Costly Lesson For Caribbean Businesses: HP Hewlett-Packard Products Have No Warranty In Barbados – How About In Your Country?

Second Update: November 12, 2010

First issue: the person involved with the complaint about the HP Printer Warranty as described in the attached letter eventually received satisfaction from HP.

“This has all been sorted with On Line with the help of Public Council, but it should not have been so difficult to contact & get response from HP. My quarrel is with them not On Line. HP only give a 15 day (thats right) 15 days guarantee, the businesses here make it up to whatever, that’s what HP stipulate, you either put up with it or don’t have HP products legally here.”

Given that HP have just opened a new store in Sheraton Centre (nice bit of reporting on that at Barbados Today 11/11/10 edition), does this warranty issue and the 15 day guarantee still apply?

What is warranty and return policy of the new HP Store? If HP wants to leave a comment or send us an email (barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com) we’ll be happy to give it fair exposure right here at the top.

Updated: November 12, 2010

Thanks to BFP reader Politically Tired for letting us know about a proposed settlement in the HP Hewlett-Packard LaserJet case.

Details can be found at the website HP LaserJet Printer Litigation, Case No. CV 07-00667 AG

We’d also like to know if the person in our original story every received satisfaction from HP…

Mark Hurd HP Warranty

Barbados Business Learns That HP Will Not Honour Colour Laser Printer Warranty In The Caribbean

Mr. Mark Hurd
Chairman of the Board, CEO & President of Hewlett-Packard

Dear Sir,

On 25th April I bought a CP1515n colour laser printer from On Line Consultancies here in Barbados SN ********** FOR $*** Bds. After a short time it began to malfunction, I returned it to the retailers on 25th June, they have a 30 day guarantee, then its down to you. A case # was eventually procured & I was told to call 1 800 711 2884 so I could arrange to have the replacement printer sent by UPS within two days. Since then I have spent approximately 13 hours on the phone to HP trying to be put through to the right department, but as yet no luck, I have been put through to people in Canada, US, & Mexico, none of which can help me as they can’t ship to the Caribbean. Your staff at the Caribbean/Latin America # either have the wrong information/not trained/or what? you tell me, I’m at a total loss as to what to do next.

A case manager I was mistakenly put through to in the US, Myrna Sweet has emailed your Head Office, she hasn’t had a reply either, she also called the Caribbean ‘Solution Centre’ & was put through to the wrong people, this happened again this week with someone else from HP who tried to help, if HP staff can’t be put through to the right HP department what hope do I have?

Your agents here in Barbados DC Office People have also been emailing you on my behalf, no reply to their e mails. Meanwhile my tiny home based business is in trouble because of your total lack of care & efficiency. I now HAVE to replace this printer this week, which means I will have to purchase another one, NOT HP, that’s for sure.

If a human being could reply to this email & not an automated response telling me I have to contact HP on 1 800 711 2884 I would be grateful. Then we can discuss my refund rather than replacement of this product. Please also note that people in ‘3rd world’ & ‘developing’ countries are not stupid & are tired of International Companies such as yours sending us second rate products, everyone deserves the same service & commitment wherever they reside.

I will forward a copy of this email to relevant people here, to the media, numerous anti HP Facebook pages, Barbados Free Press & email contacts.

Looking forward to your reply

Yours truly,

(name withheld by Barbados Free Press)

64 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

64 responses to “Costly Lesson For Caribbean Businesses: HP Hewlett-Packard Products Have No Warranty In Barbados – How About In Your Country?

  1. Anonymous

    Go to the fairtrade commission, they can tell the seller that 30 days is not enough warranty for any product and set a suitable time (Usually 1 year) and make them replace it.

    It does not matter what the seller says- the fairtrade commission provides for a reasonable warranty time for a product. 30 days on electronics is not reasonable.

  2. John

    I recall there used to be one HP agent in Barbados and if you did not buy through that agent, tough!!

    That was ages ago.

    With the internet and Fedex and DHL etc, it is easy to buy anything on line, including a priner.

    …. but, will it come with a warranty?

