After poking around for a while, I finally settled on the HP DV1000 laptop. It was cheaper, but still had all the functionality I was looking for. And although the Powerbooks are lustworthy, given that all of my current jobs involve Windows programming, I couldn’t do it.
So I put in the order at hp.com over Saturday morning. Monday afternoon, I get email saying that they were “unable to process my order”. I call them up and ask what’s going on. They say they need me to call them from my home phone number to confirm that I’m really who I say I am – I think they were concerned that I had listed a shipping address different from the billing address (I was sending it to work so that there would be somebody to sign for it). Of course, they were about to close their hotline when I called, and I was still at work, so I would have to call them in the morning. Argh.
I call them in the morning, ask what’s going on, they transfer me to a supervisor, Maria. She said, I guess after checking caller ID, that it’s okay for me to order my laptop. Although she did spend some time checking out the shipping address – she actually said “We don’t see the company you list at that address” and I had to explain to her that we were subleasing from another company. I asked why they had refused to process my order in the first place, and she just gave me some nonsense about randomly reviewing some orders – to quote their email “We review all orders according to industry standard practices. We randomly select orders for further review for quality purpose and to ensure the integrity of our order processing system.” But she does eventually agree that I am who I say I am, and that they might be willing to take the large chunk of money I’m trying to give them.
But now apparently I have to re-submit my order. They can’t just say “Okay, we cleared this order, it’s okay”. Instead, apparently, my original order has the big red “DENIED” stamp on it. So she transfers me back to a sales rep. He starts asking me what I want on the laptop. I’m losing my patience at this point. I tell him I want what I ordered before. Duh. He digs around for a while, trying to find the order. He finally finds it, starts going through each option “Do you want this?” – I growl “Yes”. Then he has to have me give him all of my information again, billing, shipping, credit card. I’ve lost patience now. “Why can’t you just copy the information from the old order?” He has no answer.
It gets even better. I’d used a coupon code I’d found on the net to get $25 off. Not a big deal, but, still, $25. Worked fine on Saturday. Didn’t work on Tuesday. I told him that was not my fault, and since it had worked on Saturday, and he could see that it had worked because the order went in with that $25 discount, I was owed that money. He told me he couldn’t do anything about it, but he’d try to talk to a supervisor. I let it go because I was running late for work at this point.
But wait, there’s more. He starts giving me the final total, and it’s still too high, even taking the $25 into account. I realize that he’s charging me for shipping. I tell him that’s wrong, that all laptops are shipping free. He tells me he thinks I’m right, but “the system” isn’t doing that right now. I reiterate that I got free shipping on Saturday, and I demand to get it again, considering that the screwup was on their part, not mine. He again pleads that he has no control, but he’ll get it looked into. I’m furious at this point, but I have a meeting to get to at work, so I let it go.
I ask him if he could at least expedite the shipping from the normal ground 5-7 days to 2-day shipping given the inconvenience that he’s caused me. He, of course, says no, he doesn’t have authority to do that. I just give up at this point.
By the end of this process, I’d wasted over an hour on the phone, the laptop I wanted will be delayed a few days because of their screwup, and it looks like they are charging me over $100 extra from what I was originally charged between the lost coupon code and the shipping screwup. I waited to see what showed up on my credit card to give them the opportunity to get it right, but they screwed it up, so I’m going to call them again in the morning (they’re not open today) and yell at them some more about that.
The moral? HP sucks. If I don’t get satisfaction tomorrow (at least cancelling the extra charges, and asking for a discount beyond that for my trouble), I’m going to cancel the order and just buy a Thinkpad or a Powerbook. Bastards. I guess some times paying extra is worth the money.