Compaq tackles notebook troubles

Compaq tackles notebook troubles

Following reports from resellers of ongoing quality problems with notebook computers, Compaq says it will do everything possible to alleviate any problems.

Resellers recently contacted by ARN have reported numerous quality problems with Compaq notebooks across its range, which included faulty screens, motherboards, keyboards and power supplies.

In several cases, resellers indicated that they have lost accounts on the grounds of customer dissatisfaction, and often recommend other brands above Compaq. In some instances users have opted to buy from Dell and Gateway, after questioning what value resellers can provide in the case of faulty equipment.

One reseller tells: "In the several instances we've had, we've gone and switched them (users) to Toshiba or IBM. It's reached a point where they won't have Compaq notebooks."

But according to Compaq's commercial business unit manager, Peter Boylan, significant focus has been placed on all elements involved in bringing notebook products to market efficiently.

"The bottom line is, we will always work to have higher quality products, and in the case of portables we have had some problems, we accept that, and have done everything possible to make a resolution suitable for the customer and the reseller," said Boylan.

His message to resellers: "If they have any concerns, then use the available facilities to let us know, and let us know as early as possible.

He reaffirmed Compaq's commitment to satisfying customer concerns. With one product line, the Armada 4100, Boylan says Compaq took the unusual step of ceasing shipment of the product. "This was the first time in the world that we've done that. So we are prepared to take the hard decisions."

Boylan said in some instances Compaq has even taken service work back in-house, but he said this is not something Compaq is seeking to do on a regular basis. "We're still committed to the indirect channel," he said.

He says Compaq has been proactive in informing resellers of problems, but some have voiced dissatisfaction with the speed with which problems are acknowledged.

Others have been more charitable: "They are doing what they can to help fix it," said one.

The news is not all lukewarm - Boylan said sales figures on Compaq notebooks are up: "There doesn't seem to be a trend that sales are falling off."

Also in Compaq's favour is the consumer-oriented Presario line, winning praise from Harvey Norman group computer controller Tony Gattari. "That's really Compaq's relaunch into the consumer marketplace of notebooks. They're going very, very well".

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