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HP

Buy an Elite HP PC, Get Your Own Support Staffer 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the personal-touch dept.
jfruh writes "HP reversed its decision to spin off its PC business, but it's still left with the question of how to make money in a commodity business selling standard-issue machines manufactured overseas. One idea they're contemplating: improved customer service. If you buy an HP 'Elite' PC and have problems, you won't have to phone into a tech support call center where an entry-level drone reads off a script and tells you to reboot the machine; you'll have access to a specific support tech who will work with you as long as you own the computer."
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Buy an Elite HP PC, Get Your Own Support Staffer

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thank you...

    But my local indian restaurante is good enough :)

    • How does (Score:0, Funny) even exist? I'm calling HP tech support to find out.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How does (Score:0, Funny) even exist? I'm calling HP tech support to find out.

        -1 Overratted and +1 Underrated only change the score and not the status.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:18PM (#39052939) Journal
        Well if its anything like Dell tech support [youtube.com] you may be on the phone for awhile pal.
        • Re:*blink* Eh? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:46PM (#39053247)

          You mean Dells home grade tech support. Anyone who has purchased Dell's business line of products such as workstations/servers knows you get someone in the USA on the phone that is usually very knowledgeable.

          • by EdIII (1114411)

            I can 2nd that. Any server purchase, or being part of any premium account gets you access to fairly good techs within the USA. One of them speaks with an Indian accent still, but actually knows what he is talking about.

            P.S - I am not insulting India, just saying what we already know. Basic tech support from India is basic tech support from people that might not actually own a computer.

            • Re:*blink* Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by sortius_nod (1080919) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:12PM (#39054215) Homepage

              I've been supporting Dell business machines for about 10 years, and I concur, never had to wait with business support (even basic tier business support). Conversely, HP's business support is total shite. Even with a carepack you get phone queues and delays of days (HP's idea of "24hrs response time" is a phone call, not a visit).

              I have a feeling that this will be a painful loss for HP, nothing more.

          • Re:*blink* Eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @02:05AM (#39056509) Homepage

            Too bad the Symantec Backup Exec support staff isn't US based too. Every time I've had to call them for any reason at all, it's always someone from India that answered the phone. Every fucking time!

            It's bad enough to have a server crash all while corrupting the RAID volume with it. It's even worse when you need help restoring data with support on the other end of the line you can barely understand. In another dimension and time, this would have been hilarious. Unfortunately, the joke is on me.

            Screw political correctness. The first company that bases an advertisement bashing their competitor for using outsourced tech support in India will be extremely successful as it will resonate with the average American. The ability to understand them is frustrating!

            • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday February 16, 2012 @06:30AM (#39057661) Journal
              Uhhh...you might want to look up the "Peggy commercials' as a company has already done that, they just changed India to Russia so they could use white people and not appear racist. funny enough the one thing I miss about working at a consulting firm in the state capital is we had an Indian gal whose job was pretty much cursing at tech support in Hindi. I use to love to watch her get worked up "NO! You did NOT just tell me to reboot! I have 3 degrees and am a professional in IT you DO NOT give ME that reboot crap!" which would always be followed by a long string of Hindi which i'm sure was quite colorful.
          • You mean Dells home grade tech support. Anyone who has purchased Dell's business line of products such as workstations/servers knows you get someone in the USA on the phone that is usually very knowledgeable.

            Better than Asus. I was dragged to a meeting with a pair of their pitchmen and got to watch a delightful scene in which someone from our sales department waited for them to mention servers and then tore them apart with a story of a client whose server went tits-up in under a month and when he called about it was told "We're sorry, the server support department isn't accepting calls right now." I quite enjoyed watching the Asus pitchmen stumbling to try pimp their warranty assistance and not understanding th

          • by unixisc (2429386)
            It's been a while since I had Dell tech support, but I agree w/ the above observation. The one I called walked me through System Restore, and since then, I never had any real trouble w/ Windows.
          • by jp10558 (748604)

            I wish. It's gotten better recently, but I've also stopped buying Dells. I recall I would call, and be asked for a multi digit number rather than the service tag. The web site wouldn't spit out the number from the service tag. I mean, everyone else uses the serial number, but not Dell. So some number I couldn't get and wasn't on the computer got be bounced around for 45 minutes and 7 different countries / call centers where no one could help me till I finally got Canada enterprise support. Then it takes the

    • by mbkennel (97636)

      well while you're getting your curry you can drop off your mac at the iStore.

