A few days ago, I was fixing my mom’s printer, because it was having problems with lines in the middle of the printout. This was nothing new (even though the printer is not old) – it has been happening for about a year now. And yes, we had contacted HP, the company that made it, but the problem started a bit too late.
They said that the printer was I think – get this – one month out of warranty, and therefore, we must pay them some unreasonable amount (given the cost of buying it new) for them to fix it or just get a new one. They couldn’t or wouldn’t give us a tip on how to permanently fix the problem ourselves – the only fix that I could do without HP’s help was temporary. I believe any reasonable support team would have still helped us when we were out of warranty by that little, whether it was for reasons of caring about our experience or just so we would buy more products from them.
But the HP support team? Nope.
To me, this shows two of the biggest problems with technology that even I, the technology lover, can’t get over. I would even say that these are the biggest problems in the industry today. What are they?
One is rather obvious: Technology isn’t perfect. When a hard drive fails in your computer or a printer randomly puts lines through your printouts, you can’t help but be constantly reminded of this. It always happens at the worst time and it’s frustrating.
My printer is an old Epson model. When I say old, I mean about seven years. Way older than my mom’s HP. And, yes, it occasionally has a problem. But the way I see it, for technology it’s terribly old – and it has the right to have a problem here and there.
The other problem is less obvious: Support for technology isn’t perfect either. When you have a “technology isn’t perfect” moment, you, of course, call the support hotline for the manufacturer or look at their support website. And a good amount of the time, the people at the other end of the line are incredibly helpful. And, while helpful, some are pleasant while others aren’t.
Regular readers know Apple is my favorite company so let’s look at how Apple handles support. When you call AppleCare (the support hotline), you (most of the time) get a friendly person who, in my experience, always tries to help you and (almost always) succeeds. Then you have a support experience like we did with HP.
Not only did the people on the phone not try to help us, but they weren’t particularly friendly, either. Let me ask you this: While you would certainly prefer not to have the reason to call a support hotline at all, would you rather be forced to call a support hotline like Apple’s or HP’s?
Yeah. Thought so.
Back to my Epson printer, the one time I had a serious problem with it, I called Epson. I had an Apple-like support experience and was very happy.
Now HP, why can’t you have that exactly?
Have you experienced these problems with technology? Have you ever had a horrible support experience? Let me know in the comments below.