Dell and the Printer from Hell

Ahhhh Dell.  If I didn’t know better I’d think it was run by the government.  No real offense to you, government.  I know you just can’t help yourself, and neither can Dell, which is why, for a crazed moment,  I thought that there might be a connection.

As some of you may know, I purchased a new Dell printer, a 2130cn laser, back in July.  Outside of the obscene cost of the 4 necessary printer cartridges, things went swimmingly for 3 months.  Then the magenta cartridge stopped printing.  No reason, no error message.  Tried everything … nothing changed.

The printer is made in China.  Tech support is in India.  Since Dell doesn’t make their own printers, it’s probably a Lexmark, and I seriously thought of calling them, but regained my sanity after wondering where their tech support might be located.  I don’t think this global economy thing is working for anybody except the select few at the top of the consumer food chain.  It’s sure not working for me.  It’s bizarre, and even extraordinary (as our suave leader says) that you have to pay extra to speak with someone in your own language, in your own country, concerning a product you paid for with your country’s currency.  And you do pay extra, a lot extra, to speak to someone whose native language is English.  It’s called Gold Support.  Apt name, given the current price of gold.  I don’t have Gold Support.  The printer itself was a financial stretch, but the reviews were good, and buying quality in this economy seemed the sensible solution to needing a printer.  So I called Dell, and the fun began.

It was about 8:00 pm when a lovely woman somewhere in India put me on hold for 12 minutes and conferred with her supervisor.  They had never heard of this error before.  She said that they thought it might be the Developer Assembly.  They could mail me one which I’d have to install, or they could just send me a new printer, since I was under warranty.  I chose the new printer, as I am hopeless with hardware issues.

The printer arrived in under 24 hours.  I was beyond impressed.  Silly me.

The unit wasn’t new, it was reconditioned.  My hubby had already packed the “old” printer up and lugged it to the basement for FedEx pickup, as she told us that the “new” one would be ready to go once it arrived.

Plugged the recon printer in and immediately received an error message … “Insert PHD”   Now, I couldn’t print at all.  Called Dell and spent the better part of 2, yes 2, hours in various forms of HOLD.  I was transferred from one department to another.  The upshot was that we had to unpack the “old” printer, remove the PHD (Print Head Device), and install it in the “new” printer, which came WITHOUT a PHD.   OMG!!!!  By then I was half crazy, and you don’t want to know what the hubster was.  When I asked Dell/India if the PHD was  under warranty and got a yes answer, I asked if that could be the problem with the magenta toner.  They didn’t know.  When I asked why, if it was under warranty, they didn’t include a PHD with the “new” printer, they tried to send me to their legal department (which is located in the fifth circle of hell), because they don’t have a manual/teleprompter for that question.  I declined.

The “new” printer with the “old” PHD (there’s a PhD. joke here, I know there is) was now telling me that I was missing a Dell Printer Driver called dlxriziu.dll.  The “new” printer couldn’t find it on my install CD, so I looked for it on the official Dell Printer Driver page.  Couldn’t find it there, either.  It was a mystery, as the nuns used to say.

Hubby went to bed like the sensible man he is, and I stayed up till 2:30 am … much of which time I was on hold with Dell, due to “unusually heavy call volume”, which I now suspected I understood.  I passed the time uninstalling & reinstalling my printer software, drinking gallons of coffee, and writing a heartfelt product review on one of Dell’s 25,000 web pages.  A review they’ll never publish.

And after all that work, and all that time, we still don’t have a clue as to what could be wrong, and we’re still not not able to print anything red, although we’re now seeing a lot of it.

Soon I’ll be calling Dell again.  Stay tuned.