      If you have a Carlyfied computer, good luck.

  • by jhoegl (638955) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:19PM (#39051901)
    Seriously HP, starting with better basic Customer support would gain you more market share.
    If Dell can figure it out, so can you.
    • by x1r8a3k (1170111)
      HP has fantastic Customer Service
      ...if you buy a support plan.

      If this is essentially bundling a service plan into the purchase cost, I'd buy one.
      • by shuz (706678)
        I'm on the fence as even their 24x7x365 4 hr onsite support bundles requires a fair number of hoops even when you just bought a $30,000 machine. I take that back, especially if you just bought a $30,000 machine. But yes in the end they take care of you much better than if you didn't have a support contract. However I don't think I've ever talked to someone in the Americas, Australia, or Europe, unless it was the person delivering parts or a technician coming out to a DC. I am going to have to go ahead and a
    • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:26PM (#39052037)

      Market share it may gain them, but profitability it will not.

      The PC market has segmented in such a way that most people accurately judge PC clones as being equivalent and simply compare specs to price.

      If HP comes into the market with "elite"-priced PCs, the American consumer will do the same thing they have done with tablets that didn't offer cost savings - they'll say "For that price I can get an iphone/ipad/imac/macbook". Why pay more for technical support, which you have to spend time and frustration using, when you can just buy something that (consumer perception says) doesn't need technical support?

      This strategy is DOA.

      • by L3370 (1421413)
        What if the customer service positions were filled with sales oriented people? It would be an oppurtunity to have conversations about other products. Cross selling extended warranties, insurance packages, games or pc peripherals...
        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:32PM (#39053111) Homepage

          What if the customer service positions were filled with sales oriented people? It would be an oppurtunity to have conversations about other products. Cross selling extended warranties, insurance packages, games or pc peripherals...

          CUSTOMER: My PC isn't working well.
          SALES/SUPPORT DRONE: Great! Would you like to buy a new one!

          Somehow, I just don't think support calls are great 'sales moments'.

          • Somehow, I just don't think support calls are great 'sales moments'.

            I can think of a few that might work on the average joe:

            My wireless keeps disconnecting.
            You're probably just getting reduced signal because of walls and nearby interference. Buy this wireless range extender and/or booster antenna!
            My laptop is slow in the evenings when the TV is on.
            It's probably getting hot on your lap. Buy this ventilated lap desk with a mini fan!
            My keyboard is covered in beer!
            Sorry, spills are not covered by the warr
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:46PM (#39053249) Journal

        Because as Apple has learned perception and looks matter? As someone who sells and services to normal folks 6 days a week i can tell you i can take frankly 5 year old parts and double my money simply by slapping them in a $20 fancy case from geeks. Anything with a racing stripe of pretty lights catches the eye and makes people think speed so they are more likely to buy. While I of course don't shortchange folks like that I do put any new build in a flashy case simply because it makes them sell MUCH quicker if there is some bling bling so it really wouldn't be hard for HP to make an "Elite PC" line with some flash and get in the consumers.

