HP Custom Order Nightmare

Usually my posts are pretty light. But this issue is awful and I want the world to know it.

HP (Hewlett-Packard) is a nightmare of a company to work with.

Here is my story so far!


Received an email that the HP Envy Spectre XT was finally available. I placed an order (H122976422) early morning on June 4th for the much-anticipated Spectre XT. The website showed an estimated ship date of June 25th.


On June 25th I chatted with a representative (1:00 PM Mountain Time) to make sure that my laptop would be sent. She assured me it would be shipped out on the 25th.

By 9:00 PM mountain time I had still not received a shipment number so I chatted again.

Agent (Jasmine G.): “Upon checking, the status is still order in production. However, you need not to worry.”

Christy Hess: “Since the estimated ship date was missed, will HP upgrade to overnight shipping at no extra cost?”

Agent (Jasmine G.): “We still have up to midnight to get things packed up and as soon as it leaves the warehouse, you will be notified automatically.”

Agent (Jasmine G.): “I hope that you understand that HP must guarantee the perfection of your product.”
Christy Hess: “It has been over 3 weeks though”
Agent (Jasmine G.): “HP doesn’t ship when a particular component is not fully replenished as we wanted to assure customer satisfaction over our high quality products.”
Christy Hess: “Midnight what timezone?”
Agent (Jasmine G.): “Yes, that is correct. The estimated ship date provided when you ordered the laptop is on June 25, 2012 which is today, so this could be anytime of this day.”
Agent (Jasmine G.): “It normally take two weeks or more building a customizable computer. This is because by having chosen to customize, your computer will be built to your specifications, and must undergo a series of scheduled rigorous testing to ensure that your PC is in be”
st condition, and pass strict quality compliance.
Agent (Jasmine G.): “Please take note that the estimated ship date is not the delivery date of the item. This is the start of your shipping method of choice.”
Christy Hess: “When does “today” end?”
Agent (Jasmine G.): “That will be up to midnight, Christy.”
Christy Hess: “What timezone?”
Agent (Jasmine G.): “I don’t see your order in the Customized To Order delay, so you need not to worry on this.”
Christy Hess: “What happens if the estimated ship date is missed?”
Chat ended!

Give me a lot of faith in this company. They didn’t even read the question.


The next day June 26th, still not shipment number. I started my third chat. This time I was a bit upset:

Agent (Marge A.): “As per shipping policy, we need to add one business day for orders delivered to Alaska or Hawaii and for custom laptop orders.”

Agent (Marge A.): “I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.”
Christy Hess: “That is NO WHERE!!!! This was not ANYWHERE on the chat last night either. On my custom order it has:Order in production
(Estimated to ship on June 25, 2012)”
Christy Hess: “It does not say estimated ship to ship on June 25, 2012 + 1 day!!!!”
Agent (Marge A.): “I understand what you mean, Christy. I would like to refer you on the link for a more detailed information about the shipping policy:”
Agent (Marge A.) sends page: “http://shopping2.hp.com/webapp/shopping/shipping_policy.do
Christy Hess: “There is nothing here that says the estimated ship date is +1”
Christy Hess: “HP gave me a date on my order. It was 3 weeks + for the custom PC. Now that date has been missed. How will HP make that up to me?!?”
Agent (Marge A.): “The date June 25, 2012 is an estimate only. It means that your order is ready to ship once the build is done.”
Agent (Marge A.): “Sometimes, orders can be ship even before its estimated build date.”
Christy Hess: “Last night I was told by TWO separate people that it was ready to ship and would be shipped out by midnight June 25, 2012. So when will the laptop ship!!!!!!!!!!”
Agent (Marge A.): “Shipping on your order might take place anytime two or early morning on June 27.”
Agent (Marge A.): “I hope your day today is still fine, despite the slight inconvenience encountered.”
Agent (Marge A.): “anytime today* or early morning on June 27.”

Decided to call. Don’t have exact quotes but the representative told me Was told that the estimated ship date was actually the production date and that I needed to allow 5-7 business days for the order to be delivered. WHAT? I asked for a supervisor. This supervisor assured me that the order would be shipped by 10:00 PM pacific time. I asked him to make a note in my record.

1 hour later, I got a phone call that stated due to a part constraint my shipment would be delayed until July 6th!!!!!

