HP Printer Support

Written: October 29, 2015

As a small business owner I avoid using paper wherever possible, and instead prefer to use email, PDF documents and share documents in the cloud. I do have a need to print out envelopes, invoices and other documents, but my use is very light. My old HP inkjet printer had recently died, so in May 2015 I went to Staples and found a replacement inkjet printer, also from HP called the OfficeJet 6830.

HP 6830 printer

For five months it dutifully worked as designed so printing was routine, however just this past week on the display I saw a message, “Problem with printhead”. Uh oh, that doesn’t sound too good I thought. I tried a few things to remedy the situation:

Nothing was working, so I finally phoned the HP support number at 800 474-6836. Ironically the automated system really wanted me to go back to their web site and report the problem, but I persisted and spent the next 25 minutes and 13 seconds on the phone speaking with two different people until the manager said the magic words, “We will ship you a replacement printer at no charge.”

Whew, now that is the kind of customer service that I can live with and talk about. Of course, there was no reason that I had to spend that much time on the phone to persuade HP to fix a problem that they are very aware of, because their user forums are filled with hundreds of identical complaints about “Problem with printhead”. In an ideal world HP would be proactive and issue a product recall, like in the auto industry, then contact me and alert me to the issue and tell me the steps when my printer showed the problem.

In the business world it is very important to keep your customers loyal, because if they love your brand they may just stick with you for decades and start telling all their friends about you in the process.


Security Issues Big and Small

Written: September 28, 2015

I used to have my digital photos printed out at Costco, however gradually over time I stopped printing them all-together and instead mostly share my digital photos directly on Facebook to friends and family. Costco is a large retail provider that continues to offer printing of digital photos and they have a fine online system for uploading and ordering. One small detail is that Costco actually contracted out this online service to another company, and then that company got hacked, so I received the following ominous email about the security breach by email last week:

costco photo security breech


Wow, the Costco photo system was hacked for some 13 months until it was recently found. Now that doesn’t install much confidence in me about the security. Coincidentally in the past 12 months my Visa card company has issued me 2 new cards as part of their on-going security efforts.

So Costco photos online was the big security issue, and now for the small security issue – an email warning about my email account being over quota:

Christine Largade

It’s important to note that my Internet Service Provider is 1and1.com and they have a totally different look to their emails than this fake email. Notice how this email has no company name listed, no toll-free phone number, no logo and no address. Furthermore, when I click on the email sender it shows some bogus address of admin@b.boyuan.net, certainly not a real company that I do any business with.

email sender is bogus


Hovering over the link reveals another fake address that is not any company I know of:

fake link address

So, to stay safe by identifying bogus emails like this, just double check a few facts before clicking any links:

Hopefully you will stay safe and secure in running your business and personal life online by not falling for security scams, or taking immediate action if a scam has stolen any of your vital information.


Customized Videos for Clients

Written: September 4, 2015

In my household we have five cell phone users, so for each user we have a two year contract that allows us to upgrade and pick a new phone from a variety of choices. Our phone carrier is AT&T and they just sent me the neatest thing ever, an email with a link to a customized video on what to do when my new smart phone arrives.

AT&T customized video

In this customized video they displayed and spoke:

They also described a free app to migrate my existing phone content to the new one using AT&T Mobile Transfer. A final step was to let AT&T know that I had my new phone all ready to use, so I visited http://att.com/activations/

They’ve really made the process of upgrading smart phones easy to do, and that customized video was a first time experience for me, quite impressive, so I wonder how many other businesses would benefit from creating customized videos for their clients to be delighted with.

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What About that New Google Logo?

Written: September 3, 2015

I’ve been a loyal Google user for many years simply because their free search feature provides me the answers to my questions very quickly, and accurately. The folks at Google have a sense of humor and history, so they often show a different logo on their site to commemorate something important or fanciful. Recently they decided to change their iconic logo. Here’s the familiar, old logo with a serif font style:

Old Google logo

I like the serif font choice because it adds a touch of class to the logo, and is easy to read.

Now for the new Google logo with san-serif font:

New Google logo

With this new font the logo looks more child-like and simple, not at all sophisticated. There is a general trend now on the web to make graphics and logos super-sized, which to me looks a bit childish and doesn’t appeal to my sense of design. Of course, this is just my impression about the graphical feel for the new Google logo, others may just love it.

So it goes with your web site, the decisions that you make for your logo, font colors and sizes, type face, and combinations of graphics with text will all combine to create a feeling for your visitors. Do you want to come across as business-like, or playful? It all depends on your market place. A CPA or banker will want to appear more formal, while an author of children’s books may want to be rather playful in appearance and content.


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