How to do customer support and how not to

by Simon Murdoch


  1. A mega company, Xerox, is terrible at it.
  2. For most situations good customer service should mean replying meaningfully to customers within one working day, aiming to resolve the issue in that one reply in a high proportion of cases.
  3. The company I bought the printer from Printerland is a good example of how to do customer service.

So about Xerox as a prime example of how not to do it…

I bought a Xerox printer, a cheap one I admit, it’s a Xerox 6015 multipurpose colour printer and I wanted a cheap one because I needed it to be small to fit in a cupboard. It cost just £199 plus VAT from Printerland in October 2014.

In January 2015, I moved over to a new Macbook with no CDROM disk drive. I had hoped that installing the printer driver for a standard Xerox printer would be straightforward from the Mac OS but the driver wasn’t on my Mac, so naturally I wanted to download the driver from Xerox’s website.

I found the page for my printer, selected my OS and there was information about changing the colour tables but no driver. (They have since added a note on driver availability). I naturally emailed customer support on 23rd January 2015.

I heard nothing more for ages, and a week or two later I managed to find a workaround anyway, so I am now able to use the printer on the new Mac.

Today 11th March 2015 I got a reply from Xerox. So that is exactly 40 days later, I got a reply from Xerox. Unbelievable.

Moreover, the reply was very long and cryptic. Here it is in full (skim it, don’t read!):

Email from Xerox 11 mar 2015


Wow. That’s reams of stuff just saying they will release a driver in June 2015, though now I look at the support page again they are now saying October 2015. If I hadn’t already fixed the problem by now, the printer would already back with Printerland on the way back to Xerox or the nearest skip.

What kind of sh1t service is this.

Do you think I will be buying a Xerox printer next time around? You bet I won’t. And I would recommend you stay away from them too.

By the way, I feel for poor old Mitch in Xerox CS. He must be in a seriously understaffed department, and probably has very little job satisfaction.

Contrast that with Printerland who I bought the printer from. I sent them an email on Saturday 11th October 2014:

Email to printerland 11 oct 2014

On Monday morning at 8.30am Printerland customer services emailed me back with a very pleasant result sorted in one email:

Email from printerland 13 oct 2014

They were generous. They refunded the cable even though it wasn’t their fault. The other cables did arrive that day. Issue sorted on time with no hassle.

Will I be ordering again from Printerland? You bet and I would highly recommend them to you (especially for UK purchases of any printers or supplies).

Is your CS dept this good? It should be, because word of mouth is the cheapest form of marketing!


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