On November 17, 2013, the HP English Support Community will be celebrating our BIG 5th birthday! This wonderful community has been solving problems for five whole years, so we decided to celebrate by having a contest.
You may have seen HP Experts around the boards. They often will have a blue or a green HP Expert avatar next to their forum handle. Here on the HP Community, these individuals have done an outstanding job of helping others, and may have even helped you. For the month of November a few Experts have a "5th" badge by their name. These individuals are the "old timers" of the community, and have been around since the very beginning days, five years ago.
I asked the Experts to send me their most memorable experiences on the forum. Their stories could by funny, heartwarming, cathartic, or even frustrating.
You'll see the story submissions below.
Now how can you help?? Read the submissions and give kudos to your favorites. To give a kudo, click the purple star icon to the left of the post. The Experts that receive the most kudos will receive the contest grand prize. :)
Customers ran into a problem when they installed their Laserjet 1200 series printer to a new computer or attempted to update the firmware in the printer which caused the printer to start a constant reboot cycle. A colleague asked for my assistance during the May Expert Day, and that is where my fun started. Since May I have been investigating, collecting data from the customers, and helping them resolve the issue. This was accomplished by making direct phone contact with the customer to provide internal reset steps which couldn’t be posted on the public threads. I enjoyed being able help to out these customers, and in this case, talking to them live.
Back at the 2013 HP Social Support Summit in Orlando, we had the opportunity to get together with our fellow HP Experts from around the world, to meet up and have some fun (and do some work too of course!). One of the most memorable parts of that Summit was the team building dinner at SeaWorld – which included access to the rollercoaster. Team building indeed! There’s nothing quite like riding that ‘coaster multiple times with fellow Experts and contributing to all the screaming together. It really brought the team together, so let’s keep the forums loud too!
It feels like it was yesterday when I did my first post, in December 7th 2011. It has been almost 2 years participating as a volunteer and holding my blue avatar with great pleasure! My experience with responses started in that same day. I noticed that my answers were being productive and, sometime after that, we received an invitation to the first Summit, held in San Francisco. Immediately I imagined myself there, all happy… but unfortunately my manager couldn’t approve my trip.
It kinda felt like my world was ended, but it didn’t. I put my head up and decided that 2012 would be different. Instead of giving up, I dedicated more and more. I went up in the ranking, having my solutions accepted and participating from the Expert Days. 2012 was actually funny. The forum grew and so did the number of experts volunteering. It seems like it was very pleasant to respond, because some experts would do it 24x7 – late at night, weekends, holidays, Mothers’ Day... I myself started answering in the forum at 7am, as during the day it would be impossible to find a topic that wasn’t being assisted by someone else. LOL
2013 came and I went to Florida. Incredible! I’ve never crossed the border before, not even to Paraguay, I went straight to USA! It was emotional and spectacular to get to know the other experts! Sensational.
Today, my opinion hasn’t changed. I think it’s pretty nice to participate and I take great pleasure in helping out in the Forum.
This one is memorable since I was expecting this to be hard.
I had a customer inquire about how to enable his printer to print plain paper from the internet; it was asking to add more paper to the photo tray.
I provided some guidance on how to choose printing preferences to change from 4x6 size to Letter size. The customer informed me that it was set to letter and “forgot to mention that I have a Mac if that is an issue.”
I then informed the customer that I am not a Mac expert, but know a little bit about Mac and Safari. I provided some instructions on how to look for Page setup information in Safari. The customer replied, “Thank you! It was as simple as that!!!!”
Not all issues are hard to work through; some may be “as simple as that”
I can’t think of a single instance that stands out to me, it is more of a collage of experiences that over the course of the last 5 years have grown into a community. I remember logging into the Voodoo Forums and thinking how cool it would be if HP had the same kind of presence on the web. Well we do now and it is awesome. The community is what makes up any forum group and ours is the best. The times we’ve been able to meet our experts face to face has been invaluable and really pulled us together as a team.
My most memorable 'event' at HP forums actually took place a couple of years before the new HP Consumer Forum opened.This is what inspired me to continue to help in any way I could and prompted my jump into the new forum with gusto. A post popped up one day with a plea for help in saving family photos from a dead HP PC. He got the usual comments of how important external backups are and how a PC or hdd can fail at any time. I reached out to Richard and asked a few questions about the PC problem.It was dead-no power at all. His main concern was the photos of his daughter and wife recording her life from birth till now.
