Add Lexmark to the “avoid” list

printersMany of you have heard my disclaimer for HP printers. It goes like this: If need my help for trouble with your HP printer, understand that it can take several hours (or more) to troubleshoot the problem, which may not result in a solution. I will be charging for all of that time, as I have given away too much time in the past, feeling like it shouldn’t take that long to solve a problem with a printer. HP’s printer software seems to get bigger and buggier every year. You couldn’t pay me to have one.

Today I’m adding Lexmark to the blacklist. I haven’t been a big fan of Lexmark in the past, but yesterday I had one of the worst printer-setup sessions I’ve had in quite in a while. The printer cartridges didn’t snap into place like you think they would, the instructions were lacking, the labels on top of the cartridges started sliding around, and I had to remove replace the cartridges numerous times to get it to work. A half-hour call to Lexmark was needed to complete the installation. When asked why the machine lacked a couple of obvious features, the support rep said, “I don’t know. They usually have that feature, but this model doesn’t.”

If you’re thinking about buying a new printer, do some research before you pull out your wallet. Check out Consumer Reports, if you’re a subscriber. Check out online retailers like Amazon and Newegg, where you can read user reviews and compare features between models. In general, you don’t need to spend a lot of money, but don’t jump at the first deal you see, and think about getting something better than the cheapest one you find.

Oh, and if you’re on the phone to a manufacturer complaining about a broken part on the model you have, don’t let them talk you into buying another. Think about a different brand.

Lastly, for the love of Pete, don’t buy an HP (or a Lexmark).

Comments are welcome, and I’m happy to answer questions you may have.