I called again. This time the supervisor said that the date has just been updated (out of her control) and that she was sorry. In a fit of rage, I asked that the order be cancelled. Why would I have any faith in a company when a delivery date cannot even be given! She tried to offer me $75 off, but really I was upset.

OK – so that was one of my mistakes!

5 hours later!!!! After researching my other options, I decided that I truly do want the Spectre XT, even though I have nothing but doubts on the service. I called again, and was told that they (no one) has control after the cancellation has been entered and that I am supposed to wait 48 hours to see if the cancellation went through. When I ask what I do once I receive the cancellation notice, they had NO good answer. Just wait and see if it was successful or not. If it was successful, you have to start the order process all over again.

I filed a couple of complaints.

6/26/2012: My complaint was:

I have had three different chat sessions regarding my estimated ship date. The first session said that my PC was ready and it would ship on the estimated ship date.By 9:00 that night, I still had not received any shipment message so I chatted again. I was told they had until midnight (no timezone given, even though I specifically asked for it multiple time). I was told: “If it’s missed, we make sure that we compensate in anyway that we can.”The next morning, still not shipment. I chatted again, and was told it could be +1 or 2 days! I just want my PC, but I am frustrated and about ready to cancel the entire order and never purchase another HP again!!!!!!!!!!! Can SOMEONE tell me when it will truly ship and can I get it sent overnight without an extra charge!!!!!!!

The response was:

The revised date is June 30, 2012. We really apologize for the delay that’s impacted you. I can tell you that we are doing everything possible to get orders completed and shipped out as quickly as we can. Our factory team is working overtime and also over the weekend to do just that. We will send an email notification to you once this product is finished.

My second complaint probably could have been worded better, but I wrote:

What the HELL is going on with this company!!!! I called at 12:30 Denver time and talked to a manager who assured me that my order would ship by 10:00 PM Pacific time. A HOUR later I get a call stating that due to Parts Constraints my order will now not ship until July 6th!!!!!!!!!!! I cancelled my order.I will never again do business with HP when they cannot even tell me a SHIP DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I waited 3 weeks, but now AFTER the estimated ship date, I get an update to tell me it will be another 2 WEEKS!!! Why are people who create custom PCs penalized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The response was:

I definitely know that could be frustrating. I can understand how you feel because at the end of the day, I am also a customer. Christine, I understand you’ re anxious for your PC to complete. I would be as well! The Expected Build Date is the date we are planning to complete your customized PC. This is the day it should finish production.

However, due to high volume of orders, we are unfortunately experiencing stock deficiencies of some components necessary to build your PC. We are awaiting a new shipment of the necessary components to build the PC to your specifications. I am very sorry. Your new estimated ship date is on June 30, 2012.

With regards to your cancellation request, you will receive an email within 24-48 hours for the update of your request.

I wrote back:

Thank you and I apologize for my tone and frustration. I have actually decided that this is the computer I want and want to cancel the cancellation request but no one seems to be able to do that. Can you can it so I can move ahead with the order for the 30th?

The response was:

I’m glad to know that you’ve changed your mind and decided to keep the order. We deeply value your loyalty with HP products, which in return I could assure you that we are doing our best to get things done as soon as possible. You’ve purchased the most demand PC model which its worth the wait.

Furthermore, your cancellation request didn’t go through and definitely we will ship your HP ENVY Spectre XT customizable Notebook PC base on its new estimated ship date which is July 6. In our effort to compensate your overall inconvenience, we have upgraded the shipping method to two business days for free or charge. Please note though that there will be one day delivery allowance for custom clearance.

I strongly suggest that you visit our website regularly to check your order status, as we will update it from time to time. We would also send you an email with the tracking number once we ship it out.

I wrote the HP Sales Department:

Feedback: I know that you are sick of seeing my emails. But I shopped around and decided that even with the hassles I still want the order. I called and tried to cancel the cancellation and was told that they have no control over that and that I am to wait 48 hours to see if I get an email to confirm the cancellation. With no option of cancelling the cancellation.Is there a way to keep my order? Thanks,Christy Hess


I understand that you want to cancel the cancellation request of your order. Christine, I sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience that you have experienced.

As for the latest update of your order the build of the PC has been delayed due to high demand on new HP ultrabook, and we now expect ship day of July 6, 2012. Allow additional 1 business day for customs clearance. I am so sorry for this, Christine. However, our Specialist will be upgrading the shipping to 2 business day for your order. Ship notice will be sent via email, and kindly check online and your email for updates.

