Hewlett Packard Things I Really Like

Good Customer Service

April 9, 2010

Not just good, but great.

Most of you have not read my saga with Hewlett Packard. I wrote several posts about my struggle with their tech support, bad customer service and my desire to get my 4 month old computer repaired or replaced. It started here and ended here. There are 16 posts all together chronicling my struggle with Hewlett Packard but if you really want to get the feel for my frustration read this one. I’ve bitched about bad customer service a fair amount in these pages but by far the worst I have ever experienced was with Hewlett Packard.

I hate outsourced customer service. I cringe when I reach someone who has a thick accent that is not American. I get upset when they try to tell me their name is Joe or Bob or some other very American sounding name. I’m not buying it. When did ‘Bob’ become the nickname for Muhammad? It didn’t. I might be American but I’m not as stupid as they seem to think I am. Tell me your real name for crying out loud, I might just believe the rest of the stuff you tell me if we start out being honest with one another.

Don’t get me started.

Last week was a craptastically bad week for me financially, and it should have been a pretty good one. I was expecting my tax refund but hadn’t seen the direct deposit even though it was supposed to be processed by the 26th of March. It wasn’t a huge refund, only $600 but it was big to me and I had budgeted for it. I was counting on the refund. I needed the refund.

Imagine my surprise when I received a rather cryptic letter in the mail stating my refund had been “recaptured”. WTF? I called the number on the letter but the office was closed. I had to wait until the next morning to find out what was going on.

I had a hunch what was going on so I called one of my exes. He had been working with the IRS for some time to pay off back taxes, taxes he didn’t file or pay while we were married. Ten years ago. We never filed jointly but apparently the IRS doesn’t care about that.

The next morning I logged into my bank, probably hoping there had been some mistake, and noticed that my car payment had been taken twice. In 24 hours I was down $1000 and I was pissed off. More than that I was scared. I had bills that had to be paid, bills that were automatically drafted. The bills that were automatically paid would put me severely in the red because of the tax issue and the double car payment.

I called about the taxes first. I got some smug government worker. I asked why they took my money and he said it was for taxes from 2000. I had gone in prepared, I had a copy of my 2000 taxes, showing a refund back then. The government worker actually said to me “you have a copy of your 2000 taxes?” he couldn’t believe I actually had files from TEN YEARS AGO. Hell, I couldn’t either. He wouldn’t give me any specifics over the phone, said he would mail information to me. He had an old address which I corrected. I wasn’t sure he got the address right since I was crying, screaming, and using the word ‘fuck’ many times. I’m pretty sure I screwed myself there.

I will say this, the government worker or agent, as he called himself, was American. There was no sign of an accent. I don’t remember his name but I bet it was something like Larry or Walter. In my minds eye he was on the late side of middle aged, balding and fat. He wore a white, short sleeved button up shirt that you could see through because he wasn’t wearing an undershirt, it was a cotton poly blend and he wore ill fitting polyester navy blue slacks. I’m sure he was wearing black socks. Larry or Walter was no Muhammad. Muhammad would have dressed better.

After slamming down the phone and crying for a few minutes I gathered myself together and called the car payment people. I called too early but left a message. A short message but a nice one, at least I didn’t swear, saying my car payment had been processed twice. I left my name and number.

A few minutes later I get a call from my agent Nick. I have talked to Nick on many occasions. I like Nick. In my minds eye Nick is young, maybe mid 20s. He wears slightly faded, properly fitting jeans, a t-shirt or sweater depending on the temperature, he has light brown hair that has just a bit of a curl in it. He is clean shaven but on the weekends he sports a little bit of stubble. He likes to barbecue with his buddies on the weekend. I’m pretty sure Nick has green eyes. Nick is just a little taller than average, where Larry is short, and he works out so he has a nice physique. Larry spends his free time eating Cheetos and has a hard time keeping his forms from getting orangish yellow smudges on them. Nick’s paperwork is smudge free.

