Why am I having problems faxing?

Why am I having problems faxing?

(Submitted by John Chilcoat)

Before we begin, it may be beneficial to go over some general faxing terminology and their respective definitions.

  • VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
    • Using the internet to make and receive telephone and fax calls
  • PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network)
    • Original standard phone line
  • “Handshake”
    • The sounds made when the receiving fax machine initially picks up.
    • Used to establish communication protocols and transmission speed, which is based on the quality of the phone line being used.
  • Direct Dial
    • Dialing a fax number and waiting for the receiving side to pick up before hitting send.
  • Memory Dial
    • Dialing a number and having the machine scan the entire document before calling the other fax machine.

Listed below are (3) common issues, and their potential causes, that could cause trouble for you when trying to send or receive a fax.

  1. Fax is taking too long to send or receive.
    The greatest cause for this issue hinges upon the size and coverage of the document(s) being faxed. For example, a document that contains pictures or a full page of text will take longer to fax than a document with half of a page of text that contains no pictures.Another cause for delays stems from the type and quality of fax line being used. For instance, VOIP is usually slower than a PTSN line due to the following reasons:

    • Default Line Speed for Transmittal: VOIP is 9600 to 14400 while a PTSN is 14400 to 33600.
    • Default Pages-per-minute Capability: VOIP typically takes 30 to 60 seconds per page to transmit where a PTSN is about half of that at a speed of 15-30 seconds per page.
    • Lastly, there are no standard VOIP faxing protocols, whereas a PTSN does have standard protocols.

    A final cause for a lag in sending or receiving faxes has to do with static or electrical noise, which can cause the speed of the data transfer to drop. This happens because the machine is attempting to achieve the best quality and accuracy for the data transfer.

  1. Not sending or receiving faxes at all.
    Not being able to send or receive faxes at all could be the result of a problem with either the line or the machine itself. To determine which is the most likely cause, there are several troubleshooting steps that we recommend, such as:

    • Determine what number the machine is faxing on.
      You can ascertain this information by placing a call from the fax machine to any phone that has a caller id feature, like your cell phone. Once you have determined what number the fax machine is using to place calls, then use that number to call the fax machine from another phone line.

      • If the machine does pick up, but does not show the correct fax line number, then the problem lies with either the company providing the fax line or there is an incorrect configuration setting for the fax machine line in your phone system.
      • If the machine does not pick up, then possibly placing a service call for the machine may be prudent.
      • If neither of the above steps has solved the problem, then call the fax machine with the phone line unplugged. In this case, if the fax machine answers, then the phone line is mis-routed and needs to be addressed by either your IT department or the phone company.
      • Finally, ensure that the phone line for the fax machine is plugged into the line jack and not the telephone jack.
    • On the fax option of the machine look for a “speaker” or “on hook” button. Press this button and try dialing another fax machine. Look for any error messages from the machine or the phone company. (If there is an error message, many times it will direct you as to what steps may be taken to fix the issue, i.e., you need to dial the area code for this number, you need to dial a 1 to reach this number, or you need to enter a pin to dial long distance, etc.)
    • Try the “direct-dial” method of sending a fax. (See appendix above for definition) If this method is successful, then a service call for machine may be prudent as an improper setting on the machine may be the cause for this issue.
    • Power the machine off and then back on again. Sometimes power surges or local storms can cause the machine’s logic to “lock up”. When this occurs, turning the machine off, waiting a minute or two, and then powering the machine back on may serve to clear the issue, allowing your fax to return to proper functioning.
  1. Machine not powering on. (Especially after a thunderstorm.)
    • First, try plugging the machine into a different wall outlet, one that you know is working.
    • Secondly, if the machine is plugged into a surge suppressor, then try plugging the machine directly into the wall instead. In this case, the surge suppressor may be faulty.
    • Lastly, if neither of the above options work, then a service call may be needed to see if the machine is damaged or in need of repair.

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What is a print driver and what does it do?

What is a print driver and what does it do?

(Submitted by Joe Sanchez)

Have you ever wondered what exactly IS a print driver? A print driver is software that allows your computer to interact with your printer. The driver translates instructions sent from your operating system or application software so that your printer can understand them, allowing the printer to respond properly—i.e., print your jobs correctly.

