On the morning of May 20, I filed suit against Hewlett-Packard in small claims court. Here’s the filing, if you’re curious (click on the thumbnail for a larger view):
Shortly after filing the suit, I faxed a copy of the filing to my HP case manager.
On May 22, someone from HP called to discuss the filing. My wife told her to send me email, which she did. I did not have time to call her back or respond to her email before today.
She called me again today, June 4. She said she wanted to try to resolve the matter without going to court, and I said I would love to do that. I told her that the only reason I ended up filing suit was because my case manager had refused to send FedEx to pick up the printers and supplies, which would have cost HP only $16 more than they had already agreed to spend to buy back the printers.
She agreed immediately to refund the approximately $400 I’d paid for the printer, supplies, and small claims filing fee, and to send FedEx to pick up all the boxes from my house.
I told her I appreciated the offer, and although it would have been good enough before I’d been forced to file suit against HP, it was no longer sufficient. I told her she was going to have to offer me some compensation for the ten hours I’d wasted on this problem, and that if it went to court, I’d be able to easily prove false advertising and win triple damages.
She offered me another $200, and I accepted.
Here’s the email I received from her a few minutes later:
Dear Mr. Kamens:
Hewlett Packard values each of its customer relationships. It is unfortunate that you have had a less than satisfactory experience concerning HP’s equipment.
HP is pleased that we have been able to resolve the issue that has arisen concerning your HP equipment in a way that is acceptable to us both. Specifically, HP has agreed to a settlement of $600.00. You in turn have agreed to return three HP Photosmart C5280 printers (Fed Ex labels will be sent to you) and accept this remedy in full satisfaction of any claim you might have and have agreed to release HP from further responsibility relating to this problem without the need for you or HP to determine whether HP is at fault. HP does not make any admission of liability concerning this matter but values your business and wishes to retain you as a customer.
You agree to dismiss with prejudice the above-captioned complaint and agree that this document constitutes a full release to the above-captioned lawsuit or any other lawsuit or action based on the transaction described in this letter.
If this letter does not accurately reflect your understanding of the resolution of this matter, please contact us immediately at elided or email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may resolve any misunderstanding. If this letter accurately reflects our agreement, please respond with your agreement or sign and return a copy of this letter via fax or US mail.
Again, we are pleased that we could help you resolve this problem, and we hope that you will continue to be a satisfied HP customer.
Very truly yours,
Executive Customer Relations Group
Now we just have to wait and see if the FedEx labels and $600 check show up.