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Don't let this happen to you

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2003, 11:01 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Don't let this happen to you

Evidently I've lost even more braincells to age than I ever imagined, because I purchased a used printer from an individual via a website. When I got it, it was putting horizontal lines across the image. I tried all the self-help steps listed on the manufacturer's site, and even posted to newsgroups looking for help, to no avail.

But that isn't the point of this post. This is:

I finally called the manufacturer, and they told me it would cost $25 to talk to a technician who would analyze my problem and give me a repair quote. I hung up, tried even more self-help options, and finally broke down (in more ways than one) and called back. I gave them my credit card number and agreed to the $25 fee.

After a long time on hold, I was connected to a technician. He was unable to determine the cause of my problem, but said they'd repair the printer for $350 (it cost $400 new). Their "repair" consisted of shipping me a refurb unit and taking mine in exchange.

After further discussion with the tech person, he revealed that all repairs for this particular printer cost $350 and are handled in exactly the same way. In his words "even if it's just a 5-cent screw".

So, I paid $25 to be told by a specialist that they never had any intention of helping me with my printer problem and that there was only one blanket method of repair that the customer service rep could have told me about, only I hadn't paid the $25 yet.

Perhaps for some they can recommend installing a new driver, or tell them which buttons to press to reset or something, and for those it might be worth the $25. But for serious problems, it makes more sense to toss the unit and buy a new one.

Oh yeah, they informed me that I could have put my printer under warranty, even though it was 2 years old and I bought it used, except that I called with a problem first, and now they know it has a pre-existing problem and therefore doesn't qualify. But if I paid the $350 and got the "repair" I would then qualify to purchase an extended warranty from them.

And if I paid for the repair they'd refund my $25.

In retrospect, it occurs to me that printers today are like VCRs. You don't have them repaired, you toss them and buy a new one. On my most brain-dead day I'd never buy a used VCR, so I don't know what possessed me to think buying a used printer was a safe gamble.
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Old 02-04-2003, 12:50 PM
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BigAl BigAl is offline
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Doug, I sympathise, but I bought an Epson 1200 from the South African equivalent of Ebay, and I've had absolutely no problems with it. I think it must be the luck of the draw. I've used it tonite for the first time in 3 months, and after one cleaning cycle it's running like a dream.

I wanted the 1200 because it was the last Epson A3 printer that could use refilled cartridges without too much difficulties.

Just as a matter of interest, was the horizontal stripes banding? If yes, could be something as simple as cat hairs on the heads or a bad cartridge.
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Old 02-04-2003, 02:31 PM
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Sorry to hear about your bad luck Doug. Was there no guarantee with the purchase? I'm guessing it wan an Epson. Would you care to comment on that, or not? It seems to me that the way they handled your problem might not have been the best business practice.

Ed
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Old 02-04-2003, 06:43 PM
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If this was the one and only bad experience I ever have buying used equipment, it will more than eat up whatever savings I accumulate from the rest of the transactions.

And it wasn't Epson, it was a laser printer.
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:20 PM
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Ooo, that's a bad one. I didn't realise it was a laser printer. Not too much is supposed to go wrong with lasers
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Old 02-05-2003, 04:52 PM
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You could probably dispute the $25 charge with your credit card company. The company mislead you into believing you would actually get some help for that money and they failed to deliver!
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:02 PM
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They said I could apply to have it overturned, but doubted it would work since they did offer to fix my problem and I turned them down. But I applied anyway.
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:40 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience, but I didn't know that there was ever much hope of getting a printer repaired (or much of anything else anymore -- shoe repair stores used to be around every corner, now I'm not sure if there are any in my metro area.)

When I tried to get a printer fixed in the mid-80's, the repair shop (local business - face to face contact) told me that the repair would require the replacement of the circuit board (or something like that), and that the cost would be nearly as much as going out and replacing it (since printers kept getting cheaper, just like computers). So I did replace it -- for less than the cost of the original printer, I was able to purchase a much better printer.

I've wondered how often that was going to happen, but I've been lucky since -- haven't had any printer problems. Now I go out and replace them just because there's something better.
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:48 PM
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Did you try...(1) going into the Spool settings and changing the format to RAW instead of EMF ( or vice-versa),..(2) try a new computer to printer cable,..(3) plug the unit into a seperate grounded electrical circuit,...(4) replace the entire toner ctg. assembly and thoroughly clean the rollers and blow out all areas with compressed air,..Tom
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Old 02-06-2003, 09:20 AM
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KevinBE KevinBE is offline
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That sure sounds like HP to me. That is the only kind of repairs they do, flat rate. Normally the type of line you describe on the print-outs is caused by a bad drum or developer. Most of HP's laserjets use a toner cartridge which contains both of these units. I know that they are expensive but have you tried changing the toner cartridge?
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