8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2016 5:26 PM by lpadgett

    Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal

    Steve Yount Adventurer

      I have seen a few older entries on this community where people were requesting the ability to change the default error messages on a release station terminal. Was something like this ever implemented? If not, can this be considered as a new feature request?

       

      I would like the ability to customize the default error messages on release terminals to make them a little less technical and a little more informative for our users. I would also like to include the contact info for our Help Desk on the errors - I don't really want our customers attempting to reach out to Pharos Support to notify them that one of our printers is jammed and cannot print, I would like to give them our contact info instead.

       

      For example, if the printer fails an online state check, the current error is:

      An internal server error occurred. No suitable printer available: Printer is reporting an Offline state.

      Please contact Pharos support.

       

      I would like to change it to something like:

      This printer is offline and cannot print right now. You were not charged for your printouts, and they can be released at another print station.

      We have been notified of the error and will resolve it as soon as possible. Please contact the Technology Help Desk at 412-xxx-xxxx if you need additional assistance.

        • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
          Michael Ward Wayfarer

          Yeah I asked this a year or two ago when we first deployed our PS200 terminals. AFAIK it hasn't been implemented - we're still running with the default error message anyway. Would still like to be able to do it though!

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
            John Siegel Guide

            Hi Steven,

                            This request seems to come up every few years, and it sounds like a good idea until you walk through the reasoning for the error messages in the first place. The purpose of an error message is to provide info for the technical staff to use to diagnose and resolve a problem, vs. a status message that might inform a user of the system or device state, i.e. load paper, close tray, etc. We get this sort of request from the library staff on a regular basis, as in " Can't the printer warn the customer that their job won't print before they send it?"

             

                            Allowing customization of the error message means that the triggered error info is changed. The technical staff at Pharos can make use of the statement "An internal server error occurred. No suitable printer available: Printer is reporting an Offline state.", especially if it includes any error codes. Change that to "This printer is offline and cannot print right now. You were not charged for your printouts, and they can be released at another print station." , and there is nothing to indicate why the printer is offline. In our environment, we prefer that the customer report the error message as is and the help desk staff explain that they can print elsewhere, resend, etc. The default error message also encourages the customer to call for support. If the error was simply "This printer is offline and cannot print right now. You were not charged for your printouts, and they can be released at another print station." then the customer tends to follow the instructions and move to another location/device, which means that the support personnel may not have any indication that the device is having issues until someone physically visits the location.

             

            Regards,

             

                          John

              • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
                Paul LaFollette Guide

                Most of us have desired at some point the same thing Steve Yount asked about.  Most of us concede the need for the technical info.

                 

                What if...  The technical info was condensed a little (same info, fewer characters) and required to be in the message, but at the bottom of the message with a admistrator customizable ("user friendly") above.

                 

                That way, the end users get a better understanding of what's happening while the technical data is still present.   Best of both worlds?

                • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
                  Steven English Guide

                  In my experience, the error message that gets reported the most is "an internal server error occurred" which is completely useless since they all start with that.  Removing that portion would be nice so that the part relayed back to us is that no suitable printer is available (which can mean more than one thing IIRC).  In the meantime since I am not able to modify or remove the "internal server error bit", I have modified error messages in logon and/or billing scripts so that all error messages for Omegas start and end with \r\n\r\n which at least provides some visual spacing and has increased the likelihood of us getting back the portion of the error that is actually informative/useful.

                   

                  Regards,

                  Steven

                • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
                  Jeff Herald Guide

                  While it's true that not all messages are customizable, but there are two placed you can look to see if the messages you see are configurable.  First, in the Pharos Administrator tool, under Settings\Prompts, there are some messages there that are configurable.  Second, as Steven English mentioned, if you have any custom scripts in place, they may be the source of the messages, and are configurable there.  Otherwise, yes there are some messages that are not configurable.  As others have mentioned, some of them are tell-tale signs of specific problems and help support personnel pinpoint the problem.

                   

                  However, I will take your suggestion that we revisit the messages that we have, and try to make more of them configurable in the future.  It is a valid point that user-facing messages should not be directing users to Pharos Support.  We will review in the future versions of the product.  Thank you for bringing this to the Community.

                   

                  -Jeff Herald - Pharos Systems

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
                      Steve Yount Adventurer

                      Jeff - Thank you for considering this for the future. I mainly ask this because we are getting complaints from customers because they get errors that are confusing and don't mean anything to them. So while it is nice that there is an error for them on the screen, all we hear from them now is an angry call stating "There is an error that I don't understand and I don't know how to contact Pharos support, but the printer in building X didn't print and I want my quota back". Since our NOC also monitors our printers, we use alerts that they create with errors that are more descriptive than what we get from customers anyways.

                       

                      I am just looking to have a user friendly error message to display on the public side to make it a better experience for our customers. Perhaps the technical error and alert codes can still be logged in the alerts for those that need them.

                      I am also just going back to what I have learned in human factors, which go on the idea that if you have to explain an explanation to someone, the first explanation wasn't really effective.

                        • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
                          Jeff Herald Guide

                          I agree and your point is valid.  We will evaluate our messages and try to make them customizable where possible in the future. 

                           

                          -Jeff

                          • Re: Changing default error messages on a Release Station terminal
                            lpadgett Scout

                            Hey Steven,

                             

                              I wrote a 'custom error' search function and built it into our PrintEndJob example script.

                             

                              If I remember correctly, I don't think I had to remove anything but just find the exact string that was being written by the i/o plugin. After that I just used a variable (sHelpDesk, just to be funny) to represent what the new message should be in the popup balloon.  You just need one popup function to use for every error and have them represented by the sHelpDesk var. Since I was using the data written to Uniprint and not tossing it no harm done.

                             

                              It really has helped when people put their username/password in wrong, when the billing system has gone down , and when the printers have gone offline.  They give tips for correcting each error (ie. page size is wrong)  and the HelpDesk number to call to place a ticket. I am happy to open up the script again but it's been a few years since I looked at it because it just works. Sometimes I have to look for excuses to script on the job

                            -Loyd