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back to article HP prosecuted by Australian consumer regulator

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the nation's guardian of consumer rights and regulator of competition and consumer law, has commenced legal action against HP over its warranty and repair practices. The ACCC is upset with HP for five reasons, namely: The remedies available for a faulty HP product were …

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Its not just in Oz

I had (then) a top of the range iPaq.

I took out a HP care warrenty which guaranteed me a next working day replacement should mine fail.

Well, sure as eggs is eggs it failed. So, on the phone to HP to be told " we havent got any, it will take anything upto 4 weeks".

Needless to say i was somewhat annoyed (actually i was incandescent with rage).

I had paid £97 for this warranty and it was worthless.....

I will *never* own HP again.

PS, it wasnt the first time i had had shoddy goods/services from HP (bluetooth headphones with the faulty head band that broke within 6 months of almost no use)...

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LDS
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Not only in Australia....

Here in Italy they refuse to comply with the two year consumer mandatory warranty (like Apple does). And if think you need a repair, their web site will tell you how much it costs - before actually looking at the printer. A year ago it was around 140 euro, and I solved the problem simply accessing the hidden maintenance menu and resetting the printer (the printer was signalling an ink loading system error, or something alike).

Probably had I sent it to repair, the technician would have typed the same Playstation-like button sequence (triangle-square-circle-circle-square...) and selected "reset printer" - for the cheap sum of €140 (plus transport). A good way to make money without effort. Or maybe I would have bough a new printer (I paid my D7260 not much more) - a win-win situation for HP. Hope EU regulators will take a closer look to HP - and others - behaviours.

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Translation:

"HP takes seriously the matters raised by the ACCC and will fully investigate and respond appropriately

"HP knows full well what it did and is annoyed at formally being found out. Please bear with us while our PR department finds a way to spin the news and BS our way out of it"

I bet they will be spinning like maniacs, because the very announcement of this means customers will stop buying. It's well timed to become a large, fat spike into their Xmas sales..

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The One Year Warranty Mindset

In the USA I gather that the only unpaid for repair/replace is the 1 year mfr warranty. The retailer seems to have no liability. In the USA retail prices are generally lower than in Europe.

In Europe some US firms try to apply US practice, regardless of the higher prices we pay -- and local law. Apple seems to have been a major perpetrator, glad to hear HP is being given a lesson in Oz.

Though it's not entirely straightforward nor universal across Europe, the typical model is that the retailer has responsibility for providing/supporting consumer durables that are actually durable. The warranty is essentially a support agreement from the mfr to the retailer.

Think how long a TV or fridge usually lasts as a guide to how long most substantial electronic goods might last *. Trading Standards used to suggest 6 years and within that period (roughly speaking) the retailer should repair or replace or refund a reasonable proportion of the price based on time.

* Actually, I have European and Japanese hifi gear still going after 35 years without fault.

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I'm so old...

...I remember when HP stuff used to be good quality.

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Re: I'm so old...

"I'm so old......I remember when HP stuff used to be good quality."

Same here. I fact I still have all the old HP stuff I've bought, and it all still works:

- HP-21 calculator (1976) that would run if I replaced its NiCds (again)

- HP-28S calculator (1990), used when I need a calculator. Runs forever on N cells.

- HP 7475 plotter thats used when needed, but getting pens is difficult

- Laserjet 5 - best printer I've owned and currently my only printer

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Happy

Re: I'm so old...

HP 5 printer....not HP 5N or HP 5si?

they built them to last back in those days... the copyright on my 5N manual is 1996 and my 5si is '95. that's pretty good life for the old beastie.

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Anonymous Coward

Like a fool...

... I bought 2 HP laptops for my children about 4 years ago and both suffered failure of the power connector centre pin within weeks of each other (the pin just broke off) just after the one year warranty expired. HP were totally disinterested in what appeared to me to be a design problem. All they would do was offer to replace the main board (for a stupid amount of money) because they said the power connector could not be replaced.

After weeks of toing and froing I gave up and binned the HP laptops and bought a couple of Acers which are still functioning to this day. I have never bought another HP product and never will.

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Vic
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Re: Like a fool...

> I bought 2 HP laptops for my children about 4 years ago and both suffered failure

I have a pile of HP laptops in my "BER" pile.

They have all suffered from overheating GPUs, leading to a "won't boot" situation (the lights come on for less than a second, then go out...)

I can get them going again - it involves stripping the mobo out, taking off everything that can be taken off, and baking it in the oven. Several hours of labour, and the "repair" only lasts 6-8 weeks, after which it will need doing again.

There's no way I could recommend an HP laptop to anyone at the moment.

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrote HP Off A While Back

I stopped using anything HP a few years back when I ran into a problem with a Printer Driver.

For some strange Reason the only way users could print to the network printer was if they were added to the a Domain Admin Group. Other users on their support forum were having the same problem.

Dumbest Tech Support Personnel I ever dealt with. No matter what I tell them they keep wasting my time giving me instructions on adding users to Admin Groups. Seems they were aware of the problem and this was the work around in their scripts.

I have not purchase a single HP Product since. This was about SEVEN years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wrote HP Off A While Back

Same here. I had an 1100 personal laserjet agood few years ago, and it developed paperfeed problems - most of them did, due to problems with the drive roller rubbers. In the US there was a class action, and HP had to sort the problem out. In the UK the approach was "tough shit, out of warranty, sue us if you don't like it". That'd be easier under current consumer law, but at the time was less clear, so the 1100 went in the bin, and I've since had two Canons that haved served me well, and my next printer is also likely to be a Canon.

So it's now a case of tough shit HP, you've lost out on two printers, and tomorrow I'm buying a laptop not made by you.

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Re: Wrote HP Off A While Back

I just dropped £12k on a single high end departmental printer (if you think that's too high, try pricing printers which can handle 30-40k pages/month and their consumable costs over a 5 year period)

HP came sniffing around and were sent packing thanks to their abysmal printer support, including BROKEN Postscript emulation. That and making out like bandits on toner, thanks to "incredibly optimistic" page yield estimates. Their published 5% yields can only be matched in reality with 2.1% coverage

I have to spend another £60k on printers. By the time I'm finished there won't be any HPs sitting on anyone's desk and our guaranteed operational costs will make up the difference in purchase price in less than 2 years - assuming we keep printing to the same level.

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FAIL

Re: Wrote HP Off A While Back

I haven't bought one for 5 years, but there used to be a big difference between the consumer PCs and notebooks (either HP or Compaq) and the Compaq branded business models. The Compaq business notebooks were well designed, rugged and durable. I guess they got ditched for not having enough glam multi-media/Web 2.0/chattering features

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Paris Hilton

"The remedies available for a faulty HP product were limited to remedies available from HP"

Were they supposed to somehow offer remedies *not* available to them?

I mean, other stuff aside, that particular accusation seems somewhat bizarre.

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What they mean is you had to send it in directly to HP and not HP authorized repair centers.

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Yeah it sounds strange, so I interperated it to mean "remedies chosen by HP" as in "repair, replace, refund or tell you to get stuffed - at HP's discretion" which is contrary to the law.

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