Home' LAPTOP Magazine : August 2011 Contents Laptop | august 2011
2011 Tech SupporT
866-408-5408 (Envy,Touchsmart, HDX, Firebird); 800-474-6836 (Pavilion
HP has been making some big strides to improve
its support, including search engine optimization
for online queries, a helpful Support Assistant that
lives on HP notebooks, and an increased social-networking
presence. These improvements help, but HP’s phone-based
support still needs improvement.
Web & Social Networking
HP’s web support page is broken down into three categories:
Drivers & Software, Product Support & Troubleshooting, and
Support Communities. Entering our product name (HP Envy
17) gave us a list of 25 possible configurations, and clicking
on the “How do I find my product name/number?” link led
to an even more confusing page. Fortunately, there’s also a
“detect your product” button. In the Support Forum, topics
are divided by the different components (operating system,
audio, display, etc.).
On the notebook itself, the HP Support Assistant utility is
top-notch. Divided into four sections (Maintain, Troubleshoot,
Learn, and Get Assistance), this utility is intuitive and will
help install updates. The Support Assistant also provides
instructions on how to clean up the desktop, back up the
notebook, and more.
A search for “HP ” on Twitter brings up four feeds:
Official News, Official Store, HP Labs, and a fourth, generic,
HP. However, @HPSupport is the Twitter feed for Jeff, HP’s
“social media ambassador,” who responds to a fair number
of people who tweet him with problems they’re having with
their systems. Too bad he didn’t answer our tweet.
On Facebook, there’s an HP page for seemingly every
country, as well as HP for Home, HP for Students, HP for Small
Business. A link to Support on the HP for Home page doesn’t
let you submit a question, but it
has links to HP’s online support
via its website.
HP has different support num-
bers for its various product lines
(Envy, HDX, Pavilion, Presario,
and Touchsmart). During a late-
night call (about 11 p.m . EST)
to the Pavilion line, we went
through three voice prompts
and then were put on hold for
4 minutes. Ripon from Calcutta
took our call, and whilehe was
pleasant, he rushed through
some of the standard script.
After asking what the problem
was (pinch-to-zoom not working
on our dm3), he took our serial
number and put us on hold for another 2 minutes. When he
came back, he asked to take control of our notebook remotely.
Then, he went right to the control panel and activated pinch-
to-zoom. In total, the call took 31 minutes.
We then tested HP’s premium Envy support. At about
12:30 p.m ., we were immediately connected to Meoni in
the southern United States. Meoni also rushed through the
scripted parts of the call. After hearing our question (we
wanted to set up a kid-safe profile), she put us on hold for
about 5 minutes. While she k new how to set up a different
user profile, she didn’t know that you could set up controls to
block access during certain hours and days. Meoni walked
us through the steps as she was doing the same on an Envy
17. We then asked her about Windows Live Family Safety
(which also lets you block access to certain websites). She
didn’t know anything about that, either, but e-mailed us a link
to download it. This call took roughly 30 minutes.
The third call we made (to the Envy support line at
about 5 p.m.) was answered by Claire. This time, we
asked how we could play World of Warcraft in 3D on
the Envy 17. This, too, took some work, as Claire had
to read through the 3D documentation herself, and she
didn’t make it clear initially that we had to launch the
program using the TriDef Ignition software. However,
she patiently waited while W.O .W . went through one
of its lengthy updates, and she was able to guide us
through to getting the game running in 3D. This call
lasted about 28 minutes.
We like that HP is embracing social media and that
its in-notebook utilities help not only fix problems, but
also prevent them from occurring in the first place.
However, for many consumers, tech support begins
and ends with the call centers, and HP slipped a bit
from last year. We eventually got accurate answers,
but it took us a while—and a little prompting on our
part—to get there.
HP pre-loads a very helpful utility on its notebooks called
HP Support Assistant, which can help owners troubleshoot.
< 1 minute
mAXimum: 5 minutes
CAll lENgTH: 30 minutes
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