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back to article HP shatters excessive packaging world record

We've just had an email from a shaken Stephen Strang who this morning took delivery of a very, very large box from HP: The very large box from HP Stephen said: "Imagine our excitement as we opened it, hoping against hope that it might contain a copy of some c-class virtual connect firmware that actually works." Sadly not. …

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Bronze badge
Stop

HP should be penalised for that

Heavily.

As should supermarkets who shrink wrap bananas

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Gates Halo

You mock

But it worked - the pages arrived in pristine condition, free from terrorists, paedophiles, sharks, ninjas and pirates. Praise be to Hewlett Packard for being thorough and being the first to underpromise and overdeliver.

Angel Bill because, well, he's great.

ps. Scamps, get on yahoo, I need to talk to you about Stu.

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Had similar things from PC world business

Ordered a black ink for an epson deskjet and it came in a similar size box full of bubble wrap.

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Coat

Maths problem

Quote:

Sadly not. What the überbox did contain was 16 smaller boxes "which in turn contained (wrapped in foam so they wouldn't get broken) exactly two sheets of A4 paper":

Yup, so that's 17 boxes in total to protect 32 pages. A world-class effort there from HP."

2 sheets of paper is not 32 pages, or have the rules changed since my last reincarnation?

mines the one with the large roll of packing tape stuck to the sleeve.

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Mailee's fault

HP got fed up with this particular customer complaining about not receiving/misplacing parcels.

BTW what was on those 2 A4 ? EULA stating that the opening of the box means acceptation of the supra EULA?

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Happy

Superb!

Lager fuelled packing depot me thinks!

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For the environment

They were using recycled cardboard, so the more they use the less of an environmental impact there is, they are aiming at sending out so many boxes that they can call themselves "carbon neutral" without planting a single tree or reducing their carbon emissions at all.

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WTF?

thats worse than some packages we used to get. best ive seen is a box about 1m cubed... full of bubble wrap etc... inside was one RAM module, in its protective plastic casing anyway...

i thought companies were supposed to be getting penalised for this? seems bad that local authorities and customers have so much rubbish/recycling to get rid of!

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Happy

Amazon

Amazon, who used to be quite good on the packaging front, seem to be getting less environmentally friendly. I ordered a printer and USB printer cable from them a few months ago. Each turned up, at the same time, in identically sized boxes.

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@John Robson

I wish the person who packed this is also available to pack for supermarkets. All the packing they use & their fruit still gets bashed meaning I have to spend an extra 15 seconds picking the best quality for my plate.

All bananas should be shrink wrapped & come in HP boxes henceforth!

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Game

Tut, and they opened all of them?

Ruined a perfectly good game of pass the parcel :(

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Jon

@AC

Each of the 16 smaller boxes contained 2sheets, with the 17th being the one box to contain them all.

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Go

Not just HP

Screwfix are just as bad. A box of 6x3/4" brass screws and a packet of screwcups (Imagine two England's Glory matchboxes stuck together and a small bag of washers) in a 2'X1.5' box, secured by a 2'X1.5' sheet of cardboard taped inside to stop them moving about with a secondary purpose of hiding the product making me wonder why they sent me what appeared, at first glance, to be an huge, honking great empty box.

There must be a surfeit of cardboard in the world. I also notice HP used the old pink anti-static foam to protect those sheets o' paper. I wonder if they had "Handle only in an ESD safe area" stickers on them, too?

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Flame

Pedant Alert

Actually, the larger container is quite clearly two boxes taped together, so that makes it 18 boxes.

@AC: 16 boxes x 2 pages each = 32 Okay?

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@AC - dodgy maths

<quote>

2 sheets of paper is not 32 pages, or have the rules changed since my last reincarnation?

</quote>

No rule change. Read again.

