If your brand-new HP laptop is causing you trouble, the company has several systems in place that can offer you assistance. Aside from its general web-support page, you can contact HP through the phone, social media and live chat. We armed ourselves with five burning questions and fired them straight at HP's tech support team to test their knowledge, poise and patience.
|HP Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 8 am-12 am (M-F), 9 am- 9 pm (wkd)|
Unfortunately, our experience was mixed at best, with HP's tech support agents delivering correct answers only half of the time.
As we did with every brand, we asked HP some Windows-related questions pertaining to turning off Windows 10 updates, disabling the webcam and keeping our laptop from falling asleep. We also asked two questions specific to HP, like adjusting the bass of the speakers (HP Audio Control app) and checking the battery health (HP Support Assistant).
Web and Social Support (40/60)
If you're interested in avoiding human interaction at all costs, you might find what you’re looking for on HP's support and troubleshooting site. There are guides for downloading specific software and drivers, checking your warranty and running diagnostics. The site also hosts a Support Community with a popular discussions section that may help you root out common issues. There's even a dedicated Windows 10 Support Center that focuses specifically on the operating system.
However, if you happen to be more keen on interacting with the company on social media, you'll be glad to know that they respond relatively quickly, and with accurate answers as well. The support staff on Facebook and Twitter operate between8 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday through Sunday. HP also rolled out customer support on WhatsApp, which is set up in India, the U.K., Ireland, Mexico and Brazil (coming to the U.S. later this year).
I engaged HP Support on Twitter at 12:08 p.m. and asked them for help with disabling the webcam. A representative named Jivan got back to me in just 20 minutes, at 12:28 p.m., with a concise and detailed answer that guided me to the Device Manager, where I disabled the cam. It was easily the simplest and most accurate response I received from HP’s customer support. Jivan even encouraged me to direct message the support line if I had further questions.
I hit up HP Support on Facebook Messenger at 3:34 p.m., asking if there was a way to check if the battery is OK. The automated message informed me that the representatives typically respond within 2 hours. At 4:29 p.m., a representative named Suraj got back to me with clear instructions that led me to HP Support Assistant > Troubleshooting and Fixes > Battery Check. Score yet another simple and concise answer from HP's social support team.
Overall, the social support was excellent, but HP SmartFriend Assistance live chat? Not so much. While HP’s live chat operates around the clock, I didn’t find it to be all that helpful.
I contacted HP Chat Support at 1:19 p.m., and the representative, Avijit, got back to me in just 1 minute. After our initial greetings, I asked, "How can I stop my laptop from falling asleep?" At 1:25 p.m., the representative asked if they could take remote control. I agreed and then download an app called LogMeIn Rescue Applet, which took 2 minutes to get running and for them to take control.
From 1:27 to 1:35 p.m., this representative disabled Restart After System Error, changed the function of the power button from Sleep to Shut Down, enabled Wake Timers, downloaded the HP System BIOS Update Utility and then restarted my computer. The representative ultimately set the sleep timer to just 30 minutes instead of never, so HP didn’t fully address my issue. I would have appreciated getting a summary of what the rep was doing other than just adjusting the sleep timer and why.
The laptop took a good 18 extra minutes to actually restart after the update they installed. Avijit retained remote access, and downloaded HP Remote Support to chat, which looked like an outdated MySpace messaging chat box. We reconnected at 1:56 p.m., and the representative told me that they changed the sleep timer to 30 minutes. I then asked if the laptop could stay awake longer, and Avijit told me to stay connected.
I waited for 16 minutes and nothing happened. I then asked if they were there, and the response I got was "Yes, as checked the system is working fine without going to sleep by itself. So do you consider the issue resolved?” I then asked, "OK, so it won't go to sleep even after 30 minutes?" He said yes. That ended at 2:20 p.m. which meant the chat took a grueling 1 hour and 1 minute from start to finish.
After our conversation ended, I thought I had revoked permissions for HP to access my computer. However, in order to end the session I needed to click Yes on top clicking the X. The HP rep opened a Text Document and asked again "Hello, Please let me know if the issue is resolved?" Avijitt then proceeded to ask if I needed help with anything else and if they should close the case (all through this text document). I said my final goodbye, and HP disconnected (an extra 10 minutes wasted).
