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I know I haven’t touched base with you for a while, even though there have been many issues I have wanted to highlight to readers: an exercise routine for a whole body wellness system you can do at any age that I stumbled upon while on a slow boat to China three years ago (I wrote this blog but my laptop was stolen (and not backed up) and I haven’t had a chance to rewrite it); money stolen from our wallet while going through the immigration control at Phuket airport in Thailand (the scanning machine area isn’t monitored by cameras so we couldn’t prove it); taking up tools to do some jobs at home – my tradie son left for work, so I bought my own and have become a trade mum. But this latest one I thought I’d just mention.

I bought a Hewlett Packard Office jet pro 8600 printer ($350) about eight months ago, even though I really only print black and white pages, because I wanted to have the option of printing in colour for photos when I get time to become organised.

HP officejet proFor the past five months I have been so frustrated with it I have wanted to throw it out the window. First the black cartridge ran out so I replaced it for about $60. It printed a few more ages, but then it said the yellow cartridge was low. I haven’t printed in colour so I couldn’t work out why this would be low.

On discussion with a staff member at Officeworks where I bought it, I was told that while I was printing in black and white, the machine uses all the colours to make the black look blacker!

We decided this was not the best printer for my needs. The staff member suggested that if I could bring back the printer and receipt they would refund it and I buy a cheap laser printer instead.

That’s where the next problem started. Even though I keep all receipts for business related purchases, this one got put in a ‘special’ place and despite turning the house upside down, I can’t find it for love or money. I have checked all the bank statements I can find – OK I admit my record keeping is not the best –  and it isn’t in the hardcopy statements I have. I check my online banking records, but  they only go back four months.

After sporadically checking files and drawers, bags of receipts and ringing Officeworks to plead my case for months now without luck, I decided to google my printing problem and discovered I wasn’t alone. There were other disgruntled HP printer users out there. I thought I should contact HP and demand the refund after all I was misled in my original purchase.

When I finally found the support number (have you realised how difficult it is to find the phone number for organisations now?) I was put though to a lovely young lady in the Philippines. She put me through to technical support and I was told that the printer default setting could be changed so that it only uses the black cartridge when printing in black and white!

Why wasn’t I told of this before? The enhanced-black-that-uses-every-colour-to-make-it option should have been something to opt into, not the other way around.

Not happy at all Hewlett Packard.

I have said that if they replace the colour cartridges that were used without my knowledge so the printer will return to it’s original configuration (with the black and white option set as default of course) I will keep it, otherwise I want a refund.

I will let you know how I go.

But the moral of the story, apart from Sally needs to keep better records, is if you buy a new printer change the default setting to print in black and white (I think it’s the draft quality black and white option) unless otherwise stated.

I still have to see how this works in practice, but it sounds a lot better so far.And Hewlett Packard needs to be more honest in its software management of devices.

They finally agreed to give me a refund for that printer and I decided to buy two printers – a cheap black and white laser printer

Brother printer

and a colour printer for the occasional colour printing.

Epsom printer

The two cost less than half the price of the first one. Neither of them are Hewlett Packard printers.