Business Ethics - an Oxymoron?  

Posted by Ray in

I brought a HP dv2000 series laptop a couple of years back and until recently it was working fine. But these days, it takes several attempts to boot the system. Even if it boots up successfully, the built-in wireless card doesn't work and after a couple of minutes the screen freezes displaying a weird distorted pattern of lines and grains.

A bit of googling revealed that there are many other folks with the same problem. The problem lies in the motherboard and over-heating of the NVidia graphics adaptor. HP has acknowledged this issue and has offered a HP Limited Warranty extension that expires after 24 months from the original purchase date. I came to know about this only after I started googling the issue. My laptop model and serial number qualifies for this limited warranty extension, but HP never communicated this to me even though they have my email address.

Unfortunately my laptop started giving trouble only recently and I'm well past the 24 month period. A call to HP was of no help. I tried to explain them that they had sold me a faulty product and that they are obliged to replace the motherboard for free. But they said that I do not qualify for the free service because I had purchased my laptop in Aug 2007 and hence was not within the 24 month period. Still I insisted that the laptop was OK during those 24 months and only recently it started giving me trouble. They failed to understand and accept my reasoning and said that they could service the laptop for ~$250. I understand that these days the life of laptops ismuch shorter, but still being asked to pay $250 for repairing a faulty product that was sold begs a dose of common sense.

I'm not surprised anymore by these tactics. One of the main reasons for the economic downturn and the recent financial turmoil was that business was being conducted with absolutely no ethics.

Mahakavi Bharathi once said:
"தனி ஒருவனுக்கு உணவில்லையெனில் ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம்"
(Even if a single man is to starve, let's destroy the world)

May sound like the words of a communist. But these companies should apply the same concept to their customers. Even if a single customer is genuinely unhappy or dissatisfied, money earned like this is as bad as money stolen.

This entry was posted on February 25, 2010 at Thursday, February 25, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I totally agree with your observation man! This says a lot about the character of the company and the personalities that lead it!

But there is another angle to it as well albeit unrelated to your case, Bharti-Walmart the Indian angle to the Walmart juggernaut, started with much fanfare in Punjab a year back. They had the same policy of a 90 day money back guarantee that they employ in US/Canada. Apparently it caught the imagination of so many punjabis that nearly 34% of things bought from Bharti-Walmart were either returned or exchanged, leading the firm to re-deploy bulk of its resources in engaging with exchange/return based transactions, where no value is added.

I believe, that this kind of return policy would never work in a country like ours.

February 25, 2010 at 10:13 AM

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