HP product lifespan: 18 months?

I recently finished up my MBA program (hurray!) and one of the few technology purchases I made during the program was an HP 10BII financial calculator. Subsequent to that, I’ve had it sitting on my desk and have used it a total of maybe 10 hours. Which makes it quite a surprise that three of the twelve digits in the LCD display are failing on me already. It shouldn’t be too hard for a calculator to display zeroes, right? Well, this is a product that needed more QA, as far as I can tell.

So… so I called HP support and talked with them about the problem. Their helpful response was “that’s more than 12 months. Your cheapest solution is to just chuck it and buy a new one.” Thanks, HP. I remember when Bill & Dave were still involved and they would have sent me a shiny new unit to keep me as a customer. But I can only assume that this is all Fiorina’s new bean-counting approach to ensuring the company is profitable. I’m not impressed.

6 comments on “HP product lifespan: 18 months?

  1. I agree with you, in fact, the same thing happened to me! I sent them the following email, along with a sentence about how I will never buy from them again…
    Dear HP,
    Bought your calculator and after approx. 20 hours of use, it doesn’t display all of the numbers any more. You refuse to replace as it is beyond 12 months. A friend suggested I just use paper and a pencil. After some thought, I think he is right. If the paper broke, I could at least use it as toilet paper. At least there is some satisfaction in that. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for your product. Congratulations on losing yet another customer. Perhaps you should write a 10 Quick steps book with regard to losing market share.
    John Lewis
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  2. I have had to buy a new HP 10BII every semester! The darn calculators are required for my business classes, yet I can’t keep them working. The first one quit before the semester was over and I lost it before getting the battery replaced (my teacher let me use the pencil paper method suggested above for the rest of the semester). Semester 2, I bought one at the beginning of the semester only to find near the end of the semester that I can no longer read all of the numbers. Semester 3, I figured it was easier to buy yet another one so I could have one that worked. I am scared to tell my husband that out of the package the computer was sluggish and has ink smears on the screen. The ink smears go away with time while using, but the calculator actually feels like less quality than my other 2 a few years ago. $100 later I still do not have a reliable HP 10BII !
    I no longer trust any HP product for quality and have even switched to an Apple computer. Amazingly, I have had no crashes or viruses since I bought it over a year ago!!!

  3. Funny you’d point that out, Sharon. After I wrote that blog entry I bought a second calculator, an HP 10BII again, and through a shipping mixup ended up with TWO of them. I figured that I’d stash the second against the inevitable failure of the first but since I’ve done that – about two years now – I haven’t had a lick of trouble and now have one in my home office and the other in my real office. Both work great.
    Maybe the quality and reliability of their calculators are the real issue here?

  4. I have been trying since Nov 23, 2007 to get my warranty valadated by HP to no avail. Does anyone have an idea how to get this doen? I have emailed 6 times and faxed 3 times all proof of purchase information.
    Anyhelp would be great
    Don Brown

  5. Mine is a year old with maybe an hour of use. Display shows –C . Nothing works even with new batteries.
    Should have bought a 12C. IN PRODUCTION SINCE 1981.

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