Monday, October 4, 1999
HP acts on Pavilion complaints,
By ANITA MATTHEWS
IPOH: Hewlett-Packard Sales Malaysia Sdn Bhd discontinued a line of Pavilion personal
computers after several customers who bought the machines complained about
The PCs that were taken off the shelves were Pavilion models 8120, 8130, 8201, 8155,
8130, 7400, 3216, 7360 and 6306.
Sharon Yeoh, HP Sales commerical marketing programmes manager, said the
machines were no longer in production from November, last year.
The company detected a higher than normal failure rate in the PCs in the middle of last
year and took remedial steps.
"Once we determined that they (the problems) were (caused by) hard disk failures, we
swapped the hard drives (with units) from another manufacturer for free," Yeoh told
In.Tech last week.
Several groups of users had complained to In.Tech recently about having defective
Pavilion computers. They reported encountering continuous problems with the built-in
modem, CD-ROM drive, hard disk and system compatibility.
Some users said they were also unhappy over the way aftersales support staff handled
"What irked me was that I was given the run-around when I called them up. I made 10
phone calls and was routed from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to Petaling Jaya and was
finally told that the warranty had expired," said Ric Lim.
Lim was helping a friend whose Pavilion PC was giving problems. He claimed the
support staff at HP Sales did not seem interested in helping and that they had not even
bothered to ask which Pavilion model he had.
The matter was finally resolved, Lim said, when HP Sales replaced the hard disk on the
computer and it worked without any more hitches after that.
Company clerk Shepherd Goh reported that the CPU on his Pavilion had system failures
within the first three months of purchase.
Although HP Sales replaced the processor unit, he claimed it failed again nine months
later. "The CPU was replaced yet again but processing speed was compromised. By
then, I was totally fed-up and upgraded the CPU myself," Goh said.
He added that it was an unsettling experience for him because he did not expect such
problems with a product from a reputable company like HP.
Another user, who asked not to be named, complained that he has just sent his Pavilion
PC which was not working properly, back to HP Sales -- the fourth time he's had to do
that after buying the machine last year.
Yet another, a treasury agent who wanted to be identified only as Fong, does not intend
to buy HP products ever again. "We paid a lot of money for a branded product ... the
problems and inconveniences it brought us has put us off," she said.
Several HP Sales dealers and resellers that In.Tech checked with, claimed only a small
number of Pavilion PCs was faulty and that aftersales support was normally speedy and
"The failure rate is low and HP Sales is quick to respond, with a turnaround time of three
days on each complaint," said Z'Tronic Computer Sdn Bhd managing director Khoo Kay
Teong. The company is an authorised HP reseller in Penang.
A dealer in Malacca, Microhouse Sdn Bhd, said most users have faith in HP's aftersales
support. "Many of my Pavilion customers pay the additional RM299 to extend the
one-year warranty to three years," said managing director Chu Seng Wah.
Bernard Yeo, head of the Pineapple Computer Group, also reported a low failure rate in
the Pavilion PCs sold through the company's computer stores nationwide.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) urged HP Sales to recall
all affected Pavilion PCs from customers.
Its president, Prof Hamdan Adnan, said that although the complaints were sporadic, this
should be done to restore consumer confidence.
"It does not matter whether the PCs are old or new, if they give problems, they must be
dealt with," he said.
The Pavilion line of PCs was introduced to the local market more than two years ago.
When first released, each retailed for between RM7,000 and RM9,000. Today, a Pavilion
PC costs from about RM4,000 to RM7,000.
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