Rot In Hell, Epson!

I bought an EPSON printer last year, largely because the ink cartridges were “reasonably” priced (as opposed to LEXMARK). Anyway, this model has seperate cartridges for the three colors. At the time I bought it, the retailer sold the blackink cartridge for $20.00. Great! Today, while printing a letter, the PC reminded me that i was about to run out of black ink. Off to my local Staples-and guess what!-the black cartridge is now $39.00!!!
Fucking theives!
Anybody know f EPSON cartridges are refillable?
These pirates ought to be prosecuted!

Yeah! Let’s sue companies for trying to make a profit and/or for raising prices on things after an indeterminate amount of time!!! FUCKING BASTARDS!

Screw color; color’s for children. Screw inkjets; they’re for saps. Go to eBay and buy an old HP Laserjet. When you eventually use up the toner cartridge buy another off eBay for less than that Epson ink cartridge.

A Laserjet IIp or IIIp will outlive you and give much better B&W text than any inkjet made.

the bigger problem with epson printers is that if you don’t use them regularly (at least once a week) the printhead nozzles will clog, and you have to run a few (up to 5) cleaning cycles to clear the clogged nozzles

this has been a known problem ever since the first epson inkjet printers rolled off the assembly line, and epson shows no plans to fix this known flaw, in their reasoning, why should they, it gets the victim…errr…“valued customer” to buy more of their ink cartridges

problem is, the printhead assembly in an epson printer is integrated into the carriage assembly, and there’s no convenient way to remove the printhead for cleaning

HP has a much better design, the printhead is located on the ink cartridge itself, so if you get an unclearable clog in an HP, you simply throw out the bad cartrige and pop in a new one, complete with brand-new printhead

You’re saying it’s cheaper to buy a whole new cartridge than to run the head cleaning cycle 5 (or fewer) times?

Not if it happens once… but if you find yourself having to do a clean every week or so, it can all add up. The “clean” cycles generally just involve sucking ink out of the cartridge, thereby forcing any clogged nozzles to unclog. Do that five times every other week… you end up wasting a third to half the ink in your cartridge just on cleaning.

I’ve had Epson printers now for the past 12 years and I wouldn’t buy anything else. Epson inkjets, in my mind, offer the best color reproduction at the most reasonable price point point of any of the low cost (<$200) printers on the market). I have never had to go beyond two cleaning cycles to clear up the printer.

No printer is made to run once a week. Print several pages per day no matter whose printer you are using and you will save a lot of aggravation. And the argument that you would rather throw the cartridge away is stupid.

Plus I have finally achieved the ability to achieve color matching betwen monitor and printer using an Epson R300 in Photoshop CS.

I have an Epson R300, best printer I’ve ever had. Even printing to printable DVD yields amazing results.

I’ve used an Epson printer at work, and it turned out to be a right clunker, mainly due to the print head problems as already mentioned. Its only worth is as a paperweight (and a bloody bulky one at that!)

The best thing you can do with an Epson inkjet printer is to take it apart and sell the motors on ebay - if it’s a Stylus model that isn’t in the C series, they will probably be stepper motors - two different ones, but taking two identical printers apart and selling the motors as two matched pairs will fetch a better price, in my experience.

When you do this though, beware of the waste ink reservoir; this is a deep plastic tray occupying about half of the space underneath the print carriage - it is partly packed with a big block of absorbent wadding.
Note the huge amount of ink sludge that you see in this space (don’t get this stuff on your hands or clothes) - you know that interminable whirring, clunking dance that the printer does every now and again? And the shorted whirring, clunking dance that it does at the start of pretty much every print job (and at intervals in the middle)? Well, now you know what it was doing - it was pissing huge quantities of ink down through those little holes in the print carriage, into the waste ink reservoir.
On a couple of printers I took apart, I reckon perhaps up to 50% of all the ink that was ever installed in the printer ended up in the waste reservoir.

Epson printers do produce good quality output and part of the reason for this is the piezo print heads (most other manufacturers use thermal bubble jets) and because they are permanently installed, the engineering can be more precise and the print heads can pass closer to the media. But because they’re permanently installed, they need more looking after than other types and this means pissing large amounts of expensive ink through them to keep them clean.

AFAIK, you can’t easily refill Epson cartridges, partly because of the whole design of system, but also (I think) because of the electronics built into the cartridges.

Bastards!! :mad:

Next time I disassemble one (and I’ve got my eye on a C80 that has been playing up), I’ll take some pictures and post them in my web space - you won’t believe how much wasted ink residue there is lurking inside a used Epson printer.

