When business printer meets user—hilarious people-tech fails

August 24, 20185 minute read

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Today’s smart printers take much of the guesswork out of business printer operations. But for teams that don’t have the latest printing and office tech, IT may take some frustrating calls from users dealing with outdated tech—and that’s nothing to laugh at. The amount of time you waste repairing machines or waiting for them to complete tasks can drain your resources and affect the business’s bottom line.

But, occasionally, IT pros run into some issues that are so face-palm worthy, they can’t help cracking a smile and laughing (only on the inside, of course). Here are a few hilarious moments from the Spiceworks IT community that’ll really make you laugh.

Getting lost in translation

User JeremyGove shared a ticket he received about a machine printing in the wrong language: “The printer is printing in Chinese,” the employee said. Seems like a simple fix, right? Well, take a gander at what really went wrong: “The user had attempted to install a new driver and chose one for a different (outdated) model. The ‘Chinese’ was the English words from the letter they were trying to print, printing over themselves because of the faulty driver.”

Bet you didn’t see that coming. All this could have been avoided with some IT assistance—next time you (or one of your users) needs to install or deploy a new printer in your office, consider using a tool like HP Support Assistant, which can be installed on any PC. It provides easy access to all the support resources and tools you could ever need, and you can avoid a mishap like printing in the “wrong” language.

Seeing color in black and white

Color technology has made amazing strides in recent years—now, you can invest in printers that balance speed, quality, and cost, instead of sacrificing one benefit over another. Amazing, right? But you know what’s not amazing? This anecdote about color printing that might leave you cross-eyed:

“I had a customer call with a problem I just couldn’t solve. She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled me, because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine . . . I had the customer change ink cartridges. I had the customer delete and reinstall the drivers. Nothing worked . . . I was about to tell the customer to send the printer into us for repair when she asked quietly, ‘Should I try printing on a piece of white paper instead of this yellow construction paper?'”

If your jaw hasn’t hit the floor yet, have you ever run into anything like this: “Got a call from a woman who said that her laser printer was having problems, the bottom half of her printed sheets were coming out blurry. It seemed strange that the printer was smearing only the bottom half. I walked her through the basics . . . [and] asked her to print a sheet . . . As the paper started coming out, she yanked it out and showed it to me. I told her to wait until the paper came out on its own. Problem solved.”

Confusing technologies and functionalities

Not every employee is tech-savvy, but that’s why IT exists in the first place—you’re the experts. You’ve seen all types of technology, especially in the modern world with innovations, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and more. But to your average employee, the sphere of office tech is baffling enough. Don’t believe it? Check out this user who was bested by a fax machine: “A customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the ‘send’ key.”

While fax machines aren’t that advanced yet, HP’s A3 MFPs (11 x 17 multifunction printers) can tackle the tasks of many technologies in one consolidated machine. For instance, an MFP can print, copy, and scan documents—complete with a display screen that tells you exactly how to operate the machine.

Beyond these standard capabilities, HP’s A3 MFPs take innovation one step further. They can anticipate problems and schedule maintenance to ensure consistent uptime with device-based sensing technology. Cloud-based analytics can also enhance your use of these machines—the HP JetAdvantage On Demand cloud platform makes it easy to purchase, deploy, and manage apps, like the HP Private Print app and Udocx Scan to Office 365, which makes converting paper documents into digital workflows easier than ever.

HP Smart Device Services add advanced diagnosis, device-specific troubleshooting, and remote remediation capabilities, enabling you to monitor, diagnose, and anticipate servicing needs, like replacement of toner. Talk about easy to use and convenient. But with all these features, some users may think MFPs can do literally everything. Check out this post shared by user mattburakowski, featuring a user who made a small mistake and assumed the printer could even take care of paper disposal:

“We had one user email us complaining that their printer wasn’t working. We remoted in and saw the printer marked as offline. Nothing seemed wrong from the software side, so we assumed it was a hardware issue. We asked the user to help us—unplugging, re-plugging, rebooting, and generally all the physical troubleshooting we could think of. After almost six hours on the phone, we got no results and were forced to schedule a tech to make the 100-mile journey to the client the next morning. Upon arrival, the tech couldn’t locate the printer . . . The customer had been disconnecting, reconnecting, and rebooting the paper shredder.”

Kudos to all the office techs out there handling similar calls with good humor. If you’d like a few more chuckles from the help-desk files, check out Bikepaths and Spiceworks. While funny, these offbeat calls can drain your time and resources. Today’s smart printers take much of the guesswork out of business printer operations. In the past, print issues took attention away from more pressing matters, like cybersecurity and new office tech. But with modern printer technology, issues are often resolved automatically by the printer itself, saving IT time and letting your team tackle more important things.

With tech like that backing you up, you can truly sit back and laugh at these IT tales, while having the peace of mind that your IT environment is running smoothly and efficiently—and there’s no crazy calls coming in from users who can’t tell the difference between a printer and a paper shredder.

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