Sorry, It's Your Fault HP's Programmers Screwed Up

If a company’s software won’t work with its own products, whose problem is that? Chris reports that HP seems to believe that because their own software won’t work with one of their own products (for which it was recommended) that this is his problem.

Approximately 1.5 years ago I purchased an HP C5280 All in one printer, partly due to its ability to directly print to printable cd/dvd media (both for personal and professional purposes). For about a year, I have successfully been able to do so, using Roxio Creator software that had been installed on a previous computer.

About 4 months ago, I needed to replace my pc, and lost my copy of Roxio. Last weekend, I went to burn a couple of cds for clients, and attempted to use the HP software that their support team recommended – HP Photosmart Essential 3.5. Imagine my dismay when, upon installing it and opening up a project to print to a cd (including placing the cd in the included tray and placing it in the slot to print on the cd), the software told me that the c5200 series is not recognized as a device that is capable of printing directly on cd/dvd media.

I contacted HP support at that time and got a gentleman with a very strong Indian accent (leading me to believe it was an outsourced support call center), who advised me this would be escalated to executive support and I would receive a call within 24-48 hours. At no time was the question of warranty raised, as the tech agreed this was an HP issue that needed to be resolved, rendering any question regarding warranty period completely moot.

Skip ahead to today, when I called HP Corporate and spoke to a [redacted]. She advised me that, because my printer is out of warranty, there was nothing they could do – TO CORRECT THEIR OWN ISSUES WITH THEIR OWN SOFTWARE – unless I was willing to pay for an out of warranty support package. In other words, they wanted me to pay for them to fix the mistake their own coders committed by mistakenly programming their software to not recognize the capabilities of at least 1 model line in this series of printers (which I’ve been told has about 10 different model lines in the c5200 series).

I’m going to see if I can locate email address for the executives and do an email carpet bomb, but in the meantime, I’m going to be recommending to all of my clients to avoid HP printers like the plague – if only because the support is not only nonexistent, but that they’re more concerned with extorting money from customers than fixing their own mistakes.

The easy solution here, of course, is to buy a new copy of the Roxio program. That won’t be cheap, but does prevent having to give more money to HP. If Chris has any luck with his executive e-mail carpet bomb, we’ll let you know.