Reviews Technology

HCL’s $4 Billion Scam: The Worst Computer Support Service EVER

My rating of HCL’s Customer Support: 0.1 / 10 (because just a 0 looks bad)

HCL, Hindustan Computers Limited, is this really nice and big Indian computer company which does loads of stuff, although proper servicing is definitely not among the things it does. HCL claims a lot about being a 4 billion dollar company, powering the backbone of so many mission critical components of various businesses; hell, it was even there on the Airbus A380 project (if I’m not wrong – although in hindsight it’d seem HCL might have made a valiant contribution to the A380’s woes). And yet, it’s customer service is a disgrace.

You might have read my post on how my system ran into trouble. That is where it all started. In brief, my system apparently crashed, and couldn’t even boot up! After some time, I tried calling HCL Supportnet, but their phone lines never were reachable. I gave up after a few times. Cool enough, it’s a Sunday, I thought. Even those miserable call center folks deserve a break.

Came back from school on Monday, in a foul mood. I tried calling up the HCL Supportnet call center at Noida, and all four lines they had were either busy, or nobody was picking up the phone. Then I tried calling up Ltd, the HCL Support Partner located at Nehru Place. All three numbers I had of them were busy. There I was constantly redialling number after number after number, trying to get through, and yet, no luck. At one point, I tried the office number of the HCL Frontline division office at Noida, and a guy picked up. I was relieved, but when I said I wanted to register a service request, he said that he was an HR employee and couldn’t help me out in this regard!

I was getting pissed off at this point, so I accessed the HCL Supportnet site and the HCL Support Service site via my cellphone, and found out three extra numbers for the Nehru Place-based HCL Support Partner. Nope, didn’t get through. Hell, I kept redialling and trying for THREE fucking hours and each time, I get that same busy tone. Even my dad had tried calling up, with no success. I tried many times from my cellphone even – maybe there was some congestion at the Tata Indicom switching center. No luck on cell too. Plus got my temper boiling navigating insane sites on my cellphone, that too with ME paying for all that data transfer.

I finally got real pissed off and slammed the phone away. In the end, my own tinkering helped me have a working sytem again. But my experience raises a few questions:

  • Why the FUCK doesn’t HCL have a ‘proper’ helpline?! I’m not asking for 24/7 toll-free helpline, but at least have a decent one! I mean, in case the line were ACTUALLY congested, then why on earth can’t a $4 billion company invest in higher number of phone lines and a *good* customer support setup?
  • Why does the HCL warranty card give the number of HCL Frontline division offices, if all that’s supposed to happen is the phone getting slammed down by an HR employee with no help given to you after you’ve been trying to get through for the past one hour?
  • Why is the HCL Supportnet site so shitty? I mean, hell, even on Microsucks Front Page you can do better stuff (and coming from a Linux fanatic like me it’s a BIG complement). I also came to know from their site that Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh and Janakpuri happen to be cities, rather than places in New Delhi that I earlier thought them to be. Silly me, ain’t it? šŸ˜›
  • I still have a rotten RAM module, with no replacement in sight because I can’t *get through* to HCL. And they say people aren’t supposed to open the cabinet. WTF!!! What am I supposed to do – wait for three generations to pass before someone at HCL decides to pick up the goddamn phone?
  • The HCL site has an online service request option, but I’d used it earlier and came to know that they never checked it. I was explicitly TOLD last time not to bother with online complaint registration, and rather to call them. Why pretend and keep it there anyway then? Just because some kid playing with Notepad-HTML at HCL saw some form script on some other equally shitty site? I mean, bloody hell, those kids from class 8th who turn up at Code Warriors’ events in our school and make sites using Notepad churn our better stuff than this shit.
  • Which reminds me, I’d emailed HCL at four different email address they’ve listed last year for change of address. Not received a confirmation for that yet. I checked it again this time, via their online complaint registration page, and guess what? It’s still the old one. What a good IT company eh, one which doesn’t even check emails.

