Musings on Photography

Error Correction

Posted in hp z3100 by Paul Butzi on December 7, 2007

G9-071124-0232
In this post I had suggested that the Z3100 didn’t come with one year of on-site next business day warranty. I was wrong. The z3100 DOES come with one year of on-site NBD warranty coverage.

This got cleared up in my email exchange with Ben Wolf, the pro photo product manager for the Z series printers at HP. I’m not quite sure where my misunderstanding of the standard warranty coverage came from, but Ben clarified “the standard warranty is for Next Business Day response-which does not automatically include an onsite visit unless it is determined one is required. If for example a motherboard were to fail, we would send out a tech based on customer availability. Printhead failures, when this is the case, do not typically fall under this requirement, since changing a printhead is somehting any customer can do quickly and easily.”

This is an important point, and I want to clear up any misunderstandings I may have caused. The service/warranty coverage for an expensive, complicated and large print like the z3100 (or the equivalent printers from Epson or Canon) is extremely important. If the mechanics of the printer fail, it’s not like you can pack the printer back into the box, drop it off at UPS, and have it sent to the manufacturer. You’re very much dependent on being able to have a technician sent out to do the service on site, and if you live in a somewhat remote place (as I do) then having that service covered under the warranty is a big issue. Paying for an onsite service call can run 40% of the cost of a new printer like the z3100!

But Ben offered to extend the on-site/next business day coverage on my printer to three years (an additional two years beyond the standard coverage) at no cost – naturally, I accepted.

My email exchange with Ben makes me think that although HP are having some problems with technical support on the Z series printers, Ben is very much aware of the problems and is actively working to fix the problem and get customers problems resolved. If you have a Z3100 and you’re having problems with customer support, I strongly urge you to contact Ben (his email address is in the comments in this post) and let him know the details. And, of course, I’d love to have you share whether your problems get resolved in the comments here.

I really like my z3100, and I’m glad to see that HP seem to be taking my complaints about technical support very seriously indeed. Good for them!

5 Responses

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  1. Doug Plummer said, on December 7, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    I wouldn’t discount your stature as a blog writer for the attention you’re getting from them. After I wrote a less than complimentary comment about a piece of equipment I own, I got a phone call from the manufacturer kindly offering to buy it back from me at full price, if I would stop writing about it.

  2. Paul Butzi said, on December 7, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    I’m fully aware that I have, perhaps, a slightly higher visibility for my complaints because of this blog. This isn’t a big blog in the scheme of things (The Online Photographer is, for instance, massive compared to the readership I have here). On the other hand, Google is the great leveler, and I do seem to be one of the more prominent voices sharing z3100 experiences.

    I’m sure that the increased visibility gives me more leverage when it comes to getting my problems resolved. These days any sensible manufacturer is taking great care to monitor blogs large and small to help them in their efforts to promote their products and brand.

    I do try hard to share both the positive and negative experiences that I have, without trying to play favorites. Adobe has gotten both good and bad strokes from me, and the z3100 has gotten a lot of favorable strokes here as well has having HP tech support get dinged. I think that this not only helps get the full story out there, but it also helps a lot in terms of credibility in getting things resolved with manufacturers. Writing a blog that’s nothing but complaints probably gets you dismissed as a surly crank.

    For what it’s worth, my email exchange doesn’t seem to have the flavor of ‘I want to buy you off’. It’s more along the lines of ‘I want to make really sure that, since you’re writing about your problems in a venue where what you say is very visible, we want to make sure a) your problems get resolved, and b) we fix the root cause of your bad tech support experience.

    At this point, that’s about the best HP can do – make sure my problems get resolved and that I am happy, and try to address the tech support problems get resolved so that they don’t have issues like this in the future.

    I’m not going to claim that my motives in posting are altogether altruistic – I want my problems solved. But it’s also the case that sharing information like this also has the effect of improving things for everyone, both those who are contemplating a purchase and those who are having trouble getting problems resolved.

    And, for what it’s worth, a high visibility series of posts like this is an opportunity for other folks with problems to chime in in the comments (as has happened here) and get some visibility, too. That’s why I suggest that other folks with problems take Ben up on his offer, contact him, and then share their experiences in the comments here.

  3. Lisa said, on December 8, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Paul – the photo in this post is wonderful – definitely captured my attention. Colors and composition are fabulous.

  4. ryan fritz said, on April 10, 2008 at 7:19 am

    I have had issues with Mac 10.5 Leopard and properly running the HP Utility. I must say that phone/web/email support for my Z3100 has been fruitless AND exhausting to the point where I feel Im on my own. I think I’ll look up Ben’s email address…thank you.

  5. ryan fritz said, on April 10, 2008 at 7:20 am

    I have had issues with Mac 10.5 Leopard and properly running the HP Utility. I must say that phone/web/email support for my Z3100 has been fruitless AND exhausting to the point where I feel Im on my own. I think I’ll look up Ben’s email address…thank you.


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