What the überbox did contain was 16 smaller boxes "which in turn [each] contained (wrapped in foam so they wouldn't get broken) exactly two sheets of A4 paper":

Key phrases here "in turn" or "each". 16 smaller boxes **each** contained two sheets of paper. Guess what 16 * 2 equals, go on, you'll kick yourself!

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Happy

@ AC re: Maths Problem

but 16 boxes each holding 2 sheets = 32 pages, or 64 pages if you count front & back

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Unhappy

parcelfarce

just wish some web based guitar shops would be as dilligent when it comes to sending guitars via parcelfarce... the last one I ordered came with the neck all broken... the packaging was a joke... just some bubblewrap and brown paper and the parcelfarce guy was pissing himself with laughter as he tried to get me to accept it... anyone would think they deliberately try to break parcels marked fragile...

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Re : Maths problem

I'm obviously not being well adjusted today.......

Quote:

2 sheets of paper is not 32 pages, or have the rules changed since my last reincarnation?

I'm thinking this must be more of an English problem rather than maths....

"16 smaller boxes which IN TURN contained (wrapped in foam so they wouldn't get broken) exactly two sheets of A4 paper"

The use of 'in turn' in the sentence would perhaps suggest that every one of the 16 smaller boxes contained 2 sheets?

now try the maths

16 x 2 is.........

32 maybe?

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Alert

The packaging people should go work at eBuyer!

For paper documents, that amount of packaging is too excessive!

But Ebuyer on the other hand is so minimal, their main warehouse don't understand how to pack goods in boxes to protect them during transit delivery to you.

When hard disks are shipped to customers, hard drive manufacturers insist on the disks being shipped in foam-padded boxes to avoid shocks.

Ebuyer's main warehouse ships disk in courier's plastic bags and so they often arrive DOA - especially after ChityLink "handle" the delivery.

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Alert

A way to beat your fuel bills

Build a cardboard-fired furnace and burn your excess packaging as an energy source?

Although, packaging is the tip of the iceberg in terms of waste compared to some industries. I remember a TV programme with Fred Dibnah talking about how a garden centre owner had decided to heat his entire business using a boiler that burned waste from a neighbouring wood processing factory that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

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Coat

Fort

Well its Friday so a fort in the middle of the office would be my use for the boxes.

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Pages

I think the AC was trying to be smart in that a sheet can hold 2 pages.

Of course he is presuming that they were all printed on.

"If a side of a sheet is not printed on, is it a page ?"

Unless of course it's an IBM blank page with "this page intentionally left blank" printed in the middle of it, thus renderinng it non-blank.

Those were the days, you can still do that with PDF files of course

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Perhaps I'm missing something...

...but is there any reason why the whole shipment couldn't have been sent by email?

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Coat

dodgy maths

yea it's 7am odd in the states here and i just woke up...

mines the one with the uppers in the pocket protector

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Gold badge
Boffin

Why are they sending documents in a parcel?

It looks like a set of EULAs, which presumably have some AMAZINGLY clever hologram or what-not to prove they are valid, but would it not be easier AND more secure for these idiots to just email a digitally signed document with "You've paid us for X. Thanks, we're happy now. Here are the runes to type into our stupid installer program."?

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Anonymous Coward

The norm for HP

HP has been packaging their enterprise software product licenses in that manner for years. You know someone within HP has probably said something by now, only to be shot down. I can image an old HP exec saying, "our customers have come to expect their licenses delivered without a single wrinkle."

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M
Alert

Wish others were so protective

I just received about £350k's worth of mostly green network equipment from a provider that shall remain nameless via TNT....

Unfortunately they appear to have used explosives as part of the shipping process as about 20% of it was totaled and many of the remaining boxes were of a warranty voiding nature.... they actually managed to _BEND_ a line card (made of steel) mounted in a chassis (also made of steel) in a box (cardboard plus foam) on a pallet (wood) to such an extend that the bloody installation arms (made of steel too) were broken clean off!!

HP.. please start making decent core networking kit or perhaps doing the shipping for the green people....

