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filmscanners: OT:Re HP service policies: (was: Any insight on H.P. vs Epson printers

Lawrence wrote:

> Manufacturers don't normally provide instructions for opening up their
stuff :-).  They prefer you to return it to an 'authorised service centre'
otherwise the warranty is void.  In our case, there was no warranty, so I
had nothing to lose.

Contrary to the impression some of my "rants" would give, I didn't exactly
"ride in here on a hay wagon." :-)  Some of my work experience was with
mid-tech manufacturing/assembly, where the Chief Designer's view was that
"Every assembly should be reversible." This, because your average field-user
doesn't necessarily have the time to find a service center, and must do
minor repairs themself to get back to work. So our company endeavored to
provide an "exploded view/parts list" sheet with every unit we sold. This
also doubled as a numbered "Assembly/Disassembly" guide, which would be
supplemented further if the process was compex. Naturally, we warned that
our "Limited Warranty" would not extend to user repairs, as part of a "Cover
Your A**" disclaimer.

I don't fault HP for not covering user-repairs, because they can't--and
having only a 90-day Limited Warranty is probably smart business too, if you
can get away with it. I *do* fault them for dodging the question altogether.
If there *is* an available 'authorised service centre,' providing that
information is something that shouldn't cost much more than the time and
trouble. Offering to tell me 'where it is' for $2.50-a-minute is an insult
to my buying power!

A Customer is the most important part of any business--without them, you
don't get a paycheck. A Happy Customer will come back, time and again, and
buy more stuff--Unhappy Customers will tell their friends. So ISTM that the
"In Your Face" philosophy of the current trend is a counterproductive tactic
that will "downstream" with serious consequences. The drastic drop in stock
prices may already be reflecting that (along with other things).

The philosophy may have other repercussions, as well. E.g: will Tony's bad
experiences with the print-houses hurt them this week? No, probably not.
Will it hurt them in a year, or three, or ten? I think you could go to bank
on that!

So that's my opinion (which was never any secret, anyway :-) ).

Again, I thank Lawrence for his input, and I *did* in fact understand what
he was saying, although his clarifications give it a better overview. But I
*still* think a simple slotted or Phillips-head screw is a better
design-answer for Consumer products than requiring specialized tools. I
notice that the newer HP scanners are using them. :-)

Best regards--LRA

------Original Message------
From: ar164ts@gmx.net
To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
Sent: May 24, 2001 7:58:01 AM GMT
Subject: filmscanners: OT:  Any insight on H.P. vs Epson printers

Lynn wrote:

> Lawrence wrote:
> >The top of the SJ6300 can be removed easily if you pry out the oval
> shaped
> screw covers near the front (beside the glass panel).  I had to do it when
> the new scanner arrived with a layer of paper dust on the inside.
> Thanks, Lawrence--that's the answer HP should have provided, but they
> didn't! :-(

Manufacturers don't normally provide instructions for opening up their
stuff :-).  They prefer you to return it to an 'authorised service centre'
otherwise the warranty is void.  In our case, there was no warranty, so
I had nothing to lose.

> I finally figured out that the oval covers with holes in them were *not*
> for
> the purpose of depressing nasty spring-loaded retainer clips. They're just
> covers. The screws are designed for star-drivers, but a metric Allen
> wrench
> will work (and yes, I totally see the irony, here). It's a bit confusing
> for
> the technically-impaired, like me. ;-)

Actually, I would recommend using the proper tools (the torx drivers in
this case).  Using allen keys on torx screws can and often do damage them.
The torx screws are designed so that the load is carried on the flat
surfaces rather than the corners as in allen.  This lessens the risk of
rounding and subsequent inability to use the screws - in which case a
left hand drill and bit work wonders :-)

> Cleaning the underside of the glass (which HP urges you not to do, for
> some
> reason) cleared up about 1/3rd of the problem, but I still get
> color-banding. I suspect the lamp, but HP is silent on that issue, too.

colour banding sounds like a scanner problem.  ouch.

they prefer you not to do your own cleaning so they can sell you the
extended warranty :-) Actually I suspect the real reason is that you
don't do more damage than good - which I'm too good at.

> >They have turned service into a profit centre.  You buy a "service pack"
> good for "x" number of calls.  Or an extended warranty.  At one stage,
> they
> even started charging for printer driver upgrades (I believe this has
> stopped).
> You can probably see me *burning* from where you sit! I din't "cheap out"
> on
> this purchase--could have gotten "nearly as good" for a lot less, so I
> guess
> I expected better. I can appreciate a company's desire to reduce costs and
> increase profits, but playing "Gotcha" with customers and gouging them for
> service they would normally expect in a well-designed product isn't very
> smart. If this is a "trend," it could use some serious rethinking, IMHO.
> > We've got several HP Laserjets in the office, and some certainly don't
> deserve the "good" label :-(
> I appreciate the warning and the input. Thanks.

I read what I wrote, and it looks like I didn't write what I meant to write
(say what?!).

To be fair, HP had several divisions making printers.  The high end
models have performed above expectation, and the low end models, well,
they are the ones which give a bad rap.

There was a Laserjet div (expensive printers at that time, aimed at
upmarket/corp customers), and if I remember correctly, 2 deskjet divisions.
The consumer DJ div turned out the printers which annoyed me (eg my
Deskjet 692 which refuses to die :-( ).  The higher end div turned out
good stuff like the DJ890, DJ990, DJ2000 etc - I'm actually happy with
their stuff.

It was the consumer DJ div which charged for printer drivers.  I guess
they sold the printers at a low price and had to recover the engineering
effort of updating drivers.  Remember, once a printer is released from
R&D to manufacturing, it's history to R&D, and any driver update effort
is seen as low priority in terms of project desirability and funding.
The R&D folks all want to work on new stuff, not maintaining old stuff.

Also, the Laserjet families followed the high end and low end (personal
lasers).  My ex-colleagues tell me that the Laserjet II I bought 12 years
ago is still running fine in a production environment, yet the
Laserjet IIP's and IIIP's all died within 2-3 years.  My office printers
are a Laserjet 8100DN and Color 4550DN - both are excellent.  The previous
Color Laserjet 5M was unmentionable.

So yes, high end HP printers tend to be good, but avoid the low end ones.
Hope that sets the record straight.


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