Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 345: Help is at hand

Recently we added to the growing mountain of electronic equipment in our house by purchasing a new HP wireless printer/fax/scanner.  This pictured device is the second piece of hardware; the first one out of the box was defective.  It took quite a while to set it up and get it communicating with our computers and IPads and telephone lines.  All seemed to be working well until some problems with the print quality arose.  After trying all of the detailed advice on the website I got on the phone to HP and reached a helpful operator sitting in Canada. As he walked me through various instructions and I complied, he would add encouraging remarks such as: "Good work, well done" "You did that very well."  At each step of the "do this, try that", he was with me, coaching me along cheerfully.  If something took me a while to execute he waited patiently and then, said:  "Good job" when I would complete the task.  At the end of the troubleshoot it was determined that my printer cartridge had actually run out of ink and needed replacing.  This was not obvious to me since we had owned the machine less than a week.  I discovered that new HP machines don't ship with a normal full cartridge.  Instead you are given the equivalent of "training wheels" and expected to buy a normal full cartridge rather soon.  I was disappointed in this finding, but accepted it and went on to order new cartridges, which arrived, free shipping, the next day.  What struck me today was the miracle of  customer service help which is very often at hand.  I am (I'm ashamed to say) easy to complain and criticize technology when it does other than perform perfectly and on cue.  I am less quick to show my appreciation for the help that is at hand for many fine companies.  I have always had good luck with HP and their customer service.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the technicians who sit in windowless offices around the world helping me here at home.  Thanks, HP.

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