Friday, May 6, 2011

Disposable America: courtesy of Hewlett Packard

Whereby you have stumbled across an ANGRY BLOG. If you'd like to see perky, happy me, you may want to head over to Burrowers, Books and Balderdash where I am talking about my FOMS, but if you are up for a little RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, I am the MAN... or rather the woman dressed as a man dressed as a woman, but there was man in there somewhere, so we will go with it.

So I Threatened Hewlett Packard this week. They refused to be Blackmailed, and so I am forced to follow through. HA! Take THAT, Corporate Bad Guy!

excuse my lack of graphic software
The Story

We have had a desk top computer (the same one) for about four years now. It is a lemon. It has ALWAYS been a lemon... susceptible to viri (can I do that? If more than one octopus is octopi, seems more than one virus should be viri). For starters, it came equipt with Works (I know, right?) instead of USEFUL software that is USED anywhere... but never mind. That is on Bill Gates Head, which I will save for the last section.

Anyway... I had to reload the hard drive on this puppy several times before the discs would no longer do the trick. Then, it had to be wiped and redone by the fabulous boys at A2 Computers a little over a year ago... Then FINALLY two weeks ago... NOTHING... all the programs were just... GONE.

I took it into my boys who've never failed me (we have two laptops we take to them too, so have been there several times)... I get the estimate... the time... then on the day, a CALL... Hewlett Packard doesn't provide support for computers over three years old. There is a drive I can't get. What?

Let me put this in plain English: It is Hewlett Packard's policy that if your computer is more than three years old YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN SUCKER! That Puppy is no more than an unwieldy PAPERWEIGHT.

Well that pissed me off, as you might imagine (I am poor, I hate waste, and I DETEST being told 'can't'), so I went to their website and filed a complaint with their CEO. I said he had 3 choices: 1) CALL my A2 Computer guys and fix 'em up with the driver, 2) send me a brand NEW computer tower, or 3) FACE MY PUBLIC SKEWERING.

I got an email about 3 days later: "we're looking into it, please provide your serial number, product number and a daytime phone"... I did.Immediately.

And a very friendly man named Dennis called me yesterday morning... He got some info and said he put it in the speedy pile... I thought something might happen... squeaky wheel had worked. YAY!

Grouchy man (I think he said Dave) called me back that afternoon and said... THE EXACT SAME BS MY A2 COMPUTER GUYS HAD GOTTEN FROM THEM.




So here I am, following through on my threat, since they are EVIL GREEDY CORPORATE POOPYPANTS who don't GIVE A DAMN about PEOPLE.

Do you know what Mr. Crabbypants who might be Dave gave as his REASON? “We're not the only company with this policy.” ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS? EVERYBODY IS RAPING THE PUBLIC SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL, TOO?


And so... the Skewering...

The Evil Conspiracy Insinuation Portion of this Blog

The facts presented in the blog were actually told to me. I cannot verify the accuracy of them, as the guy who told me.... well, let me introduce you...

In College I knew this guy... HE wasn't in college, he just lived there... he was a former special forces soldier of a certain unnamed (got a lot of good press this week) sector of the United States Military... He served under Ronald Reagan. In Central America. Specifically, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

He was dishonorably discharged from the military for refusal to follow orders. (the story thus far, I believe completely, the rest, may have some fiction—his, not mine—woven in, as I believe the experience messed him up quite a lot... erm... and he might have been trying to talk me into bed... and it might or might not have been necessary and/or worked *shifty*)

He said when they went in (don't remember which country) and killed the civilians in the village (I think for hiding someone they wanted) he would not put their heads on stakes to get others to cooperate. I swear that's what he said. Remember this is hearsay. Remember this is ALSO under beat-em-up Reagan.

When he got BACK to (college town), he was very angry with the US Government. Do you know how he (said he) displayed this? He blew up a Hewlett Packard Lab.

