Top critical review
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DOA products happen; Mysterious error codes and support failures shouldn't
on December 17, 2016
The printer arrived in an apparently undamaged box, albeit one that appeared to have been opened before. I prepared the printer for use following directions in the quick start guide. The directions for setting the printer up to use wi fi say to install the printer software and drivers on a computer first, then turn the printer on and watch for a blinking blue light above the small LCD display, then connect. Immediately after turning the printer on, I instead saw a blinking red light and Error Code 007-371 with a message to try again and if the error repeats, contact Dell Support. The error repeated. I tried unplugging, plugging back in, starting again. I also tried connecting with USB. Setup of any kind was impossible. Whatever the error code signifies is serious and the printer will do nothing but show the error code until whatever is wrong is fixed..
I looked in the accompanying documentation and online for what the error code indicates. In the manual, 007-371 is among a very long list of error codes for this printer for which no explanation of any kind is offered. Online, I found a forum post for that error code on an older Dell printer. That post indicated some kind of problem with the printhead assembly, and said disassembly of the printer and repositioning of the printhead was necessary. I was not about to undertake anything like that. So, I went to Dell Support on the Web.
The young man at Dell Support who tried to help me in a chat session was polite but clearly a screener who knew little about the printer or troubleshooting the printer. On seeing my description of the problem and the error code there was a lengthy pause followed by a question: Did I plug the printer directly into a wall outlet? (Answer: yes.) He failed to answer my direct question about what, exactly, the error code means. When I asked a second time, he took a time out to talk to someone else. When he came back he said he was escalating the problem to a higher level of support and that I would receive an e-mail in 24 hours. That was on a Friday. Shortly after closing the chat session I received an e-mail from the screener saying if he could help in any other way to e-mail him. Twenty four and a half hours later, with no sign of an e-mail from a higher level of support at Dell, I sent an e-mail to the screener. Two hours after that with nothing more from Dell Support at any level I went to Amazon seeking to return the printer. That, I'm glad and relieved to say, went off without a hitch.
I'm rating this printer one star mainly due to dissatisfaction with Dell's lack of documentation for the error code and a support setup that failed to say just return it when that clearly was the only proper solution. I'm sure that if an explanation for the error code had been available to the screener, he or his supervisor would've just told me to send it back.
My wife belatedly told me today that we had gotten two or three messages on our home phone from Dell Support, the first apparently having been during the week following my support chat session. Whoever left the messages said they couldn't e-mail me because they did not have a working e-mail address. That's hard for me to understand because, before getting to where I could chat with support, I had to fill in a Web page form on Dell's site with my name, address, phone number, e-mail address, printer model, serial number, and so on. And, Dell's screener was able to e-mail me back after the chat session without any problem. My only guess is that Dell's higher level of support didn't think of looking on Dell's Web site form to check my e-mail address, or else isn't aware there's a form on the site where my e-mail address could be checked.