You may also contact the our Resolutions Team at your most convenient time by calling at 1-888-444-8834, and request to speak with a supervisor for further assistance. Their hours of operation are between 7:00 AM – 2:00 AM EST, seven days a week.

I wrote:

So my order is no longer going to be cancelled?


I’ve just recently checked your order, Christine, and there are no further updates as of this time. Your order could not be cancelled and will definitely ship. I’ll continue to keep an eye on your order and update you accordingly. We are trying to improve the ship date from July 6, as could be humanly possible.

I deeply apologize for any confusion this may have impacted on you, Christine. We appreciate understanding as we work to complete your order.

2 hours later: Got a call 2 hours later stating that changing the shipping method to 2 business days will actually delay it longer in customs, so they are reverting back to the original 5-7 day shipping.

Calling again – they said that they see the cancellation was submitted but there is only a 20% chance that it will go through and I am just supposed to wait 48 hours to see if the cancellation did go through or not. Or wait until 7/6 to see if it ships WTF? The representative put me on hold and said that it was my luck day (really?) and said that the cancellation that was entered yesterday was not submitted so my order will go through. When the shipment goes out, I will get an email.


Got an email: Cancellation request acknowledged. I responded that I didn’t want my order cancelled – but never got a response.

Sent a message to the President (link I found when searching) recounting my experience:

The response was:


Thank you for contacting our corporate office regarding your HP Home & Home Office Store order. We are very sorry to hear that you have been disappointed with your shopping experience and apologize for any inconvenience that resulted with the component shortage that has caused the factory delay of your custom PC. We apologize that our customer service agents could not provide you with more information on your order when you called on the expected ship date but the factory updates that we receive with the new estimated ship date are not available until after the customer has been notified that their order has been delayed. We are working to get an advance report to allow us to notify customers sooner about a delay but at this time, the information on a delayed shipment is not available to our store until the following business day after the order was expected to ship.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this delay has caused. Our latest factory update shows that your order is now expected to ship on 6/30/12. If that changes, we will let you know. To check your custom order status online with the latest factory information, please visit www.hpdirect.com and use My Orders at the top of store’s website to access your order. Sign in or use your order information to reach your order history. Open your order and scroll down to the Custom Shipment Delay Information link for the latest information available from the factory.

HP is making every effort to complete and ship the custom orders as quickly as possible and appreciates your patience. We will send an email with the shipment notification and tracking as soon as it becomes available.

Again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience the factory delay of your custom PC order has caused. Thank you for your patience and for bringing your concerns to our attention.

On 6/30/2012 I responded back:

Thank you so much for letting me know where to look at the production date, that helped because the estimated ship date on the order status screen still has not been updated.

My production date did update to 7/10/2012 with no email and no notification. Date just changed.

I had also cancelled the order on Monday, then requested a cancellation of the cancel request 5 hours later (which I guess is unheard of because no one know how to do this). I was told it was my lucky day on Wednesday and the cancellation did not go through. Then on Thursday I got an email stating that they are working hard to make the cancellation go through.

Now I just want my customize PC as soon as possible. I never realized that getting a computer customized would be my worst customer support nightmare.

Any help that you can provide to make sure that my computer is still being built (in a timely manner) and that the order will NOT be cancelled I would appreciate it. Also, if by chance HP needs to upgrade my hard drive for free, I would not be opposed. Maybe that is the part that is out of stock.


Thank you for your message. Unfortunately, your initial request to cancel the order was sent the factory before you called back to let us know that you wanted to keep the order. Once a cancellation request is submitted to the factory, we cannot recall it back again. I am sorry for the mixed messages that you received but until the factory confirms whether or not the order had been canceled, we were unable to verify one way or the other. The HP factory successfully canceled the order, per your initial request, and confirmed the order had been canceled over the weekend. You should have received the email confirmation earlier today. We apologize for the disappointment but regret that we cannot reverse a factory cancellation.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience this order has caused. If you need any further assistance, please let me know.

I was one of the lucky 20% where the cancellation did go through.

Opened another chat. Put in a request to have Our Sales Specialist will call you shortly.

Chris called about 2 hours later. He looked at my record and admitted that they screwed up (that is the FIRST and only time that I heard that). He said that in the order it clearly states in this order that it was not to be cancelled, yet it was cancelled! He was going to bring this to a higher group to see what they could do to make this right. Told me that they would call me tomorrow but to not place the order yet.


