Thursday, April 23, 2009


I wasn't going to say anything about this. I mean, I want reading this to be a positive experience for all of you. Nobody want to hear me bitch and moan. So here's a heads up... that's what this is gonna be. So if you aren't interested in my latest technological frustrations, then stop reading now.

For years, Heather has been buying these cheap printers that last about a year and then won't print anything legible. Our last one had been on the blink for about 8 months. If we needed something printed, we'd email it to ourselves and print at the office. So I decided a month or so ago that we needed a decent printer.

I have a Dell laptop and I love it. I bought it back in August and have had very few problems. It's awesome. So with that in mind, I thought I'd shop Dell for a printer. And I found one and bought it. The thing that sold me on this particular one, was that it is wireless. So I could sit in the living room and print in the office. Cool.... ideally. Not so cool realistically, of course.

So anyway, the struggle began the day after I ordered the printer. At the time of placing the order, the estimated arrival date was March 12th. The morning after I placed my order, I received an email from Dell stating that my order had been delayed and would be sent March 27th. WTH??? I called them to inquire what had changed during the course of the evening and basically got the same run-around that I have gotten for the past month. I should have run then. After telling the Dell rep that I would just cancel my order and go to Office Depot, they were amazingly able to ship my printer on time after all. Imagine that....

So the UPS man brought the printer. I unpacked it and it was all nice and new and pretty looking. I oohed and aahed over it for awhile and began setting it up.

Let me break here for a second. Heather did not want this printer. She somehow thought that there was nothing wrong with our old one, regardless of the fact that each document that printed looked like one of those ink-blot test things. So she didn't ooh one bit. In fact, she kept grilling me about the price in a not so nice way. She has not liked it the entire time I have had it. So I take full responsibility for what I am about to tell you.

The printer didn't work. I spent several hours that first weekend on the phone and online with Dell technical support. Something was wrong with it. So they sent me another printer and I returned the first one.

And it doesn't work either. And there's my problem. I have spent countless hours on the phone with technical support. I have been transfered from regular tech support, to XPS tech support, to printer support, to software support, and even have talked a couple of times to customer service. At one point, the printer worked. Kinda. I've printed a total of maybe 5 things on it. I think 2 times it worked as it should have.

So Sunday night, Heather wanted to print and fax some paperwork to send to the ART fertility clinic in preparation for our first visit. We actually filled out the paperwork by hand and were going to fax it. Heather decided that she needed to add a cover sheet, and when she hit the print button, nothing happened. She immediately began telling me how she hated that printer on how it has never worked even once for her. I took the laptop back to the office and plugged it directly into the printer. That worked a couple of times in the past. Not so this time. I got nothing.

So once again, I called Dell and went through the motions of being passed from person to person. My frustration continued to grow. My last person of the night, after nearly 3 hours, was in software support. It seems that they thought the problem was not in the printer, but in the laptop. Ok. So fix it. They are both Dell products and the software in the computer is Dell software. Makes sense to me. And then they tell me, that for the low price of $69.00, they will make it all work. Come on... really? $69.00? I hate to admit it, but I lost it. Why in the world would I spend additional money with them? I told the guy that what I needed was a shipping label so that I could send it back to them. I still have the box. I'm done with it. Of course, that required a call to customer service, who happened to be closed at the time of my request.

So Monday morning, I called for my shipping label. They tried to pass me off of course, but I was having none of that. So then they tell me that their return policy is limited to the first 21 days. So they won't take it back. I think I hung up on them.

I let it go for a couple of days so that I could cool off. Then Wednesday night, I tried one more time. Again, I went through the motions of explaining the problem to each and every possible department at Dell. Finally I ended up back with the software department. Guess what? The price was now $129.00!

At that point things get a little fuzzy. Remember when we were growing up and we would watch the Incredible Hulk and how poor Bill Bixby would morph into this big green creature that he had no control of? I think that is what happened to me. I freakin exploded. The tech guy put me on hold to speak to his manager.

I completed unloaded a whole month's worth of frustration on this manager guy. He promised that if I paid the money, they would fix the problem. At least I think that's what he said. His English was so bad, that I really couldn't understand much at all. I told him that I no longer trusted anything that anybody from Dell told me. And why should I? I trusted them enough to pay for a printer that should have worked when it came in the door, but now 2 printers, and hours and hours and days and days later, I got nothing. I don't remember what all else I said. There was a lot of comments about horrible service and the most infuriating experienced I have ever had, and I think I even mentioned the Better Business Bureau, which by the way, has been contacted at this point. When I got done, he said that they would fix the printer free of charge.

Well now that's more like it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I am obviously a fool.

So the tech guy gets back on the phone and takes over my computer. He goes to some website and starts downloading some kind of utility. I noticed that the picture on the screen was of a printer that looked nothing like mine. I pointed that out to him. No problem. He just needs the utility. Ok.

Let me just make this story shorter here. By the time he finished, not only was the printer still not working, but we no longer had internet access. He kept telling me that I had to have internet access for him to be able to help me and that he was unaware that I was unable to connect online. Hello???? Obviously we were connected for him to be able to screw things up even further!

I had to back everything up and reinstall Windows. The software guy told me to call XPS support and have them walk me through it. I didn't even bother with them. I did it myself yesterday.

So at least we can get online again. I didn't want my Facebook friends to get too worried about me. The printer still doesn't work though. Maybe this weekend, I can summon the strength to get it all worked out.

Who knows....

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