Great moments in green friendliness: Hewlett-Packard edition

Using sixteen smaller boxes meticulously stacked inside a larger PC-sized cardboard box, HP could have shipped a few thousand dollars worth of premium electronics to customer Stephen Strang. They didn't. Instead, each box was individually wrapped in protective foam and contained HP's License Entitlement Certificate, whatever that is... a document which is comprised of exactly two sheets of A4-sized paper. That's right: HP's shipping department used seventeen separate boxes to ship a slim sheaf of paper that could have been folded and stuffed into a single manila envelope. Gaia weeps. HP shatters excessive packaging world record [Register]
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11 Responses to Great moments in green friendliness: Hewlett-Packard edition

  1. striped_pants says:

    I have some email addresses a higher office in HP and head PR offices. Complain loudly please.

  2. Ceronomus says:

    This sort of thing is hardly new. Year ago when I worked for Barnes & Noble we’d routinely get “air boxes”, large boxes that were generally nothing more than a book and a lot of packing material. The pinnacle of this was the full-sized book box that held three bookmarks.

    The bookmarks were of a native American and read “Respect the Earth.” The sheer irony nearly killed me.

  3. O_P says:

    It’s not just HP, Dell does this as well.

    My friend ordered a replacement rubber foot for his laptop, but they couldn’t ship just the one, so they sent a whole set, each foot in it’s own cardboard box, in a ziplock bag, safely protected between two sheets of foam.

    It was the nearly the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen, but since I’d ordered a replacement set of screws and had a tech turn up with a pallet truck full of cardboard boxes and proceed to open each one in order to extract a single screw, I was prepared for the stupidity.

    What is worse is that the demanded that the melted rubber foot from my friends laptop be returned! They even sent a shipping label.
    So we hid the broken rubber foot under the sheet of foam, put it in the box and taped it shut. Then we taped it to the 4 other boxes. Then we wrapped the original shipping bag around it.
    Then we put it in the largest box we could find, which was for a 21 inch CRT monitor.

    When the courier came to pick it up and found it was so light he asked what was in it.
    We told him the whole story and he wished he could hang around while they opened it to see the look on their faces.
    So did we.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I once got a Sandisk thumbdrive from in a box that would easily accommodate 50 of them, in blister packs and all. Instead it was filled with air bags.

  5. Reed Savory says:

    Unfortunately HP has been doing things this way for years, and there’s no sign they are going to change.

    When you renew a service contract – something that could be handled with PDF file attached to an email message, for goodness sake – they do exactly as described in the original posting, in order to ship you a single piece of paper.

    If you have a large data center, with hundreds of servers… well, you do the math in terms of the amount of unnecessary cardboard they are shipping out.

  6. Bucket says:

    Sun does this as well, as does IBM. I suspect it’s a marketing strategy, it gives people the feeling that they’ve purchased something solid and real for the 350% markup they paid to have name brand equipment.

    In my experience Sun is the worst – when you buy a custom system configuration, you’ll get the case & motherboard in one huge box, and then every single component comes in its own box, many of which are almost as large as the computer box. I’m always worried about losing something important, like a hard drive or power supply, in the christmas-morning like conflagration that results.

    Though we did once get a box containing only power cords from IBM that had its own forklift pallet glued to the bottom of the box. That was entertaining.

  7. DMcK says:

    Here’s what has me stumped: isn’t all this excessive packaging costing them a shit-ton of money in the long term, both to buy and to ship? It’s like when you go to a KMart for some socks and get a register receipt longer than your arm. Don’t these guys have bean-counters to tell them they’re throwing their money away? Things like this are why I’m somewhat less than hopeful about the timely adoption of truly economical green solutions; stupid ol’ institutional inertia always has the advantage.

  8. SeppTB says:

    #4 – those register receipts usually come with a crapload of ‘fine print’ on them explaining their return policy and such, if that extra printing allows them to deny a few returns, it probably pays for itself plenty.

    As for HP using enough cardboard to build a dream-fort for a four year old to send paper that could have fit into a single envelope, well yea, thats just idiocy.

  9. strider_mt2k says:

    Folded properly they themselves could have been sent as their own envelopes!

    makes me sad is what it does.

  10. mdhatter says:

    #8 – Gaia cheers for you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Moar leik board shipping dept.

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