I joyfully listened to them tell me for about 10 minutes how important my call was to them (not important enough to staff up for it, though) before the phone connection died. So I called again, this time only had to wait about 7 minutes before someone called "Sam" answered. Judging by his accent, he didn't get this name in Cleveland; just call it a hunch that his real name might be Samir. He requires all my personal info before he'll consider my problems, of course. Finally he's got all he wanted, and consents to let me take a turn getting questions answered.
I told him about having tried all the channels. He didn't ask, but I would also have told him I turned off all firewalls and security. He didn't ask because it turns out that he not only considers the cable from my wireless router to the wireless print server to be a necessity (huh?!?), but he also points out that the installation guide says:
Note: ... Make sure that you are able to print, scan, and fax from each with your muti-functional printer directly connected to your computer(s).So, part of the installation process of this wireless device, according to page 1 of the Quick Installation Guide, is to drag a USB wire from the printer directly to each computer to verify that each combination works. Or, more likely, pick up the printer and carry it into each room of my multi-room network, get all local drivers installed, hook up and test. Imagine my joy. Naturally I had decided not to do any of this until I could see a wireless connection from router to PS.
Suddenly, my brain clicks on something he says about "compatible printer". I ask what printer might be incompatible, if this print server follows the usual USB standards. He says, "What have you got?" I say, "Epson Stylus CX3810" (I hate this printer, it's terribly slow and has a real drinking problem, but that's off the point) and he says, of course, "That printer isn't compatible". After listening to me express my admiration for a bit, he points out that on the bottom edge of the bottom of the box in blazing 5-point type is the following:
Printer server may not support all printers. Please check our website to view the printer compatibility list.
Silly me, since I don't have portable Internet (and had neglected to use my Super Microscopic Vision to scrutinize for disclaiming fine print) I had not checked this while on the store floor. It was obviously all my fault. But after summarizing and triple confirming that this "wireless" unit will not talk unless it is wired (no usable connection on the front door), and will not talk to my Epson, my HP, my Lexmark or my Brother printers (no usable connection on the back door), we closed the support call.
So I got on the web and went hunting for this sacred list of the Blessed Ones. It was not easy to find, but I eventually did find it, and get this: when you do open the list of "compatible printers", that list which tells you what printers this device will actually work with... it's blank! Yup, blank - so, apparently, your chances of success (emphasis on the "suck") are zero. See for yourself!
Okay, to be fair, there was another downloadable version of the list nearby that did actually contain some printers, though none were mine. This was just another example of my whole experience with AirLink101, a company I will highly recommend to anyone I don't like.
So now I get to drive back to Fry's and try to return my "bargain", while absorbing the losses in fuel and time as a lesson to always buy defensively! It also reminded me that I haven't performed my song "Tech Support Blues" in a while.