HP Tech Support Rating

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Nabbing second place last year with an 91.25 score, HP showed that it knew how to treat customers right. But this year our experience wasn’t quite as good. We received two incorrect answers, one via chat and one via phone, and we also got pitched an extended warranty on 2 out of 3 calls. However, HP’s support via social networks was fairly snappy, and I was able to find answers to most of my questions on HP’s site.

This year, armed with an HP Pavilion 13 x360 laptop, I asked how to get HP CoolSense back after upgrading to Windows 10. I also asked the questions about reverse scrolling on a touchpad and activating Hey Cortana.

Web and Social Support

HP's support website remains well organized, with a helpful search bar sitting front and center on the main site, and tabs for Products, Software and Drivers, Forums and Contact Support at the top.

support main page search baThe site also has a nifty tool that detects your device, so you don't have to go hunting for its name and make. It takes you to a page with solutions and downloads for recent and common problems, as well as alerts for important updates for your system.

reverse scrolling answerI found the answers to queries about reverse scrolling and enabling Hey Cortana on HP's website, but the information was buried deep. Simply typing my question into the search bar did not give me a direct answer, but I found the steps within the fourth step of the second section of the fifth part of an 11-part page devoted to using the touchpad.

search no answerI couldn't find a page about using HP CoolSense on my Windows 10 notebook, but the steps HP provided for using it on Windows 8 worked.

HP's support forums are full of solved problems, and a group of staff and volunteers answer questions in the community, often within a few days. However, I still did not find an answer that specifically addressed how to turn on CoolSense.

HP also offers a service called SmartFriend starting at $10 a month that provides 24/7 help on any tech problem from any brand. So if you want to print from your Samsung phone or your laptop gets a virus, SmartFriend can help solve your problem.

After filling out a contact form to access the chat support tool, I connected with Mohammad Shoaib Alam at 12:55 p.m. ET on a Wednesday to ask how to reverse scrolling on a touchpad. After going into the Mouse Pointer Options section of Themes, Shoaib told me that my "Windows Operating System is corrupt and the OS is not activated." He explained that that was why we couldn't change any settings. This was not true, since I had just changed the direction of scrolling a minute before and after the chat session.

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When I asked him again, before ending the session, if he was sure there was no other way to fix the problem, Shoaib said, "It will only resolve by doing the [system] Recovery." He also said he could forward my case and concerns to HP's case managers.

hp tech support facebookWhen I posted my questions on Facebook and Twitter, HP's social team was efficient and effective, responding in just 2 to 3 hours. On Facebook, the company's agents responded within 3 hours and gave me effective step-by-step instructions on how to reverse scrolling on my touchpad.

hp tech support screen twitOn Twitter, @HPSupport replied in 2 hours, giving me a helpful link to an article on how to turn on Hey Cortana.

Phone Support

Like anyone playing hard to get, HP Support makes you jump through hoops to get its phone number. You'll have to click Contact Support, select Support Options and fill out a contact form before the website will reveal a number you can call. To be fair, this ensures that every caller has a case number generated by the website, which should cut down on call times; such pertinent information as product serial numbers and device model are already transmitted.

hp-tss15_pq_chirag_askedMy first call to HP, on a Thursday at 4:33 p.m. ET, was answered quickly by Chirag in India. After confirming my name and getting my case number, he clarified my issue on how to reverse scrolling on my touchpad before asking me to let him remotely access my computer. I downloaded and installed the remote control program from the conveniently addressed site "www.hp.com/123" and watched as Chirag expertly navigated the system.

Within 10 minutes of starting the call, my problem was resolved. Unfortunately, the call ended up taking 14 minutes, as Chirag asked if I wanted to buy antivirus software and accidental damage protection. However, he was not pushy about it, and was friendly and engaging overall, making the experience almost enjoyable.

On my second call, I was connected to Michelle in the Philippines within a minute of calling, on Thursday at 9:09 p.m. ET. I asked the friendly and charming rep how to enable Hey Cortana on my computer, after providing my case number and name. Since I used the moniker Alice Manilow in this call, I shouldn't have been surprised when Michelle told me my last name reminded her of singer Barry Manilow. Unfortunately, despite our bonding over music and movies, Michelle was nowhere near as knowledgeable as Chirag.

