4 Common Printer Service Questions (Solutions)

Submitted by Joel Metzler on Wed, 03/16/2022 - 07:10

No matter what printer model you invest in, it’s almost inevitable that at some point you will have either a service issue or a service question that needs addressing. 

It can be something as simple as connecting your printer to WIFI, or something as significant as an intricate service issue.   

Because we’ve been a locally managed print vendor for over 35 years, we’ve seen just about everything when it comes to service issues and questions with printers. And for most of those issues, we’ve had the right answer to help address them. 

To share some of these answers, we’ve compiled four of the most common service questions we have received lately and provided answers to help inform you of the steps you can take if you’re dealing with any of these specific problems.  

We’ll be looking at concerns such as the delay in printing supplies and printer WIFI connectivity, addressing two of the most common printer service issue questions and providing a couple of options you have to make sure you don't have to break the bank for a printer issue. 

It should be noted that we sell Xerox products exclusively, which means the service questions we receive are based on Xerox machines specifically. 

However, most, if not all, of the answers can be applied to anybody who owns a printer, no matter what brand it is.  

Our goal with this blog is to objectively answer four common printer service questions for anyone who might be experiencing the issue, no matter which machine they have.  

4 Common Printer Service Questions 

Here are four of the most common printer service questions with solutions to help address them: 

  1. Where Are My Printing Supplies?  

One of the biggest concerns print service departments across the country have been getting from customers lately is about the delay in delivery of printing supplies, such as toner and ink cartridges, and what they can do about it.   

The delay in delivery times is a direct effect of the ongoing supply chain crisis caused predominantly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many print vendors are working with customers to either slow down their print volumes or find ways to make supplies last longer. For instance, cleaning your waste toner cartridges can help prolong the life of your toner if you’re waiting for your new shipment of supplies to come in.   

You can also call your print vendor and see if they can escalate your order of supplies if you’re in urgent need of a new shipment, although whether that’s a viable option will depend on the print vendor.   

For more about how supply chain issues have affected the delivery times of printers and printing supplies, read these blogs:  

  1. Why Is My Printer Making a Strange Noise?  

Sometimes, printers can start making a noise that sounds like something out of a horror movie.  

While it might sound wicked, a squeaking or grinding noise in a printer can mean a lot of things and most of the time the issue can be quickly solved.   

On many occasions, the cause of a squeaking noise in a printer is from a bad toner cartridge, which means you either need to replace it with a new one or if the toner was defective, send it to your print vendor and have them ship you another one.  

If it’s not a supply issue causing the strange noise, then it could be indicative of a more complicated problem that requires the work of a service technician.  

These problems could include the wearing down of the printer’s internal moving parts, or a deterioration of the parts in the drive of the machine, which both would require the work of an experienced service technician.  

Here are some basic steps you can take to try to resolve the noise issue in your printer:  

  • Reset your machine and unplug the power chord from the back of your printer.  

  • Check to see if there is a paper jam in the machine.  

  • Make sure the toner cartridge is correctly installed in the right place.  

If these three steps don’t fix the problem, and it’s not a supply issue, then you will want to call your print vendor and get in touch with a service technician to discuss the issue further. 

Read our blog over the ten common printing problems to learn about the other frequent printer issues and solutions to fix them.  

  1. Can I Fix My Own Printer?  

Say you’re a handy person and customarily fix service issues yourself. If you’ve talked with your print vendor’s service team and diagnosed the problem, you might think to yourself, “Why can’t I just get the part and replace it myself?”    

While nothing is stopping you from doing the handyman’s work yourself, printers are complex machines that require the work of trained technicians when a service is needed.   

To give a practical example, think about the last time you had an issue with your car. Maybe your brakes were screeching, or your check engine light randomly came on one day. Whatever the issue was, you needed to get it taken care of promptly.  

If you have no extensive experience servicing vehicles, then it’s highly likely that you would take your car to a repair shop to let the experts take care of it.  

Printers work in the same way; as a general rule, if you’re not experienced with fixing printers, then it’s not a good idea to service your own machine.   

If you try to service your printer without having prior training, there’s a chance you will cause more damage to your machine, which will cost you more time and money to fix.  

For more information on the risks of servicing a printer yourself, read our blog about the three reasons why you shouldn’t service your own machine.  

  1. How Do I Connect My Printer to WIFI?  

Believe it or not, connecting your printer to WIFI can be more difficult than you would think in a technologically advanced world.  

To help answer this question, let’s use the process of setting up a Xerox machine to the WIFI as an example. The process could be different for other brands, but it’ll help you get a general understanding of how to set up WIFI on a printer.  

