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Warranty Replacement C7971A Ultrium Data Cartridge

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Mark Medici

Warranty Replacement C7971A Ultrium Data Cartridge

Can anyone here tell me the proper phone number to call at HP to get a defective data cartridge replaced?

I haven't had many HP data cartridges fail. The last time was over a year ago, and a quick call to the phone number on the label got me a replacement worked out in a few minutes. Unfortunately, I didn't save the phone number, and there's no contact info at all on the C7971A labels. I also tried the website, but could only find general support numbers.

So I called my HP reseller number, and in two tries the voice-activated attendant sent me off on a wild goose chase. When I zeroed-out, the HP rep demanded the serial number of the tape drive (10 minutes away from my office) and said that the issue would have to be "escalated," requiring 72 hours for a response.

This all sounds ridiculous to me. It shouldn't take 3 days or the involvement of a highly-paid escalation engineer to get a bum tape replaced. And what if the tape drive wasn't HP or was out-of-warranty? Would that void the "limited lifetime" warranty of the tape?

I'm sure there's a more efficient want to handle this, I just need the correct phone number.
Trusted Contributor

Re: Warranty Replacement C7971A Ultrium Data Cartridge

at the voice response just say Ultrium 215/230/460 (whichever tape drive it is)
all you have to do is speak with a technical support rep have them create a case and they will give you the information on where to send your tape - you need to use the Case Number they create as sort of an RMA number
Mark Medici

Re: Warranty Replacement C7971A Ultrium Data Cartridge

That seems to be the end-user equivalent of the reseller support number. I just now called and said "ULTRIUM TWO ONE FIVE" and it sent me to a call director.

I told the call director I needed to talk to a technician about a defective Ultrium 200 tape cartridge, and he didn't know what I was talking about. So I tried Ultrium 215 tape drives, and he still didn't know. He asked me if it was a Printer or a PC. I told him it was a tape for a tape drive. He blind transferred me into the PC/Server/Storage queue (previously the second option after entering my reseller ID). All total, it took me 5 minutes to get to the same place it used to take me 10 seconds before the voice activiated service.

Lisa in storage answered the phone. I explained the situation to her. She asked for my name and return phone number to call me back with a case number. I told her I already had a case number at escalation. She said I'd have to wait for them to call back.

I tried calling-back on the Reseller number, but its been busy for the past 20 minutes straight.

This should not be so difficult, really.
Mark Medici

Re: Warranty Replacement C7971A Ultrium Data Cartridge

Well, eventually I was able to get a replacement tape. The suggestion to ask for support on the tape drive, rather than the cartridge, was the correct route. I rate the answer A+.

However, regarding HP's handling, that only warrants a C-. The promised callback by an escalation technician still hasn't come. The technician I did speak to during a later call required the serial number of the tape drive, which makes no sense because the tape drive warranty status or manufacturer should have no bearing on the tape CARTRIDGE warranty fullfillment. But once we got past this unexpected inconvenience, the replacement tape did arrive the next business day.

No extra points assigned for the silly email thankyou card HP sent out the following week. This is a part of the process that doesn't need attention.