3:00 PM Mountain Time – called and got routed to customer service. Asked if there was a note in the order from Chris about another group calling me. Was put on hold for a very long time. The woman I spoke to wanted to tell me why my order was cancelled, I had heard all of the reasons, and I wanted to talk to someone who can help me expedite the order. She said she could help expedite the shipping, I said that was not good enough. Asked to talk to a Sales Specialist again.

Called a different number and talked to Randy (sales specialist) who got Leigh on the phone from the resolution department. I was told that there is nothing that anyone can do to expedite the order but that they will pay for 2 day shipping. I said fine, let’s place the order. I had to stay on the line because to get the shipping compensated, Randy had to place my order.

Well – Randy forgot to click the 2 day shipping button. I received my order confirmation and it showed 5-7 day shipping. There was no note that the shipping was to be compensated.

Called back and found that once the order is placed there is NOTHING anyone can change, including the shipping method (don’t know how it was changed on the earlier order – twice). Leigh got back on the phone with me and promised to give me a $100 credit. It will not show up until the order is shipped and I am doubtful it will show up even then.

My order (H123277381) is now due to be shipped July 31st, but I am not holding my breath. Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone else have experiences with HP that you would like to share? I really want to see how far my reach is – share this please!

Another item that I forgot to add previously. When I entered my newest order I used my preferred account. I was told by the sales person that the charge would be made immediately and bill would start the day my order was entered. He said it was just like a credit card. I questioned him on this because I was under the impression (from the bank) that I would not be billed until the product was shipped. That is how transactions on amazon and other sites work, even with a credit card. He acted as though I was crazy and that I should expect to pay for a product that may take months before i even see it, but I should expect to pay for it!

That just doesn’t seem right (or legal) to me. Anyone else have any thoughts? Is this just another person at HP who doesn’t really know what is going on? Have I talked to every incompetent person there yet? When do I get to hear from someone who really knows what is going on and can help?


15 thoughts on “HP Custom Order Nightmare

  1. Your lucky, I custom ordered and my package has been stuck at some warehouse since the 4th of July every time I called they said I would get it Monday today is Monday and still no laptop. So I called them and said if I don’t get any notification from them by Wednesday I want a full refund and I am going to get a mac that really startled them but HP is a great computer but customer service sucks.

    • Richard – I truly hope you get your machine soon and that you are happy with it!! If Mac were an option for me I would not be disappointed.

      I am just amazed at the lack of true customer care. I don’t think there is one person that I have talked to yet who is empowered enough to say I am going to fix this and make it right. I would hate to work for a company like that.

      The least they could do is have all of the scripts be the same. Everyone is at least on the same page.

      Wishing you the best.

      • Thanks, I finally got my computer today and it’s great. I wish you the best with your order as well.

      • I really do, it was worth the wait the design of the envy is kind of like the macbook pro it has a unibody type look where everything is one. I don’t like the trackpad but that’s okay since I use an wireless mouse and the beats audio is amazing listening to songs on here OMG! I hope that you get your product and love yours just like I love mine.

  2. Finally got an explanation from someone at HP for my delayed Spectre XT. I had been working on getting them to expedite mine and it turns out that there is no way to expedite something that isn’t being built at all – that’s right, after the first batch of pre-orders NONE have shipped. Production is completely shut down due to a component shortage of some kind. He wasn’t aware of the part that was causing the problem, but having spent much of my life in the manufacture of high volume consumer electronics I’m guessing that they have a quality problem with a part not meeting spec in one way or another and they’ve forced a vendor to fix it. This could even mean a re-tooling of the part, etc. which would explain the ridiculous delay.

    Expected ship date is presently July 24th.

    I convinced him that he needed to supply me a machine to use in the meantime and they’re sending an Envy Spectre 14 overnight at their cost. I have to “buy” it but will be able to return it when mine finally arrives.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this with me. That makes complete and total sense. I wish more people would be honest and let people know what the true issue is. HP needs to empower their employees. I have never been on the phone with a company and heard so many different answers to the same question. Also it seems that no one can do anything to help.

      I have worked in support 25 years. I know that if I can’t help someone, I know I can push it up the ladder and find someone to help me help my customer. That mentality does not seem to exist at HP. Anyway I could not find anyone to take that extra step. Or at the very least I can be upfront and honest with my customers to let them know what the issue is and what I am trying to do to address their problem.