There are many different types of operating systems such as Windows, DOS, and iOS, for example. There is also a wide variety of printers such as Sharp, Ricoh, and HP, to name a few. To allow such a vast array of software and hardware to communicate, there needs to be a translator between the two. The print driver serves this purpose.

Technically, the print driver converts your document into a Page Description Language (PDL) that your printer can read. These languages describe the content on a page and how that content is arranged. Therefore, when your page is printed, it looks the same as it did in the application that you created it in.


Another task that the print driver handles is the print settings. This is a setting, or a group of settings, that you have selected as a preferred default for all your documents. For example, if you only want to print in black and white versus in color, or if you want to print on both sides of the paper versus one-sided. By pre-selecting these settings, you ensure that all your documents will be printed the way that you want every time. However, these default print settings can still be easily changed with each individual print job just in case you are working on something that needs to be printed in a different format.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of print drivers and their purpose. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us using the form on our Contact Us page.

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As a customer, when I place a service call, what can I expect?

As a customer, when I place a service call, what can I expect?

(Submitted by Wayne Parrish)

During the normal course of business, it may be necessary to place a service call with your office technology provider. When placing that service call, it is important that the service call be placed with the service company and not with the sales account executive. Although your sales account executive would like to be available for ALL your business needs, there are times when they may be otherwise occupied, either assisting another client or performing a demo with a prospective new client. We would not want your service need to be delayed based on a sales account executive not being able to take or place a service call for you in a timely fashion.

Once the service call is placed, typically either via a phone call or a submittal through a web portal, it is reviewed by a service or helpdesk team member. At that point, the team member determines if the use of a remote call might be able to address the issue for the client faster than sending a technician onsite to their business. If, however, a remote call is not advisable, and a technician is needed onsite, then the service request is placed in a queue to expedite the service need as quickly as possible.

In most cases, a technician should arrive onsite within a 2–4-hour timeframe of the service call being placed, or at least the same day, depending on the severity of the call and the service team’s number of calls ahead of yours.

When the technician arrives at your place of business, before they begin inspecting the device, you should expect some sort of communication between them and a member of your team regarding the service need. After the technician has discussed the service need with your team member, then they will begin to inspect and run diagnostics on the device to determine the cause of the issue and possible courses of action.

Generally, technicians should carry a decent number of parts in their vehicles and should be able to address the service needs on the first call. Although, there are times that a rare part is needed and will have to be ordered and replaced at a later date.

After the call has been completely resolved, some dealerships may send out a survey to the client requesting feedback on the service call so that the service provider may know how the call went and if there are any additional issues that need to be addressed.

Please be aware that many companies record all service calls. Finally, customers should have the option to request a service history report or business review of their account that should show important items including the following:

  • Average service call response time for their account and any calls placed
  • Average first call fix percentage
  • Uptime percentages for their system or fleet of systems
  • Number of service tickets per device
  • Surveys that their company may have filled out

Still have questions about service calls? Feel free to reach out and we would be more than happy to answer any further questions that you may have.

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What are the benefits of Managed Print Services (MPS)?

What are the benefits of Managed Print Services (MPS)?

(Submitted by Chip Turner) When faced with the task of installing, maintaining, and obtaining supplies for a fleet of printers, it is no surprise that organizations seek help from experts in the field. Benefits of MPS
  1. Security:

    Protecting your printers from outside cyberattacks is crucial. Incidents involving security breaches on unsecured endpoints (printers) is on the rise. Professional MPS services can help.

  3. Reduced Staff Burden:
    1. IT Department:

      Often the burdensome task of installing, maintaining, and obtaining supplies for a fleet of printers is thrust upon a company’s expensive IT professionals. With Managed Print Services, your IT team can focus on more pressing business issues and allow for a team of MPS experts to handle the printer fleet.

    2. Accounting Department:

      Does your accounting department get invoices from printer service companies and toner providers? Are employees making proper purchasing decisions? Is your pricing consistent? Are your employees taking the time to research the proper cartridge? Have they ever incorrectly ordered the wrong one? Often an accounting department will receive literally hundreds of invoices annually from toner purchases and for service calls. This can result in a heavy administrative cost to get all these invoices paid in a timely manner. Imagine that, instead of receiving separate invoices for all those smaller transactions coming through a variety of vendors, you only receive one bill a month or a quarter from one vendor. How helpful would that be to save time and money for your business?