    Better check the fine print.

  3. No Ink

    The same thing happen to me with an HP inkjet. A few weeks after we bought it the pages were half printing then stopping. I gave up with HP warranty people and bought Lexmark. No problems runs fine.

    I threw the HP out. Never again. $400 shot to hell.

  4. bp

    You may want to post this article on the Consumerist http://consumerist.com/ owned by consumer reports

  5. Steve

    In fact Consumerist has an article on how to reach an HP Case Manager directly:
    http://consumerist.com/335249/reach-the-hp-quality-case-managers

    Good luck!

  6. Jason

    Any company can build a bad product. Good companies do it less frequently than bad companies, but it still happens. The true test of any company is what happens when something does go wrong. It looks like we’ve found out what happens to HP customers in Barbados!

  7. Themis

    You people have rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act in Barbados if the printer was bought locally. You should try to find them out!

  8. PiedPiper

    It would seem to me that the onus is on the retailer in Barbados. One of two things could be happening here. I know of some smaller retailers in Barbados who go to Miami or Puerto Rico and purchase electronics and have them freight flown into Barbados. It is their responsibility to determine at source what the warranty covers and resell accordingly by making the customer fully aware of warranty limitations. The other thing that may be happening is that retailers are importing them through normal channels and due to the length of time the items sit in customs, in Barbados, before clearance, fragile electronics are being damaged by heat and high humidity. We all know how long things can sit in customs unless, of course, you have a “friend” there.

  9. crossroads

    In this case 30 days is nonsense, unless damage caused by user. I would go back to local retailer, they should replace it, if only in the intrest of good customer relations. Speak directly to management, if no satisfaction carry your business else where and spread the word. Bim small ya know.

  10. Printer

    Thanks for advice, action is being taken, I will contact The Fair Trade Commission tomorrow & I will post on the consumerist site.

    This is the reply received today regarding the email.

    ‘Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with HP.
    They have been forwarded to the appropriate people within Hewlett-Packard for review and action, as needed.

    Regards,

    CEO Customer Relations’

  11. Anon

    I don’t get it?

    Your beef should be with DC Office People, you bought it from them but you seem to be letting them off the hook.

    What kind of idiot are you? You should be asking back for your money from DC Office People.

    Barbados appears to be full of unskilled buyers.

  12. None

    You have no case.

    It was your duty to read the warranty that you agree to when you bought the printer.

    I know you did not read it but that is what online lawyers will ask you!

    Fair Trading can’t help you but satisfy your ego up to warrens and see for yourself.

    SOLUTION:

    Get a DHL US address its free and have HP send the printer there, then pay DHL for shipping here.

    However I would agree get a different brand printer.

  13. Printer

    DC Office People are the HP agents here and they cannot get a response on my behalf either

  14. Bdos Consmer Watch

    Permission to put this letter on the BCW site please.
    thanks

  15. St George's Dragon

    The Part II of the Consumer Protection Act (CAP 326D) sets out that unfair contract terms against a consumer are unenforceable. A 30 day warranty may well prove to be unfair and therefore unenforceable.

    It’s a complicated area and you should go to the FTC to get advice. If possible, get them to talk to DC Office People as their word will obviously carry more weight.

  16. oh come on

    i have had numerous issues with dealing with online cons.ultancies, i have had to put a lawyer on them on multiple cases, they will start to tell you about their “policy” on replacing faulty equipment and will basicly try to duck out of facing responsibility. you should not have to face hp directly since the printer if bought recently should be under warranty. my advice to you is to seek the appropriate methods for dealing with this issue.

  17. A-Fish

    We bought HP Printers from DE Computers… you should avoid them at all costs. 2 Deskjets and a new printer/scanner unit for our home usage.

    I’ve recently encounter all sorts of problems the printer itself not responding when a paper jams, the software sending the data to the printer where it doesn’t respond or even you can’t turn off your printer at all when it made an error. The HP 3500 series recently stopped working and it was well past 30-day warranty.

    I’ve recently bought a 3rd HP printer 2 months ago and just installed it tonight. I’ll keep an eye on the product and the warranty.

