Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hewlett Packard - Very, very disappointing, but goodbye.

I know it’s a bit dull, but I’m going to have to have a bit of a rant about HP and their apparent very poor attitude to customers.
I’ve always been a bit of an HP fan, actually, I've owned and own three or four HP printers, a couple of scanners and several Compaq PCs.

Everything was going pretty well, until the moment when I decided to drag myself kicking and screaming into the world of Windows 7.
Then it all went Pete Tong, and, unusually, it seems that Microsoft are not really to blame… no, the buck stops with Hewlett Packard, and they have been found lamentably wanting.
My nicest, newest printer is a Deskjet 5940. “Cleverly” Windows 7 detected the printer with no drivers to download, so it just worked. Marvellous. Well, marvellous until the printer decided to print badly. No problem, I thought, clean the heads. Now then… how do you do that? In the good old XP days I’d go to some HP centre thingy and click to clean and/or align the heads… now there’s nowhere to go. Off to HPs site… yes, the printer works under W7, but no, we’ve not been arsed to allow you to do maintenance, like head cleaning. What? And that leaves me where, exactly?

And then there’s my HP Scanjet 5300C scanner. Sorry… but we can’t be arsed to write W7 drivers for it, why not throw it away and buy a new one from us? Do you really think I would?

And then there’s my sister in law’s all-in-one HP printer/scanner, an Officejet D145. She unknowingly bought (from Amazon, shame on you) an out of date ink cartridge for it. The printer just wouldn’t use it… until I removed the battery in the printer to reset the date, then it worked fine. The cartridge is a box full of ink. If it works, it works. Why does the printer refuse to use it because of a date? So they can sell more ink? I think maybe yes. Added to which, though it will work occasionally, the scanner of this great lump of a thing has started giving an error message. That error stops the printer working. There's nothing wrong with the bloody printer. But because of the scanner problem (which may be caused by another whim of HP's to sell us new kit) the whole thing is now a piece of useless junk.

I find it hard to imagine the meeting at HP where they came up with all this blatant built-in-obsolescence bullshit, but did they really think that if they take this attitude we'd run out and buy more HP kit? Frankly, after the last few weeks I may NEVER buy anything from HP again. I'm not saying Epson and the like are better, but I'm damn well going to buy from them in future until I get to find out whether they are or not...

Bye bye HP.

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