Following our tech support sessions, we shared our experience with HP, and the company intimated that it will seek to improve based on our feedback:
“HP is focused on enabling seamless customer support experiences. We appreciate the feedback and insights to help make the support process more intuitive,” said LaChelle Porter-Ainer, head of global digital support and contact centers, HP Inc. via email.
Phone Support (25/40)
You can reach HP support over the phone at 888-698-3762, but Omen (1-866-724-8628), Spectre (1-888-817-4633) and Envy (1-800-836-3963) owners have their very own customer support lines. HP has call centers all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Philippines, India and El Salvador. The customer support team is available between 8 a.m. and noon during the weekday and 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on the weekend.
However, it was pretty difficult to find HP's contact number on its website (without Googling it). I went to the Contact Support section, which led me to the Laptop area. I was required to download HP's Support Solutions app, which must be used for HP to direct you to the right department. After detecting my computer, the app successfully redirected me, and gave me four options to contact the company: Live Chat, Messenger, Call and locations to physical HP Service Centers (the same options appear in the HP Support Assistant app).
However, instead of simply giving me the phone number, it forced me to fill out a form to explain my problem. Then, after a couple of seconds, it finally spit out a tangible phone number. All in all, there should be a simple dropdown box with all of the customer service numbers on the Contact Support page.
My first call was at 8:34 a.m. and it took me 4 minutes and 37 seconds to actually get ahold of a representative, John, at a call center located in India. The call was super-short, lasting only 2 minutes and 24 seconds, during which I asked how to turn off forced Windows 10 updates, and he confidently told me that I couldn't because they're automatic, which was wrong. The total time of the call was 7 minutes and 1 second.
My next call took place at 2:55 p.m., and it took a shorter 3 minutes and 21 seconds to connect me to Dev, a representative who was also located in India. The call lasted 16 minutes and 31 seconds and involved me asking if I could give the speakers more bass. I was hoping he would point me to the HP Audio Control app.
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I gave the representative the serial number, and then he looked up the machine in his system. I waited for about 1 minute and 25 seconds until he got back to me and told me that I should download a third-party software like Realtek HD Audio Manager or even purchase external speakers. Those aren't necessarily wrong answers, but they're not what we were looking for. I attempted to give him a hint, asking if there was any software already on the laptop that I could use, but he only pointed to Windows 10's Volume Mixer.
After that, I called at 10:54 p.m. and it took 24 minutes and 53 seconds until I was connected to a representative named Jinky, who was located in Manilla, the Philippines. When I asked her how to check the battery's health, she took me through a 4 minute and 41 second walk-through on running the battery test. It was simple, but not the method that I anticipated. Instead of going through the HP Support Assistant, Jinky told me to restart the computer and go to the startup menu. That led me to the HP Diagnostics section where I could run the battery test. It's the same as the one in HP Support Assistant, just less fancy. But overall, she was very helpful and knew what she was talking about, even though everything took 29 minutes and 34 seconds.
The HP Laptop 15 comes with a one-year limited warranty along with a 90-day software warranty, like the majority of its consumer laptops. If I wanted to extend my coverage to three years (with accidental care), it costs $99. HP also pays all shipping for laptops needing service within the U.S.
HP offers a variety of extra and extended services, including antivirus and theft protection software. If you're outside the warranty range, HP Smartfriend provides out-of-warranty or out-of-scope Hardware and Software phone support for $14.99 a month in the U.S.
If you plan on upgrading your laptop's SSD or RAM, you can only do so with HP-approved parts, otherwise it will void your warranty. All Omen and Pavilion gaming notebooks, as well as a majority of commercial laptops (stated in the product specifications), are customer upgradable, but all other consumer laptops are not.
HP offers plenty of means to contact them, but only half of them were helpful in our testing. The support staff representatives were three for six with their answers, and some of the reps were more intrusive than others.
However, HP's social support staff was excellent. They got back to me in a reasonable amount of time with correct answers on the first try. Limited to a certain number of characters in some cases, the representatives didn't feel the need to draw out the issue any further than needed. In a single swift message, they greeted me, answered my inquiries and offered their help with any other issues. If you have an HP-specific problem or even a Windows issue, shoot them a message on social media.
Chat support may involve someone taking over your PC, which could be more intuitive to end sessions, while phone support was hit or miss.
Tech Support Showdown