HP users voice concerns on offshore support levels

A number of Hewlett-Packard enterprise users are dissatisfied with the quality of support on offer since HP restructured its operations to increase the use of offshore centres.

A number of Hewlett-Packard enterprise users are dissatisfied with the quality of support on offer since HP restructured its operations to increase the use of offshore centres.

The supplier has undergone a major restructuring after cutting staff by nearly 15,000 last year and establishing global support centres in India, Costa Rica and China. Users told Computer Weekly they were unhappy with the quality of support following the changes.

A local authority head of IT, who asked not to named, said, "We have had some issues both with procurement of HP equipment and quality of service."

And a senior IT director, responsible for managing supplier relationships at a FTSE 100 company, said, "We are not getting the level of service of support we expected. We are looking at moving support."

One company has decided to switch from HP's version of Microsoft Premier Support back to Microsoft's more expensive offering because it was not happy with the service it received from HP.

A support engineer who works for many large businesses told Computer Weekly, "The support team at HP seem to have no understanding of what they are dealing with."

He said he had encountered HP support staff taking down incorrect contact details and recommending incompatible parts.

In response to the claims, HP said, "Every support agent who works for our domestic and international service partners completes a rigorous training programme.

"We strive to ensure that quality of service [is] satisfactory and consistent regardless of location and cultural differences. We have a number of controls in place to provide customers with support.

"All agents are provided continued training. Their performance is closely monitored and reviewed to ensure that skills and knowledge are in line with requirements."

Ollie Ross, research manager at enterprise user group The Corporate IT Forum, said that criticism about HP focused on specific issues - in particular, account management and the businesses that HP had acquired.

"Since users are not always driven purely by cost, but increasingly by value, services and quality, suppliers need to focus on the latter," Ross said.




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