  18. Printer

    Of course, thank you!

  19. Printer

    I know On Line can’t help, they stipulate a 30 day warranty but the product has a years warranty from HP, the problem is getting hold of HP to honour it!

  20. Printer

    Good luck, I certainly won’t buy HP again. I’ve had so many e mails telling me nightmare stories I could write a book!

  21. Printer

    If you read the letter you’ll see it was bought from On Line Consultancies, they stipulate a 30 day warranty (which is why I can’t get my money back/ printer replaced, you think I haven’t tried!!) & then its a warranty from HP for a year.
    DC Office People are the agents & they have also been trying to contact HP about this & not getting a response, neither can HP staff you speak to by phone.
    I agree I be an idiot for buying another HP product , but I won’t do that again, thank you!

  22. Sir Bentwood Dick

    Either buy Lexmark or check and see what P/Smart has, cheaper for good quality, thus if the equipment does not last, you can at leats be glad it did not cost as much.

    I have a Brother MFC inkjet and it works well, never a problem for two years.

    If you need a laser, I would think they have that too.

  23. crossroads

    Many warranties for products in the USA and Canada are not valid outside of their countries ,check fine print. However in this case, I still beleive the local retailer should be fighting this battle for you, by replacing the printer and they fight to replace there stock. I wonder where their source is located?

  24. Hard Driver

    @ Printer

    Thank you for posting this. As consumers, we can only be strong if we come together and share our horror stories. I’m sure OnLine Consultancies are reading this by now. It’s not good for their business and if I were in their position I would be contacting you asap to make things right.

    I wish BFP or someone else would start a comsumer’s blog.

  25. Anonymous

    To be fair, I bought an HP office jet 6 years ago and it has never given me a day of trouble! Best money I ever spent.

  26. Anonymous

    Actually it will be interesting to see if the Fairtrade Commission can help or not.

    I clearly remember when they were first being formed they stated in one of their articles that they would be deciding how long a warranty has to be for some products and that no matter what a local seller says even in their contract that for electronics it would be at least 1 year and maybe more.

    Maybe things have now changed,

  27. None

    @ Hard Driver

    You are a joke, you are here praising us consumers for coming together but yet you want to sit and wait for somebody to do a blog.

    People like you make the world a lazy place.

    You prefer to sit wait and follow behind someone.

  28. Sargeant

    Hmmnnnnn…. Has anyone given thought that this item may be a “Grey Market” product? Why is the retailer/distributor unable to provide more than nominal assistance to their customer? Many Grey Market products are sold to consumers in the Caribbean and other parts of the developing world. Typically you are given a 30 day warranty (what breaks down within 30 days?) and after that you are SOL when the company refuses to honour the “ manufacturer’s warranty” which you thought you had.

    Last time I was in Barbados I saw some “designer clothes” which compared vary favourably to the North American product and I immediately thought of counterfeit labeling, but they could be grey market products.

    If you are in the market for consumer electronics while the product may be of good quality and work well always remember “caveat emptor” if you try to get the warranty honoured.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_market

  29. Anon

    I have been using the same HP Printer since 2001 without a single problem. I think you got a piece of bootleg garbage.

  30. Anonymous

    A couple of month ago a similar thing happened to me with a HP product. I experienced the same fate from the local company who sold me the printer. I had to go and look for the old receipt with a poor copy of HP’s customer care information on it. I emailed them a strong letter and was told to take the printer to Illuminat (Barabdos) Limited located at Geddes Grant Building, Whitepark Road, St. Michael. It took weeks to get answers from them (Illuminat/HP) but eventually thing worked out. HP sent me a new printer and acknowledge that it was a re-occurring problem with that brand. The new printer is still work to this day.
    I believe that the reason we don’t get answers sometimes is because we love to talk talk talk. What I have learnt is that we need to document these situation. The pen is mightier than the sword!!!