  4. Device Optimization and Standardization:

    An MPS expert can make educated recommendations based on user applications, device volume, and costs of operation. In addition, they may make recommendations on centralizing or decentralizing printer locations based on customer need and costs.

  6. Automated Supply Fulfillment:

    Have you ever had a toner empty message come on the machine only to realize that no one ordered toner after the last cartridge was installed? Well, worry no more! As a provider of Managed Print Services, we employ a remote monitoring application which alerts us when toner is low so that toner can be shipped out to you right away. The labeling on the toner includes the ID number of the machine as well as the location of the machine so that the toner can be routed to the appropriate location.

  8. Automated Meter Collection:

    Have you ever gotten that pesky call asking for a meter reading for your printer? Have you ever had someone walk you through the multiple steps needed to obtain a meter reading? With a properly managed MPS program, meter collection is automated through the same remote monitoring application used for automated supply fulfillment.

  10. Cost Control:

    Not only will an MPS expert identify the most cost-efficient printers to select, but they can also recommend software to ensure that print jobs are routed to the most cost-efficient method. Also, you can put controls in place to allow certain individuals to print in color while others can be excluded based on their job role.

  12. All Inclusive Service:

    All parts, labor, and supplies (excluding paper and staples) are typically included in an MPS agreement. If you have an issue, then a simple phone call, email, or web call submittal will be responded to quickly by our customer support and/or service teams.

  14. Improved response times:

    A typical response time for a customer without an MPS agreement can range anywhere from 8-16 hours. However, with an MPS agreement, that response time can be reduced significantly. In fact, a typical customer with an MPS agreement will get an average response time of under 4 hours from the time they place their call until the time a technician arrives at your door.

  16. Simplified Billing and Reporting:

    With a professional MPS program, you can combine printer billing with your copier billing all in one invoice. Also, you can have access to reporting of volumes by device, which can be useful for planning purposes in your business.

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I’m experiencing paper jams. What could be causing it and is there anything I can do to avoid it?

I’m experiencing paper jams. What could be causing it and is there anything I can do to avoid it?

(Submitted by Jeff Ziel)

Primary causes of paper jamming:

  1. Paper Quality:

    One of the reasons for paper jamming in a copy machine could be caused by the paper itself. Low-quality paper can cause jams due to static buildup, excessive paper curl, or low-quality materials used to make the paper. We recommend using a high-quality paper brand such as Hammermill or Boise to cut back on paper jams.

  2. Paper setting and improper loading*:

    In this case, the paper in your multifunction device will jam if any of the following apply:

    • not loaded or secured properly
    • overfilled capacity
    • paper type setting does not match the actual paper type (i.e.., cardstock, labels, envelope, glossy

      Most copiers have an auto size-detect feature for paper SIZE ONLY. This tells the copier what size of paper is in the tray. If this feature is not available and the size or orientation of the paper is incorrect, then jamming may also occur. No copier can detect the TYPE of paper being used. This must be changed manually by the user under the paper settings.


  3. Worn or dirty rollers:

    In both cases a factory-certified technician will need to inspect and determine if cleaning or replacement of the roller is needed. As part of RITE Technology’s preventative maintenance checklist and to minimize paper jamming, our technicians inspect, clean, or replace rollers on every service visit regardless of the original problem.

  4. Obstructions in paper path*:

    During the process of removing a paper jam, it is important to remove the entire sheet of paper. Any ripped pieces that remain in the machine will certainly obstruct the flow of paper and cause it to jam. Other common obstructions found are paper clips and staples. These are typically found in the top document feeder and should always be removed from the copier so that they do not fall inside the machine.

    *NOTE: Obstructions and paper should ONLY be removed by hand. The use of tools to assist (such as a letter opener) could cause severe damage to delicate parts inside the machine.

  5. Defective or dirty components:

    This would include sensors, motors, clutches, bearings, belts, circuit board, or gears. A factory-certified technician will need to inspect and assess which component has failed. Then the technician would either clean or replace the failed component. After the part has been replaced, a thorough test run would be executed to ensure that the jamming issue has been resolved.

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