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HP all-in-one

About a year ago, well actually 13 months ago, I bought an HP Photosmart, all-in-one printer C5280. One of the reasons I bought an all-in-one was to save space, rather than a separate printer, scanner and fax machine, I have them all in one. The problem with this plan is that if something goes wrong, the whole thing needs to be replaced. That’s what happened to me this week. 30 days after the manufacturer’s warranty ran out, the bulb on the scanner died. Oh how I hate dealing with tech support, but since I thought I was still in warranty, I gave them a call. Like just about all computer-related tech support, they treat you like an idiot. Granted, the average user is ignorant when it comes to computer trouble shooting. I’m thankful that I am able to fix most hardware and software problems myself. But when there is a hardware failure and the product is under warranty, I have no choice but to deal with tech support.

Even though the scanner bulb was obviously shot, they still make you jump through a bunch of hoops before they finally tell you, “I regret to notify you that the issue stands unresolved and appreciate your efforts to troubleshoot the issue. Yes, the issue is with the scanner bulb.” And of course my warranty had just expired; always the way. But, they tell me I can call and get a refurbished upgrade at a substantially reduced price and I can return the broken machine in the same box. Whenever possible, I prefer email support to the telephone, but I had to call to give them a credit card number.

I was happy with the C5280. The ink seemed to run out very fast, but other than that it worked fine, until the bulb went. This machine is no longer available, so they are sending me a refurb HP PS C6280 for $79 with free shipping and a one year warranty (they usually cost around $150). Certainly better than buying a new machine.

So, I call to give them my credit card info over the phone and the girl tells me that if I just extend my warranty for a year, the replacement will be free. Even better $60 instead of $79! She charges my credit card $60 to extend the warranty for another year, then she connected me to the order department to order the replacement. When I get the guy on the phone, he tells me that what I bought was one year of telephone tech support, which does not cover replacements. Grrrr. I don’t need tech support, I need a bulb. Anyway, after going around and around with them, mind you I’m talking to some guy in India on a crappy Internet phone line and I can barely hear him. My credit card gets charged again, this time for the $79 refurb and he will hopefully credit me for the $60 phone support, which I didn’t want. Why is it that the money comes out immediately, but it takes 2 weeks to put money back into my account? I’ve never understood that.

Well, the refurb HP PS C6280 is on it’s way. We shall see how that goes, and if I get my $60 back. If you put a price tag on my time and aggravation, it probably would have been cheaper to just go out and buy a new machine. I hate dealing with tech support.