Fighting fires

Companies need to be transparent to win customer trust

Tags: BahrainComplaintHewlett-Packard CompanyKuwaitSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
  • E-Mail
By  Vineetha Menon Published  May 27, 2010

A little over a week ago, HP expanded their worldwide voluntary recall and replacement program to include 54,000 more units of lithium-ion batteries because of a potential fire and burn risk due to overheating.

This adds to the 70,000 units of battery packs from HP and Compaq notebooks previously recalled when the program was first announced in May 2009.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: "Since the May 2009 recall, HP has received 38 additional reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured resulting in 11 instances of minor personal injury and 31 instances of minor property damage".

HP advises customers in the Middle East to find out if their notebook could be affected by going to their Battery Replacement Program site and to contact them if their battery pack shows signs of overheating or discolouration.

The company says that it stands by their products and "has taken a proactive approach to this situation to ensure the safety of our customers and the integrity and quality of our products."

That's great. And while they seem to be taking the right approach and keeping customer safety a top priority, I really believe HP needs to be more transparent.

I contacted the company to find out how many customers in the Middle East requested a replacement since the recall was made public, and to provide estimates on just how badly the region was affected by the issue but the only response I got, after the usual back and forth and promises of a follow-through, was "HP do not disclose numbers".

The Middle East is not the only region where customers are requesting replacements through the program, so I don't get their stance. In fact, it just leads to more doubts and questions about the severity of the issue.

It might be HP corporate policy to ‘not disclose numbers', like several other big businesses, but I expect more from them. We all should. Companies need to realise that transparency helps build confidence, trust and loyalty in the long run.

Mistakes happen all the time but you can't fight the fire without facing the heat.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code