Epic Fail from Epson

Why do big businesses always have such poor service records?
Why do big businesses always have such poor service records?

Sometimes it is unbelievable just how poor some companies service can be.

Take for instance today’s debacle trying to get a two month old printer fixed – and I’ll give fair warning that this is going to be an unashamed rant! (for those that know me you will be glad this is not BT related for once! 😯 )

On Friday we got a call from a long-standing client saying that the new laser printer we had installed had a fault displayed on the little screen. She readily gave me the error code and mailed over some transcripts of the online conversation she had had with Epson.

In that conversation our client had been asked for the printer serial number – something which should be simple to find, but not in this case it would appear; hence the request.

We took over the case at this point as this is our normal practice.

FYI – This is on an Epson C2900N colour laser printer if you need to find the serial number look in the inks compartment!
Finding the serial number proved extremely difficult as the label on the back of the printer was all in Chinese! It took 3 conversations and some digging  on the Internet to find that the number was printed inside the door, where the inks are installed, why they couldn’t tell our client in the first place I don’t know!. Epson also asked for proof of purchase.

Info sent Epson said that they would contact the client on Monday and get an engineer out with 16 business hours, and he would call before arriving.

Today was that day – Coincidentally I happened to be on site for a completely separate issue when the ‘Epson’ engineer turned up unannounced – I use the inverted commas because he turned out to not be from Epson at all, but a 3rd party company too; Client starts to get upset with Epson. 🙁

Engineer looks at the screen showing the error and said “I just need to check what that error is as I’m unfamiliar with this printer and don’t have the manual to hand”, he walks out of the office, gets in his van – unbeknownst to the engineer the client has CCTV in their car park and we watch him call some one and ask – presumably someone who knows what the error means (Google told me within about 2 seconds). Client starts to get upset with engineer. 😮

Back he pops and announces that he doesn’t have the part, and it’s not in stock but has been ordered. Apparently he only came out to verify the fault and can’t do anything more. Client gets more upset with engineer. 😡

Our client then calls Epson, and a cheery person on the end of the phone quizzes her for a bit before passing her to another engineer for more quizzing, who says that he can’t do anything and the call should be escalated by the engineer – who has just told me that our client needs to escalate the issue through Epson. Client gets more upset with Epson. :yell:

Apparently the engineer thinks that the issue needs to be escalated to Epson, who order the parts and get them shipped to him to replace – Epson think that the issue should be escalated to the engineers boss, who escalates it to his Epson representative, who escalates it to Epson Support, who ship the part to the engineer who comes to fit the part! ❓

You get where this is going…

Setting the long and boring details aside, and more ranting from our client thankfully not aimed at us, and our client is now in the position of having to wait “up to 5 working days” for the part to arrive – even though this printer is less than 2 months old, Epson refused to supply a complete replacement unit.


Our client is extremely unhappy at Epson, at the engineer who they sent, I get some collateral damage due to being there, and still the printer is broken.


Why send an engineer out to look at the problem? Presumably so they can say that the hit their service level time. Wasting his, and our clients time in the process, and engendering some bad feelings…