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Nothing Like a LITTLE Help from Hewlett Packard

I’ve written about my mother’s amazing ability to be so brilliant and a wizbang at computers while being totally ignorant. But this one takes the cake, and it isn’t my mother’s fault.

She bought an HP printer less than a year ago. It’s a mongo do everything printer, very expensive. Within a short time the cartridges went bad and she ordered new ones but they are leaving lines across everything she prints. She tried cleaning and all kinds of things, but now it will print colors (with the occasional line) but not black, so everything looks screwy.

Desperate, she hauled the printer down four flights of stairs and into her car and hauled it to several office and computer places trying to get it repaired. They all told her that it would cost more to get it repaired than to buy a new one, something we hear all the time that may or may not be true, especially if the fix is actually fairly simple. She just doesn’t know enough to find out what the simple fix might be.

So, she leaves it in the car and comes up to her office on the top floor and decides to take advantage of HP’s online tech support, something I’ve told her to, but I forgot to tell her that she needs to have the printer hooked up and ready to test BEFORE she contacts them.

Anyway, here is the brilliant dialog she had with HP tech support.

Bill: I understood that you are experiencing the problem with the printing.
Ramona: OK, I took printer down to car with the idea of getting a repair person to look at it, but no one wants to as they say it will cost more than worth. Perhaps I can take it apart and clean something?
Bill: Yes, let us troubleshoot the issue.
Bill: Now we will perform the power cycle steps .
Ramona: It is not connected to my computer right now. Do you need that? It would take me awhile to get it and hook it up.
Bill: Please remove the cartridges now and power cycle the All-in-one by performing the following steps and then reinsert the cartridges.
Bill: Follow the steps below to power cycle your all-in-one:
Bill: 1. Verify that the unit is switched on. Unplug the all-in-one from power and disconnect the connection port.
2. Wait 30 seconds.
3. Plug in the power only.
Bill: 4. Repeat steps 1-3 two more times.
5. On the third time after plugging the unit into power,reconnect the connection port from the all-in-one to your computer.
Ramona: I can’t do that without going down to car and hauling it back upstairs.
Ramona: If you will give me all you can suggest, then I will do it without making you wait on line.
Bill: Okay, let us perform the semi full reset function which takes the All-in-One to the factory defaults .
Ramona: How will the disconnecting help color quality?
Ramona: Do you need the printer hooked up?
Bill: The PSC 1600 series only supports a Full reset.

To perform Full reset please perform the following steps :

1.. Unplug the power cord from the all-in-one.

2.. Press and hold the OK and CANCEL buttons on the front panel keypad.

3.. While still holding the buttons, plug the power cord back in.
Continue to hold the buttons for two seconds, and then release them.

4.. It will display a message “Deriv Clear” confirming that reset is done.
Bill: Then please perform the 10 tap test.
Ramona: Are you getting my messages about the computer not being hooked up right now?
Ramona: I have the 950, not the 1600 series
Ramona: What is a ten tap test
Bill: Okay, I’m sorry, the previous sentence was sent in error. Please disregard it.
Bill: A semi-full reset will do the following for 900:

The user settings to the factory defaults
Language and country settings on some models
It will Delete Fax logs
It will Delete Fax headers
It will Delete Fax speed dial information
Bill: To perform semi-full reset please follow the below steps:

1. First disconnect the power cable.
2. Press and hold # button and 6 button on the printer keypad while plugging in the power cable .
Bill: Then clean the rollers
Ramona: How do I clean the rollers? Do I open up the machine or just reach in?
Ramona: And do I clean them with alcohol or?
Bill: Please clean the rollers. I will send the link to your e-mail address
Ramona: What link?
Bill: Please perfrom the steps that are in the link that help you in cleaning the rollers…

I’m sure you figured out that she was talking to a robot, but it still is funny. She is still trying to get the problem solved, but what a nightmare if you are in a panic and confronted with such a useless service.

We just bought a new HP computer at an incredible price, breaking our habit on only buying Gateway products for over 10 years, and now I worry based upon my mother’s story and this popular Digg story on terrible service from HP. I know HP is quality stuff, but the rumor mill and these stories have me a little worried. It’s always like this, having second thoughts after a purchase.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

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