Saturday, July 25, 2009

More GREAT customer service...

Recently I purchased a new Brother color printer (Model# HL-4040CDN). I've wanted a color duplexing printer for some time now so that I can print some of my marketing collateral, but they've always been too expensive. Well... this one was on sale (brand new) at Office Depot for $225.00 and I just couldn't pass it up: competing models from HP were in the $500 and up range. Every thing went fine with the setup until I went to print booklets using Fineprint, an awesome print utility that I've been using for years and wrote up some time back.

Imagine my surprise when the booklets came out wrong! Fineprint has a great little feature that allows you to easily print two-sided (duplex) documents even if the printer doesn't support it automatically. It runs through a series of tests, gets information from you, and then controls the printing so that you put the pages back in for the second side in just the right way - very nice! With automatic duplexing printers, they figure out how to set the duplex parameters on-the-fly so that everything works out fine.

Not on this Brother, however: no matter what I did, the pages always "flipped" in only one way that worked some of the time and not others (without getting into too much of the gory details, pages can be flipped on the long edge or the short edge, which makes a difference for portrait or landscape mode). I worked with fineprint support (they're great) and Brother support and finally realized that the Brother printer was not accepting dynamic printer commands to change the page flipping parameters: the current driver allowed you to manually change them, but that's certainly not what I expect from a modern printer with automatic duplexing.

When Brother tech support told me that it was working "as designed" and that I'd just have to manually change the settings, that was the last straw. I wrote a letter to the President of Brother USA, explained the situation and pointed out how unacceptable this was.

A few days later, I received a call from an customer service advisor in the President's office and was assigned to a technical advisor. We started working together to describe the situation so that the developers could understand what was going on.

To make a not-so-long story shorter, I now have a new version of the printer driver which properly handles all the automatic duplexing features that I expected from this printer.

Now that's what I call service! Thank you Brother.

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