      I am so glad that they are sending you a machine in the meantime. I hope we both get our Spectre XTs soon – and that they run without flaw.

  3. I have no idea what is the problem with HP. My first estimated shipping date was June 27, but it delayed more than a couple of times, and now it is July 23. Of course I never got any kind of notifiacation from HP. I just checked it by myself. Moreover, one of the agents lied to me. The agent told that HP upgrade shipping to expedite for free, but as you already know they don’t offer such stuff. Yes, I’m internatioal student, so I cannot speak like a native speaker. But that does not mean I’m stupid or something. I don’t know much about the quality of HP’s products, but when it comes to customer service, it just sucks. DO NOT GET ANYTHING FROM HP period

    • I believe the biggest issue with HP right now is customer service. Their laptops are fabulous. I do love their products. I currently have 5 HP laptops in my home and am going to patiently (hopefully) wait for this new one. But dealing with customer service and getting incorrect or different information over and over and over again is a frustration that we could all do without!

      I hope that you get your PC soon, really the product is very good.

  4. Hello, my situation somewhat differs considering I’m posting almost a year later. I custom ordered a HP Envy h8-1540t on April 26th 2013 with a estimated production date of May 9th 2013. Well low an behold May 9th came and went with no call, no email, nothing. The following business day I received an email stating that there was an unplanned delay in the production process and I received a revised ship date of May 14th 2013, well I called and complained and received a 10% discount towards a future purchase. Well what do you know May 14th came and went and nothing. I called back again thoroughly upset and disgruntled and received no help, no answers, nothing. The following business day I received yet another email informing me of yet another production delay, this time due to a product constraint, this email was also marked urgent and response required, if I did not contact them to confirm my late order they stated in the email that by law they have to cancel the order. I promptly called back and told them I wanted the order still, the lady gave me 10% discount on the order and free overnight shipping. So my third build date is set at May 22nd and I have my doubts it will be fulfilled. Now the most puzzling piece about this is the custom shipment delay link they gave me updates every 24 hours and states “prism tix rework” as the delay reason…WTF is that, I thought I was ordering a computer not a telescope. If anyone is having the same problem or know what’s going on let me know. This is the only forum I found relating to my problem.

    Christy, when did you finally receive your computer if you ever did. Lol who knows you could still be waiting

    • I did get mine almost 30 days later. I have to say that I do love the computer. I truly didn’t mind waiting, it was the customer service and the non-responsiveness that I hated the most. It was as if there was a complete disconnect between people taking the orders (customer service) and the plants fulfilling the orders. If those walls could be broken down, where the customer service would have a true picture of what was happening and be able to give you a straight answer, it would have been better.

      I truly hope that you get your computer soon, and that it is as good as you hope! You might try sending a message to the CEO: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/company-information/executive-team/ceo-index.html

  5. I take little solace in the fact that it appears I am not the only one having this kind of problem. My laptop was meant to ship on the 8th. That day I get an email telling me it will not ship until the 12th.

    This in itself is a terrible customer experience.

    To make things up to me, they offer me a 10% coupon. Seriously? Google can give me that for free.

    I am currently attempting to get them to at least upgrade me to next day shipping to mitigate some of this delay.

    Very, very disappointed with them.

  6. I am stunned to find out the shipping problems with HP notebooks have been going on for so long! I placed an order for a custom HP Envy Touchsmart 17 over a month ago and was given an initial ship date of August 8. It was longer than I would have liked, but I was willing to wait because I’ve always been satisfied with my HP desktops (this is my first laptop). I then received a notice saying it was not shipping until the 20th, and they sent me a 10% off coupon. I called to cancel the order, and they offered me a $100 credit not to cancel it, so I decided to go ahead with the order.

    My order status changed to “shipped” on August 15. Unfortunately, it was shipped from deep within China and showed a delivery date of August 22. The FedEx tracking info has shown the computer alternately in Tennessee and Alaska (it goes back and forth) and since Sunday has had a big red banner exclaiming “Clearance instructions from the importer are required!” I called HP today and a woman whom I could barely understand said the delay was due to a customs issue, HP was working to resolve the problem, and I should expect my computer to arrive on Monday, the 26th. She also said many others were calling about the problem.

    If the laptop is delayed yet again, I am going to cancel the order. I have been without a computer for far too long, and there are plenty of other notebooks out there that would be acceptable and even more affordable (I bought a pretty expensive one, and they sure did not delay taking the money from my bank account).

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