Nick asks me how I am doing, I start blathering on about Larry. Nick lets me vent for a few minutes, he even tells me how much it sucks that Larry is such an ass. Nick doesn’t use the word ‘ass’ but I know he is thinking it. Then we get down to business.

My car payment is made through Equity Driver. They split my payment up and take half every two weeks. This does a couple of things. First, it makes the payment easier to stomach, and by taking half the payment every other week, I pay my car off sooner.

Nick tells me that indeed they made a mistake and that they will replace the funds as soon as possible. He tells me that it will take 24 hours for the transaction to post. We both know that in 24 hours other checks are going to hit my bank and that there will be charges. Nick tells me that they will cover all charges.

I’m dumbfounded.



I declare my love for Nick and Equity Driver, much like I did with my mechanic. Nick tells me to have a nice day and to call him as soon as the bank starts charging me overdraft fees. He apologizes, for the 7th or 8th time and hopes my day gets better.

Nick is great guy and he works for a great company.

The bank did charge me, several times. I sent a screen shot of the over drafts to Nick and he reduced the amount of my payment today to reflect the charges.

I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to have good customer service. I have only talked to Nick at Equity Driver so I don’t know what the other agents are like but I bet they joke around throughout the day, maybe all have lunch together on Fridays or go out after work for a drink now and then. I’m sure they are all young, healthy and happy people. I’m sure none of them are named Larry and that none of them wear polyester blends of any kind.

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  • Reply robin April 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Hi Jen ….Come join and get out one of your old posts ..or write a new one…Id love for you to participate….

    .-= robin´s last blog ..Haiku… for Change… =-.

  • Reply MandyP April 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

    You are nothing short of a genius!!! I laughed through this entire post–not at your misfortune but at your gift with words in retelling it!!!!

    Oh man have I had this happen too many times to recount! Just recently as a matter of fact. I also received fees that the company said they would refund, but nothing yet (and it’s been a week.) We’ll see.

    Love to read your writing!!
    .-= MandyP´s last blog ..A Mom Who Needs A Hand =-.

  • Reply Alison April 9, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Nick is awesome! He should get agent of the year and a big bonus. 🙂 I’m glad at least that was settled. I hope the IRS thing gets worked out as well! Maybe it’s a good thing my husband keeps documents for so long.

    On another note… I just ate cheese doodles. Good thing the keyboard can’t really get orange smudges on it.. I hope.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..Free UtterCovers Nursing Cover Again! =-.

  • Reply peedee April 9, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I’ve dealt with HP only once and it was because my laptop was in warrenty. When I called I must say I was pissed at “Bob” for saying he was a Bob when I knew he wasnt. And due to my lack of filter, I told him so. Things went downhill from there.

    Ugh, sorry your getting innundated with all this shit girl. I feel your pain as I’m always running at a deficit. Every month it never ends. I’m glad at least Nick was a bright spot in your day. Stay tuff. Its got to get better. Doesnt it???? <3
    .-= peedee´s last blog ..U2 =-.

  • Reply Anne April 9, 2010 at 11:22 am

    This is a perfect example of why customer service is so important to a business. While it would be nice for the IRS to have pleasant customer service, realistically, you don’t choose to pay your taxes and it isn’t like you are going to choose another tax collector. Equity Driver has just won your loyalty and you will probably stick with them forever as well as recommend them to all your friends. It was a great investment of $100 or whatever the fees will total. As far as the IRS is concerned, I hope they eventually send you your refund. You should be able to eventually work it out but I am sure it will be a big pain in the ass.
    .-= Anne´s last blog ..Where Am I? =-.

  • Reply SuziCate April 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Good to know there are still a few companies who care about the average Joe and have standards and nice easily understood customer servise agents.
    .-= SuziCate´s last blog ..No Longer A Cameo Appearance =-.