        That said the problem is gonna be laptops as there is only so much bling you can put on one of those and most folks only care about how it "feels' instead of how it looks. While i will resell frankly any brand I get a good deal on i prefer the Asus lines as to me they just "feel" nicer and at least on the ones I've used seem to be better about heat than HP and Dell. Maybe if HP would quit trying to beat Apple in the thin dept and instead work on having a nice feel with good battery life maybe they can upsell there too, maybe offer more models where you can change out the DVD for an extra battery? Because the biggest complaint I hear from folks is there never is such a thing as too much battery life, its one of the reasons i ended up selling my full size for an Asus EEE 1215B netbook, i went from 3 and a half hours to 6 watching 720p video and from 4 and a half to over 7 for surfing. To me that was worth giving up the burner and I bet a lot of folks would agree, instead of having the burner they should include a USB DVD and add an extra battery in the DVD slot. Easy way to upsell is to be able to brag that while the other guy gets 4 hours on a battery you get 8.

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          While I of course don't shortchange folks like that I do put any new build in a flashy case simply because it makes them sell MUCH quicker if there is some bling bling so it really wouldn't be hard for HP to make an "Elite PC" line with some flash and get in the consumers.

          Not 1337 PCs. Elite PCs.

          "Elite" is a brand name HP already uses for desktop PCs [hp.com] and notebooks [hp.com] for businesses. They're not all that flashy.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Wow, low end parts in boring basic black cases,,,I wonder why they are having such trouble selling them? It doesn't change a single thing I said, do you think PHBs aren't swayed by perception? Make them slick looking and big, or put some bling bling like card readers or fingerprint scanners, anything to make them think power or speed and they WILL buy. Hell I learned that when I found even a bottom of the line AMD quad would sell faster than a high end Intel dual because "more is better" and that's all the

            • by PCM2 (4486)

              I think you must be talking to different PHBs than the ones at any company I ever worked for -- or visited, for that matter. I've never seen a black and red case or superfluous LEDs or any kind of "bling bling" in any business setting. And if it was my business, boring black cases sound just fine to me. (Maybe you weren't around when they were boring beige cases?)

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Speaking of ipad/imac/macbook, they should really take a cue there. They need to seriously cut down on the number of models they offer. There are so many models out there that people get confused. Sell 3 desktop models, 3 laptop models, and maybe a small form factor machine. If people can't find what they want from that selection, they are too picky, and would probably e better served sourcing their own machine from off the shelf parts and putting it together themselves.
      • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @09:10PM (#39054189)

        This strategy is DOA.

        Not entirely. It will not be as profitable, but it could get a very large chunk of a specific market share.

        Senior citizens and complete and total morons.

        I *know* some of these people. Very smart people otherwise (except for the real morons), but totally hopeless with computers. Even the most basic of diagnostic tasks past "is the power cord plugged in" can fluster them and take 15 minutes to get past on the phone.

        Having somebody they can always talk to by name to help them out will be valuable in their eyes. It will sell in that specific market.

        P.S - Anybody that reads this that thinks you know me..... no I was not talking about you. At all. I swear.

        • This strategy is DOA.

          Not entirely. It will not be as profitable, but it could get a very large chunk of a specific market share.

          Senior citizens and complete and total morons.

          So, it should offer AOL integration as well?

      • by wanzeo (1800058)

        Why is it so difficult to compete in the same market as Apple?

        Ever since Apple became a dominant player, it is impossible to find high end non-Apple products. Every other manufacturer simply accepts that Apple owns the high end, and instead of competing they offer 9000 different models of the same low quality plastic junk.

        If a company like HP (or Samsung, who actually manufactures hardware) sold a sleek aluminum unibody laptop with an SSD and a high quality screen, I have no doubt they could eat into the Ma

        • Likely because the aluminum case is more expensive and less rugged than, say, the titanium roll-cage and carbon-fiber in a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop? (go check youtube for destruction comparison videos)
          Sure, most mfgrs have low end stuff too... but to be honest, why bother with the flashy Apple-copying case when you have something better and cheaper?
          and, um, being a machinist myself? Aluminum is actually very weak and easy to damage. Titanium on the other hand... even a little of it can be quite strong, and i

          • by wanzeo (1800058)

            Well perhaps aluminum isn't the best choice, but I am actually writing this on one of those titanium roll-cage carbon-fiber thinkpads (t410), and I have been less than impressed.