  31. Printer

    I talked to HP people on the phone for so long I got a sore throat!! but I heard yesterday that HP were contacting me direct, yesterday, but I haven’t heard them yet!. I will speak to Fair Trading & see what they recommend.
    Too many people seem to have problems with overseas companies which is what worries me, a loophole somewhere where no one is willing to take responsibility, companies here give 30 days warranty because why? they don’t want to be stuck with trying to get replacement stock/credit from the company they deal with? I don’t know. I’m sure I’ll be criticised for saying so, but I’ve never had a problem with On Line, they’ve always been helpful .
    Getting angry & shouting at people doesn’t help at all, you’re just put to the bottom of the pile! you’re right the pen is mightier than the sword……..

  32. A-Fish

    There is a consumer blog. Go to http://bdosconsumers.blogspot.com/

  33. Sundowner

    HP still haven’t contacted me directly but have spoken to DC Office People & said the matter has been passed on to someone else in the US who deals with cases such as this.
    The Fair Trading Commission doesn’t deal with these issues anymore, its down to the Office of Public Council & I couldn’t get there today.

  34. Sundowner

    whooops, looks like I’ll have to change my other name now!!

  35. Printer

    I need colour Laser, Pricesmart only have the black, did look at a Lexmark today, thanks, looks good.

  36. Avatar Gurl

    That’s why you should buy CANON printers & Copiers!

    I knew of people who bought Canon stuff and I think that Brydens Business Solutions actually has a one year warranty on them…no matter where they bought it. They actually honor the warranty too!

    Give them a call…430-7401. Talk to anyone there. They can give you more info.

  37. Educated consumers speak with their bankcards…

    If it’s broken, it’s not our job to fix it…

    Remember, “MADE IN TAIWAN”…

  38. Matt

    I have a similar situation with HP. We purchased an LJ2727 printer last September from CDW. It quit working in about six months. CDW would not do anything saying it was the manufacturers warranty that took care of it.

    Hewlett Packard did send me another printer (same model). They charge me $42 for shipping. This one worked until the middle of June before it quit working.

    After being routed to numerous people in a call center and lied to about where they were, I finally was able to reach someone and ask HP for a credit for the printer. They said it would take two days.

    After a month I finally decided I could invest a little more time. This time I was again put on hold for over 45 minutes, again was lied to (someone had called me the day before although they didn’t seem to know how to use voice mail) and was offered $43 of credit.

    I called again to the Corporate HQ and one of the receptionists kept me on the phone asking the same questions over and over until I exploded and she hung up.

    The moral of the story is this:

    – HP LJ 2727 is a piece of junk
    – No one, not HP nor CDW nor I suspect any other retailer/wholesaler will stand behind the product.
    – Customer service from large US companies is try to make the caller so angry that he will yell or curse and so you are allowed to hang up and do nothing.

    I will never purchase an HP product again.

  39. Printer

    Update
    Have spoken to DC Office People, they have e mailed again to HP & not had any joy. HP is supposed to be contacting me direct but as yet they haven’t.
    Office of Public Council say, the 30 day warranty is ‘not acceptable’ that a supplier here ‘must stand in the shoes of the manufacturer if the manufacturer is not in this country’ that’s the law apparently!! so will go & fill out the relevant forms…..

  40. Printer

    Meanwhile I had to buy a new printer………..

  41. Printer

    Why is my comment still being held for moderation when the next one I made went straight on??

  42. Moral of the Story,then...

    1. If you have an ages-old HP printer that’s still working
    hold on to it…treasure it!
    Obviously, you have a printer made back when they made PRINTERS.

    2. Don’t, for God’s sake, buy a modern plastic (CrackerJack box?) HP printer
    because you’ll be getting dubious quality
    and virtually no guarantee other than WORDS.

    3. If you can live your life without a printer
    strive to do so.
    Happiness lies in simplification of lifestyle.
    Printers are NOT simplification of lifestyle, sorry!

  43. No this is what the country should do. FORCE HP to honor warranties or kick them out of the country. How many better printers are there?lots. Tell the company you want to do business here, do rght by our citizens. plain and simple . The nerve ..don’t let the big white hunter get away with it.

    from New York.

