Friday, 30 December 2005

HP Printer

I discovered last week that if I was setting up my own business to be able to offer freelance consultancy services, it would be a good idea to invest in a printer. Up until now, I would print the odd page I had to print in the office. Obviously, if the office is now my home, I need a printer at home. So, I went to the Apple store to find something that would work well with my Mac. I ended up choosing the HP Officejet 7410 all-in-one. What sold me to this printer is:

  • The price is right, less than £400 for a printer/scanner/fax/photocopier is good;
  • It can do double-sided printing;
  • It can connect to a wireless network;
  • It is completely supported on Mac OS-X;
  • It is quite fast.

The Apple store says it can deliver it in 2 to 3 weeks. So I was very surprised when it arrived today, two days after I ordered it.

I followed the installation procedure step by step until I got to installing then ink cartridges. The printer wasn't happy with the cartridges and told me so, saying I should check them and insert them again. Which I did. 3 times. I went through the troubleshooting section in the manual. Nothing. I went to HP's online support and found a promising entry that involved cleaning the copper contacts on the cartridges. I did. 3 times. To no avail. So I tried the next step: clean the contacts on the carriage itself. No luck. I went back to the manual and found the support phone number. I called. The UK number directed me to a call centre that was obviously somewhere on the Indian sub-continent. I was asked for a lot of personal details in order to create a file for me, details that I had already given via the support web site, and this even before I had a chance to mention anything about the problem. After a good 30 minutes, the conclusion of the support guy was that the printer was defective and needed to be replaced. This is where I was offered two options: either get the original provider (in this case the Apple Store) to replace the appliance or get a direct HP replacement but if it was replaced by HP directly, it would be a refurbished printer, not a new one.

How can HP even begin to think that it might be remotely acceptable to replace my brand new non-working expensive piece of kit with a refurbished one? I wonder.

So I called the Apple Store. The call was answered very quickly and in 10 minutes they had arranged for a new printer to be delivered to me and the old one picked up. The only thing I have to do is pack everything back in the box and write a return number on it. They do the rest.

the final support score is:

HP
Poor
Apple Store
Excellent
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