A few years back I bought my mother an Epson Artisan 800 all-in-one. The Artisan line is generally well reviewed and performs well. A few months ago we had a nasty surprise. Turning the printer on resulted in an error message on the screen that the ink pads were at the end of their service life and to contact Epson for assistance.
The printer was 100% unusable at this time, even for non-print related things like scanning. By whim of a bit of software code, my all-in-one was non-functional. It is worth noting that even immediately prior to this error message the printer performed flawlessly in all respects.
So he contacted Epson for assistance, with the following, um, results:
Upon working my way through Epson’s “support” system I was told by a representative that repairing the printer would cost $180 plus shipping. Considering that a new printer with similar capabilities could be had for the same amount or less, I turned them down. Now, by itself this isn’t so surprising; the printer manufacturers want you to buy new printers all the time so they engineer them to be cheap enough to discard and replaced. Epson’s own web site even says that “Epson recommends replacing the printer” when the ink pads are at the end of their service life. Yup, that’s Epson: A few pennies worth of disposable cotton pad gets dirty and you need to replace the entire printer. I sometimes try to imagine what Epson employees do when they run out of clean underwear.
This, of course, assumes that they actually own any clean underwear: one does not expect attention to minor details like that from the manufacturers of Today’s Crappy Printers™.
I have an HP DeskJet at work that arbitrarily decided last week that the black cartridge was defective. Not empty: defective. I duly replaced it; the brand-new one did not work either. I conclude that HP really wants this printer to die, and was too [insert term for poultry droppings] to say so up front.
Meanwhile, my turn-of-the-century HP DeskJet at home has never failed me. Were they building them better back in the Nineties? What do you think?