  44. Terence?the world is getting smaller, but I am not surprised that my first time on this site, to see what Rihanna is up to, would entail meeting you here.

    Be well!!

  45. Printer

    Someone suggested the original letter ( at the top) should be sent to a daily paper in the US, any suggestions?

  46. Printer

    Well I’ve been to the office of Public Council, so we’ll wait & see what happens regarding the warranty here. As for HP, not heard a word from anyone anywhere……..

  47. We are a US based seller of HP products into the Caribbean and Latin America. I am seeing quite a bit of disparaging comments regarding HP and would like to comment. The printer in question should have been replaced immediatly under warranty. You are getting alot of grief for a $299.00 US$ printer. We would have shipped you one for free. I have many Barbados business customers using HP equipment, from low end printers as the one in question to HP Enterprise Servers, Storage, Networking, and Printing. I will say I have seen HP bend over backwards to assist business customers with outages in Barbados including dispatching engineers the same day from Puerto Rico or Trinidad with spare parts to get a customer back up and running. I agree the same service should be provided to home use or small businesses. In the USA it is done through a network of local repair shops who are competent (know what they are doing and know how to get parts from HP). I personally think your issue should be with the local DC Office People who appear unable to communicate with HP.

  48. runaround

    If you think HP gives you a rough time try Dell. Just another US company that doesn’t even know where Barbados is but sort of knows where the caribbean is.

    Maybe they have changed but honoring a warranty was not in their vocabulary.

  49. One Time Customer

    One thing i’ll say about online consultancies , prices aren’t bad but they sure suck at aftersales service.

  50. Johnny Postle

    The situation is unfortunate but I think the retailer in Barbados should be the one compensating this customer for the faulty product and the ones who should be lobbying HP for change or refund on the faulty product. The customer should not be subjected to this indifference.

  51. Printer

    This has all been sorted with On Line with the help of Public Council, but it should not have been so difficult to contact & get response from HP. My quarrel is with them not On Line. HP only give a 15 day (thats right) 15 days guarantee, the businesses here make it up to whatever, thats what HP stipulate, you either put up with it or don’t have HP products legally here.

  52. Printer

    Public Counsel made a big mistake here, they contacted On Line who responded quickly but Public Counsel did not forward the letter onto me! I spent months & months trying to contact HP & never got a solid response at all, I was passed from one person to another from country to country, I was very lax during the winter season as I was so busy when I contacted Public Counsel again they admitted they hadn’t forwarded correspondence to me, if they had this would probably have been rectified last year!
    The link above re HP is unbelievable, to con all the printer owners they supply by programming the printers to issue false readings on the toners/cartridges, when the printer says its run out it won’t work, I was told take them out shake them put them back, makes no difference, the damn things are so expensive. I’m glad they’ve been exposed.

  53. paul

    As an American who buys products from HP, Dell, etc. I totally sympathize – it’s not much better for us, usually we get sent to a call centre located in India or the Phillipines where someone speaking English that can’t be understood is totally unhelpful.

    I use to buy from the cheapest provider, now I only buy from suppliers that will take back any purchase for up to a year (in my country Costco, etc.); you may not have the same level of retailers, but in the future I’d look to buy only from the retailers in Barbados (if they exist) that will refund your money no questions asked and make dealing with the manufacturer their problem and not yours.

  54. Mac

    Given that HP have just opened a new store in Sheraton Centre, does this warranty issue still apply?

  55. Politically Tired

    I thought they were linked with Promotech with the new store?

  56. dingdong

    OLC should have replaced that printer if investigations revealed it was faulty/DOA. 30 days is crap for a warranty but ppl like cheap tings….so off you go.

    The problem with buying HP is that unlike Dell, HP likes to deal with the customer for after sales service and not the intermediary OLC/DC office. They do not care, HP always wants to speak to the customer that bought the item.

    With Dell once you can prove you are the owner or you can prove the owner of the system, you can handle the support for them.

    HP products are not what they used to be, you could look at them hard and they would break, the old deskjets and lasers were the sweet ones….

