I suppose given my prior experiences with Hewlett-Packard’s customer service, I shouldn’t be surprised by yet another negative experience, but since this one has a new angle, I guess it’s worth posting…
I asked HP in November 2008 to stop sending me junk mail. They assured me that my request would be processed and would go into effect in “several weeks.” Six months later, I was still receiving mailings. Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, I attempted to use their live chat service to once again ask that they stop sending me junk.
The first time I attempted to chat with an HP support agent, my chat session was disconnected immediately after the agent connected to the session.
The second time, the agent disconnected my chat session, after I had taken the time to explain the entire situation in detail, because I failed to respond to one of her questions for 43 seconds.
The third time, I explained the situation all over again and finally got the agent to claim that she had updated my record in their database and I would no longer receive mailings (of course, they said that last time, but we’ll see).
I told the agent in the third chat session that I was extremely dissatisfied with the treatment I’d received at the hands of the live chat service, and I asked her how to contact someone to whom I could complain. After I’d asked three times, she finally told me that when I received the transcript of the session in email, I should reply to it with my complaint.
This I did, explaining in detail in my email reply that I was complaining about the quality of the live chat service.
Of course, seeing as how the live chat agents and people responding to the emails are all employees of some offshore contractor for whom English is not their native language, the agent who responded to my email a day later misunderstood my complaint and explained to me how to be unsubscribed from future junk mail, which of course I’d already taken care of.
I sent the following response (emphasis added):
Wow, thanks for completely missing the point.
I did not write to you because I don’t want to receive HP junk mail anymore. Nor did I write to you because my “request about this was not acted upon.”
I wrote to you because the experience I had trying to use your live chat service was so bad that I felt compelled to complain about it.
- The first time I tried to chat with one of your agents, I was disconnected immediately after the agent joined the chat.
- The second time, after I had taken the time to explain my issue in detail, the agent disconnected to me because I took longer than 43 seconds to respond to her question.
- The third time, I finally got an agent who claimed to have solved the problem, but I would point out that while doing so, there were several gaps of several minutes between when I sent her a message and when she responded, thus making it all the more absurd that I was disconnected from my second live chat because I failed to respond for 43 seconds.
Now, I’m trying to actually reach someone at HP who actually cares about the level of service you provide to customers and who can actually take the feedback I’m offering into account when determining whether your live chat service is actually providing a decent level of service to your customers.
Are you such a person, or are you, rather, just one of the people who works for the company that provides that live chat service, such that there’s no way my feedback is ever going to get to anyone in a position to do anything about it, because you’re going to send me meaningless platitudes about how much HP cares about customer service and then throw away my feedback because to pass it on would threaten your company’s contract with HP?
I suppose I don’t need to tell you that ten days later, I’ve received no response, so apparently my theory (in bold above) was correct.
I’ve no intention of wasting more of my time trying to get my feedback to someone in HP who might actually care about it. After all, the odds are that such a person doesn’t actually exist.