2011/12/22 "HP Warranty Service: Snail's Pace or Pony-Go-Round"
  • Press Release No. 95/1431
  • 22/12/2011

TODAY, on December 22, our patience was exhausted. First of all, this information is meant for those who are going to purchase the goods and services of Hewlett-Packard and Pony Express Company. The story started sixteen days ago: on December 7, 2011 our cool HP multifunctional printer/copier/scanner (purchased by our sponsor) ate a letter of reply from the RF Ministry of Public Health and Social Development. We managed to extract the greater part of the paper but the machine would keep inside a thin stripe of the paper. If it had been an old printer, we'd have repaired it on our own with the help of a screwdriver. But we could not treat our cool machine that way. Fortunately, our sponsor paid for five year warranty. So, we were eager to enjoy HP services.

Lubov Frolova, assistant to the foundation lawyers, contacted HP Moscow call centre: she named our organization and the number of the printer and asked to send their expert to our office to repair it. Representatives of Hewlett-Packard happily informed us, "You purchased your printer more than a year ago, and your warranty term expired." They offered to repair the printer for 17,000 rubles! We thought, "Cool! We'll have to learn to extract paper on our own. In a year we'll be qualified enough to be able to manage without help." Then we contacted our volunteer Alexei Popov, "Take a screwdriver and come to our office - we'll teach you how to earn big money."

On December 8, Alexei arrived at the office after his workday and said that the employees of the Hewlett-Packard centre had been misleading us. Our Care Pack warranty is valid until 2015. According to the warranty document, HP is to repair our printer within twenty-four hours. The HP site says: "Broken equipment can result in waste of time and employees' lower efficiency. Today, many companies trust high speed and efficient HP printers. HP Care Pack services can provide your business with the right level of hardware and software support to match your needs. You will be served the next workday. An authorized expert arrives at a client's office the next day after application." We were inspired by the information. We changed our minds and decided not to use a screwdriver. Veronika Marchenko, head of the organization, contacted the call centre and demanded that they should send their Care Pack expert within 24 hours. An HP employee answered, "We accept applications till18:00 and we can't accept yours because it's 18:30."

We are persistent people. On December 9, Veronika Marchenko made another call to the HP call centre. First, they asked her to tell about our problem. Then she was advised to talk to one of their engineers: he would find a detail that was wrong. Veronika answered, "We don't need any detail; all we need is a piece of paper that is stuck inside." All the same, they connected her with an engineer and she had to repeat the story to him. After that, they finally registered our application. Hurrah! Then we argued on a service date. We thought that they should repair the printer on December 9 because HP had been rejecting our application for two days. HP insisted on December 12, i.e. the next workday (Monday). The dispute came to nothing. In two hours, Svetlana Filippova made another call. In reply to her questions, they promised to deliver us a mysterious detail and send an engineer to our office. They added that the detail needed was available in HP's Moscow storehouse and that it would have been bad if they had had to order it in a faraway place. We agreed to wait till December 12. We believed that those people would try their best. At the moment we didn't know that their promises were mere lies.

The long-awaited day - December 12 - arrived. We were expecting for an engineer and the notorious part of the printer. Half a day passed. Neither engineer, nor detail arrived. No call from the call centre. Svetlana Filippova called to the centre. An employee asked her about the application number and informed that the detail needed was available in their storehouse. Svetlana answered that the information had been known to us since the previous Friday and that the detail, as well as their engineer, should have been at our office at that very moment. She reminded the employee that the printer should be repaired within 24 hours. The HP employee stayed calm and cool, "Our engineer will arrive after the delivery of the detail... or tomorrow."

On December 13, a call was made by Anna Kashirtseva, our press secretary. A week without a functioning printer had been a struggle for us. She asked, "What's all that about? Where's the detail? Where's your engineer?" And again an HP employee told about the detail in the storehouse. The press secretary said that our volunteers could transport the detail quicker than their couriers. But the employee rejected her offer... and promised to try her best to solve the problem.

On December 14, we didn't call to the call centre. We didn't want to hear once again the story about the detail in HP's storehouse. We were just waiting. But it was a vain hope. Nobody showed up.

On December 15, our traditional HP call was made by Svetlana Filippova. This time they told us something new - about a pony. At first we thought that the company had found a new way to solve the problem and decided to deliver the long-awaited detail with the help of a little pony (not bad in Moscow's traffic jams). We tried to guess how much time the pony would need to reach Luchnikov Lane. But the pony appeared to be the Pony Express Company. Svetlana Filippova asked about what pony couriers had been doing during the previous days and why the detail was still in the storehouse. She said that such ‘prompt services' should have been called Snail Express. Veronika Marchenko wrote a letter of complaint and sent it to the site ‘Hewlett-Packard-Russia': "Up to this day, nobody has come to our office and repaired the machine. The firm received the money for five year warranty!!! We have never come across such negligence before. You should not deceive people. If you are not able to repair equipment within 24 hours, do not mention it in your warranty document! If you did mention it, do or die. We are outraged."

Reply to the letter of complaint, "Thank you for your interest in Hewlett-Packard."

On December 16, the day started with our HP phone call. Svetlana Filippova asked about the detail. Again they told the story of the Pony Express. We were assured that the detail would be delivered that same day or on December 19, after the weekend... The employee promised that their engineer would arrive the next day after the delivery...

On December 19, Anna Kashirtseva asked an HP employee, "When?" The answer was, "Today... or tomorrow."

‘Today' passed. Then ‘tomorrow' arrived. Nothing happened. On December 20, Anna Kashirtseva made another call. An HP representative - calm and reserved - asked, "Did you receive the detail from the storehouse?"

Then Anna Kashirtseva called to the Pony Express Company. She talked to their employee Olga Korshunova. The latter apologized for the delay and told a fantastic story: "On December 16, their courier lost his way.... They did not know the foundation phone number to call back..." So that's why neither a courier, nor an engineer showed up in our office. Olga Korshunova assured us that they would try their best to improve the situation, "Today... or tomorrow."

And sure enough, nothing happened - ‘today', ‘tomorrow', and ‘the day after tomorrow'.  Our printer is still out of order. It's hard to work without it because we have to copy numerous documents while representing the interests of dead soldiers' families. And we have to upset our sponsors who paid for a five year warranty: they paid for nothing. We made one more call to the Pony Express Company. On December 22 they said, "We can't promise to deliver you the detail."

Since December 9, the foundation has won several cases. Our lawyers represented the interests of parents of dead soldiers in Syktyvkar, Ulan-Ude, Khabarovsk, and Tambov. Beside the broken printer we had some other problems. For instance, our lawyer was not able to reach Gorodovikovsk Town, Rep. of Kalmykia, because she got in a bus accident at the 60 km of the Kashirsky highway (thank God all the passengers were safe). Lawyers of our nonprofit organization travel long distances to arrive at regional courts in time to help people in regions. We can't comprehend that it's possible for a company to receive money for warranty services and then fail to deliver a detail from a storehouse located in Moscow to an office in downtown Moscow.