  57. theWatcher

    Thanks to BFP for bringing this to light. It is unfortunate that this has occurred, but the truth of the matter is that lots of international companies are taking the Caribbean for a ride with what I can only describe as price and warranty warfare. However, this situation can change if we adopt standards by which the products that enter into and are sold in our country(ies) have to meet and abide by. The HP representative for this region, a gentleman by the name of T.Serranno is always in and out or Barbados working with their various representative(s), Partners, Re-Sellers, in an attempt to drive sales. It is interesting that many of these international representatives do not stress on the quality of their after-sale service, many times leaving that up to the individual stores / vendors to provide. As such, this leaves a void in the market which allows them to be absolved of any responsibility for the product which they represent. Driving sales, leads to this sort of degredation in product and service quality because that becomes secondary at best, tertiary or lower at worst.
    BFP has brought to light an issue which exist within the country at large and is not confined to just HP, Dell or any other international outfit. It is really an issue of having no standards.
    However, Barbadians can protect themselves and their investments in this form of technology by doing a few things before committing to a sale:

    1. Ask for and secure in writing a copy of the warranty policy of the store which you are planning to make your sale with. Read it and seek clarification on any clauses which you do not understand in their document. If too much of it is hazy, shady or otherwise questionable, leave the establishment with you cash securely in hand.

    2.Ask for and secure in writing a copy of the store’s return policy on bad/defective goods. Read and understand this also. It is imperative.

    3. Seek to determine if the store is in good public standing with the FTC. Ask for statistics on the number of complaints against them per month, quarter and year to get a sense of how they stand in the public eye. Get this in writing, It IS your RIGHT to know it and have it as the FTC is for YOU!

    4. Stay clear of any vendor, store or company with a scandal in their immediate foreground for at least 3~6 months until the issue has been resolved or a decision is made.

    We can’t afford to be robbed in our own country by these vendors who seem to believe that we are ignorant. When they treat us with scant respect, seek to zip your pocket and move along to the next one who gives us quality products and unquestionable service, at a reasonable price.
    Nuff said!

  58. passin thru

    I can’t find a website for HP Barbados. Funny, I expected a computer company would put one up right away.

  59. passin thru

    I went to the HP world website and they don’t have a Barbados page. Strange.

  60. dingdong

    http://www8.hp.com/lamerica_nsc_carib/en/contact-hp/contact.html

    Caribbean-English page is what you need to select….

  61. what will they think of next

    If that is true, then why is the Government buying so many computers and printers from HP?

  62. elmo

    @wwtton: they will find out in time…..

    guvment also using avg enterprise for av….seriously? lol

  63. Printer

    what will they think of next

    HP are cheap to buy expensive to run! the toners on the Colour Laser Printers that I know are about $340 each, if they all ran out at the same time it would be cheaper to buy a new printer!

  64. JC

    I am completely disgusted with HP. I started a graphic business and bought equipment with my life savings plus loans from friends for what I thought would have been the best equipment for my business. I bought a laptop and colour laser printer -all HP. Since then I had numerous problems with the printer but I thought maybe it had to do with the large amount of work requested of it. Most of the times it would take 30 mins to print. On my way to purchase toner for it I was introduced to another printer which I was told was an updated version of the one I already had. Since this printer was cheaper than the 4 toners I went to buy, I went on faith and bought it instead. It printed much better than the old one, and with the growing amount of customers I had, I seemed like a dream until the warranty went out, which was last week. Today I arrived with 4 new toners to find out that the part rotating the cartridges for me to take them out has stopped working. From this morning I have called every number i have seen online for assistance. One asked for a case number, one transferred me all over the globe and the last flat out told me that they will not help me because I am not in America. I am so frustrated. I have 2 not- working printers, an extinguished bank account, furious customers who threaten to boycott me because they need their artwork done. I have a growing business- so much that I have to turn people back. I buy 4 toners every two weeks with the amount of work I have to do. I cannot afford to lose anymore business. I am so frustrated. I would ideally like to send both printers back and get a new one but for right now I am at a loss.