Offshoring for Idiots

Saturday, November 27th, 2004 at 12:10 pm | 2,943 views | trackback url

We bought a snazzy Hewlett Packard PSC 2510 printer several months ago for the office, and to print some photos of Seryn for the grandparents and our own photo albums.

HP PSC 2510 All-in-One Printer

This is way more than just a printer! Its printer, scanner, fax, copier.. but thats not all!

It also has a card reader built into the front. Not just ANY card reader, one that can be mounted and mapped from any computer on the network. From the reader, you can pop in a card, and email anything on the card to anyone you want, or send it to any computer on the network or Internet you want (“push” style). It has a built-in webserver and ftp server also (there’s a little security problem with the ftp server too).

It also works on 802.11b networks, which is how I have it configured here. At some point, the printer was power-cycled, it refused to connect to the wireless network again. Printing the configuration page showed that it was indeed configured to talk to the proper access point and it was getting signal. Plugging it into the wireld network allowed it to work perfectly fine, but not on the wireless network.

I hard-reset the printer back to factory default settings, and plugged it into the wired network, and reconfigured it using the Mac software. Upon restarting the printer after applying the wireless settings, still nothing. I tried dozens of possible alternatives to getting it on the wireless network, including pointing it to one of my other WAPs, disabling WEP, and other things.

After many calls to HP (including one where they insisted the printer was no longer covered by warrantee, even though it was bought about 4 months ago from Best Buy), they decided to ship me another PSC 2510. I received it the day before Thanksgiving, and their paperwork states that they needed the other printer back in their possession within 3 days. This means I had to test the replacement unit fully, box up the damaged unit, and ship it back to them the same day.. on Thanksgiving. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen.

After testing the replacement unit (a “refurbished” unit from Malaysia), I noticed that it too had the same problem. After performing the same factory-reset, reconfigure, reboot procedure, it would fail to get onto any of my wireless access points, but it would work perfectly fine on wired.

The Indian technicians I spoke with that night (there were 3 of them) were downright rude, condescending, and insulting to my intelligence. I have already debugged the printer problem. It doesn’t work on wireless. No, I can’t ping it, because IT DOESN’T WORK ON WIRELESS. They had me go through all sorts of ridiculous tests to verify that it wasn’t working. See, there’s this blue light that lights up when it has a network connection, wired or wireless, and that light wasn’t coming on. The “tech” insisted I needed to reboot my computer(s) to make that light come on. Then he insisted I needed an updated version of Windows. It was all quite funny.

In the end, he decided to schedule delivery of ANOTHER replacement printer for me. After that frustrating call, where the tech insisted I had to disable WEP and encryption on all of my computer equipment, I decided to try some other things. The technician also directly lied to me about committing to sending me a document that claimed that this printer would ONLY work on a network without encryption.. which is funny, since the drivers allow you to configure WEP for the printer.

In the end, it turns out that you CAN NOT use their drivers to configure the printer to work on wireless. You MUST use the printer’s built-in web interface to configure wireless. Don’t ask me why it makes a difference, but if you set the printer to use wireless, and configure the settings via their driver wizard (Windows or OSX), it will not work on wireless. If you reset the printer to the default settings, and then point MSIE (yes, the printer’s webserver ONLY works with MSIE, grr!) at the printer, and configure wireless settings FROM THERE, it seems to work perfectly fine.

So I called again, and cancelled the delivery of that third printer, and I sent back my original printer, the one we bought at Best Buy to HP to refurbish and send to someone else as a “new” replacement.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the printer’s capabilities and output.. I just wish the ink wasn’t so damn expensive to buy. I may try using one of those ink refill kits at some point. I’ve heard some stories about those though, that are keeping me away from them for now.

Last Modified: Saturday, November 27th, 2004 @ 12:10

One Response to “Offshoring for Idiots”

  1. This is funny. I had the same problem with their “support” for my laptop. I began getting the BSOD and, checking System Restore, discovered the machine had not been creating any automatically and the ones I had done manually were gone. Since they don’t ship the actual operating system dvds, I needed to get them sent to me. I called, of course India was where support was located.

    The genius on the other end kept telling me to log on and run an application to allow them remote access. It was almost comical. No matter how many times and how many ways I tried to explain that I could not log on because the laptop would not boot up, she could not say anything but do such-and-such to allow remote access. Finally she told me that since I would not allow remote access, HP could not help me. When I asked for her manager, the line suddenly went dead.

    I ended up buying Windows again and doing my own reload. Horrible support! In fact, after buying HP’s for myself, my wife, and my kids, this incident and lack of support was the last straw. This was 3 years and 4 computers ago, none of the new pc’s were HP computers. I will never go back to them, their service is crap!

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