            I have a cracked handrest (a common problem), a clicky keyboard, a broken ultra-bay, multiple screws that have worn through their threadings to become useless, and an overheating problem that renders the discrete graphics unusable. The only saving grace is the nice matte screen.

            I understand that constructing something like a laptop

            • Huh, that's interesting.
              My T43 lasted 3 years of good use for me(that's using it as a main machine, hauling it around everywhere, jamming it into an unpadded bag every day), and even then was still in working condition; the power port died on me, though, and my cheap replacement was inadequately insulated and shorted out the charging circuit.
              There were maby 2 minor cracks, but eh...

              After that, I got my current T500, and I've had no trouble with the discrete graphics and overheating so long as the fan-contro

            • by jp10558 (748604)

              I'm sorry, but what the hell do you do to your laptops? The only time I've seen anyone wear out a Lenovo laptop was by dropping it repeatably from 4 feet + up on the corner. And this actually only broke a bit of plastic off the back corner and killed the HD. Warranty replaced the HD and palm rest / touch-pad and it was working again.

              I mean, we did have the person who spilled acetone on the keyboard and melted it - also replaced. Have you called them for replacement parts / mail in service?

              We have numerous (

    • by multiben (1916126)
      So true. My father in law recently bought an HP. The hard drive subsequently went bung and he spent hours of pain on the phone being passed around the globe until they eventually agreed to send him a new hard drive, but he would need to install it himself. The drive turned up and it was half the capacity of the original. Since it was urgent he got me to install it anyway and then contacted HP to complain about the small than expected drive. They said they would send another drive out. They didn't. He called
      • At least you were allowed that option (of a hard drive RMA). Samsung insists that you send the whole machine in, despite describing to them that you put a spare hard disk into the laptop and it works fine. (Samsung RC-512-S01 here - less than a year old.) ...and so I had a choice: send in the whole damned thing and go without a laptop for a couple of weeks (and have what used to be an Ubuntu laptop returned with Windows and all the Samsung crapware put back on it), or just buy another disk in spite of the t

  • Or.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    until they leave the company. Or go on holiday. Or Maternity leave. Or sick. Or get promoted.

    • until they leave the company. Or go on holiday. Or Maternity leave. Or sick. Or get promoted.

      Or go home for the night and you have trouble while they're eating dinner with their family.

    • That was my first thought. First line tech support has serious churn.

  • Dear HP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:21PM (#39051925)

    Look HP I get it, Chinese labor is cheap, and there are a lot of Chinese people to spare but I just don't see how this is feasible. Plus just imagine the shipping and handling? Plus where is it going to sleep?

    I get it you don't want to seem behind on the times with apple using cheap drones to assemble all it's products but including one with each PC bought might be pushing it.

  • One Question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stevenfuzz (2510476)
    What the hell is a PC?
    • A term long accepted by the street to mean a personal computer running some variant of the Windows operating system.

      Now and then someone will think it is clever to ask "Derp, are they not all personal computers? Derp!" in an attempt to sound like, I don't know, some sort of hipster or cool kid something... who the fuck can tell?

      Anyway, I hope this helps.

      • Re:One Question (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:10PM (#39052789) Homepage Journal

        Now and then someone will think it is clever to ask "Derp, are they not all personal computers? Derp!" in an attempt to sound like, I don't know, some sort of hipster or cool kid something... who the fuck can tell?

        [applause] That line has long been one of the most irritating bits of pseudo-cleverness found in tech discussions, and it should be met with mockery and scorn at every opportunity.

        • Re:One Question (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @08:11PM (#39053501) Journal

          Actually it just shows how out of touch geeks are with the public, as someone who has been making his living serving that public since before there even WAS a Windows let me bust some myths okay?

          1.-A tablet is NOT a PC, it is in fact not even considered a computer of ANY sort by the masses. its a "screen that plays videos and angry birds" and they look on it as a personal computer about as much as their wristwatch or ATM.

