping most people will not pursue a claim.
Obviously, I won’t continue to be an HP customer and will take every opportunity to discuss how unhappy I am with their quality and service. What is the leadership team at HP thinking? I am thinking I will have to figure out which other printer company to buy from.