.... I'll get me coat..... its the green one with a logo on it that might say something like Disco...

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Ian

AC

I reckon AC did the same as me - read it too fast and imagined that the boxes were packed "Russian Doll" fashion. Each box snuggly nestled inside its slightly larger parent box, times 17, until finally reaching the prized bits of paper.

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Same thing happened to me.

I was working as a sysadmin a few years ago. We were about to replace a server, but in the mean time, HP rented us a few extra CPUs and memory boards for a couple of months until the new server was delivered.

All the software products are licenced per CPU, and some poor girly in Admin was very upset that they could get the CPUs to us the next day, but that the licences wouldn't be available for another week. Was this a problem? I assured flustered girly that we could probably manage somehow without the licences, as long as the CPUs turned up on time. Which they did.

And then the following week, we got a pallet delivered. Which contained, exactly as above, large cardboard boxes containing 2 sheets of paper, per CPU, per product. I seem to recall they were even in antistatic enclosures - but my memory must be playing tricks.

Even worse, at the end of the loan, we had a sternly worded letter that all products must be returned in pristine condition in original packaging. We had obviously kept the packing for the CPU and memory, but the licence stuff had been disposed of immediately. Luckily, there was an inkling of intelligence and humanity somewhere within HP, and our cavalier disposal of the packaging for the licences did not have any consequences.

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re WTF?

Yes companies _are_ getting penalised, just not the right ones. It is the recipients that have to pay to get rid of the packaging, and it costs even more to send empty boxes back to the vendors.

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Stop

re: parcelfarce [and delivery companies generally]

We had a lovely new Sun Fire X4500 'Thumper' (what a name) delivered not too long ago, I can't remember by whom. This is basically 48 disk array bolted on top of a 1u 2-CPU server. The driver/delivery bloke decided the best way to unload this (heavy - recommends 3 people for handling, something like 40kg with packaging and rails) box was to pull it until both ends had slid off his van and thumped into the floor. (Hence the name of the unit: it's the noise it makes when the delivery tard takes `drop this off' too literally! </groan>) Never mind; our local site delivery team hauled it up 3 flights of stairs via dragging from the front end, bumping it on every stair on the way... awesome.

Do HW companies still install those accelerometer thingies (drop detectors) in kit?

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Dabs

Ordered an extended warranty pack for my laptop from Dabs, which is no larger than a few sheets of A5. Came in a huge square box (sort of A4 cubed size) with loads of that plastic sheet stuff that suspends the item in the middle of the box!

Crazy.

Okay a box full of air is not wasting much more than a thin one, but at least something A5 size would fit through the letterbox!

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class!

loving the maths! and the carbon nutral effort!!! this is the sort of tech news that i need on a fridayafternoom creating msi's!! :)

I now cant wait to get home and see what the parcel is like that failed to be delivered yesterday... a micro SD card... (wich was dispatched on the 1st July!!!) I was tempted to write on the delivery attempt note to poke it through my letterbox... but the fear that it may be boxed HP style has meant that its being redirected to a neighbour! :)

anything less than Nakatomi Towers rendered in cardboard and I will be disapointed! HP has set a benchmark here!

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Coat

They had run out of large letter stamps

I think the size and thickness of 32 sheets of A4 size took it over the 5mm maximum allowed to use a normal stamp. Having run out of large letter stamps they decided to go to the next level - i.e. excessively-packaged parcel.

Mine's the one with the bubble wrap lining.

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AC
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you laugh but

the box clearly has a massive scuff on the front face, the packaging is therefore considered a complete success.

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64 Pages, 32 Sheets!

definition of Page here -

http://www.answers.com/topic/page

1. A leaf or one side of a leaf, as of a book, letter, newspaper, or manuscript: tore a page from the book.

2. The writing or printing on one side of a leaf.

3. The type set for printing one side of a leaf.

A sheet is another word for leaf.