  • Reply laffylady April 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Hi There..Thanks for following Laugh Out Loud. I hope you will email me a link to one of your funniest posts, so I can add you to the Calendar..Im looking forward to getting to know you and your sense of humor..!!..Laffylady
    .-= laffylady´s last blog ..Laugh Out Loud =-.

  • Reply Pricilla April 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I am sorry you are having such problems.
    Want to borrow Abby? She will butt anyone for you. For free. She speaks American goat. No accent. Just plain MAAAAA!

    It is good when a company owns up to it’s mistakes and makes things right.
    .-= Pricilla´s last blog ..AbbyDay – I Am Auditioning for a MAJOR ROLE!!!!! =-.

  • Reply Linda Medrano April 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Oh damn, Jen, I feel your pain. There is nothing worse than dealing with dildo’s all day long, is there? Now, to be fair, if you called customer service and some dude told you his name was Shiva Sankaramanchi or Hraj Kharajianistan, you might think twice about not wanting to call the guy Steve or or Roger! When half of our damned country is out of work, why are we still having people in other countries handle our customer service! Shit I don’t know!

    Back to the delightful Nick. Thank goodness we still have Nick in his faded well fitted jeans, and that scent of healthy American man all over him! LOL! Baby, it will all work out, but I wish you weren’t going through it.
    .-= Linda Medrano´s last blog ..The Honest Scrap Award =-.

  • Reply Barb at WillThink4Wine April 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    A lame comment from me today, but true… Customer Service is what sets me apart from my competitors! If you all sell the same product, you have to give them a reason to order it from you. My customers thank me constantly! They actually seem delighted to give me their money!
    .-= Barb at WillThink4Wine´s last blog ..Springtime at the Swamp =-.

  • Reply Lola April 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Customer Service is an oxymoron.

    About HP, I’ve had to call them a couple of times, and even though I know the woman who answered was probably in India, she was very helpful. I have no complaints about my experience with HP. Dell on the other hand, I’m not a fan of. I hope you can get your issue with HP resolved soon.

    As to the banking stuff, that’s precisely why I don’t do automatic payments. I’m a nervous Nelly about there possibly being a problem.

    I got my Federal refund today. Woo hoo! My state however is another story. I efiled through the state’s efile site and I got a letter on Monday saying that I owed. The disallowed my considerable withholding because they need to verify it. Why efile? What’s the point to efiling then if I have to send them my w2 and my return? Sorry for ranting here, it’s not something I want showing on my blog. Sorry.
    .-= Lola´s last blog ..Random Tuesday Thoughts =-.

  • Reply mike April 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    You cannot put a price on great customer service. It’s always scary when the tax department comes out with the old “You Owe Us” surprise. They never seem to make any mistakes.

    It’s good to know that Equity Driver’s policies are in the right place. Other companies would screw you over for less.
    .-= mike´s last blog ..Raindrops On Roses Suck… =-.

  • Reply injaynesworld April 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I just want to know how to take a screen shot. What? You mean everything’s not always all about me?
    .-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld we ask "What Would John Lennon Say..?" =-.

  • Reply Nicole April 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    You have the most awesome imagination! And you usually get terrible service….so glad that changed for you….even if it was just for one phone call.

  • Reply Jen April 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Robin: I’m thinking…

    MandyP: That’s the kind of service I usually expect to get but with Nick it hasn’t been that way. Everything thing he said he would do he has done, on time and with a smile in his voice.

    Alison: I don’t think things will get resolved in my favor with the IRS. It just doesn’t work that way. They have my money and I don’t think I will get it back. Cheese doodles may not leave your keyboard yellow but if you flip it upside down you will see that yellow cheese doodle hash comes out.

    Peedee: All of this was last week so I am much better now. HP sucks though they did eventually replace my computer but only after I emailed every corporate executive. If anyone needs the email addresses let me know.

