Lame Adventure 83: Eat Pray Printer

Pictured below is my department’s printer, a Hewlett Packard Color Laserjet 2840.

Glowing red light in background means that the bathroom is occupied. See Lame Adventure 49: Bathroom Matters for this thrilling tale.

We’ve had it close to three years now.  Angel Q, an HP Service Technician, who recently visited my company to service another machine, photographed our printer with his cell phone’s camera because he found its mint-like condition stunning.  With my mouth full of avocado and sprout sandwich, possibly with some sprouts protruding, I told him that it’s in my job description to polish it daily.  He gasped, “No, you don’t!  Do you?  It does look like it.”  I added with a wave of my sandwich tossing a smidge of avocado onto Angel Q’s crisp white shirt, “What else have I got to do all day but keep up appearances?”

Thus far, aside from devouring countless toner cartridges and a few drums, it’s only needed one small repair that my sidekick, Greg, and I, donning our Dr. Quackenbush guises, performed ourselves in about ten minutes when we swapped out a dead fuser, the machine’s brain, with a new one.  We spent more time figuring out how to reset the machine’s date and time than we did replacing that part.

We did not always live in Printer Fairyland.  In fact, there was a time, precisely four years ago, when we were highly taxed members of Printer Hell, a place we seemed destined to burn in for eternity.  Below is a correspondence where I succinctly summarized our situation to HP:

To Whom It May Concern,

For this entire year, 2006, we have had nothing but problems with our HP Series 9100 All-In-One printer originally purchased in July 2005.  We are a small design office with eight employees.  In January, we returned it (case # 3213444484).  Again, in May, we returned it (case # 3214944957), and in July, we returned May’s replacement printer because it arrived with a cracked glass cover plate (case # 3215411208).  In August, after waiting more than a month, we finally received another printer replacing the one we had been trying to replace since May that we had to return in July.

As with all its predecessors, that one is defective and so we are returning it (case # 3215815674) today.  Every time we try to print, we receive a print latch error message.

As we were removing various parts from this latest printer we are returning, we noticed that we failed to remove the memory DIMM from the printer we had been trying to return since May (case # 3214944957).  We admit we were at fault because we did not remove that memory card, but the fact that HP demands office employees to strip their machines every time they need to be returned strikes us as unreasonable.  Back to the memory DIMM, can we have another one to replace the one we erroneously sent back to HP in July?  It was an unintentional error.

We are very frustrated and very unhappy with this product, HP’s lack of service, and the fact that each replacement machine proves even more defective than its predecessor.  We have requested a technician come to us to finally repair this machine, but we have been told that is impossible.  Frankly, we feel like HP is penalizing us no matter what we do.

Furthermore, sending us defective goods wastes employee man-hours.  I have calculated that staff members [editorial comment: Greg’s predecessor, Lydia Klapper, and me] have spent in excess of 16 hours dealing with problems directly related to our continually problematic HP Series 9100 printers.  Possibly, you should add, “Employee Time Wasting” to the many functions this All-In-One machine provides?  Forgive the sarcasm, but we are truly at our wit’s end with this problematic machine.

Please include a memory DIMM in our next replacement machine (case # 3215815674).

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

[Lame Adventures Woman]

In response to that prayer, HP sent us yet another new series 9100 printer – with a memory DIMM.  It lasted less than a year.  Elsbeth, my generally slow to anger superior, reached her breaking point and issued a dictate in my direction that if memory serves correct went something like this:

Elsbeth:  Find a fuckin’ printer that fuckin’ works and fuckin’ lasts!

Hence, I was motivated to find the Color Laserjet 2840.

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