          2.-A phone is NOT a personal computer, or even has an OS, again see 1 only add "helps me find stuff and Googles"

          3.-The reason ARM netbooks never had a chance is because there is no such thing as a netbook to the masses, its a "baby laptop and baby laptops should do everything a big laptop does only slower, because a baby is smaller than a grown up"

          I hope i have cleared up some common myths held by geeks about what is an isn't a PC. to the public the ONLY thing that is a PC is a computer that runs Windows and supports ALL their old programs, be it in desktop or laptop form. That is one of the reasons Windows tablets is DOA, both in X86 and ARM, as it tries to break common perception. If its a tablet its supposed to work like a big phone, if its got Windows its supposed to have a keyboard and a mouse or trackpad. people don't like things that go against perceptions, see the open hostility to Win 8 as an example as i've shown it to over 200 customers and within seconds they are actively hating the thing, its just too alien.

    • by themightythor (673485) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:36PM (#39052219)
      It obviously "Player Character".
    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      Its a machine for those that do more than mindlessly consume content the corporate approved way? Snarky but true, all the pad owners i know just use the things for angry birds and as a handheld video player.
    • by westlake (615356)

      What the hell is a PC?

      it is a micro computer running MSDOS or Windows with a keyboard designed for 9 to 5 clerical work and a large, legible, display.

      It's a usage that took hold among the masses about 30 years back now.

  • 24/7 and for at least 1-2 years sounds like good job security

  • What happens when said support person quits?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Which they will, when you have to deal with the same annoying bitchy customer day after day.

  • What happens if the person quits? Or is on vacation/sick when you need support? Or is just plain incompetent?

    This seems to be a promise to provide less reliable support then what we have now.

    • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:28PM (#39052075)

      They assign you someone else?

      • by mark-t (151149)
        Then it's not a specific support tech that will work with you for as long as you own the computer, is it?
    • by L3370 (1421413)
      Think of it as an account representative. Similar service level of someone like your financial advisor, tax man, or sales rep for your business--but of course providing an IT support service. Like account reps, I'm sure they could have other reps fill in for vacations/emergencies

      If they DO go this route, you could expect the positions to be filled with sales/customer service oriented mindsets as well as basic computer skills. You could have a personable rep who is genuinely interested in you, because its
  • Nightmare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mvar (1386987) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:24PM (#39051997)
    Anyone who has had a little help-desk experience can already imagine the horrors of having to deal with a specific annoying customer every fucking time he calls for help
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:25PM (#39052007)
    Whoever is assigned as your support tech will still be under the same policies meant to minimize costs to HP, that means limited training and script reading. Given the turnover in tech support, even an "assigned" drone will likely be some random person by the time you need help. This sounds more like marketing than an actual change in policy.
    • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:07PM (#39052745)

      > Given the turnover in tech support, even an "assigned" drone will likely be
      > some random person by the time you need help.

      Call centers already assign their employees with fictional names and locations. All they need to do is slap that information in a database for the next representative to use. Unless there's a major difference in accent or sex, it's not like most people would even notice a difference.

    • I am surprised HP has 'support' at all. Some years ago family member bought a hp laptop. He used the online help im feature once, and since he was not an american was told no help was available via the oem of windows that hp 'insist' on providing and not customising for the eu.

      His next pc wont be from HP for some reason

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      Does anyone else read TFA and smell a "Hi my name is Peggy" kinda deal coming up? After all every time i get stuck dealing with Indian tech support i always get a Bob, and I kinda doubt Bob is THAT popular of a name in India, so I have a feeling all females will now be called Sara and all males will now be called Bob and if you ask why their voice is different they'll read from a script "I have that bug that's going around".
  • Tables and phones supplement PCs, not replace them.