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She told me that there was only one way to talk to Cortana — by clicking the microphone symbol at the end of the Ask Me Anything bar at the bottom of the window. This was despite the fact that, while she was remotely controlling my computer, I said to Cortana, "Hey Cortana," which pulled up a Web search showing multiple articles on how to activate the always-on feature.

After 20 minutes, we "resolved" my issue, but the call lasted 29 minutes because Michelle delivered a long spiel on how my warranty was limited and that if I dropped my laptop and cracked the screen, I would need to pay to get it fixed since I didn't have accidental damage protection.

I initiated my third call at 11:25 am ET on a Wednesday, and was connected to Vivian in India within a minute. After I gave him my case number and explained that I wanted to get HP CoolSense back after upgrading to Windows 10, Vivian transferred me to cheery Kathleen (or Kate) in the Philippines. Kate remotely took over my computer to investigate my issue. To my amusement, she went into the computer's Program folder just to open Internet Explorer to download software. During our 57-minute-long call, Internet Explorer crashed on her, refusing to close.

During the entire call we got disconnected twice, for reasons unknown, but Kate always called back within a minute or two. Eventually, blaming a Windows 10 glitch and problematic drivers, Kate advised me to roll back to Windows 8.1 and directed me to the website to order a $40 USB recovery key. Although the call was long and boring (for me), Kate's polite and earnest manner made the situation easier, and my problem was resolved.

Maybe because the call had already taken such a long time, Kate was the only one of the three agents I spoke to who didn't try to sell me an extended warranty.

Bottom Line

Overall, the biggest issues with HP stemmed from the fact that its phone and chat support agents didn't seem very familiar with Windows 10 and its features, giving me inaccurate answers on new features such as Cortana. However, the company's speedy and smart social media team and well-designed website made it easy to find answers on the Web. Despite their inaccuracy, support agents were always friendly, and even when they were selling extended warranties, were not too pushy.

Tech Support Showdown

Author Bio
Cherlynn Low
Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer
Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.
Cherlynn Low, LAPTOP Staff Writer on
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16 comments
  • X.thao Says:

    I boughy a spectra 360x I only had it for two months before it broke. TWO MONTHS! I sent it in for repair. A fee weeks later Hp sent me an invoice comfriming my laptop was fixed and is in route to me with a dilivery date. Then they sent me another email chaning the deliverly date to a month later. I called to ask why And they told me the part for my laptop did not even come in yet. Why send me an invoice and delivery date when they have not fixed anything yet! Customer service reps tried to contact me but by that time i didnt care anymore. I knew why my laptop is taking longer to fix and there wasnt much customer can do beside say sorry to me. A fee weeks later, my laptop arrived. Yay! BUT THEY SENT THE WRONG ADAPTER FOR MY LAPTOP. I called again, they sent me from departmet to department, and when i finially arrived at the right department the guy i talked with didnt know whag kind of adapter my computer has. He tried to send me a different kind and i told him no. I want the one that came with my laptop. Then he just said okay, he will send the one for my laptop. On top of all this, he was RUDE! After this ordeal, i will never purchase from HP again.

  • Betsy Dabbert Says:

    Hi Everyone, subscribed to Smartfriend for $29.99 family plan this morning. I was then given to Chuck from Canada who asked what the problem was. As I proceeded to explain he began yelling at me telling me I had no clue what I was doing, to Be Quiet and not interrupt him in any way if I wanted his help and told me if I had issues with Windows and Microsoft to get off the phone and call them. He then proceeded to hang up on me. I was in such shock it took me some text to call and report the incident. They did nothing but switch me to another tech. I am still seething 6 hours later. Is anyone aware who I can report this horrible incident to?

  • raza1 Says:

    I love the HP accidental coverage/or warranty/extended warranty. My kids , broke the screen many times, damaged the keyboard countless times. No question asked, fixed. Just 2 years ago, they couldn't fix my laptop and in return offered me a new one. HP envy 5t . I purchased warranty on that as well. I suggest buying an hp laptop above $500.00 getting a warranty.

  • Margaret Says:

    They told me they could fix my problem with their expert Level 2 Techs, so I signed up, they took more money than they were suppose to, never were able to help. Their experts can only help you with email questions and help you install a program REALLY?? I called my bank to stop payment, they already got it, she told me they did this all the time.

  • Sabrina Says:

    Their chat service agents are either robots or know nothing about computers.

