14 Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee – consumerist.com – The content of the website sounds plausible, and provides some good tips on how to get HP to answer you back when you have technical issues with its products.

1: Many HP Printers, like their laser printers, have a built-in page-count after which they won’t work. This resides in the a transpart sometimes called image or drum kit. Rather than get the printer fixed, it’s often cheaper to buy a new printer, OR you can do a NV ram reset. It resets everything in the printer, including all the page counts, but it’s not without risks.

2: To get past the voice prompt system, repeatedly say “Agent.” It will take two or three repetitions, but it will get you to a human.

3: If a set of cartridges cost more than the printer, don’t buy the printer. It’s considered a “throwaway” printer. HP service techs are told to spend no more than 30 minutes working on these because at that point, you are costing HP money.

I wonder if they put something in their scientific calculators, I can’t tell you how many times I was sure to have entered the right commands while doing my exams in college, only to realise that the results were wrong while reviewing my answers. My HP48GX turned out to be not so trusty. It’s a conspiracy to torture engineering students, I tell you.

Here’s an update to the story, with 9 more secrets:

3: HP considers countries like Canada to be not worth the time or effort to market to. The market base in there is equivalent to one of the smaller American States. If you are calling in from Canada, you have to prove that you are in warranty and some of the features that Americans get, Canadians don’t

8: I just wish I could give you the “stupid customer stories” because some of them are hilarious. Others are hair pulling. There’s the one customer who used an HP printer from Eastern European country and plugged it straight into an American electrical socket and the magic blue smoke came out. Then there’s a customer who thought that printing cardboard was a good idea because the sales guy told them so.



  1. @$tr0Gh0$t says:

    Does anybody have nightmares about not graduating after having left college? Mine usually involves not having attended a class so I didn’t get the required credits to graduate.
    Scary stuff!

  2. TIm Harris says:

    Hey John, why don’t you do a report on Lexmark spyware that creates a virtual server out of your printer and sends your usage information back home to momma. See, us Texans know a thing or two about what you silicon valley elites have in mind when you jack down the cost of price on a product. Or better yet, why don’t you do a report on Alkamai Technologies. Cnet is quick to make reports on them acquiring new companies, but fails to report what they actually do. I think they reported Alkamai being a content provider. Hah. Their CEO was from the NSA who pitched stealing information from people’s desktops and sending it straight to data retrieval by our government through the use of banner ads and what not. No, I don’t think you’ll be reporting on that one as well.

  3. Greymoon says:

    #2
    Hey you Texans, please recall your spyware called G. W. Bush, we elites know what happens when you jack down the intelligence of a politician. Or better yet recall Bush, make him governor again and go attack Mexico, the evil must be stopped. Remember the Alamo.

    Back on topic. HP= corporate business as usual. Maximize profits, minimize expenditures, all hail the mighty dollar. Used to be in the days of old HP printers were a quality product, its to bad they succumbed to bean counters and became like every other corporate entity.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Comment deleted for violating the Comment Guidelines.

  5. lou says:

    It is sad, but I wouldn’t jump on HP or american business in general too quickly. Consumers can expect too much, and are in general unwilling to pay for quality products and services. I know there are counterexamples (the rise of the Japanese auto in this country), but seriously:

    * people shop Amazon for the discounts, but expect customer service like the local bookstore. Well then shop in the local bookstore! (And I hope you don’ t think the local bookstores, which are closing rapidly, are making crazy money).

    * people used to come into my computer store (circa 1985) to get info, and then go back and order the computer mail order to save money. Witness: not too many real computer stores left (I don’t count the discount chains).

    Bottom line: people want to have their cake (low prices) and eat it as well (free service). American business has to be the same way back to survive.

  6. Ryan Vande Water says:

    #4, you’re right. Only one outlet on the web should be posting stories. In fact, only one newspaper and one TV station in the world should cover any given story.

    Guess what…. lots of people DON’T read digg, (including me) and could care less if the contributors here are posting the same thing that’s posted on digg.

    Sowat =~ s/So/t/;

    (there’s a little perl/regexp joke for all you geeks!)

    Ryan

  7. Curmudgen says:

    #4 Damn! You’re good!
    To whom are you referring??

  8. @$tr0Gh0$t says:

    #4, if you noticed, there has been an update to the story, which is something that would not happen if you only used DIGG, once a story is posted there are no updates to it on that social news website, you would only see an update if it became popular again.

  9. Sowat says:

    #6…. yeah, I know a lot of people don’t read digg….. I don’t mind seeing a lot of stuff that dugg showing up here a day or two later. But there is SOOOOOO much that is posted here from Digg.

    It is as though the posters here are simply picking out their favorites over on Digg and putting them here.

    But it is true #8, that this is a good place to get better updates on some of these things.

    You know, like the HP “14 things” story, that later updated the 9 additional things.

    Plus, this place is a good place to discuss things, since the community here is so much smaller.

    So I stand (partly) corrected.

    BTW, just curious…. why don’t you read Digg? Don’t like it? Don’t have time for it? Just wondering….

    a problem with them RE-posting stuff here

  10. George B says:

    “HP considers countries like Canada to be not worth the time or effort to market to. The market base in there is equivalent to one of the smaller American States.”

    Canada’s population(33 million) is nearly the same size as California’s population (35 million) and is bigger than any other state’s population. If HP’s market base is smaller in Canada it is because of incompetence, ignorance, stupidity, or all three. Time to rethink my investment in HP stock.

  11. GregA says:

    At the office we have an ancient hp color laser 5500. Its gotta be pushing 10 years old. It has a page count of about 1.5 million.

