Monday, October 23, 2006

Customer Dis-service

Earlier this year my HP desk jet told me that the color cartridge was empty. I bought a replacement. It then told me I had a faulty cartridge. I got another replacement. It continued to tell me that so I using the printer troubleshooting options, which failed to resolve the issue. I checked the manual, and still no solution. Plus notably there was no apparent customer support phone number. I then went online to see about contacting customer support. Again no apparent option for phone support, however they had online chat, which I tried, and once connected, no one ever came on. Still no further ahead. The next day to my amazement I received an email survey asking about my online chat support service. I responded with some constructive feedback, and also requested some help. This was back in June of this year (or possibly earlier, since the email is long gone). On October 10, I received the following email:

Recent HP chat support experience (KMM15217737V81510L0KM)
HP DeskJet E-mail Support

Hello, this is James from HP,I am writing to you in response to your recent communication with HP in which you indicated that you were dissatisfied with HP's service performance. I'd like an opportunity to better understand the issue and see if we can address it for you. If you respond to this email by sending me your phone number, then I will call you promptly to discuss the matter.

It would have almost been better if they had never responded. The use of the phrase 'recent communication' made it obvious that they have no concept of response time. At this point I responded just to see how ludicrous this might get. It is now October 23, and still no response, but given their liberal use of the term recent, I can't really expect much from statement 'call you promptly to discuss'.

It is unacceptable these days for companies to not understand the importance of customer service. Whats more they must understand that every touch point with the customer is a marketing opportunity. Maybe if HP put their customer service group under the direction of the CMO, they might have some better luck. For all their advanced technology such as online chat, automated surveys, etc they obviously still don't get it.

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