Now I'm not saying Hewlett Packard was responsible for baby-killing in El Salvador... exactly... But why on EARTH would that be where he'd take out his aggression against the horrors he'd been through?

After her did this, by the way... he was SHOT. He lost a leg. I saw not only the GONE leg, but I met him when it was still a bullet wound and the leg was THERE, so THIS detail is verified... The who shot him, isn't... secret service? CIA? HEWLETT PACKARD? I'll let YOU decide.

Note:  This man never did any TIME for blowing up that lab... Why would they want to keep it hushed?

You know me... conspiracy theorist through and through.

Now I have friends who work for Hewlett Packard (they're based in Boise Idaho, for pete's sake, where a third of my high school class moved)... so I'd like to believe they are CAPABLE of doing the right thing, but I'll tell you what. When I call Dennis back and tell him my opinion of their FREAKING CUSTOMER SERVICE, I hope Dave gets FIRED for refusing to talk the MORALITY of creating products intended to be disposable. (Yes, I said it was immoral and he said he wouldn't talk to me about morality... in fact he repeatedly had only TWO messages 'he understood my concerns' (I call Bullshit) and 'Everybody does it' (hello, mob violence)

The REAL Concern and (more serious) RANT

Corporations in this country, somewhere around the 70s, decided they could make a KILLING by making things that were NOT FIXABLE.

Have you ever seen pictures from Cuba? All those cars from the 50s are STILL RUNNING. But in the 70s they quit MAKING cars you could fix. They wanted us to buy NEW cars instead. (not just the US here, to be fair, though Volkswagen held out another decade or so).

Reagan (who was actually Satan) began the easing of credit that stopped consumers from ever fighting this... need a new one? Borrow some money... (after all... what a beautiful stimulus to the economy...)

By the time computers were a household thing, the thinking was solidly in place. The early ones lasted five or so years... if they didn't, who could guarantee they would catch on? But once they were securely in the mainstream... something that coincided with the internet... three years... Oh, sure, argue it has to do with technology... but honestly... if I don't NEED THE FREAKING NEW TECHNOLOGY, why are earth make it so you can't FIX my freaking computer? (the Driver was not AVAILABLE)--is there a REDDER flag for we just don't want you to be able to fix it?

Well let me tell you something, HEWLETT PACKARD: turning computers into land fill is IMMORAL! Our earth doesn't have ROOM to have a billion people worth of computers added to the land fill every three years.

And you know what ELSE? It is IMMORAL! (yes, for a second reason). There are haves and have nots in this world and ESPECIALLY in this country, and to put yet another obstacle up for the people WHO CAN'T AFFORD to replace their damn computers. It is ADDING to the problem.

You heard me. I called you EVIL.

And for good measure: BILL GATES: It is IMMORAL to create a monopoly with a product that makes all these companies think they have to CHANGE at this speed. You are perfectly capable of making things compatible with older stuff. And it is IMMORAL to inflict the new Microsoft on all of us (bring back the 2003 option, even if our software is more current, as the new stuff SUCKS)

There may or may not be future editions of this rant directed at AT&;T, car companies, and Detroit Edison.

Call to Action:

1)  Do NOT buy Hewlett Packard Products unless I tell you they've sent me a free computer.
2)  ASK when you purchase things that really should last a long time what the average life is (the warranty is a good clue) and DON'T BUY things that are impossible to fix or can only be fixed for a few years.
3)  COMPLAIN to any business who acts like disposable is okay. It's not. But they won't change until we DEMAND it.

Holy Cow, we as consumers have forgotten that it is OUR RIGHT to demand VALUE for our money and to spurn anyone who doesn't provide it!  DEMAND IT!  Businesses are only IN business because of us, but we have to work together!!!


Missed Periods said...

I know. It is absolutely infuriating: the waste, the money, the frustration, the fact that they don't give a shit about their customers, and most importantly, the gall to share initials with the illustrious Harry Potter, who could totally fix the computer with a spell. Well, Hermione would probably do a better job with that; she could probably muster up a Word 2003 spell.

