Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Monday 08 June, 02009

Dear HP Compaq Notebook PCs Email Support

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:21 pm

Please provide the exact problem description and any other information that can help HP assist you:

Nothing wrong with the laptop – I’m very happy with it in fact, and I’ve bought HP laptops on behalf of friends & family members as well. I came across this report last week, though, which is concerning me: ‘High Tech Misery in China: The Dehumanization of Young Workers Producing Our Computer Keyboards‘. It alleges that some keyboards used in HP (among many other companies) computers have been produced by people working in very poor conditions for very low pay. Is the report accurate? Am I supporting awful injustice by buying HP computers?

Thanks for your time & consideration.

-Matthew

3 Responses to “Dear HP Compaq Notebook PCs Email Support”

  1. Ben Hoyt says:

    Man, if true, those are terrible conditions. And what an unhelpful response letter from HP. Do you think it was an automatic response based on the keyword “China” in your email? And it’s funny how they say your Social Responsibility is Rather Capital.

    On the other hand, when I read that article I see a shockingly bad Chinese boss first, and a somewhat amoral computer company second. Isn’t the Chinese boss much closer to the coal face, and much more able to do something about the conditions than the computer company?

    Presumably those “jobs” are something the workers have more or less been forced into, by their parents, their culture, or something else?

  2. Matthew Bartlett says:

    I’m not certain it’s such an unhelpful response — that depends on whether the ‘concerned department’ does actually investigate and get back to me.

    I think you’re right that the Chinese boss is more responsible, but what leverage I have, I have with HP.

    There was a great little quote in the report from FDR: “Goods produced under conditions which do not meet a rudimentary standard to decency should be regarded as contraband and not allowed to pollute the channels of international commerce.”

  3. Ben Hoyt says:

    True, perhaps at face value it didn’t read as unhelpful. Cynical me read that response as the standard “got your email, don’t care, cheers”. I guess it sounded like someone had selected “Social Responsibility Reply” from a drop-down list of pre-written responses. Anyway, do tell if you hear anything further from them.

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