As I’ve already mentioned, we are working with Hewlett-Packard to test out the HP ENVY 4500 all in one printer. Having completed our Advent challenge last month the team were keen for us to start testing some of the other features of the printer, and January was all about the apps. Yes, it seems that everything has apps these days, even printers! So if you want your printer to deliver you a new origami folding sheet once per week, or a new Disney activity page up to three times a week, you can.
This post is not going to be a review of the apps though. Because whilst I was trying to install the required apps onto my printer for review I came against a problem – I couldn’t actually find the required apps in the online catelogue! And this problem had to be referred to the Hewlett-Packard support team for resolution. As you don’t always get to test a company’s support capabilities whilst reviewing a product, I thought it would make for far more interesting reading if I was to talk about my experiences instead.
My first problem came when the PR company asked us to install the Savoo app onto our printers, for weekly money saving tips and vouchers. I couldn’t find the app in the online catelogue. As I tried various things I noticed there was something funny with my online account – it seemed to think I was in the US, and not the UK. So a call was logged with Hewlett-Packard support on my behalf by the PR company, and the next day a very friendly support representative called and helped the geekdaddy set up a new UK account. Unfortunately this wasn’t the root cause of my problem, and I was still unable to find the app.
By now we’d been asked to install another app – this time the Tempting Places one which would deliver exotic recipes and details of holiday destinations once a week. Again I was unable to find this app by searching the online catelogue, but I was able to install it as it was one of their “featured” apps on the front page. This led me to believe the problem was with the search facility rather than something I’d done. So another call was placed on my behalf by the PR agency.
Again, the next day I received a phone call from the support representative, and I worked with him to diagnose the problem. He spent a good amount of time with me on the phone whilst he tried to reproduce my problem on his printer. Eventually he managed to reproduce the problem, and agreed with me that it looked like the search facility, so he passed me over to the specialist team for that area. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you’re transferred between support areas as you have to go through the problem all over again, but in this case I find that my first support rep had communicated the details of what I had told him already, so whilst there was some overlap of conversation it was not frustrating in any way. The second support technician asked me to try a few more things before agreeing with me that it looked like I had found a problem with the catelogue search facility, which he agreed to escalate.
Then to my surprise the next day I received an unexpected call from the first support rep again, who told me he had continued testing with his printer after he finished speaking with me, and had actually found a workaround for me. Apparently the search is currently much more reliable if you search for the category of the app rather than the specific app name. So I could find the Savoo app by searching for “saving” and the Tempting Places one by searching for “travel”. He confirmed that the support team were still looking to fix the catalogue search, but there was currently no timescale for that.
I was left feeling extremely positive about the whole experience. Here’s what I liked the most about my HP Support interactions:
- Helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. All the support reps I dealt with were extremely helpful, and the first line support were able to resolve most of my issues. When I did need to get transferred the handover was done smoothly
- Prepared to go off script. Some support teams will stick to their scripts and are not prepared to deviate at all, but this was not the case with HP. I missed the first call from my support rep, and she left a message for me to call back which was literally just her name and the main support number. When another rep answered the phone they initially didn’t want to transfer me without my case number, which I didn’t have as the call had been logged on my behalf by the PR agency. When I explained this there was a slight hesitation, but then I was transferred (of course, I don’t know if the fact I mentioned the PR agency had any bearing on this or not!)
- Service above and beyond. Once the first support representative had transferred me to another team I am sure he had no obligation to continue investigating my issue. But he did, and even better he found a workaround for me.
Now obviously all the support technicians I worked with were aware that I was working on a review of the printer, and I can’t tell if this affected their behaviour. But I can say that I was very impressed with the service I received from the Hewlett-Packard support desk, and my experiences make me even more inclined to recommend the HP ENVY 4500, as I know it is backed up with great customer service.
Disclosure: I was provided with an HP ENVY 4500 printer for review purposes, and my support calls were logged by the PR agency on my behalf. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.