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HP wipes HDD to fix broken key on keyboard

Posted on Saturday, December 13 2008 @ 00:10:20 CET by

Consumerist has a shocking story about HP's customer service. One of their readers experienced that HP has official policy that requires that they erase your hard drive - even if there's nothing wrong with your computer that would require them to even turn it on. Here's the story of a Consumerist reader who had one broken key on her HP laptop, and got her entire HDD erased when she send out to HP:
The "P" key broke off my HP laptop within one month of its purchase back in April. I asked them to send me the key so I could repair it myself, but they said I must send in my entire computer.

Fast forward to December when I (graduate student) finally have the chance/luxury to send in my computer for repair.

I just got my computer back today to find my entire hard drive deleted and re-done.

Nobody at HP even told me it was a possibility (let alone a "STANDARD POLICY") that hard drives are erased when a computer is sent in for repair — regardless of the nature of the repair. Even ONE key on the keyboard. Even a little scratch apparently requires a full hard-drive erasing. Got my "P" key, but at the cost of my computer's hard drive. Unnecessary. Absurd.

I feel like a hospital patient who went in for routine surgery and woke up with an effing amputated leg.

Wasted two hours debating with four different men about why I shouldn't be punished for one idiot's inability to inform me of this supposed standard policy. I told them they had to compensate for my losses, at least by giving me a new Norton Antivirus product key because I still had time left on the warranty. But they said once the computer was shipped to me back in April, my old product key became my responsibility: It was my fault if I lost it. I demanded some sort of compensation or credit. HP had made a mistake. But they refused.

I asked to speak to somebody higher-up. But the senior technician claimed he was the highest-up person I could speak to. He breathed heavily and in an annoyed way. Said anybody higher than him was "just in charge of scheduling bathroom breaks."

I had zero knowledge and not even the slightest warning that HP would erase everything: "Just give us your log-in password in case something goes wrong," the service guy told me before I sent in my computer for repair. "But they shouldn't have to even turn your computer on."

I am fuming. Pictures, research, creative work, personal work. All gone.

What the hell do I do, or how do I even reach someone sane at HP? Thanks.



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