    I couldn't boot into the ssd hard drive on the first day I bought an HP Spectre x360 13t. The HP Hard Drive diagnostic test doesn't exist on the diagnostic test menu for SSD, which is clearly stated on their own support documents. In fact, the instructions are to contact support if you get the boot disk error and have an SSD (because the troubleshooting directions there don't work). So I tell the agent and he ignores me and asks me to run a hard drive diagnostic. I think maybe he knows something I don't and follow his instructions.

    Surprise! The hard drive test isn't there. He tells me I am in the wrong place and makes me repeat the instructions again (reboot, press F2 repeatedly, go to component tests, find non-existent hard drive test). I tell him 3 times that the test isn't there and type out every single option on both the landing page and the component test page. He keeps telling me to find Hard Drive Test and to run Quick Test. I drop some hints that this might not work (meaning I copied and pasted the entire section from troubleshooting, with the link, that says this test is not for SSD), which he ignores. Finally, he says that he'll submit a ticket for mail-in service. I had just bought it that day... I'm not mailing in a laptop that I can just return or exchange at Best Buy. He clearly didn't know what he was doing. For an hour, we just tried to find the same test; no other attempts to figure out what was going on, no information about whether this meant my hard drive was defective. I've worked with tech support at Dell, Apple, Filemaker Pro, Kindle, Samsung credit card machines, etc. and I've never experienced a less helpful chat.

  • Lynn Hagen Says:

    I was very happy with my call to HP. My tech went by the name MG He was very polite, knowledgeable and patient with me. My computer is working great. Thank You!!!

  • pradip s patil Says:

    The service provided by hp service center baroda is good and very fast...

  • Bella Edwards Says:

    Hi, having problems with my laptop can't get access all that's coming up on the screen is shutting down its been like that for 2 days can u help.

  • Donna Kohlhausen Says:

    I purchased the in home repair and they will not honor it. I have unfixed I have not had my computer for over 3 weeks, except one day that they returned it and I had to ship it back..
    So much for in home repair.

  • Vincent Says:

    What company sell a printer and doesn't have the cord that goes to the computer. The printer is worthless without that cord and it doesn't even tell the customer that it not included. What a stupid idea. To sell a worthless printer that you can't use. I was a fool buying it, but I will not make that mistake again. I will also pass it on to my friends, family and Facebook how HP printers are sold, with the bait and technique.

  • Jeannie Says:

    I have had nothing but problems with new HP computer. It won't accept my HP printer which is wireless and less than 18 months old. Tech is a joke, they scared me, I'm not even sure it was authentic site. I used the 888-319-9931 They wanted to offer me 2 options pay or pay more! I backed out of site.

  • Suresh Says:

    I am using hp pavilion dv4-1106ee laptop,windows vista.up log in page opening.once entered my password,desktop page not visible.it is showing full black.only cursor is moving.please help to solve this issue.

  • Scongewheel Says:

    I have a computer that no one from HP has been able to successfully trouble shoot. I have spent at least 15-20 hrs on line with techies, many hours on my own trying to troubleshoot, sent the computer in once, with no resolution. Now sending in a 2nd time. In the meantime I bought another computer as I needed a reliable computer. HP reps say my warantee is only a repair warantee and that they won't give me a refund. They apparently would rather drag their customer through endless hours of inconvenience to fix their product than just refund or replace. This is my first HP and after all I have been through, it will be my last.

  • Kristin Says:

    I needed tech support for my computer due to a black screen. The technician, Hozefa, I found to be very helpful and informative. I am very happy with my experience with this technician.

  • hpsupportreviewer Says:

    I totally agree with surendra1234. The only person who can say positive things about HP customer support is the HP customer support itself. Very strange review, almost seems as if this site was bought by HP... I've experienced very bad (approaching None) support by HP several times. Never buy HP!

  • surendra1234 Says:

    Hi I have faced very bad experience of HP Service Centre as they have format my system where the problem in keyboard( Hardware) I have visited 5 times their service centre to sorted out issue.

    Also there was origional Windows 8 in my system earlier what comes with My hp Laptop but they installed Pirated windows 7.

    I am fed up with their replies.there is no authenticity in HP Service Centre.

    Also charges is much higher for any repair work.

    My advice no to buy HP Products as the after sale service is very poor.

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