    HP was foolish to suggest their PC business had no value publicly while at the same time trying to sell it off. They bungled the Palm/WebOS purchase. They dropped billions simply to show up late to market with nothing new to offer. If they used it as a base but came up with a clever innovation, they might have made an in road into the market.

    They've been poorly run basically since the Compaq merger, which is a shame because I prefer HP over Dell, especially

    • The only time I use my laptop is for programming. Since I work at an office, I hardly ever touch it. I find daily computation tasks to be much easier with a tablet.
    • by jp10558 (748604)

      There are other server vendors than HP or Dell... IBM for starters.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When I was working in IT, I greatly preferred dealing with HP's support over Microsoft, Autodesk, etc. I'd call them up, read off the serial number, tell them the CD drive was dead, and they'd send a replacement with a shipping label to send the dead one back. With Microsoft or Autodesk, I had to jump through a million hoops to get any real support. Then I went to work for HP as a software developer and learned to loathe them. The company is good at taking care of its customers, but when it comes to its

  • Wow, so much hate! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @06:34PM (#39052193) Homepage

    I'm surprised at all the negativity. This sounds like basically the same thing as when I worked IT and I had my own rep at the mail-order houses like CDW and PC Warehouse. In practice, did it make a damn bit of difference to me whether my official rep took my order or somebody else did? Nope, not really. All my info, including discounts, etc., was in the computer. But it was nice to have a number to call and a specific person with whom I could leave a message if need be, and to be able to say stuff like, "I need more of those things I got on Friday, but listen, one of them already broke" -- without having to walk through some script with an anonymous sales rep. It was just that slight bit more of a human interaction that made the whole transaction a little bit more pleasant, even though I was intellectually aware that it probably wasn't making what I needed to do much easier by any measurable amount.

    • In practice, did it make a damn bit of difference to me whether my official rep took my order or somebody else did? Nope, not really.

      Alienware built its reputation on having a specific support group (the "Roswell Team") assigned to each machine it sold, and the techs were both responsive and competent. That level of support created a following of fanatically loyal customers. Then, of course, they were bought by Dell, which proceeded to take a great thing and screw it up in every possible way.

      So yeah, it's possible to do it so it does make a difference; it's just that the giant manufacturers don't get why you should.

      • by shuz (706678)
        Don't forget that Alienware was also fanatically priced.
        • Don't forget that Alienware was also fanatically priced.

          ...something tells me that you won't find an HP Elite notebook selling for $699 on Black Friday, either.

  • The only thing that will change is that you're getting a dedicated person. You'll still get someone that's likely to be hired on a disposable basis as opposed to someone that is treated like a long-term investment.

    Seen it with the folks that have repaired my Thinkpads, and the contractors had very little respect for the equipment that they were repairing. The only worse fate is to send the machine in for depot service, where things are likely to be broken as much as they are fixed.

    Then again, I shouldn't

  • by Anonymous Coward

    [ 100th call that day, only a few moment from the last one... ]
    Customer: "yeah, hi again, so errm, the computer still doesn't seem happy. I don't think it liked the way you said goodbye to it last time. Say it again, but this time with feeling - it is listening..."

    Tech: places noose around neck, loads into office paper shredder and presses go...

  • by pz (113803)

    Having a single person take care of support issues is a great idea. There are lots of reasons I'd find that appealing, as a business customer (who are the majority of buyers getting HP Elite products).

    The most appealing reason, though, would be that I'd communicate with one single person through a given service interaction -- which can often span multiple calls or emails. One of the most frustrating aspects of lowest-cost CS is that every interaction is handled by a different drone, so you end up answerin

  • So lets take an analogy for this one step further: Should Mercedes Benz and BMW offer a "personal tech" for their Yuppie clients to find out that maybe they should check the air in the tires now and then? Or come to a full stop at that red light ahead of you? Just how far do we go with this kind of "coddling the monied incompetent" do we go? If you want to operate a car you have get training and demonstrate some basic level of competence. Why doesn't the same hold true for the ubiquitous machine? More
    • by mbkennel (97636)

      When you physically take your car into your German Authorized Dealer, you will get one of a small number of service advisors who will talk with you and perhaps remember you. You can call up and make an appointment with Mr Blow for 9AM as well.