    Anne: The thing with the IRS is that they could be nicer. I don’t mind paying taxes, it helps pay for our schools, our roads, our police department, fire department, and a whole slew of other services we utilize by living in this country. Larry could have been nicer. He doesn’t have to be, we have to pay taxes so he isn’t trying to earn my business. But he should. As for Nick, it didn’t cost me a thing, I was refunded everything and they got a free plug out of it. Not bad for making a mistake. And that’s the thing, everyone makes mistakes, everyone. So why not own up to it and make it better. I’d rather buy from a company that makes a mistake and takes care of it than one that refuses to acknowledge that they make them. I will NEVER buy a TOYOTA.

    SuziCate: It makes a huge difference.

    LaffyLady: I’ll see what I can do.

    Pricilla: I would love to borrow Abby, I bet no one would mess with me if Abby had my back.

    Linda: If I was dealing with dildos all day long this would be a very different post, or it wouldn’t have gotten written at all.

    Barb: Hardly a lame comment, you speak the truth. Many products are the same and the only thing that sets them apart is the customer service.

    Lola: My issues with HP were two years ago, they are all settled now. So far the computer they replaced the broken one with has worked just fine, in fact when it’s time to get a new one I might, just might go to HP, unless I go Mac. I hope you get things worked out too. It seems the IRS is always right no matter what.

    Mike: They don’t seem to make mistakes, ever. Our whole government is like that, it’s amazing really.

    Jayne: I just sent you instructions.

  • Reply Jen April 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    NIcole: Sorry, I missed you. Thanks, it isn’t always bad but the bad ones are the ones that stick out. Good customer service should be standard. And to be fair, I don’t usually deal with CSRs on a regular basis. Most things work. So I guess in that regard it’s okay.

  • Reply babs-beetle April 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    That was a great read!

    There’s only one thing that worries me. Is it a fact that only the young are considered helpful, shapely and wear cool clothes?

    I think I’ll go eat worms then 😉
    .-= babs-beetle´s last blog ..Sofa Conversation #1 =-.

  • Reply meleah rebeccah April 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Wow! I think I love Nick! Its amazing what a difference Good Customer Service makes.
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Nine] =-.

  • Reply Kristina P. April 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Good customer service is priceless. My bank was willing to waive a bounced check fee because I wasn’t the one who bounced the check! They charge me if I deposit a check that bounces.
    .-= Kristina P.´s last blog ..5 K-arat Gold =-.

  • Reply marie April 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    i wish i could say that i was stunned. but i am not.

  • Reply MikeWJ at TooManyMornings April 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Four observations:

    1) You really did have a bad week. I’m truly sorry. I’ve been there myself, quite recently, in fact, and I hope things pick up for you soon. They often do, I’ve found, but sometimes not until you think you’re going to pass out from the stress. So hang in there.

    2) I think you have a crush on Nick. It’s an unusual crush, a strange blend of finance and blue jeans with a little barbeque sauce splashed on it. That’s okay, Nick sounds like a nice guy. At least in your very detailed fantasy, which tells me you’re a creative person. Not that I didn’t already know that, of course.

    3) Ex-husbands are even more of a pain in the ass than current husbands. Not sure about ex-wives, as I don’t much about them for some reason.

    4) My wife and I have never let anybody take automatic drafts from our bank account just so that we retain full control of our money instead of, say, the bank, the car company or the mortgage. It’s less convenient, but you can’t trust these folks to do the right thing. You trust yourself, either, but you can trust you more than you can trust JP Morgan.
    .-= MikeWJ at TooManyMornings´s last blog ..Blogger Q & A: Why I Call Myself MikeWJ =-.

  • Reply MikeWJ at TooManyMornings April 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I left out a few words in that comment, as I often do because I’m an idiot and because my brain works faster than my hands. But I think it still makes sense. Just add in a “company” and “can’t” and that’ll pretty much take care of it. 😉
    .-= MikeWJ at TooManyMornings´s last blog ..Blogger Q & A: Why I Call Myself MikeWJ =-.

