Tech support is really getting bad these days: my latest encounter was with Xerox tech support. We have a Xerox 8830 plotter in our engineering department. This is a printer that can do really large size drawings. We’ve be using Windows XP 32-bit for some time, but as we all know: 32-bit can’t address more than 4GB of memory. In comes Windows XP x64! Windows XP x64 requires signed drivers and they have to be 64-bit. No fudging here!
I went off to Xerox’s tech support site and found a PDF describing said x64 drivers, but there was no link:
Looking in the PDF, we find this filename:
Not finding anything at Xerox, I decided to search the Internet and found a post by Scott Robins on 8/24/2006 in which he posts a INF file for WinXP x64 for both the 500 and 8800 series!
I decided to start an e-mail dialog with Xerox tech support. They give me a link to the site with the section with no x64 drivers. When I mention this, they state that they MUST have a serial number to provide a solution. I gave them every number I could find from the plotter, but they still claimed I had no given them the serial number. When I asked if there were multiple x64 drivers for the Xerox 8830 (why else would they keep asking for the serial number), I was told no x64 drivers existed for the Xerox 8830. No explanation for the document describing the existence of said drivers was given or even guessed at.
I called a local printer service company called Tritech. The printer service technican had access to the service side of Xerox’s web site and agreed with me the the drivers had existed at one time, but were removed by Xerox and were probably being held on some secret Xerox FTP site and that I should call Xerox directly.
Upon calling their tech support line, Shawn confirmed that I had indeed given them the correct serial number. When I asked why he was able to figure this out and e-mail tech support was not, I was told that I did not have an active service contract on the device and that was why they couldn’t find it in their system. Shawn was a bit more helpful by offering to download drivers from different printers and look at the INF files, but I told him I had already tried that without success. Shawn stated that he could not find them on their FTP site and was unable to explain the documentation pointing to the existence of the drivers. At least Shawn put forth some effort trying to help: e-mail tech support didn’t lift a finger!
I was ready to given up when I contacted one last printer service company: Mastergraphics. This is actually the company that services the plotter. Larry, one of the service managers, stated the drivers for the 510 series would work for the 8830 as the 510 was built on the same architecture. Larry gave me the link and told me to contact him if I had any further questions.
Well, Larry is an angel sent from heaven, since these drivers work GREAT! It took a 3rd party company to fix the Xerox mess. I am still trying contact the head of Xerox tech support to find out why there is a lackadaisy attitude to fixing customer problems.
Drivers have been permalinked on my web site where Xerox can’t remove them:
I’ll update this posting with any updates I get back from Xerox.
– Soli Deo Gloria