Paper jams, security problems, user error… What are the biggest annoyances about managing printing problems at the office?

As a Sysadmin and do-it-all kind of IT guy, I unfortunately still have to manage printers at the office on a daily basis. And the one thing that probably annoys me the most about managing printers is the user factor. How many time do I get called to fix paper jam issues, or just to troubleshoot a job that doesn’t come out because the user chose the wrong paper format? These thing happen daily, even though we, noble IT staff, try to teach administrative clones how to solve these issues themselves.

But what about you guys? What are the biggest annoyances you face when managing printing problems at the office? Paper jams? Security problems? User errors? We’d love to hear all about YOUR problems, so be sure to let us know about them in the comments section below!


19 Responses to Paper jams, security problems, user error… What are the biggest annoyances about managing printing problems at the office?

  1. How about the near daily call about the printer "not working", only to find that after dropping everything to go and fix it, there's either no paper in it, or the toner light has come on!

  2. While I don't work in an office, I do work in tech retail and sell a fair amount of printers. One of the biggest problems I have is with customers who don't realize that their drum is not the same as their toner. I have had many people come in yelling at me and telling me I sold them the wrong toner and that it doesn't fit in their machine when, in fact, they have thrown out their drum while attached to the toner and thus, the toner will not fit.

    Run on sentences FTW. It's my birthday – I'll do what I want! :P

  3. I'm not even the IT person, I'm just the person whose job uses the printer a *lot*, and repeat-offender user errors are definitely the worst. User inability to just freaking HANDLE IT is my favorite. The toner replacement instructions are on the screen, dude. The paper jam removal instructions are illustrated on this thing. You can reselect the paper tray if your job has not yet printed. These are all really really easy, but I have to come do it for you? Oy.

    The second one is the people who forget that it is a community printer, and do *ginormous* print jobs on what is, admittedly, not the fastest paper shuffler in the industry. I tend to feel that print jobs should be broken up into manageable pieces, specifically pieces that will allow other people to manage their own work in with yours, so that no one has to wait literally hours for a printout.

  4. printers are the worst piece of technology in todays world. I hate the all in one peices of crap.

    do 1 thing good, not 5 things bad.

  5. A big one. People manually sharing printers and then instead of having IT add the printer to another computer, they "help" their fellow employee connect to their shared copy of the printer. Really makes troubleshooting interesting when you have multiple tiers of a single printer being shared in a long chain of 4 or 5 computers.

    People that send a job to the printer and have it fail. Rather than replace the paper or toner or make sure the job is clear, they just walk away. 30 backed up jobs later someone realizes that it is out of paper…

    Another huge peeve, is employees that use the high quality production printer and high quality paper, for completely unessential documents that are never in color. Ugh…

    How about using the printer when an email or electronic document is completely and often more appropriate. Just a personal rant.

  6. never being able to buy the same model printer for more than 6 months.. 20 different models, all requiring different toner cartridges.. Then a printer will die, and I am stuck with a couple useless (and expensive) toner cartridges, and since they no longer make the printer, I can't send them back.. Grrrrrrrrrrr

  7. People who refuse to read the directions. I work in a library, so most of our printer issues arise because patrons don't read the damn instructions, then whine because things they were told in the instructions happened.

  8. My biggest gripe is setting up new printers at a site and having to deal with drivers on an XP machine. The ease of adding printers changing from XP to Vista was one of the most unsung upgrades to the MS Operating System.

    Everybody should be forced to upgrade from XP just for the ease of use when it comes to adding devices.

  9. How about print shops, that can't even deal with standard files?

    Made a flyer for my mum to promote her business using photoshop. Front side layers in one named group, back in another. Mum is far from computer literate, but she can manage to print a few of these off, but when she wanted a lot printing, the print shop guy couldn't work out where the image for the back was.

    I hate the cheap disposable things that modern printers have become. The most recent thing I did to upgrade my printer, was buying a USB to Parallel cable for my HP Laserjet 4L.

  10. def the most annoying "problem" is when the printing does not print the first time they sent the job.. and of course the only logical solution they find is to keep trying to print the darn thing… result= a s***load of stuck jobs and of course, noone else cant print and they try creating theories of what could be going on.. all of the sudden, they are all experts… Thats why i never bought a printer and now, whenever im asked about a printer issue.. i dont have one, dont know how they work, have no idea what a printer is

  11. Paper jams, no paper/toner and user issues don't get brought to me fortunately. My biggest annoyance is drivers. Lots of manufactures haven't bothered updating drivers for some of their older printers. I'm not talking printers that haven't been manufactured in 10+ years, I'm talking stuff that was selling just a year or too. Most of my clients have or are in the process of going from WinXP to Windows 7 and going from 32 bit to 64 bit and it can be a pain manipulating systems to get them to work with older drivers and finding the new ones. Companies like HP are telling people they have no intention of coming out with updated drivers for some of their products which then I get to relay to a client. All I know is if I'm told by any manufacturer that we have to buy new equipment because they don't want to make new drivers then it won't be from them that is for sure.

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