  • Reply MomZombie April 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Ouch and double ouch. I went through this last summer with my bank: Fifth/Third (or Big/Turd), who decided it would be funny to process payments through my account BEFORE they credited the deposit, both of which were made simultaneously. If I went in the branch and called them on it, they’d reverse the charges but all the while giving me blank stares when I asked why they’d put through a payment, overdraw my account, then make the deposit. No accents, crappy polyester blend pants or Cheetos to blame on this one.
    .-= MomZombie´s last blog ..One for each finger =-.

  • Reply mrsblogalot April 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    There is nothing better than great customer service. I used to give it myself. I can’t even bring myself to do it freely anymore but I still love getting it!

  • Reply Nicky April 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Jen, I feel your pain. You know I do. I’d lend you the shoes if you didn’t already have a pair just like them. At least there’s Nick. What a great name. Nick. I bet you’re right about the green eyes. It just goes with the name, doesn’t it? I bet you’re right about the great physique too. Again, the name says it all. I bet he’s really, really smart too. And funny. Yup, the name.
    .-= Nicky´s last blog ..Raindrops On Roses Suck… =-.

  • Reply Katherine April 10, 2010 at 12:43 am

    WOW… that is GREAT Jen! Glad they are taking care of you!

    I haven’t talked to you in a bit… I have to give you a buzz. Miss you!
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..Time for the 2010 Ultimate Blog Party =-.

  • Reply Janiss April 10, 2010 at 6:04 am

    I love the way you turned a sucky week into such a great story! And now you have me looking for a nice girl for Nick.
    .-= Janiss´s last blog ..Shameless Promotion =-.

  • Reply love2eatinpa April 10, 2010 at 8:40 am

    there is nothing like great customer service! god bless nick! he totally saved your crappy day.
    btw, love how you envision everyone over the phone! 🙂
    .-= love2eatinpa´s last blog ..Amazing Book – “goodbye ed, hello me” =-.

  • Reply Katie Krank April 10, 2010 at 11:59 am

    The problem is one thing ,how they deal with it makes all the difference in the world! I’m glad that you got one good one at least…good luck with the tax doofus!
    .-= Katie Krank´s last blog ..We’re On A Short Chicken Pox Break =-.

  • Reply Marg April 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    You are so right about the people that answer the phone that don’t know the first thing about the English language. It is so annoying, I start screaming too. Customer service is one of the most important parts of business and I think some companies are beginning to realize that. I had a good experience with At&T just recently, believe it or not. They charged me a large amount of money for me ending my cell phone account, but they had told me that the contract would be up in Jan. They did not tell me what day in Jan. Anyway, they took the charge off my bill. WhoooHooo.
    .-= Marg´s last blog ..Today is 8 birthdays, Yikes =-.

  • Reply Buggys April 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Nick the wonderful? No way. You made him up didn’t you? No such thing as good customer service! And English is his first language? Nope, you’re not fooling me with that fairytale.

    Wawa has good customer service (like 7-11), all of them but I’m pretty sure they put something in the coffee that makes you imagine it.
    .-= Buggys´s last blog ..My Family – Conversations =-.

  • Reply Jen April 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Babs: No, it’s just that Larry seemed all old and bitter, not that they go together. He just reminded me of someone who has been stuck in the same job, and hating it, for way too long. Nick is upbeat, I have no idea how old he is but he doesn’t sound like someone who has beaten down by life yet, and if you are a csr for too many years you will eventually sound like a Larry. So I surmised he hadn’t been working for too many years, possibly this being his first job.

    Meleah: Well, I sent a link to this post to Nick so who knows, maybe you two could become penpals?

    Kristina: Banks suck.

    Marie: Me too.

    Mike: I completely agree.

    Mike again: I didn’t notice any typos, still can’t find them. Is this a test?

    MomZombie: Maybe no cheetos or poly blends but I bet their underwear is too tight or they haven’t gotten laid in a while.

    MrsBlogalot: Are you talking about customer service or some other service?

    Nicky: It’s all in the name of course. What did Shakespeare say? Oh, wait, that doesn’t really work here does it?

