posted on May, 18 2011 @ 09:16 AM
I'm no technowizard but, having been around computers, gadgets, the intarwebs and whatnot for as long as I have, I'm also not a total buffoon (ok, I
am but not in this case).
I've had plenty of run ins with tech support folks for products, devices, software etc and they all seem to try the same crap.
I used to be friendly with a guy who worked at AT&T and Microsoft, on the tech support side of things and he was extremely wise when it came to
dealing with the tech teams.
I had a problem with a new Dell computer printing to an older HP printer. I called Dell, Dell said it was a Microsoft issue. Microsoft said it was
an HP thing and HP, of course, blamed Dell.
I did the telephone dance with the three tech support lines for two days and then, in a fit of frustration, called my friend who said "conference
call them all in at once and enjoy the show."
Needless to say, they were not amused when they could no longer blame someone else for the problem but, within 30 minutes, the issue was resolved.
What I learned from this is that the tech teams are told to pass off the problem to someone else, preferably, another company.
I still buy HP printers, for the office, as well as the home and that leads me to the rant.
I picked up one of those new all in one printers that has the eprint feature. What this means is that, once set up, you can print from anywhere. You
simply email the page you want printed, to the designated address of your printer, and when you get to the printer, in theory, the pages should be
waiting for you. There is, also, the ability to send and receive faxes via this eprint feature.
In theory, it's a brilliant idea. The theory aspect of it is that the setup of this system needs to work so that you can establish the connection
and obtain the email address. Setting up the printer is easy although using the touch screen tablet like device, which they call the Zeen, was
nowhere near as nice an experience as a touch screen device should be. I'm not going to delve into the many faults of this tablet thing because I
didn't buy the printer for the device but, suffice it to say, if I had, I'd be returning it.
So, the last step before finalizing the set up is to set up the eprint feature. The method of doing this is simple. You are asked if you want to set
up eprint features, you touch the yes button and you're done.
I got a message that said the web services server could not be contacted and I should try again at a later time.
I did this for a day. Never getting through.
I did it again, sporadically, the day after that. Web services could not contact the server.
So, two full days after setting up the printer, I gave up trying and contacted tech support.
The first thing I learned was that the servers were down.
I said to the tech guy "you're telling me that the servers that handle the eprint features are down?"
He said yes, they are and have been for a while.
I said "2 days?"
He said no, not for two days.
Great, because, if they were, that would mean the device was useless. Any company that sells a product that relies on web technology that fails for
two days is selling a product that you should not buy.
Then he asked me some routine questions like "do you have internet service?" "is your printer connected to the internet?" and so on.
Turns out, I did everything I was supposed to do. Turns out, the tech guy had no clue how to actually fix a problem, unless I didn't follow the set
He put me on hold for 5 minute (or longer) stretches while he went and asked other people for help.
After 45 minutes or so of his doing nothing beyond putting me on hold, coming back, suggesting something already tried and putting me on hold again,
he tells me that he is turning this problem over some tech specialist division that handles hard to solve cases. He gave me a reference number and
then told me that tech support would contact me, at the number provided, during the time requested, in the next few days.
And the check is in the mail, right?
Nobody contacted me. I decided to do what any good ats'er would do. I scoured the internet for similar issues.
Seems there are quite a few people out there having trouble connecting to this server to set up the system. Seems the servers have, according to HP
tech, been down since mid 2010.
It also seems that, even though the servers are down, some folks, with devices that are eprint ready, have managed to get the system connected and up
and running. This is impressive, given the fact that they were told, by HP Tech that the servers were, in fact, not available.
So, now I know that tech support is full of beans and they are not up to speed on the various methods of correcting this issue.
Unfortunately, the methods I've seen on the internet are for devices other than mine. I tried the methods to no avail.
So I emailed HP tech. I explained that I have tried everything, that I spent 45 minutes on the phone with tech, that I was lied to and told that the
servers were down for several days and that, after a bit of pressing, the tech guy admitted that the servers were not down for several days.
I also explained that I had not yet received a return call from the so called specialist who was going to handle my case.
A few hours later I get an email from HP Tech. First, Max, introduces himself. Then he tells me that....the HP web services servers have been
Seriously? I stated that this response was proven to be an outright lie and he goes and repeats it?
Then he gives me some links to the support site, telling me how to set up my printer.
All the things I did when I set up the printer. All the things the first tech guy had me do.
And how does Mr. Crakeur respond to this? It takes a lot of control but, cordially, kindly and direct as hell. I also cc the Board of Directors of
Hewlett Packard (I would have cc'd Apotheker and anyone else I could add to the list but I couldn't locate their email addresses) with the hopes
that someone there will see that they have an actual problem internally and they will resolve it.
I've been buying HP printers for 20 years. HP purchased palm and now I buy their phones as well. After all these years, you'd think they would
treat their customers with a bit more respect.