First off, some machines won’t come with a WIFI Connectivity Kit, which means you have to purchase the accessory separately. Prices vary depending on the company, but a WIFI Connectivity Kit for Xerox costs around $50 on average.  

Once you have the adapter installed, you could have various options on how you want to connect your printer to WIFI.  

In Xerox’s case, you have three options to connect your printer to the WIFI on a Xerox machine: by using the WIFI Wizard on the touch screen, using a WiFI Protected Setup option, such as PBC (Push Button Connection) or PIN (Personal Identification Number), or by manually connecting to a wireless network.  

The option you choose should be the one that would be easiest for you. Let’s go over a step-by-step example of what is considered by Xerox the easiest way to connect your printer to a wireless network:  

The PBC Option  

Here are the 12 steps you would need to take when using the PBC option to set up your printer to the WIFI, courtesy of Xerox’s website:  

To connect to a WPS wireless network using the PBC option:  

NOTE: Before you install the device, ensure that the wireless router is configured properly and is connected to the network.  

  1. At the printer control panel, log in as a system administrator.

  2. Press the Log In button.  

  3. Touch or type admin.  

  4. Type the administrator password, then touch OK.  
    Note: Depending on when the device was manufactured, the default password may be the device serial number or 1111.   

  5. Press the Home button.  

  6. Touch Device > Connectivity > Wi-Fi.  

  7. If Wi-Fi is Off, turn it on. To toggle Wi-Fi from Off to On, touch the Wi-Fi toggle button. To activate your Wi-Fi setting changes, press the Home button. At the prompt, touch Restart Now.   

  8. After the printer restarts, touch Device > Connectivity > Wi-Fi.  

  9. Touch Manual Setup.  

  10. Touch Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).  
    NOTE: If Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is not visible, at the top of the screen, touch Manual Setup.  

  11. Touch PBC.  

  12. Touch OK.  

  13. On the wireless router, press the WPS button. The router broadcasts setup information for 120 seconds.  
    NOTE: If the wireless router does not have a physical PBC button, use your computer to select the virtual button in the router control panel. For details, refer to your router documentation.  

  14. To activate your Wi-Fi setting changes, restart the printer. To do this, press the Home button, and at the prompt, touch Restart Now.

  15. After the printer restarts, wait two minutes, then to get the network information that includes the IP address, print a Configuration Report. See the Related Content for information on how to print a Configuration Report.  

If you’re having trouble setting up WIFI for your printer, contact your print vendor and have them walk you through the steps of setting up WIFI on your machine.  

Should You Get a Managed Service Contract? 

Anytime printer service issues are discussed, the topic of managed service contracts is usually brought up with it.  

Managed service contracts are a monthly fee, usually around $12, that you pay to your print vendor to cover service issues that may arise in the future. Think of it like printer insurance.  

That way, if a service issue does come up, the issue will be fixed free of charge and at no additional cost to you.  

This is important because of the consequences of service costs without a maintenance plan. For example, vendors can charge over $100 an hour for service calls on printers not under contract. That doesn’t include the cost you would have to pay for a part if required for repair, or any other fees the vendor might charge, such as a trip fee.  

Most print vendors will highly recommend opting into a managed service contract upon purchase because, if an outstanding service issue arises and you’re not under a service contract, the costs of service can be consequential to your business.  

Read our blog about the benefits of investing in a maintenance plan to learn more.  

Should You Get Managed Print Software? 

Another proactive step you can take to ensure fewer service issues with your machine is to incorporate managed print software into your business.  

A managed print software, like Y-Soft or PaperCut, will monitor individual usage and manage the number of prints your office makes. This helps you track your monthly print volume, which can lengthen the product lifespan of your printer and protect it from overuse, and control printing costs, which can add up quicker than you think.   

Some printer companies have their own print management features, as well, such as Xerox’s Standard Accounting feature or Canon’s uniFlow feature.  

For more information on managed print services and software, read these blogs:  

Interested in a Managed Print Service Solution?  

Printers are very much like cars; they’re complex, require gentle care and can undergo service issues that can be costly.   

Just like cars, though, there are preventive steps you can take to ward off extraneous costs, such as opting into a managed service contract or setting up managed print software on your device.  

At Strategic Technology Partners of Texas, we strive to use our expertise to not only inform you on the topic at hand but equip you with the actions you can take to get the most out of your printer investment.  

There are many types of service issues or questions that can come up during your ownership of a printer, and only the most common were addressed in this blog.  

If you’re having a service issue with your machine or want to discuss investing in managed print or a service contract, reach out to us and we’ll do our best to assist you.