We sent our laptop to HP's approved repairers with very clear instructions (email, and on instructions taped to top of machine) not to wipe the hard drive during the repair, and that if this was essential to the repair we would prefer not to have the machine repaired; instead, we'd send the machine to a specialist repairers to attempt to retrieve the hard drive instead.
And then.... it came back from repairers yesterday with no data, completely wiped clean.
What do we do, aside from complain to HP/ the repairers? Can we ask them to pay for specialist retrieval do you think?
We have most of the data backed up on an external hard drive but not all.
Was the note intact on the computer? I think if it was, then you should first get a quote or wo. Vogon in London was a firm used by a client to retrieve data and cost several thousand pounds.... I don't think you'd necessarily get that from the firm that looked at the machine, but I would certainly get 2 or 3 written estimates to start with, and submit copies of the higher two to the firm, with a photo of your computer showing note saying not to wipe.
Sadly, if it was dealt with by some underpaid tech from within the EU for whom English may be a struggle, it's down to the other staff and the boss, and you may need to try claiming against HP, on the grounds that they introduced you to an incompetent firm.
If writing to HP, make it plain that their reputation is in question over this matter, and you will do your utmost to make other people aware of this error, if they won't agree to cover your costs.
If the firm and HP are unforthcoming, then a claim of about £5K, via Small Claims online, may make them wake up (only if that's appropriate after you see estimates).