10 avoidable printer problems

used with permission from HP Technology at Work

Printers are a major business investment. And understandably, you want to get the most out of that investment. A proactive approach to printer maintenance and repair is key to ensuring the best ROI and minimal downtime. The first step is to identify potential problems you can control. The second step is to put a plan in place for if/when something does go wrong. To help with both steps, here are 10 avoidable printer problems—and how to tackle them with ease.

1. Installing a multifunction printer on your own
Home-use printers are relatively easy to set up—but multifunction printers (MFPs) are a different story. MFPs not only represent a larger investment, they have a lot going on inside. For example, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP squeezes a business-grade printer, copier, scanner, fax machine, automatic duplexer, and automatic document feeder into a compact 16.5 x 16.4 x 12.7 inch frame. Rather than chance the installation yourself, the HP Services Delivery Team provides installation and training options to ensure every part of your MFP—and your business—can seamlessly work together. If you need to install an MFP yourself, however, remember to consult the product user guide for installation and use recommendations.

2. Installing a printer in a problematic location
Printers are like people—they do better in certain environments. When you install a new printer, place it in a well-ventilated, dust-free area away from direct sunlight. Additionally, try to create a flat surface for the printer to sit on that extends beyond the base of the printer in each direction for extra stability. And if you’re going to place the printer next to a wall, place it at least 10 cm away from the wall to allow room for proper airflow and cooling.

3. Unexpected repair costs
If you use a printer long enough, it will eventually need to be repaired. It’s hard to predict when that time may come—and what effect the added cost might have on your business. HP Care Pack Services allow you to pay a fixed-rate for 3, 4, or 5 years of services, such as installation, onsite support, and next-business-day exchange—ensuring you always have the assistance you need, without incurring any unexpected expenses.

4. Expired warranties and coverage
HP printers are sold with a world-class standard warranty, designed to ensure your hardware meets your high standards. However, since this warranty offers protection for a limited time, your printer should significantly outlast its period of coverage. To get the highest ROI from your printers—and make sure they perform at their best every day—add 3, 4, or 5 additional years of protection with HP Care Pack Services. Visit HP Care Pack Central to determine if your device is still under warranty, then see which Care Packs your device qualifies for.

5. Using generic or remanufactured ink and toner cartridges
Generic or remanufactured ink and toner cartridges are a risky choice. Reused parts, inferior technologies, and low-quality ink and toner can all cause you to pay more due to low-quality prints, excessive reprints, decreased page yields, and potential damage related to ill-fitting or aged parts and leakage. Only Original HP ink and toner cartridges are uniquely formulated to provide excellent print quality and reliability,1 saving you up to 10% versus non-HP ink and toner cartridges2 and ensuring your printers continue to function well.

6. Running your printer day and night
Take a moment and consider how many minutes a day your printer is actually printing pages. Your printer may be using more energy than it needs to. Help save energy and cut costs with HP Auto-On/Auto-Off Technology, which turns your printer on when you need it and off when you don’t.3

7. Confusing PC expertise with printer expertise
Most businesses have someone who is at least proficient with troubleshooting general PC issues. Unfortunately, this expertise rarely extends to printers. Printers utilize an entirely different technology, and take a unique knowledge base to troubleshoot and repair. When you sign up for HP Care Pack Services, you can connect with experts over the phone to troubleshoot your problems on the spot—or have someone onsite in as little as a few hours, bringing the printer expertise to you.

8. Moving, lifting, or shipping printers without help
Moving, lifting, or preparing to ship a heavy printer may result in employee injuries that can cost your organization in related charges and loss of productivity. When you choose Onsite Exchange, HP will pick up, box, and return the printer for you—even shipping you a new device and a return box with a prepaid shipping label.

9. Printing without a plan
From printing multiple copies of a large presentation to the occasional mix-up—such as accidentally printing a 5-page email 500 times—it’s easy to lose track of just how much your business is printing. HP Care Pack Services—such as HP Proactive Print Advisor—can help you implement a print plan that can save you money, increase uptime, and reduce the need for future maintenance. HP Proactive Print Advisor can even connect you with expert print analysts who can provide personalized reports and advice.

10. Overlooking downtime tolerance
If you haven’t already, set aside a few hours to talk with your employees and determine your business’s true downtime tolerance—i.e. the amount of time your business can function without a printer. Downtime tolerance tells you how important printing is to day-to-day operations and can help you choose which HP Care Pack Service meets your needs. If your business cannot function without a printer—such as an accounting firm during tax season—you might want to choose a same-day or next-business-day service. If you have a longer downtime tolerance, you may want to opt for services with more flexible timeframes and lower cost of entry.

Take a moment and consider what your printer means to your business. How often do you use it? How long could you last without it? How long do you expect to use it before you replace it? If you want to get the best ROI on your printer, find the right services to enable your business from installation to replacement—and bid adieu to unexpected problems and expenses.

[1] HP calculations based on results from a 2013 SpencerLab North American study comparing cartridges for the HP LaserJet P2035 and P1102 printers, HP 05A and 85A. For details, see www.SpencerLab.com/reports/HP-Reliability-NA-2013.pdf. Calculations include paper, cartridge replacement, and labor for reprints. Page use assumes 30% external, 36% internal, and 34% individual use. Labor rate from Mercer 2012 Global Pay Study. Assumes purchase price for HP cartridge is $176 and 40% lower purchase price for a non-HP toner cartridge. Actual prices, costs, and savings may vary.
[2] Based on internal HP tests of aftermarket toner. Toner obtained from remanufactured toner cartridges.
[3] HP Auto-On/Auto-Off Technology capabilities subject to printer and settings’ may require a firmware upgrade.
[4] See www.hp.com/go/riskfreerebate for details.