Hewlett Packard wants me to feel bad about myself

HP Deskjet 5550

I’ve had the color-inkjet printer shown above for just under six years, and if six human years are equal to 42 dog years, then 42 dog years are equal to 750 computer-technology years … which means, technologically speaking, my printer is … hmmm … times seven, carry the two … um … a billion years old. (I always sucked at math.)

Zan recently needed to bring to school a picture of his family, so I printed one out for him. Here’s what it looked like:

Freaky Fenway Family

Turns out I had pretty much run out of ink, so I ordered some replacement cartridges online, and, in an effort to save a few bucks, I purchased refurbished cartridges rather than new cartridges … because I’m very poor conscientious about my family’s finances.

So the refurbished cartridges arrived, and I installed them in the printer, and then I opened the Print Utility application on my computer so that I could check the ink-level indictor to make sure that I, in fact, had received full cartridges. Unfortunately, when I clicked on the “Supply Levels” tab, I was greeted with a message that said “Go fuck yourself.”

Well, I still remember a time when the “Supply Levels” tab had far better manners, and would instead reveal a lovely color indicator that showed me a heartwarming visual representation of just how much ink was left, and I very much wanted those days to return, so I shuffled on over to Hewlett Packard’s website to see if their “Support” area might be able to enlighten me.

The closest thing I could conjure up from the depths of the “Support” search engine was the following little nugget, and based on the solution offered, I’m pretty sure that when Hewlett Packard uses the word “Support,” they mean “moral support” rather than “technical support”:

After installing a new HP Inkjet print cartridge, the ink level indicator remains at the previous level.

Continue to print and ignore the ink level indicator. The print cartridge is full of ink, it just is not being measured accurately.

Really? No, seriously: really?

That’s some damn fine, highly insightful information right there. So insightful, in fact, that I’ve decided to also apply it to the following dilemmas:

  • an illuminated “you’re almost out of gas” indicator on my dash
  • an almost-empty gauge on my home-heating-oil tank
  • a near-zero balance on my checking account

As pleased as I was to have had Hewlett Packard resolve all of those annoying problems for me, I still kinda wanted to know where my “Supply Levels” info had run off to, so I sniffed around the HP site a bit more, which led me to the following similarly helpful bit of HP “Support”:

We are sorry to inform you that there will be no Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) support available for your HP product.

Well, that sucks. But they didn’t just leave it at that, did they? No, they didn’t.

A small set of HP Inkjet printers beyond 5 years old are not supported with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

“A small set” … in other words, “There are a few losers out there who still are using one of our ancient relics.” So now you’re calling me a loser, HP? Oh, don’t act all innocent; I can read between the lines, assholes.

And as if insulting me and my old printer wasn’t enough, HP then had the balls to throw this at me:

Please consider upgrading to a newer HP product that is supported on Mac OS X 10.6.

OK, tell you what, HP … I’ll consider using this month’s food money to replace my near-mint-condition printer with another one of your products that presumably will be obsolete in five years if you’ll consider GO SUCK IT.

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