  • Or I could spend a Saturday learning damn near everything there is to know about how to setup computers and their hardware for basic home use, build my own high quality computer out of parts I ordered and put together, and have no one to answer to but myself (and warranty holders) if something breaks. I'm at my own availability 24/7 and don't have to risk getting a "Well what did you think you could do with the low end model? Play flash games? No, you need a high end PC for that."

    Note: I'm an experience

    • Re:Or.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lightknight (213164) on Wednesday February 15, 2012 @07:34PM (#39053127) Homepage

      Laptops.

      When it becomes possible to pick and choose laptop parts the way you do desktops / servers, PC manufacturers are doomed.

      Why? Because the ability for a local IT guy to build you exactly what you need / want greatly supersedes the powers of the market research guys at the big corps.
      Warranty and tech support is the only hold-up at that point.

      If the people who make laptop motherboards / cases / video cards would standardize on a layout / form factor, we'd be doing it already.

      • by kcbnac (854015)

        Why do you think they haven't done just that?

        Can't sell you a replacement battery at $139 + S&H when its the same model for every 14" laptop on the market...

        • Because the manufacturers for various laptop components haven't discovered yet how profitable it might be to sell directly to techs. Cutting out the middle man is almost always more profitable for the people on either side. The manufacturers get a higher profit per board, and techs get lower prices.

          And it's not like it would be difficult to design a form factor for laptops. Create two, maybe three board sizes, LaptopTX-XL (Desktop Replacement, as XL = Extra Large), LaptopTX (Standard), and MicroLaptopTX (Sm

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Or if you don't have the time or skills for that you can just go to your local mom and pop shop where we will actually sell you what you need instead of some gamer rig. Ask around there is always at least one good honest shop in any town and we are happy to build it YOUR way. the first thing i say to a new customer is "What do you want to do with the PC? What things are you gonna be doing the most?" and if what they describe would be served with a dual core than that is what they get although frankly the di

  • Why do you need a person when you could call into a app that would lead you down the same path as a human?
  • I can't even commit to paper or plastic and now you want me to deal with *this?*

  • "You'll have a specific entry-level drone in Argentina who reads off a script and tells you to reboot the machine."
    It will be so much more satisfying that way.

  • for a large number of computer problems?

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Yes, the problem is rebooting is something you should try before you call tech support, and the person staffing the support number should known now to fix issues beyond doing this (or reformatting the machine) and they generally do not.

  • Part of the issue with outsourcing the manufacturing is that they won't innovate in manufacturing anymore. many companies have gotten a leg up on the competition by figuring out a new way to make the same thing. You don't do that unless you actually make it and are familiar at a visceral level with how it is built.

    I'm not saying have a huge factory. Just something large enough that they're still doing a little manufacturing. Enough to understand it. enough to play with it. enough to innovate with the materi

  • I'm not employed by them, but I am fiercely loyal to the brand and they pretty much have me as a customer for life...because of the very thing that HP is trying to sell here.

    When I first got Tiny, my 11.5lb beast of a laptop that plays Crysis maxed out without flinching, it was having an issue where it would randomly BSOD. "ZoMg ItS wInDoEs!!!!111"...no it's not - my Dell XPS M1730 BSOD'd once in two years of running Win7. Having Tiny BSOD several times in a single sitting...not the same thing. So I called

  • Depending on how it is implemented, this would get me as a customer.

    I am very, very pragmatic when it comes to large purchases. I usually buy cheap refurbed, last-gen computers because of the huge cost savings. I expect to get what I pay for, therefore I put up with a lot of crap from my hardware.

    For support like that, I am willing to move to the full priced high end. I need to be confident that my stuff will last longer.

    This would also be great for my parents/grandparents.

    -d

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