8th April 2010 The strange case of the missing hard drive.

8 04 2010

This is the second re-write of this blog post as I thought the initial one was slightly too much of a rant. I think the situation that I find myself in now is that ridiculous that the post needs a certain degree of humour in it, I’ll try.

Let’s go back to March 24th, when after waiting two days for contact from HP Portugal I finally managed to arrange delivery of the elusive replacement hard drive to a hotel in Porches where one of Lorna’s friends was stopping. I tried in vain to get the hard drive sent by express delivery as the friend was only at the hotel for one week. Despite my insistance and the history of the case, this, I was told, was impossible. The hard drive was apparently being sent from the UK warehouse and quick delivery was not something that could be promised, only a courier delivery service which should complete within 10 working days maximum.

Lornas friend came and went and the hotel kindly agreed to hold on to the parcel when it arrived so that I could collect it. So, we carried on pottering around the Algarve, staying within easy reach of the delivery point, planning to go to a campsite when the delivery was made so that I had electricity to allow me enough time to re-install operating systems and such like and not have to rely on limited battery power.

I made daily contact with the hotel to check if the parcel had arrived, sligtly annoyed at the fact that the Easter break could delay it by a couple of days, but on each phonecall no delivery had been made.

Eventually we had to go to a campsite anyway as the clothes washing was building up to silly levels and Lorna was now wearing my underwear regularly (not the other way round honest). Still, daily contact was being made with the hotel to check the delivery without success.

April 7th arrives and I use the internet terminal at the campsite to alert both HP Portugal and Arvid, my ‘soon to be on the Christmas card list’ Twitter contact at HP head office that no delivery had been made. The 10 day deadline was agonisingly close, even discounting the two day Easter break and I was starting to get anxious. I requested that they send me the UPS tracking number so that I could at least stop hasstling the hotel every day and could actually see the progress of the delivery myself.

8th April and again I check with the hotel, most of whom now know me before I have to introduce myself, but again, no delivery. A check on the internet shows no reply from HP Portugal in reference to the tracking number so an email is sent to chase as well as a tweet directly to Arvid to keep him informed.

After a walk with Jack we returned to the motorhome and just as I am about to have some lunch my phone rings.

“Good afternoon Mr. Steve Green” says the voice on the other end. I recognise it as Ricardo, my HP Portugal contact. He goes on to explain that the parcel was actually not sent by courier but by normal post meaning that there was no way of tracking it. Now, considering that we have sent letters and parcels back to the UK and all have arrived within 5 days I would have expected the delivery to be made by now, them too apparently as they were now suggesting a third delivery attempt, this time by the ‘impossible to arrange’ express delivery option. I was busy venting my frustration at how I requested this last time and how I was told it couldn’t be done when my phone credit started to run out. I cut my complaints short and told Ricardo I would email him a new delivery address, the campsite I was currently on, and they could try again.

I do wonder sometimes if the hard drives HP Spain and HP Portugal had sent me actually ever made it past the paperwork stage, it seems very strange that, even if the normal postal system was used as opposed to a courier, neither seem to have materialised within the 10 days I was promised, especially in Spain actually as the Windows boot discs managed to arrive in 4 days from Germany on the same order. If this is the case then we have been hovering around campsites in Spain and pottering around the Algarve for no reason, not a bad thing to be doing I agree but this situation really has gone from very poor customer service whilst we were in France to absolutely abominable in Spain and Portugal. I’m seriously thinking of taking my laptop to Calcutta to see how the Indian arm of HP customer service handles it.

To be continued.

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6 responses

9 04 2010
nezza

I think I am going to go down to the betting shop in Shifnal and place a bet about whether this disk ever shows up….

12 04 2010
suetortoise

Where’s That’s Life or the Watchdog team when you need them?

12 04 2010
David Turner

The HP laptop saga continues. It’ll be a good story (not for HP) when it ends.

12 04 2010
julian

Hope it turns up for you (so that I can put some more pins in the map – you were doing a nice linear route until you hit the Algarve). Where are you heading next? Any previews?

14 04 2010
Steve Green

Hi Julian,

We are kind of planning to head for Gibraltar and then to turn around and come back up through the middle of Spain and then into southern France……but we´ll see.

15 04 2010
Diane

Hey, would recommend you stick to that plan. Our journey back through the middle of Spain via Monsaraz, Portugal was great. Sadly, we are back home, the ‘chipvan’ is clean and we are getting back to homelife once again.

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