About two weeks ago, he went into his office and noticed that the computer appeared to be asleep. He didn't remember having put it to sleep, but he assumed he must have and tried to turn it back on, by pressing the power button once. It would only cycle from boot up straight back to sleep. He called HP customer support (mistake, I know.) and the support representative had him going through diagnostics for 5 hours (7:30pm to 12:30am his time). At first, she tried to berate him for not having made recovery disks, and informed him that he would have to pay $30 in order to be supplied with them. He balked at that, and she relented. They ran some safe mode tests, which the computer failed one of, and she announced that his hard drive was faulty. He had to get off the phone at that point, but he called back the next day.
In the next call, he was given a case number and informed that he would receive a new hard drive in the mail, and then he would ship his faulty drive back in a prepaid box. He wasn't real excited about installing a hard drive on his own in his new, unfamiliar computer, but agreed to the plan. The only problem was that he was going out of town for a week, and needed them to wait to ship his new hard drive until he returned. They agreed, and assured him that all he would have to do was call and supply his case number; they would have all the relevant information from his previous calls, and he would be able to authorize the shipment of the new hard drive. (A likely story.)
He called back this evening, and the support representative he spoke with at first refused to escalate him to a supervisor, instead insisting that they needed to do the diagnostics again (!). He flatly refused, saying that they should have the information in his case file, could he please be referred to a supervisor. They poked around in their computer files for a bit, and asked a few leading questions: "So you did xyz diagnostic and the computer failed, right?" "Yes." etc... Finally, they informed him that their supervisor was not available, and asked if the supervisor could call him back within an hour.
At this point, my father-in-law is completely disgusted with the level of customer support, and honestly out of time to deal with these problems. He would like to just return the damn thing and start over with another brand, perhaps, but he bought it on Amazon, through a secondary (though reputable) seller. It's also past the 30 day mark, so I am dubious that the original seller would allow a return. I encouraged him to contact his seller and explain his situation and the run around with HP and see what they would say, but I'm not hopeful.
Any advice (other than "Don't buy an HP" since he already made that epic mistake), or perhaps some better customer service numbers for HP? Would it be reasonable for him to ask HP for a flat exchange as an apology for the run around, or at the least for them to send an authorized repair person to install the new hard drive so he doesn't have to spend his time doing it?