HP Envy? HP Rage more like.

Dear Andy Isherwood
(VP/Managing Director Hewlett-Packard Company UK & Ireland)

Firstly, Why is my telephone number a mandatory field on your contact form? I have no desire whatever to talk to you or any of your staff. This is mainly because you do not seem to allow the public (your paying customers) to speak to you. (I do not count any number starting with 08 as these cost an extraordinary amount of money to call. A geographic number starting 01 or 02 on the other hand is included in my mobile phone bundle and therefore does not cost me the earth to call). I would just like to point out that your support is quite possibly the worst in existence  - I have been trying to find an email address for your support department for the last 40 minutes and have been sent in an infinite loop of entering my product details.

The only link that seems to work is the pre-sales link. I have already purchased a laptop from you and frankly at this rate it will be my last purchase from HP - I have been so frustrated by your simply awful service, If I were able, I would be returning my laptop and purchasing one from a vendor that does not hold their customers in such obvious contempt. For the record, I bought an Envy 17, Model J130ea.

My only complaint about the laptop itself is the simply awful software that comes with it. I am trying to make a backup of the system software and, as instructed by the retailer, bought a 32gb usb stick for this purpose (Sandisk Cruzer Force). I have wasted an entire weekend attempting to make this backup only to find out that your shoddy software does not support usb sticks over 32gb and that according to your website (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=uk&lc=en&docname=c03481733#N1518) the usb stick should be LESS THAN 32 gb. Now, being that the computer is telling me that the stick must be AT LEAST 17gb, it seems to me that someone, somewhere is mistaken.

To compound the problem, your instructions on said web page say that the USB stick should NOT BE Windows 8 Compatible! Please explain to me why ANYONE would purchase a USB stick that was not Windows 8 Compatible when the laptop itself runs Windows 8?

Your recovery solution is a complete mess and as such I would be most grateful if you could arrange for recovery media (preferably USB Memory stick, but DVD will do) to be forwarded to me at the address I have supplied at your earliest convenience. I realise that normally I would be expected to pay for these, but I'm afraid I have spent WAY too much time messing about with something that is clearly HP's fault and as such I am not prepared to pay you any more money.

Whilst I have your ear, I would also be most grateful if you could acknowledge my consumer right to a 2 year guarantee and confirm that HP will honour this as under European law ( EU Directive 1999/44/EC) all goods must come with a minimum 2 year guarantee. On the assumption that you are indeed prepared to acknowledge and confirm said statutory rights, can you please explain to me why HP as a company are pushing an extended 'warranty' (via your truly horrible support assistant) that does not appear to offer any appreciable benefit and in fact does not extend anything? (I am of course referring to the 2 year extended warranty that does not include cover for accidental damage and only actually extends the "HP Limited warranty" by one, not two, years - most misleading). I find it deeply disturbing that a supposedly reputable company such as HP is willing to stoop to such low levels to hoodwink their customers out of a few more pounds - It is even more damaging in my eyes to your brand than your woefully inadequate support. In fact it is the kind of tactic that I expect banks, Dixons and other untrustworthy institutions to employ - not a reputable brand.

As an aside - I otherwise like the laptop, it's well designed and appears pretty good value for money but I'd personally have been a lot happier if you'd leave the  'value added' and somewhat bloated software off of it (Simple Pass, the Support Assistant, McAfee etc.) and and put it on a disk perhaps - that way, I can decide if I want to install it, or provide my own software.