    Last year in all the stores I replaced all various printers we used with a $300 hp color laser. I havent taken a tech support call on em yet.

    I love my hp laser printers. Various ink jets, not so much.

  12. @$tr0Gh0$t says:

    Well, I have to say that when the cost of replacing the inks on an ink jet printer surpasses the price of the printer, something fishy is going on.

  13. Mark says:

    “1.Does anybody have nightmares about not graduating after having left college? Mine usually involves not having attended a class so I didn’t get the required credits to graduate.
    Scary stuff! ”

    Yes I too have this recurring nighmare, usually I am just late for exams, hmmm.

    3. “Used to be in the days of old HP printers were a quality product,

    They still are, the pricey ones. The cheap ones are junk. Vitually ALL the All-in-Ones are. Epson is worse, much worse. You should do a story on Epsons infamous “head clogging” problem.

  14. Mark says:

    “* people shop Amazon for the discounts, but expect customer service like the local bookstore. Well then shop in the local bookstore! (And I hope you don’ t think the local bookstores, which are closing rapidly, are making crazy money).”

    Not only like the local bookstore, say from the local bookstore. I get 10 calls a day from people who bought their computer or printer on line, and just want to “ask me a few questions.” When I ask for a credit card for phone support, they get indignant.

    “* people used to come into my computer store (circa 1985) to get info, and then go back and order the computer mail order to save money. Witness: not too many real computer stores left (I don’t count the discount chains).”

    Yup, we provide a broken down quote that they will use as an online shopping list. I have even had them thank me later for the good advice. Sheesh.

  15. GregA says:

    Mark,

    I work in retail also. I am convinced that the days of the ma pa retail store are over accross the board. Its not just small computer stores. Unless you create some sort of vertical integration, and spread your management costs accross multiple retail outlets, I just don’t think the margins are there anymore.

  16. @$tr0Gh0$t says:

    14, 15, then how do you explain that HP was capable of surpassing Dell in PC sales when Dell has no brick and mortar stores?

  17. Mark says:

    15. Youre correct, The profit margin on computers is dismally low, around 10% and then you support it for a year. The outlets (WalMarts, etc) kick our butts because once your out their door, its adios partner. We could never get away with that. Thankfully we sell in bulk to the govt and school districts here and they have theyre own support people so that works out fine. Plus we do a lot of specialty things like commercial UPS’s and network support. But if it werent for that we would close our doors. 5 years to retirement Greg, 5 more years thats all I want.

  18. Mark says:

    16. WalMart and Office Depot. Try getting it repaired there. HP has no brick and mortar “stores” either. We are an HP dealer but have none of their computers on in our shop, we sell in bulk as stated above. Its just name recognition. But we do actually “repair” them here. What a concept!

    BTW. Dell does have “dealers”. They dont like talk about it, but I was an Authorized Distributor for Dell in the Virgin Islands, and we also have one here in small town Colorado.

  19. GregA says:

    #16,

    I gotta say, HP is doing great in the PC market, because they are currently (they havent always) making a very good product. Right now I am on a Compaq Presario that I purchased at circut city last august. I dont remember exactly what I paid, but it was less than $500. I am running Vista with Aero on it BTW. Working Great. I have to say, this is the ONLY computer and os combination that I have never experienced a crash with.. But Ive only been using Vista for a couple of weeks, so lets give it some time 😉

    I used to manufacture computers for our operation, I was quite good at it, and those computers last for many years. By far the most time consuming task was unboxing all the oem parts. But now days, when you can purchase a fully functional business computer for a few hundred bucks, unbox it, add it to the domain, and never look at it again I simply cant justify building my own computers anymore.

    I did have one issue upgrading this computer to vista. It was either the propritary HP restore system, or some boot sector virus protection on the bios, but it hasn’t been an issue since i fixed it (i poped the vista boot cd in and clicked repair)

    I havent looked at market share in the pc industry recently, but if HP has indeed surpassed dell it is because these compaq presario PC’s are simply problem free at a nominal price. Also, you can buy them anywhere… Office supply stores, curcut city, Best Buy…

    Still I wish someone would release a computer with an iMac style form factor without the OSX premium.

  20. JL says:

    #10
    You will rethink your investment in HP stock based on the comments of a blog?
    I wonder…
    I live in Perú, South America. We’re not even a country for HP’s standards (we are part of a group of countries) but we do get great service. I don’t think the part about Canada is true.

  21. GregA says:

    #20,

    Uncertainty, ethical and legal problems are enough for me to think long and hard about investing in HP stock. However, their Laser printers and desktop computers are top notch IMHO. Also they seem to have an excellent profit center in selling toner and ink for their printers. I know I always feel a little gouged after buying toner for my HP printers. But then I look at their output and compare it to everyone else and am reminded why I pay the premium.

    Their must be a lot of stratification in the management at hp though. Becuase they continue to deliver a good product in spite of years of strife in their upper management. That strife is why I would avoid them as an investment option.

  22. m. reiter says:

    I’m Canadian.I have an HP desktop and laser printer. both work very well,thank you. I have contacted HP many times to resolve problems
    and find little to complain about. the price I paid for both items was
    better than other similar items. both items set up easily and run well.
    the persons who respond to my problems(aside from India tech cen-
    ters) have shown great concern and expertise to help me.
    the complaint against HP about marketing and support to Canada
    is unfounded! I recommend the HP items I own.

  23. Smartalix says:

    I just want to know who the hell thought up reverse polish notation.


0

Bad Behavior has blocked 5501 access attempts in the last 7 days.