Tundiel said...

See, this is why the hubby buys separates and builds his own PC. Computer manufacturers are evil. *nods* You know how many laptops I have gone through in the last few years? Too many!! But the desktop runs fine, and even when we've had a problem, Daz has stripped it down, found the gremlin, then fixed and/or replaced it.

Brilliant rant, Tami!

ViolaNut said...

Rant away, babe, rant away! Come to think of it, wasn't Mari's ill-fated laptop an HP too? Not good. Come to think again, I think my defunct scanner is also an HP, and it's defunct because the installation software was not compatible with my new(er) computer...

(Now for the grammar geek portion of this comment: the plural of "octopus" is actually "octopodes" - it's Greek, not Latin. Not like that ever stops anyone, so carry on. ;-) )

Ted Cross said...

I never buy HP, though Dell isn't that much better. Apple is the worst about making things proprietary so that you can't intermix with other products.

Grandpa said...

You are not alone - my daughter-in-law was doing a campaign against HP too the other day - her rants were all over FB, where she swore not to touch any HP product again.

Life on The Farm

Christine Murray said...

I'm loving the college guy story. You should so write a book about that!

Ebendy said...

Hi friend,great post you have here.It's really nice to be back once more to your lovely blog.
Hope you good.It has been a while we since connected so I decided to pass by and say hello and also let you know that, I have just posted the "5" steps to mind liberation so come check it up and comment. Will be following you and expecting to share and learn from you respectively.Have a wonderful and fruitful day hoping to hear from your lovely self again. A million thanks in advance.


Cruella Collett said...

Insert "Dell" for "HP" (and perhaps take out the Nicaragua stuff - I don't have any proof they are involved there), and you've got my situation three (two?) years ago to the point. Now, I'd hate to steal your illusions of the "utopia" I call home, but those rules - they apply everywhere (maybe not Cuba). In good ol' socialist democratic Norway? Yup. Three years. If your computer lasts longer than that you're expected to find a nursing home and re-runs of "Falcon Crest" for it - not to USE it anymore. The worst thing here (well, THERE, since I am not here [there]), to me, is that we DO have legislation for this. Rules that say that computers and stuff like that should have a life expectancy for so and so many years. BUT, the stores overrule that by making up loopholes (such as parts for the computers having shorter life span than the entire computer - which is Goldilocks [yes, new swearword], because the rest of the computer isn't working without these parts!), or they simply trick people into believing they have no rights when they do, OR they make us invest in expensive "insurances" (that basically only will get you what a good lawyer would be able to get you anyway, but who hires a lawyer for things like that, right?) which when the judgement day comes often turn out to be useless as it only applies to external injuries (but not wear&tear). So, if you "accidentally" hit the computer with your car, you're good, but if it breaks because it was made crappy - you get nada.

So YES, rant ON! Morality isn't even a part of the vocabulary for things like this.

(For the record, I had a Dell, but exchanged it with a Compaq which is a part of the HP family. Mine is working fine, but one of these I am "accidentally" hitting it with a car to cash in the store insurance policy. Even if that is a crappy environmental policy.)

Jan Morrison said...

Hi tartlette, eeks. I wonder if you could go bigger with this. Did you facebook it? Just wondering. My life is too fragged, too Goldilocked, to jump on this with you but when I recover from this malaise, I'll be there. beside you, ranting and rolling. (rolling what? - nother story. I can't believe something that costs the amount of money a computer does only lasts that long - why - our stooooooooopid prime minister is good for another four years and he cost nothing.

Old Kitty said...

Now this is what I call sublime NAKED civil protest!

Take notes, people, take notes!

And take care! :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I could've told you not to buy Hewlett Packard! Cheap computers. Go Dell next time.

Hart Johnson said...

MP-Ah, but magic messes those electronics! Then again, they can just apparate and I could pop into that HP headquarters and punch him in the nose.