    Katherine: I miss you too. We’ll talk soon, but I can’t do the Mexican Hat Dance again, you need another song, what about the Macarena?

    Janiss: Well, Meleah is in love with him so start there.

    Love2eat: Doesn’t everyone imagine what the person looks like over the phone? I do it on blogs too. Everyone looks like a supermodel.

    Katie Krank: What a great name you have! That’s just it, everyone makes mistakes, it’s how they deal with them that makes them a great company or a sucky one.

    Marg: I’ve had good experience with AT&T lately too, not always but lately they have been very easy to deal with. Same goes for Comcast. I suspect it has something to do with the poor economy and the nature of their business. Cell phones and cable are things that are not necessities so if their service isn’t great people might easily switch or leave altogether. You can’t do that with banks as easily and not at all with the IRS.

    Buggys: I did not make him up, in fact I probably left of many details of other great and wonderful things he has done. We don’t have 7-11s here but our neighborhood stores all have outstanding customer service.

  • Reply Dave DeWall April 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Sheesh! I’ve got a five year old HP, glad I never had to call customer service! At my old job I had to deal with other call centers from all over the world. Yeah, I wished they would have used their real name, too. I had the most problems with call centers from India, hard to understand and rude a lot of times. To be honest, I never visualized what they looked like, Jen. You have such a gift for storytelling!
    .-= Dave DeWall´s last blog ..Beautiful Filipina Divas! =-.

  • Reply Margaret (Nanny Goats) April 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I don’t hate bad customer service. I LOATHE IT. I think it should be taken out back and shot once in awhile, just because it deserves it. I say we all band together and slowly starve it to death. Or, maybe that’s just me.
    .-= Margaret (Nanny Goats)´s last blog ..Why I Never Comment On Your Blog: (A Disqus Primer) =-.

  • Reply Heather April 11, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Wow what an awesome guy! Why can’t I get people like that? Seems like I have to pull someones hair out, just to get anywhere. Oh..and those folks in India, UGH, Grr!
    What is so weird about having tax papers for 2000? Mine go back to 93. LOL!
    So glad it got staightened out.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..5-5-5, I’ve been tagged! =-.

  • Reply MikeWJ at TooManyMornings April 11, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    No, no test. I just keep leaving comments on people’s blogs, including yours, but leaving words out. Usually, your eye just fills them in, so it’s a not a problem. But why I can’t see them before I hit “Submit,” I have no idea. It’s maddening!
    .-= MikeWJ at TooManyMornings´s last blog ..What I’m Going To Tell The Aliens About Peanuts And Time When They Come Looking For Stephen Hawking In Their Spaceships =-.

  • Reply Sheila Sultani April 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

    It’s sad, but it just seems like people don’t give a shit anymore. I guess maybe because everything is done online and everyone is just a number. It is odd when you get a GOOD customer service rep. It’s weird, I go into every conversation ready for a fight because I’m so used to being treated like crap and when you get a good customer service person, omg, you fall in love and want to shout it from the mountain tops. I had a problem with a company a couple weeks ago and got charged twice for something – I called paypal raring to go, ready to scream, full of righteous indignation and you know what happened? The guy was awesome – had me straightened out in 10 minutes – it was too easy – It’s terrible that this is now the exception.
    .-= Sheila Sultani´s last blog ..It’s A Crazy World After All, It’s A Crazy, Crazy World =-.

  • Reply The Mother April 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

    When you find that rare beast that is good customer service, you stick with them.
    .-= The Mother´s last blog ..Have I Mentioned Stretch? =-.

  • Reply meleah rebeccah April 12, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Sure! I’d love to become PenPals with Nick!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Ten] =-.

  • Reply junkdrawer April 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Test comment (please delete).

  • Reply Customer Service March 21, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Giving Customer Service is really hard thing to do because sometimes agent can’t give what the customer need,But here he really did a great job on giving you a customer service well done.

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