In my job I use State sourced and provided hardware and software. The taxpayers pay, but the State of Ohio specs. The computer and printer are by Dell. In order not to void any manufacturer’s warranty we are under instruction to purchase only Dell printer cartridges.
I am so compliant I buy them straight from Dell. I wait until I've been repeatedly warned Toner Low, and have given the unit vigorous shakings until I purchase a replacement. My reason for that, about every three years the great State of Ohio replaces printers and/or computers. I've been caught with my unused cartridge accompanying the printer to the storage shelf in the records room. At a hundred a pop, that’s a very embarrassing use of my taxpayer’s money.
For a few extra bucks I always purchase the use and return cartridge. Put the used cartridge in the box, seal it in a great fight with the packing tape, put on the label and watch for the UPS man to go by.
That was my exact state last Wednesday. The checks I ran were quite dim, the cartridge was done. I made the exchange, and…no return label in the box. I checked the invoice paid in January, in the event it was part of the packing list and stapled to the invoice. I set it aside, to run to the ground another day.
Today I called the customer service number. For some reason I noticed the computer clock said 11:03. In spite of the fact I was calling the customer service number listed on the invoice paid in January, many, hopefully correct, menu selections were required to reach a person who spoke their own version of the King’s English.
My problem was a mystery. They would try…support, accessories, sales, hardware installation... Once, due to “technical difficulties” the line went dead. Yes, during a musical hold a recorded voice announced that due to technical difficulties the call was terminated. Dial tone.I began again.
That attempt produced another person whose every third word was intelligible to my ears. I told her that. In light of how angry I was with everyone I spoke with, and they knew it, this probably was the only person I should have thanked. “You still holding, m’am? I thank you, etc.etc.etc.” as she called and explained the missing label to technicians and sales reps and who knows who else. Eventually she was confident she was correctly transferring me to customer service.
A broad Mississippi accent came on the line. Every other word intelligible. I began the missing label, and was informed I could return nothing, it was more than thirty days since I’d purchased the product. I glanced at the computer. It was fifty minutes since I’d picked up the phone. I swore.
I was informed I could not swear, I must apologize or she could not help me. I responded I was through swearing and Dell could apologize to me. Once more, I want a label to return my “use and return” printer cartridge.
“Oh, we have those on line now.”
It was not over. After being directed to the web site I had to search “return printer cartridge label”, as it was buried several screens down, with no direction to it. As I hung up I looked at the clock one more time. 12:02. Fifty nine minutes of my time never to be recovered.
You’re hearing this here, first. My next printer will be serviced with the most black market cartridge I can find. If it fails I will reinstall the original cartridge and let the great State of Ohio duke it out with Dell. I have three perfectly good, but replaced printers, on the record’s room shelf. One even has a brand new cartridge.