Tara-I may go with a 'built' this time, too--my computer guys sell them. I wish somebody at our HOUSW knew something about it...

Leanne-yeah, that bugs me TOO--that incompatibility with older models... trying to force us to buy the new one.

Ted-so what DO you buy!? teehee

Grandpa-good to be in good company, then!

Christine-oh, he was a character, alright... such a character that I think an editor would point him out and say 'this character isn't realistic' *snort*

Ebendy-nice to see you again!

Mari-I LIKE though, that Norway has the laws... at least they recognize this as a problem. If more countries made those laws, they'd have to respond. *giggles at Goldilocks*

Jan- *hugs* I'm so sorry you're going through such a funk. And MAN, are you right! A computer ought to last AT LEAST as long as as an administration. And I HAVE ranted a little on FB...

Jenny-Naked certainly will get a lot more attention!

Alex-you missed Mari's Dell experience there, didn't you?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think our first computer was a HP. Wasn't very powerful!

Anonymous said...

I still have a HP laptop that won't die although everything has something wrong with it. Apple all the way for us.

L.G.Smith said...

My last desktop was HP and it was the worst computer I ever owned. Coincidentally, it lasted about three years. Hmm...I went Apple and never looked back. I've been very happy.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

what asshats. My previous PC was a Toshiba, and when i bought it it was refurbished. Thing lasted me over 8 years. I still have it (though the speakers don't work). It's fine for simple things like internet useage or word documents

Marjorie said...

I decided NOT to go with an HP this time around and thanks to your rant probably not ever again. I had my HP for 4 or 5 years. About halfway through that time my power supply failed and I had to buy a new one. Not cool, HP! Last year I bought a new computer. I really do hate that things are so disposable nowadays. Make things that last and can be FIXED! Stupid corporations!

Stacy Gail said...

HP, you have lost my business (to be honest you lost it years ago by selling me a lemon, but never mind)! To be so unabashedly transparent in your corporate greed as to BUILD obsolescence into your daily operations is... is... completely expected from you soulless pooheads. I would moon you, but my flat little bum is too good for the likes of you. Hmph.

I'm almost afraid to ask, Tart, but did you lose anything important when the desktop gave up the ghost?

Pk Hrezo said...

Can I just tell you that I have been boycotting HP products for a few months now? I despise HP. They had a faulty chip in my HP laptop that was proven over and over to be faulty ... there's even a YouTube video on it, but they would NOT acknowledge the model of my laptop as having this problem. I called, I emailed, I kicked and screamed... they refused to do anything, even tho they knew they used faulty chips which cause their laptops to overheat. My hubby actually took it apart and fixed it based on the YouTube how-to guide, and fixed it himself. The result? i went out and bought a Sony Vaio and they have excellent support. I will never buy HP products again.
So here, here, sister!

Helena said...

I LOVE that you let rip a huge honkin' RANT. But how did you get American customer service help? When I call HP about our office HP computers (which regularly break down after about THREE YEARS - not kidding, I mean they DIE), I always find myself talking to someone in India who can't help me. And while laying off some of its top computer experts, HP pays its CEOs obscene salaries and eight figure golden parachute to go away. This is why there's so much waste and planned obsolescence: you've gotta keep buying their doomed-to-fail products to keep the CEOs obscenely rich.
Your bomber friend must be the one you mentioned on my blog. I don't doubt he's telling the truth. Human rights organizations have documented countless horrific atrocities in Central America under Reagan's disastrous policies, and yes, American soldiers trained and accompanied many death squads. Heads on spikes? I don't doubt it. What happened there even figures in The Compass Master (my novel which you know about), and a lot of the research I did turned my stomach.

Helena said...

Oops. I just realized that that while HP has failed us in my office, it might have been Dell when I ended up talking to someone in India. By the way, you really don't want to buy Dell either. But I've heard good things about Apple.

Hart Johnson said...

Sounds like Toshiba and Sony might be the winners...

Giggles at Helena--I emailed the CEO and THEY called ME... (but it was a few days later... not helpful for an office...)

