Background & The SamSung SCX-4828FN Printer
After the sudden death of a HP printer and the horrible HP customer service experiences, I thought it was time to try a new brand of printers and forget HP. Seeing Korean brands are making some good products (TV, monitors, etc), I decided to try a SamSung SCX-4828FN.
For its C$250 price, the Samsung design seems nice and the construction seems solid. And I haven’t seen many bad reviews online (more on this later).
Software and Samsung customer service
* The printer driver software installed without reporting any problem or error (more on this later). And the test page printed ok.
Note: The printer manual CD, unfortunately, is defective and unreadable by the computer (running Windows XP) and Samsung has not included a paper-copy printer manual as a backup.
* Unfortunately, the initial “successful” installation had actually caused at least two hidden problems.
The first problem was discovered right away. The default page alignment for the word processing program was changed, leaving the content of the bottom fifth of each page to be printed on an additional page.
The second problem was more serious and discovered the next day. The printer installation actually caused a critical accounting software to fail to execute and caused it to report an error saying, “XML support not detected. […]”
Having never dealt with Samsung printer/technical support, I assumed when the reps were told of these problems, they would be helpful and knowledgeable enough to identify the solutions in minutes. Wrong! The first level support was unhelpful and, to be blunt, clueless. The rep repeated the claim that the printer installation could not have caused these problems. Huh? These programs worked fine before the printer software installation and now they failed afterwards, and the Samsung rep didn’t even have the courtesy to accept and acknowledge their problems!?
The next day, another first level support still insisted it wasn’t Samsung’s problems. And then I was told there was a really really long wait for the second level support reps. No second level support ever called back even after hours of waiting. In passing, I heard that only 5 (yes, just FIVE) reps were working to serve the 1-800-726-7864 Samsung technical help line for all of US *and* Canada! *&^%!!, no wonder there was such a long wait for the second level support rep! Assuming these reps actually know something!
At this point, I was so displeased with Samsung’s technical support that I tweeted, “Samsung has no printer support. Better to avoid Samsung printers. Reps know nothing.” This is just NOT the way I hope to see happening when I try a “new” brand of printers.
Fortunately for me, I was able to find someone knowledgeable to help correct the accounting software problem broken by the beeping Samsung software/driver installer. The wordprocessing software’s default is still messed up but I’ve found a work around.
As I politely told the Samsung customer service representatives, I was displeased with the service I got. But I am much more disappointed with Samsung as a brand. The fact that Samsung has such ineffective printer support lead me to tweet/vent my anger and frustration.
Concluding Thoughts about Samsung printers and Samsung technical support
If you have or work in a small to mid size office, why would you want to consider Samsung printers and risk seeing some of your critical office softwares crashing and failing to startup after installing Samsung printers?
Maybe if your company has a team/department of dedicated IT support technicians, and you don’t mind solving extra problems caused by Samsung and with no help from Samsung. Do you feel that lucky?
P.S. In hindsight, maybe I should have paid more attention to a 10/29/2010 customer’s critique, “Samsung technical support is terrible!“ and anticipated the clueless Samsung technical support.
P.P.S. Samsung Canada has responded to my tweet. I will update this entry if there are further worthy development to report.
Jan 24, 2011 Update: For further updates, please see the bottom of this cross-posted entry.