About embroiderbee

ABOUT ME: Catholic, Wife, Mom, Artist, Researcher, Baker, Cat- Herder, New Englander. I love designing needlework, especially samplers with specialty stitches, applique & quilting, painting, photographing, reading, writing, baking, fabric and floss collecting. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE COLORS: bluish-purples and greens. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE ANIMALS: Cats ~ you don't have to walk them, and they purr. I've also loved my share of dogs. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE MUSIC: Instrumental ~ flute, piano, Smetana's Moldau ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE MOVIES: Pride & Prejudice with Ehle and Firth. No other versions need apply. Waking Ned Devine, Happy endings only. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE BOOKS: A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice, mysteries, romance, classics, non-fiction. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE CLOTHES: Worn blue jeans, turtlenecks, T-shirts, and hoodies. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Book Notes, some History Channel, Fox News, The Science Channel, some The Real Housewives of ... , Doc Martin, some Masterpiece Theater, some TED talks. ~*~*~*~* FAVORITE THINGS 2 DO: Read a good book during a rain or snow storm. Stitch or paint in beautiful light. Talk in bed with my husband late at night and then go for an early breakfast... ie, have his total undivided attention, and luxuriate in it. Talk with our son without cell phones, ipods, etc at a family meal. Go to lunch with a friend and laugh till our sides hurt. Browse in a good library or bookstore. Go to the theater when both the play and the seats are good. Stay home and do absolutely nothing. Read on my Kindle! *~*~*~* ETHNICITY: Mixed-American Mutt of Irish (97%), Welsh, and many other slivers of ethnicity.

Posted on November 13, 2009, in Dell 2130cn printer, Fun with multinational corporations, Overseas tech support, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. It’s just me (Remy) rereading about the fun we had last year with our Dell printer. We eventually did get the Dell to work for a few more months with the new PhD (sorry, couldn’t resist). Then it died again, and after purchasing more new cartridges, and swimming around on various Dell forums … I gave up. The first time that I spent hours on the phone with Dell’s Tech Support, we had unlimited long distance. Since we no longer have that, I’m sure not going to sit on hold now, when there’s no guarantee that I’ll even get a coherent answer to my questions.

    My new, much cheaper HP is nowhere near as fine a printer as my defunct Dell, but my HP works. It makes a prodigious amount of noise and frequently rips a small tear in the top of a printed page, but it’s still printing (at the moment) and since I’m a designer, that’s most helpful. I can more easily afford the cartridges, but am not excited about how long they’re going to last because they’re weenie.

    Lexmark, the company that makes Dell’s printers, has horribly expensive ink, so I’m not surprised that Dell’s ink is so pricey. HP’s red colors can’t compare to Dell’s, but I don’t need to get a second mortgage to use them. So, to anyone who wonders about printers, get a Dell if you can afford it. I LOVED that printer. I’ve never been happier with the color registration on my charts than I was when I used Dell.

    The upshot seems to be that no matter what you pay for a printer, it’s going to last about a year.

  2. Please post here on the DCF (Dell Community Forum) Printer board so our users can assist you.

    • Hi Chris,

      Are you a stitcher, or did you hunt me down specifically for Dell, by tracking my email? No offense, but if you’re not a stitcher, it feels pretty hinky to have you pop up here! Hey, maybe there IS a government link!

      After spending yesterday afternoon and evening with Dell India, today I spoke with a nice gal from Dell Philippines who arranged for my original printer to stay here, and the replacement printer to go back to Dell! I’d rather keep my new printer than someone else’s refurbished one. (At least I think my printer was new) We had to remove the PHD unit from the replacement printer, and put it back in my original printer.

      They’re sending me a new (I hope!) PHD, which we’ll have to install. She got the printer to print, but still no magenta, so if the PHD doesn’t do the trick, she said it might be the Fuser. But now I at least have an idea of what has to be done to find a solution.

      Being put on hold for long stretches is incredibly annoying, but I’d much rather talk to a real person than type all the gory details back and forth. I’ve done that with HP and Samsung, and I don’t like it.

      I read some of the Dell forums last night while I was on hold, but didn’t find much that was pertinent to the problem. Thanks for the DCF tip. I’ll check it out. So, … do you stitch??


      • and Chris … the Dell forums are slower than whale poo at the bottom of the ocean, and there are thousands and thousands of posts to check through … at that speed. I just made myself an iced coffee while waiting for a page to load. Also tried to download a driver, but got the “can’t access this page” memo from Dell. Most unhelpful!

  3. Yep, well to Printer Hell — would that we could live without a printer, but I guess that’s not happening anytime soon. Sorry to hear your experience, but do hope you know, you are not the only one! Good luck.

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