HP Victory: One Small Step for Bloggers, One Giant Leap for the Blogosphere

The other day I posted about a friend, Thomas, who was caught in a customer service nightmare with HP. I won’t rehash the story as it was told here. In fact, I can tell you that much information was omitted (mostly inadvertently) and I don’t regret the story going to the front page of Digg at all. Sure, the Diggers were horrible in their behavior and I’m making a week out of that topic alone. However, I knew that that would probably happen going in as I watched the Digg numbers climb to the promotion threshold.

However, the point was to get eyeballs at HP and we did. Digg was the means to the end and though it was hard, there was no better way of making sure HP saw the story.

Recapping the story, Thomas misinterpreted the ship date on his HP laptop and did not realize the computer would be shipped on February 28 (today). This set him back but he figured that he could have HP change the shipping method to overnight in order to get the computer before he headed out of town on Monday. In communicating this wish, HP did not in any way accommodate him and in fact, threw up walls to push him off to other departments and representatives.

I made a big deal about that kind of behavior on this blog. To me, customer service does not always say that the customer is always right, but does work with the customer to find a tack that will please, primarily the customer, but also the service provider. In this process, that did not happen.

Whether Diggers think I was inappropriate for bringing the topic up or daring to have a complaint doesn’t matter to me. I don’t make everyone happy in my job all the time, but if I don’t I need to ask myself why. And HP needs to ask themselves why?

Fortunately, there is good news from this story and I’m proud to have been a part. Thomas received his laptop today. It wasn’t supposed to even be built until tomorrow. Additionally, they expedited shipping by sending the box Priority Overnight from China – or whatever the equivalent is. It was shipped yesterday from China and arrived this morning. He has recieved an email from a high level HP official thanking him for his business and apologizing if his experience was anything less than stellar.

Props to HP for being stand-up on this matter.

And to everyone who had nothing good to say – let this be a lesson. The power is with the people. We can get things done. Corporate policies can be adjusted when the interests of the corporation are at play. And don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Of course the real victory is with the blogosphere. So many people still don’t “get” us. They say we’re a bunch of hacks hiding out in front of a computer all day. Folks, this is where the real work can be done.

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Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.