I am not one to complain, even if it is to myself. I don’t even have a category for a rant, but today I feel the need to rant about…Printers, specifically ink jet printers.
A few weeks back, we decided to purchase a new printer. The old one was out of ink, and as slow as hell. I did a bit of research (not enough obviously) and found one that seemed to fit our needs. The ad said the the printer was wireless, which would be great for our home, printed relatively fast, and the colors were vibrant. The ad went on to say that the cartridges are less than $15 each, and the cost would be even better seeing how each color is seperate. The printer was on sale at Walmart for $75, so I went out and bought one.
The ad was right, it was fast, the print quality was as good as any photo developing shop, and the wireless was super easy to set up. The one draw back? The ink ran out in just a week. We don’t do that much printing, we printed off a few old photos that my lady used for a scrapbook, and maybe a few documents, but that is it.
When I checked online, it stated that the printer came with a ‘Moderately filled ink cartridge’. ‘Moderately filled’? That means ‘half full’, which isn’t much when the cartridge is tiny to start with.
I went to my electronics store to buy a new cartridge, and I was disappointed to find that the cartridges for this particular printer, the 124 series, were not readily available. The store tried to sell me the 125 series, but upon first checking the internet, I found that this cartridge would not fit the printer. The cartridges are only available through Epson.ca.
I went on the site, and found that, as the ad stated, cartridges are less than $15 each, they retail for $14.99 each, if you want the ‘moderately filled’ cartridge. If you want the high capacity (full) cartridge, the cost goes up to $20 a piece, or $53 for all three. You still need to buy the black separate, and the black is $20. That means that my $75 printer cost $73 to replace the cartridges. I bought a two dollar printer. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it.
I looked for a printer refill kit, but apparently the cartridge has some security feature that prevents refilling. This feature is supposed to protect the customer against damaging their printer, but I think the feature protects the manufacturer from losing ink cartridge sales.
When you really think about it, we are living in a disposable electronic age. Gone are the little TV repair shops that could easily fix your TV set or stereo. Televisions are virtually unfixable, unless you send them back to the manufacturer, and the shipping for such an endeavor would be costly for sure. I spoke to a friend of mine who works at the waste disposal site (the dump) and he said that printers take up a huge area at the site, particularly due to their unfixability (his word, not mine).
I had a difficult enough time trying to convince my lady that we really needed this Epson printer, now I have to buy another one. This time I plan to buy a color laser printer, but first I am checking the availability of the toner cartridges, the capacity of the toner, and the cost. I will definitely do my homework on this one.
Now what to do with this hulk of a paperweight I am left with. Maybe I should send it back to Epson, with a long letter of complaints. Maybe they will take pity and refill the cartridge. Naw, I just called a courier, and it will cost me $75 to send it back, the same price I paid for the thing. Damn!