Johanna Garth said...

Arrgh! I feel your pain except mine has been with a about disposable goods. Those are made to last about a year!!

Deb and Barbara said...

Man did you nail this point!! It is beyond frustrating -- and we all face it several times over when you consider how much shit we have that can break down!!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Wow! I read this whole, big, long thing, plus many of the comments, because it is so interesting. Yes. It's is totally infuriating. And, Yes, Dang technology companies have ALL THE CONTROL. They tell us consumers, oh, you better use reusable bags and alumninum water bottles because you're filling up the landfills. When, hey! I'd keep using my darn toaster oven if it lasted more than one year. But, it doesn't, and no one can fix it for less than the cost of a new one. So, throw that crap away. And, with technology, who ever let the companies get by with NOT having things compatible? That IS criminal, but we all buy into it. Keep throwing out and buying new so we can keep up, be informed, and make a living in this corrupt world.
So, I feel your pain. Sorry your computer is a dud.
I hear Macs are good.
Happy Mother's Day.

GigglesandGuns said...

For a number of years every holiday season I worked for an electronics/appliance store. The longest time anything in your home is built to last is five years and most as you've learned are only good for three. Until consumers stop accepting this that's the way it will stay.

Matt Conlon said...

I'm an IT guy, and I totally agree that the whole transaction you had was complete BS.

I deal primarily in Dell computers, and they're probably just about as bad. In the last five years, support folks (except for me of course...) have really taken a turn for the worst! I absolutely loath calling any support line.

You have every right to be outraged, you were not treated well. uh... at the risk of being "that guy"... That policy is actually not a bad idea, although 3 years is a little too small a time period.

The reason being, software changes so fast, that supporting hardware older than X is just impossible. Companies stop stocking certain parts because they cost too much, etc... Now, like I say, 3 years is not a reasonable amount of time...

With Dell, if you need an obscure part, typically the HAVE the part, but they try to save them for Warranty replacements... You can extend your warranty, even after it's expired on a dell machine for relatively short money, and if you do, and something breaks, you get first dibs on the parts.

HP has never been my brand of choice for anything other than printers... they do printers pretty well.

Crystal Pistol said...


You are SEXY when you're angry, Hart The Tart! A downright pistol. BANG BANG! Scuuurred a you! :)

Danette said...

I am on board with you on this one! Not only with HP (which pissed me off because I have printer which has been a pain in the ass but this year they suddenly quit producing the ONLY color semi-gloss or gloss paper (the ONLY DAMN PAPER!!!!) that my printer will print on without jamming. I can't believe that I have to buy a new printer because I can't find the right paper! It's disgusting!!!!) but I have had the same problem with other computers and yes, cars and televisions are just as bad. Furniture is made so cheaply that regular wear & tear makes it look shabby in a few years. I bought a couch set in 1998 and the ottoman looked like it had been through a war after a year or two. I hate planned obsolescence. I hate that there is actually a term for the whole situation. It's a (very real) plot to separate us all from our money and until we all start figuring that out and figuring out how to fight it- we will continue on. And we will all continue to be poor beggars replacing our sh*t every few years while they get rich off of our stupidity.
Great Rant!!! Cheers to you!

Cold As Heaven said...

Computers are made to last for 3 years. Then you're supposed to buy a new one. I'm afraid this not typical for only HP, but rather the entire computer industry. You know, this is the way we keep economy running 8and growing), manufacturing crap that we junk after a couple of years (Chinese-made bikes are junked after one year)

Cold As Heaven

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

wow man... ( mean women dressed as man) you can rant... I think... I am on yourside.. I came to wish you a happy mother's day...

Su said...

You tell 'em, Hart! I feel the same way about planned obsolescence.. load of rubbish. If you want to get really angry about the whole nonsense, read The Story of Stuff. I've more or less sworn never to buy new things again after reading that (although realistically, I know I'll have to sometimes). :(