This was before the external enclosures gained in popularity, and I had actually never used one. Richard had pulled his old PC out of storage to communicate with us on the forums and I told him we could get the hdd from dead machine into that machine and save his photos.Being not very tech literate, of course he was terrified of opening a PC. I finally gave him my email and we started corresponding, with me sending instructions and photos from support pages,etc to help him get the process in his head. All the time he was hesitating I was telling him-You can do this! Along the way he related to me exactly why he was so desperate to save the photos. They were mainly of his wife Lisa and their 4 year Sydney. Lisa was suffering from kidney problems which had been escalated by her pregnancy. Now having to take dialysis just to survive and hoping desperately for a kidney donor to save her life, Richard was afraid the photos might be all he and little Sydney might have of one day of Lisa. I forged ahead with renewed determination and encouragement to Richard. I promised him that this would work if he just followed my directions, and that if he ultimately failed he could send the hdd to me and I would get them for him. I could picture him so afraid, yet so determined, as he finally got the courage to open up both PCs and followed the steps to connect the hdd to the slave connector of the old PC. I was with him every step of the way via email. What a happy time when I got the email with a rescued photo of a smiling 4year with big beautiful eyes!
Richard related how happy it made Lisa, and how little Sydney thought he was a hero. He told me that he visited the forum and pointed out to Sydney that I was the lady who helped get their pictures. She said-"oh I like her and her birthday hat!" At that time we had avatars to represent rank and I had a lighthouse.:) From that time on any time I looked at the 'Birthday hat" avatar I smiled thinking of Richard,Lisa and Syndey and their precious photos we saved through the mantra-You can do this!
My second most memorable support event occurred soon after the HP Consumer Support Forum opened. A new member was asking for help downgrading a new HP laptop from Vista to XP. Of course he got at least one of the standard replies-Vista is the new Windows, you should learn it and move on.
In this case his son was being deployed in 11 days and he bought the laptop for him to take along to keep in touch via email and Skype-and he had only used XP. He felt there was enough stress involved with deployment without having to cope with a new OS on a new machine.I concurred ,even knowing the obstacles involved.
With 11 days days ticking down, we started corresponding via email because it was easier than posting. I sent directions,drivers.We experimented till we got it all working with only a day or two to spare.The dad flew the laptop to his son the day before he had to leave. The dad was so proud of his accomplishment, and even wanted to pay me. I said- no way, your son is doing much more than I have done for him.
Now when someone inquires about downgrading any machine I don't question why.You never know what may be the reasons behind it,and frankly I don't need to know. If I can help I do, if not I try to find the info needed or request help from other members who are good at it.
One of my favourites would be the thread on the following link just because it rumbled on for nearly 2 weeks and she seemed so happy when it was resolved. Her quote: "Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank YOU!!!!!"
I have a couple of memorable experiences from my time on the forum.
1) I was addressed by my Forum rank:
“PS: I first noticed your forum level, "Professor" and thought you would reply with "oh, I can teach that to HP :) ” http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/ePrint-Print-Apps-Mobile-Printing-and-ePrintCenter/403-Error-on-HP-ePri...
2) A funny reply of thanks from a customer:
“Thanks so much for your help--I was pulling my hair out, and I'm ALREADY bald! We really enjoy this machine!” http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Printing-Issues-Troubleshooting/Officejet-Pro-8600-wants-fax-info-when-...
3) Another great reply:
Thank you for fixing my printing order problem.
You have been very helpfell and improveing my computer skills
I've thought about this quite a bit and I honestly could not think of any moments in particular that seem like they'd make a well-told story. I've been on the forums for quite a long time which makes most of the threads blur together. The most memorable experiences for me are really ones where a solution was provided and the original poster comes back to say thank you and continues the conversation a bit. At first, the OP is confused or distraught and is really only focused on having their problem solved as soon as possible. Then once you get in there and start getting the details and helping them out they start to come down and you really feel like you've reached someone. It feels good and I believe it's beneficial for them, as you're teaching them how to use functions of their PC that they previously knew little or nothing about.