an e-mail exchange with customer support over a printer problem

October 10, 2007 at 8:42 pm 4 comments

Well, our printer that has served us well for over 5 years finally needed to be replaced. Yesterday, I bought a new one and set it up. I encountered a problem so I sent the following e-mail to customer support.

I just bought my printer yesterday and set it up. The paper support with the extension and guide plastic piece came off the back of the machine and I can’t get it back on. How do I put it back on? I can’t get the tabs on the printer to get in the holes on the plastic piece that came off; it’s too tight a fit. Without this piece properly installed, I am unable to load paper. Also, whenever I print or copy, there is a LOUD clicking/ clunking noise from the back of the printer. Is this normal? If it is, it’s a very bad feature. I’m hoping it’s related to my paper support being off the machine.
thanks in advance for your help,

When Todd got home from work, I told him about the problem, and he quickly and easily put the piece back on the printer. The LOUD noise is gone. I had tried several different times to get that thing back on yesterday and today…

I checked my e-mail, the following was in my inbox: (I have edited out any company specifics to protect the incompetent, er I mean innocent.)

Dear Guinever:

Thank you for contacting product support. We value you as a customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you. I am sorry to hear that your printer’s paper support tray has come loose.

I just tried to take ours off to see how you would put it back on and was unsuccessful. Therefore, the unit may require service to have this placed back on the printer. The clicking noise could be related to this, but it is hard to tell without it being installed so we can check to see if it resolves the noise. I am thinking that the clicking noise is the paper rollers trying to pick up the paper since it is not angled correctly.

Here is the closest Authorized Service Facility (ASF) using the Zip code you have provided:

(name removed)

Please call the ASF first to make arrangements to take the unit in for repair. Take the print head, ink tanks and power cable with you to the ASF. The ASF will need these items to perform proper troubleshooting.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide an estimated time it will take for the unit to be fixed. The speed at which the unit is repaired is based entirely on the ASF and their current work load.

Since the unit was purchased within a one-year period, you qualify for a Warranty Exchange. We would send you a replacement unit via UPS ground shipping. If the case is processed before 4pm (ET), the unit will be shipped out the same day. If the case is processed after 4pm (ET), the unit will not go out until the following business day.

Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days.

The replacement model would be factory refurbished. Products are returned to the company for a variety of reasons, including overstock balancing, miscellaneous returns from retailers, suspected misoperation, and minor damage to the box. The products that are serviced have undergone rigorous function and cosmetic inspections by trained our technicians and fully meets new product operational specifications and selected cosmetic standards established by our company U.S.A. Inc. These refurbished products must pass a comprehensive quality assurance inspection before final packaging and shipment to customers.

Once you receive the replacement you will send the malfunctioning unit back to the company. Paper trays, ink tanks, power cords, and the print head should be taken from the original unit before it is sent back to the company.

The original unit is sent back using a prepaid shipping label that is sent with the replacement unit. Please note that if you choose to have UPS come and pick it up, you will be charged a pick up fee (currently $10). As an alternative, you may take your unit to a UPS drop off point or a point where UPS has a regular pick up, such as your work place, where it will be shipped at no charge.

If you would like us to process the Warranty Exchange, please confirm the following information:

(my personal info removed)

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your printer.

Sincerely, Technical Support Representative

Special Note: Certain issues are very difficult to resolve via email.
If your question remains unanswered after you have received this email, you may call our special toll-free number for email customers with unresolved issues and speak to a technician* by dialing the phone number, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 midnight ET, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET (excluding holidays).

If you prefer to continue to communicate via email, reply to this message and we will respond as quickly as possible.

*Telephone support for products no longer covered under the manufacturer’s warranty may require a $9.99 fee for support.

That’s the end of the e-mail. I appreciate their quick response and their willingness to help me. BUT come on, their tech guy can’t get the little piece of plastic back on when it took my dear hubby 4.4 seconds????


Entry filed under: everyday life. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amy  |  October 11, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    okay- that’s funny. I actually stopped reading midway. Must have took that poor guy 3 hours to type that email. Way to go, Todd! I’m not sure that sending things back to the company is the way to go. Just look at the email. .

  • 2. Nate  |  October 13, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Maybe Todd should become a qualified service technician and get a slice of that pie. I am sure he can type well enough and apparently is quite able to service those machines…just a thought. Congrats on the purchase of your new printer and way to go BRO.

  • 3. dad  |  October 19, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Let’s see, now. You say the pieces “came off”. Suggesting it happened accidentally and you don’t know how or why. Then, frustrated and unhappy at this thing you just bought that turns out to need fixing, you can’t get it back on. You wrote a calm, clear, unambiguous, explicit, and polite description of the problem and sent it to customer support.
    You got back a long message with a sentence and a paragraph written by someone who read and understood your complaint. He spent some time trying make his printer be broken the same way yours was broken. He failed at that. He pasted the sentence and the paragraph into the middle of a long letter approved by the marketing department to cover all the possibilities of email customer support. Both of you read and write the same language. The response came back quickly.
    This was really a superior customer support experience. The only thing wrong with it was that it was no help. But there was no spin, there was no sugar coating, there was no suggestion that the problem was your incompetence.
    Generally, the people who are good at taking things apart and putting them back together don’t write complete sentences with correct spelling choosing the right homonyms. And they don’t spend very long in customer service ‘cuz there are other things they can do better that pay more.
    I’m glad Todd was able to get off his horse in his shining armor and rescue you.


  • 4. Gma VC  |  October 24, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Why is it that husbands can always see the problem and fix it quickly after wives have spent many exasperating minutes trying to deal with it?? I have learned, after many years of experience, to be thankful for my handy man and just let him fix it in the first place avoiding all exasperation. Way to go, Todd!! And thanks for the amusing story. 🙂


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