It’s been a long and winding road, but I’ve finally reached the end of it. In april I parted with my trusty PDA. Not because I was tired of it, but because it didn’t support WPA-encrypted wireless networks, which I try to run at home. Normally you would just download some drivers from Hewlett Packard, but this was a special case. The ROM on my PDA was in German, yet its operating system was in English. So when I tried to install the correct drivers I got a message that I had to install the German drivers… but I don’t want a mix of German and English on my PDA, so I struck a deal with HP (since it was still just within guarantee) to have it sent to them to install an English ROM, as well as the correct drivers.

Two days later a guy from UPS arrived at work to pick up the PDA. However, he didn’t bring any boxes or similar that HP had promised me he would bring to pack the PDA in, so I quickly wrapped it in some bubblewrap and put it in an envelope which he took with him.
Then I started waiting… and waiting… for about two months I had the patience of waiting. Then I called HP and asked what was going on and, to my surprise, they hadn’t even received the PDA! After being bounced around HP’s support lines for a while, we came to the conclusion that UPS had performed the unimaginable feat of loosing my package! So after another month of waiting, sending both HP and UPS the papers I had, and talking to both parties letting them know, to excruciating detail, how the pickup had transpired HP finally decided they were going to give me a new PDA. "Great!" I thought… though a bit too soon.
After another two weeks HP called back and asked if I had a GPS receiver connected to my PDA, which I declined, because I thought that UPS might have actually found a PDA, and they were checking if it was mine. Unfortunately for me they were just gathering details on which new PDA model to send me. Had I known that (and of all the troubles this small case would be) I’d definately have answered yes.
After another week I got a new call from HP telling me they had refurbished a new PDA for me, and that they were sending it. Two days later a package arrived by UPS (whaddya know… they actually DO know how to deliver the goods) and I unpacked the new PDA… which even had a built in cellphone. This looked really great, and I turned it on… and was in for a huge surprise and disappointment. The ROM and OS on this new PDA was in French!! So back on the phone with HP, telling them about the error. Yet again, they told me I should send it to them for service and reinstallation. Now I got rather sceptical, remembering what had happened about four months ago. But now I knew the correct procedures for both me and UPS to follow, and I was very careful to follow everything procedure called for. I tracked the package down to their service shop in Germany, and saw that they actually received it and started working on it. Two days later they sent it back to me and said they were finished. The package arrived at the office and I unpacked it… even more excited now than the first time. I turned on the PDA… and… it was still in French!! They hadn’t done a damn thing to the device!
Back on the phone with HP, and after a few more days of waiting, mailing, phoning, and waiting some more, we agreed that they were going to send me another new PDA. "Great!" I thought again, but now with a more sarcastic tone.
Another two to three weeks passed, and I finally got a mail telling me they had found a replacement unit. Another week passed, and yet another package came to my office. I opened it, and this time it was no refurbished unit. Now it was a brand new, sparkling PDA. So I turned it on, half expecting it to have a Dutch ROM and Belgian OS. But to my pure joy, it was now in English all the way! It even had full support for WPA-encrypted wireless networks. A 6 months logistical nightmare had finally come to an end!
In hindsight I would have appreciated HP to give me some compensation for this extreme long and winding support case, but I think I should be happy it ended the way it did.
At least I’ve learned two things from this ordeal:
One; HP has an excellent customer support. They really do their best to help you out, even though it may take a long while.
Two; Don’t trust UPS to deliver the goods.