Its plain english, right?

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IT Angle

baboshka boxes

2 sheets only!

1 large box, sixteen smaller boxes where each of the sixteen boxes is smaller than the last, and the last box containing only two sheets.

so...

(16 x 0) + (1 x 2) = 2

dumbasses

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s*d the bl**dy environment...

who cares? we're all doomed anyway!

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Anonymous Coward

@ IT Department

Did your thumper still work and perform like the god it is?

I used a Baydel RAIDER 5 as a luge down a flight of stairs as I could not carry the beast, carry on working for the next 5 years without a hitch.

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Flame

Poor Stephen Strang - feel sorry for him please.

His boss has saddled him with a BlackBerry, awww. I bet he feels gutted that he hasn't got an iPhone.

Oh, by the way, don't bother to contact Lester Haines, he won't reply to your email. Sure you won't lester?

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sun did the same thing

i had an star office license that was shipped in a large cardboard box

about 30 inches square that

was then attached to a wooden palette that was

shipped by truck.

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As I was going to St Ives...

I met a man with an HP EULA.

How many boxes were going to St Ives?

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Silver badge
Happy

RE: David and Ken Hagan

The really comic bit is the paper licences usually just give you details of your licence - if it hasn't come pre-installed, for many HP licences you will have to go to www.software.hp.com to actually download the licence key! Actually, HP have these things called eLTUs which are electronic licences, which do not need the bits of paper in boxes. I suggest Stephan Strang starts asking his HP reseller why the fudge he's getting the paper ones and not the eLTUs.

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Anonymous Coward

Russian Dolls

We used to package xmas presents for our daughter this way - big box, littler box, smaller box, little box, really little box, lots of packaging paper/peanuts, etc, before she got to the really, really little box with the present in it... Are you sure you didn't miss something? :-)

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The question is...

Does HP learn from this, I'd like to think so?

Are you embarrised HP, I really think you should be?

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Go

Re: @ IT Department

Yes, it passed self-tests and we're currently using it. Haven't noticed any problems so far, but I am also not the person who signed it off! ;¬) It is pretty awesome. (I love most Sun kit: used an old U60 for ages as a w/s with Sol10 + zones, still got a U10 in service.) You do really need two people + a `spotter' (or a lift) to load the 4500 into a rack. I wonder about the temperature of the drives in the middle of the 6x8 grid, though.

PS: @Cory Eastlund: if true, I think that's a new record! Do you mean 30"x30"x~few", or 30"x30"x30"?

If I were a regular Reg commentatatatator, I'd wonder why I'm showing up as "IT Department" instead of the username I'm sure I signed up with. Never mind, I'm sure no-one else here ever registers using:

First name: IT

Last name: Department

etc.

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Stop

Some Mail Order Reasons...but not all is sanity.

I believe a few of the mail order firms started using a minimum sized box as a) most of their orders needed it and b) small packets had an unfortunate habit of getting lost - you know falling into coat pockets and the like, or c) flattened by big boxes.

The HP thing probably seemed like a good idea when they alway shipped the licence with the kit. They appear to be wrapped like a keyboard which is probably their smallest box big enough for uncreased A4. And the hardware warehouse can handle them because they are on a normal shelf in a normal box. So it was probably a cost saving 5 or 10 years ago. Now it appears you get a pack per CPU (at least) so its become madness.

Brillant photographing it though.

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Nice way to trash a sense of humor.

Now some a-hole CEO at HP is going to fire the guy with the fantastic sense of humor that boxed all that up.

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Anonymous Coward

@The packaging people should go work at eBuyer!

You obviously don't spend enough with them, all ours come inside a big box with inserts - about 16 per box.

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Alert

paying the freight

I used to work for an air freight outfit that trucked tons of HP product flown from the Pacific Rim into the U.S. If only they'd protect actual product as well. You wouldn't believe the freight claims for damaged shipments!

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