?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Printer Saga - Nothing to See Here

May. 11th, 2006

01:41 pm - The Printer Saga

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

I have a fantastic printer.

A Dell 5100cn colour laser printer, with built-in duplexing unit and built-in ethernet and it's bloody fast (>30 pages per minute if not duplexing; still bloody fast even when duplexing). It's really meant to be for a not-so-small office, but I have it at home. I got it 1/2 price when our company's Dell rep wanted to make his quarter (apparently in 1 day, we -- that is, the company and staff of the company -- doubled his quarter, so he was quite the happy camper). Anyhow, lovely printer.

Alas, it occasionally wrinkled pages when duplexing (printing double-sided).

It's under warranty, but I never had time to get around to calling Dell to get them to come out (on-site next-day service -- remember this, it's important) until Thursday last week.

Well, I called Dell, the tech had me do various things, printing reports and so on, and said, "Ok, we'll need to send out a tech to replace the outer duplex unit". Fair enough. They way they do it, he says, is it's a 3rd party contractor that gets the part shipped to them and then they come out to replace it. I should expect a call from them the next day (last Friday), and they will probably but not definitely be able to come out that day. Alright then.

I get a call, as expected, on Friday, from a tech with a company called Banctec somewhere in the 831 area code (Santa Cruz to Monterey), I believe in Salinas. He says his scumbag boss overbooked them all to hell and back, and the first time he can come out is next Thursday morning (that is ... today). The poor guy, clearly really unhappy with his company, tells me more than he should and says it's totally Banctec's fault, not Dell's. I believe it. The poor guy sounded harried as hell. Well, I'm unhappy that my 'next day' support means a week after I called, but ... it's "elective surgery" really. The printer works ok mostly, and it only occasionally wrinkles a sheet of paper, and only when duplexing. The fact that it took me months to get around to even reporting the problem speaks to the fact that it's not urgent. I say fine to Thursday morning, 8am-9am, and he encourages me to voice my opinions in the survey apparently Dell will ask me to complete via e-mail after it's done.

Fade to black. Open scene today. I get up early, earlier than necessary because, well, I'm awake and I have things I want to do, like getting caught up on some work I meant to get done yesterday (hah; so didn't happen) and catching up on LJ (ur, yeah, priorities, priorities) and e-mail.

I get a call from Keith, the Banctec repair tech fellow, at 8:30am. He'll arrive right around 9am. Around 9am, he does indeed arrive.

It turns out his frakking company sent him out never having seen a 5100cn, let alone been certified on it, and he is quite intimidated by my beast of a printer. He had some training on itsy-bitsy home laser printers. This thing's the size of a small photocopier. Their idea of training is to send him out on a job to repair a printer he's never seen with only a part, some tools, and a CD with some html-ish documentation (with pictures, but not enough of them) on how to service the thing.

I end up helping him throughout because not only is it one of the most confusing (internally) printers I've had to deal with (just setting it up when I got it was extremely complicated and took a couple of hours), but also a lot of stuff is rather hard to do with only one set of eyes and 2 hands. Much of the body of the printer has to be removed, and lots of cables (LOTS of cables) disconneced, wires unravelled, and many complicated things unlatched, popped open, etc. A clippy thing which holds cables into a cable channel falls into the depts of the printer (OH FRAK! ARGH!).

A half an hour later, we successfully retrieve it.

We finally put everything back together (after an "OH NO WAY!" moment when it seemed like we had been given a slightly incorrect part, with a male connector where a female connector was needed, but it turned out that it was really 2 male connectors with a female-female junction, and the junction came with the new part, but he had unplugged the wrong side of it when removing the old part), and (1) the on/off switch is ... uh... not so much with the working, and it seems kind of ... not seated right, (2) getting weird error codes and requests to restart the printer from it. We have to pull a lot of stuff apart again, discover that THANK ${DEITY}, we don't have to take even more apart to fix the on/off switch (we thought a screw he'd removed to try and get the bottom-right-side-panel-segment off had let a spring connected to the on/off switch get free, and we'd have to tear the thing apart even more than before to fix it, but luckily it was further down the side towards the back, a lever/transmission thing from the on/off switch had come out of where it hooked up to the circuitry when we took out a different screw to try to get said bottom-right-side-panel off), fix the on/off switch, and properly seat some connectors which had not been plugged in quite far/firmly enough. We turn it back on, still missing some panels, and IT WORKS! YAY!

Putting everything together, a small panel below the front door falls off. Urr.... oops?! ARGH! Broken tab! Did I do it? No, he figures out (I had forgotten) that he did it when he was trying to get excessively difficult hinge bars out to disconnect the door/outer-duplexer assembly off. We had heard a little crack, but couldn't see anything wrong at the time.

The good news is that the small panel (1) does connect; just that it could come off more easily than it should, (2) the printer works just fine [well, haven't printed enough double-sided sheets -- or rather have but haven't had time to go through all 205 of them checking them for wrinkles -- but otherwise works fine], (3) he's going to figure out what to order, get a replacement, and fix it as soon as he can.

The bad news is, of course, that the saga isn't quite over.

Oh, right, and I had to miss my team's daily meeting (which I was going to call in for) due to the printer repair continuing past 11am. I did notice the time a few minutes before 11 so was luckily able to call my boss and tell him I wouldn't make it and I'd give my status on-line later.

Tags: ,
Current Location: home
Current Mood: rushedrushed

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:bizzy_
Date:May 14th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
(Link)
that was the most exciting printer repair story i've ever read, in my entire life!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:mavjop
Date:May 14th, 2006 06:15 am (UTC)
(Link)
Shut up. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)