Are there any market reasons for the cost of the consumables to double? There isn’t a global ink shortage, the cartrige technology is the same as when the printer was new. This is the evolution of the “screw the customer” corporate mentality. You used to be able to buy a printer for a fair price and consumable for another, also fair, price. Now the printer is sold as a loss leader to lock you in to a stream of consumables sold at an outragious markup. Ink cartriges sell for ten or more times the cost of producing them! In HP the ink department is the single most profitable division. Rember the MoPy fish? It was an HP screensaver that let you “buy” aquarium toys with your printed page count. Two copies of the same page were worth more! This played to kids to get them to burn through parents money in consumables.

Consumers started getting wise and began to look at cost per page numbers, people compared ink cartrige prices rather than print quality when buying a printer. So now the game has come to this, suck you in on a low cost per page when the model is new and being reviewed then jack it up after they’ve got you hooked. It’s only the few remaining consumer protection laws (originating from the auto industry about car parts) that keep printer companies from making it impossible for third party ink and cartriges from working at all.

When companies compete to give me the best and cheapest products then we all win but when they airm their considerable wealth at locking out the competition instead, then it’s time for the consumers to use our power through the government, (remember the “of the people, by the people” stuff?) to keep them somewhat close to honest.

Could give these guys a try, they’ve been way lower for every brand of ink I’ve purchased from em so far.

I’ve worked in the printing department of office supply store chains for more than three years. I KNOW how the printer companies make their money. I know their motivations and I know how it works. I don’t think it’s criminal for them to do it. It’s annoying as a consumer to be faced with higher ink costs (even for me at work, as the biggest problem with margin in my department is wasted ink on unusable copies or printer malfunctions causing excess toner usage). But I do not under any circumstances believe that it is the printer manufacturer’s job to make sure you don’t pay any extra money. They’re in the business of making money for themselves, and the easiest way for them to do it is to work exactly as they are doing now. So what if they charge you ten times what it costs to make them? That’s their prerogative. Think it’s unfair? Buy remanufactured or off-brand cartridges or try to refill them. What, do you think the government should step in and set a maximum markup percentage (“you can only charge the consumer 10% over what it costs you to make it”)?

I’m very much a free market person, but even I think this whole market structure sucks. It makes the true cost of purchasing the printer very difficult to understand for the typical user. I’m not much in favor of having consumers make blind decisions.

Maybe there is someone out there who compiles this info, but I’d be very hard pressed to compare the cost of two printers. I have one on my desk and I haven’t the foggiest idea how much it costs me to print pictures, for example. Is it less expensive to use Shutterfly, or my local Duane Reade, I have no clue, and I hate that.

The cartridges, I have no idea how much ink it holds, how many pages I can expect, nothing. There’s no good cost info for the consumer, and that’s no way to run a railroad.

I do think they should step in and do something about the ways these manufacturers are making it harder than necessary to refill cartridges and create off-brand replacement cartridges.

I didn’t realize it WAS difficult to create off-brand replacement cartridges; my store carries at least two brands plus the house brand (which is rebranded remanufactured).

I agree that there is a definite need for a comprehensive “how much do you get from a cartridge?” thing, and I don’t know why it’s not printed on the box. Then again, how would you determine it? If you list based on average coverage, or 20% coverage, or whatever, that doesn’t account for people printing 8x10 full-color photographs, running out five times faster, and complaining to the manufacturer. Maybe it could say like “50 sheets at 20% coverage OR 10 8x10 photographs.”

I know the dye-subs and photo printers usually have cost-of-print figures on them, but that’s because they have fixed ink usage…

The example that sticks out most in my mind is Lexmark, who (until recently) was abusing the DMCA to sue manufacturers of replacement cartridges. Lexmark’s cartridges have chips inside, and there’s no way to create a replacement cartridge without duplicating the code in Lexmark’s chip, which they claimed was a copyright violation and also a circumvention of access controls on the code inside the printer.

Luckily, the most recent court decision is that the code in Lexmark’s cartridge chips isn’t copyrightable, and the handshake between chips in the printer and the cartridge is not an access control, because the code inside the printer isn’t encrypted. But it’s not hard to imagine other technologies they could use to lock out other manufacturers.

There is a definite need for some kind of industry-wide mensuration; page-per-minute claims don’t bear much relation to reality, but the variance is different for every brand - the same with inks; on the rare occasions that the ink content is stated, there’s no clear way to understand what it’s really telling you.

There ought to be a set of standard documents, for example:
A defined page of text
A photograph
A page of graphics
A page of mixed text, graphics and photos
(all with accompanying standards as to minimum ‘normal’ saturation etc)

Manufacturers could then be expected to state information regarding the performance of the printer/ink cartridges in respect of the universally-defined standard pages, something like:

Pages per minute:
                    Normal    Draft*
Standard Text         11        18
Standard Photo         3         5
Standard Graphics      7        10
Standard Mixed         8        12

Pages per ink cartridge set
                    Normal    Draft*
Standard Text        580       875
Standard Photo        65       115
Standard Graphics    165       225
Standard Mixed       195       275

*saturation reduced by 30% in draft mode