Is HP Customer Service Good? 2017 Rating
HP gives you a bevy of ways to get tech support for your laptop. While we had a good experience with both online and phone support overall, it's pretty obvious that HP would rather you not call.
|HP Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 8a-12a (M-F), 9a-9p (wkd)|
We contacted HP's tech support to resolve three issues. As with other brands, we asked how to deal with our computer's habit of going to sleep and then asking for a password whenever we walked away for a few minutes. For HP only, we asked how to change the scrolling motion on the touchpad and how to adjust the audio properties of the speakers on our HP Pavilion x360.
Web and Social Support
In addition to its phone service, HP offers tech support through the company's website, Twitter and Facebook, as well as an app preinstalled on the manufacturer's laptops. Overseas, HP has expanded to WeChat and Weibo in China, Line in Japan, and Kakaotalk in Korea.
The support and troubleshooting section of HP's site makes getting information about your system pretty easy. At the top is a large bar that you can use to search all of support by your system's model name or serial number. Beneath that bar are six large boxes, which include commands to Find Your Product, Get Software and Drivers, Ask the Community, HP Guided Solutions, and Use HP Support Assistant.
The Community section is divided up by product type (Notebooks, Desktops, Software, etc.), and a column on the right shows five Experts who have solved a lot of issues for customers.
To diagnose the issue with my test laptop, an HP Pavilion x360, I used the HP Support Assistant app, which appears in the Windows Menu bar. After opening the Support Assistant, you'll see a dashboard showing you updates, alert messages, diagnostic tools and more. The Support tab gives you three options for connecting to help: via Twitter or a phone call (both of which are available only during certain hours), or a live chat, which is available 24/7.
I selected the live-chat option. After I entered my name and email address, and described my problem ("My screen goes black after I walk away for just a minute, and then it asks me for a password. How do I change it so it doesn't?"), I was connected with Saumik Dutta in a chat window.
After confirming the issue, Saumik then took control of my laptop remotely (once he'd asked my permission to do so). While he could have suggested disabling the password prompt for wake-ups, an option available under Settings->Accounts->Sign-In options in Windows 10, he instead recommended changing the sleep timer so the system would stay on longer, another viable solution.
After opening the control panel app, Saumik asked me how long I wanted the screen to remain on — I said 20 minutes — and changed it to the time I requested. While he was there, he also changed "Turn off hard disk after" to 999,999,999 minutes, an unnecessary change, and updated my graphics driver. In all, it took 25 minutes from start to finish.
I also tweeted HP Support a question about changing the scrolling direction on the mouse pad. Thirty minutes later, I received a reply from Susan, which contained this URL for an HP support page. That site showed me how to adjust the mouse-pad settings.
However, the page (see above) was last updated on March 1, 2011, and didn't have instructions on reverse scrolling; the screenshots of the control panel were equally outdated.
When I mentioned this to Susan, she responded within a few minutes, asking me to describe the issue in more detail. Then, she tweeted back the correct instructions for changing the scroll direction.
You can talk to an HP tech-support representative on the phone, but you've really, really got to work for it. Somewhere in a labyrinth of web pages and remote support, HP's phone-based tech support resides. When I did a search for the number online, I came across 1-800-HP INVENT (474-6368), and when I called that number and indicated that I wanted laptop tech support, the automated voice promptly directed me to HP's support page.
Taking the advice of the automated recording, I went to HP's support site to look for the phone number. Once there, I had to navigate through five pages entering model and serial numbers, plus my contact information, before I got an actual number to call and a case number to give to the rep. Now, if you purchased one of HP's marquee products like the HP Spectre, a direct number would have been provided with your system.
HP tech support runs from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. EST from Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It's not 24/7 service, but it's still pretty generous.
Case number in hand, I made my first call at mid-afternoon and was connected with Anush in India to ask how to change the power settings so my screen wouldn't lock me out after a minute of being idle. Once the rep had confirmed the laptop's registration, make and model, he informed me when the warranty was up, then got to work.
Anush was professional and friendly, quickly guiding me to left-click the battery icon to access power settings and change the sleep timer. From there, he walked me through the process of adjusting my settings. He even offered to guide me through advanced settings. The call took just 8 minutes.
For my second call, I spoke to Adrian in India in the early evening about adjusting the speaker quality using the Bang & Olufsen control panel. Although I dropped several hints to Adrian referencing the preloaded software, he remotely accessed my laptop after placing me on hold for 3 minutes. Next, he went to the audio panel and ran the troubleshooting utility. I mentioned the possibility of the B & O control panel for the fourth time before he started searching for the app.
From there, it took a matter of seconds to resolve the issue. Throughout the call, Adrian was polite and conversational. In fact, once he solved the problem, he even played Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" to celebrate. All in all, the call ran 25 minutes, which is longer than we like to see, but in the end, both Adrian and I got a little dance break.
I made my final call at 11 p.m., and was connected with Ed; I asked him about changing the scroll direction on my touchpad. After he got a sense of the question, he placed me on hold for 2 minutes while he searched for the answer. When he returned, he asked for remote access to the system.
Once Ed was in, he dug through a series of control-panel mouse settings until he found the one I requested. He quickly enabled the setting and then walked me through getting to the correct settings in case I wanted to change it back. To ensure the change took effect, Ed then asked to restart my computer. After he confirmed that I could do inverse scrolling, the call was done, or so I thought.
As we were wrapping up, Ed tried to sell me some McAfee software starting at $39.99 for one year. After I politely declined, the call was officially over. From start to finish, Ed took 19 minutes to help me solve my problem.
The Pavilion notebook we used for this test comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty, 90-day phone support (from date of purchase) and complimentary chat support for the length of the warranty. That's similar to most of HP's other consumer laptops. A two-year extended warranty with accidental-damage coverage costs $135.
We were generally pleased with the level of HP's customer support, both online and over the phone. While it was clear, from the amount of digging we had to do, that HP would prefer that customers not call, once we were connected to the company's tech reps, they efficiently solved our problems. In general, it's probably easiest, and fastest, to solve your problems using the company's online chat support.