There was another time I’d called HCL, when there had been a problem with the onboard Ethernet card (it was causing collisions on my network). Despite telling them again and again (and again) that THIS was most definitely the problem, the dunce at HCL (at least they used to pick up their phone in those days) kept on telling me format my drive and reinstall the OS. He kept at it for three days while I kept calling. Finally they sent a bloke who went around looking for earth leakage on perfectly OK plug points. Finally he conceded that there was a problem and replaced the motherboard…three days later. That’s when Nehru Place was hardly a few kilometers away from my old home. I hated the service center guy then too, for they have the brains equivalent to centipedes, and thus think everyone else calling up must have brains equivalent to centipedes too.

Guess what? When my original warranty had expired, HCL had been so prompt to turn up at my doorstep offering me their warranty extension pack. Hell, then that guy would give you his bloody visiting card, and say you could call him anytime. He practically needed to be thrown out to make him leave. Stubborn guy kept coming every day, until on the third I gave in and accepted. With a hoorah he handed me the documents, with a “We’re there for you always” blah blah. Yeah right, I can see that now.

I chose HCL because at that time, it was among the only branded computer manufacturers which made AMD-processor based PCs. True enough, even now HCL’s lineup of AMD PCs is bigger than its competitors. This experience makes me think though whether it was a good idea. I’d gladly go in for some company which gives better support. I don’t CARE how many branches it claims it has, I should be able to contact one and get assistance in the shortest possible time. As for now though, I’ll say that the HCL Supportnet computer servicing network SUCKS and is PATHETIC. Don’t even bother taking an AMC with HCL in the future…

15 replies on “HCL’s $4 Billion Scam: The Worst Computer Support Service EVER”

This is sort of my thing, writing about companies, tell me if you need help in spreading this.

Also, who buys HCL ?? You are a techie, so please behave like one šŸ˜›

Sujay, you look like an HCL employee in their costume department. Otherwise why would you say you are a satisfied ‘costumer’ rather than consumer.

hello, happy to note that you are a satisfied customer. please let me know how to reach hcl support site. if you have no problems with the computer then you must be an expert in handling hcl computers, so please advise me on
1. how to install an authorised windows xp home edition. the computer accepts only pirated version
2. how to install ie8 from the web and ie7 from the chip cd.
3. in games free space the wiodow can not be enlarged how to do it-

@Ankit: At the time I bought my PC, HCL was the ONLY branded company which sold AMD-processor based PCs. Situation’s better these days, far more companies now offer the AMD choice. My dad was more like branded would have better support, but I hope I’ll be able to convince him to think otherwise after this incident.

HP, Dell and Apple’s customer support is considered the best worldwide. I’ve never had problems with any Apple product till now that I’ve had to contact them but with my past experience with Dell and HP, they diagnose your problems very well and right in front of you. The only problem is you’ve got to get to Okhla to get any support. I guess it’s cheap to rent land there.

But their support is excellent. Also, I don’t see how you chose AMD because HCL doesn’t even offer the better range of AMD processors along with their computers. Anyway, AMD has a long way to go and Penryn has definitely outperformed every consumer processor there is. Except of course, the cell processor Sony uses in the Playstation 3. I wonder how my Macbook Pro would be with a processor like that.

@Abhi: At the time I bought my PC, that’d be about 3 years ago, HCL was pretty much the only branded manufacturer with AMD – any better processor and you needed to get it assembled. Penryn wasn’t even anywhere in sight back then. Ah, those were the days when AMD had an advantage, and it’s sad they no longer hold it. AMD is still cheaper though…

you HCL service center guys, eat my shit……you don’t know the meaning of responsibility…we are purchasing notebooks pc’s by investing more than 3o thousand ….but in the name of customer care ,you all just show your back….comparing to other companies you are the most wrost company in the name of giving after sales service….and we people of india proudly says that “swadeshi movement” we should purchase only indian products…go to hell…after this kind of service, nobody is going to believe in swadeshi movement…..

the company where the mother FUCKERS are working ,its the bloody HCL Fuck off go to hell you son of the bitch hclites

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