Posted by: Dahni | March 20, 2015

Tale of a Printer or Horror Story?

short url to this post: http://wp.me/pc3uC-11A

by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

 

CanonPrinterI must be stupid? Why do I have a printer or need one? Everything is surely, ‘In the Cloud.’ But I have not just one, but two printers. I rarely if ever, send or a receive a fax anymore. Online and on-demand fax services, PDF files and email are all available to send stuff in color and in high resolution. But, I can send or receive a fax, if I want to or have to.

I do use a scanner from time to time.

I do need to make copies from time to time.

I do need to print stuff regularly.

I do print high quality materials and photography/art work.

Now I could have separate devices, for all these functions and I used to.

Now, I use one printer for artwork/photography that is hard-wired to my computer (better/faster connection I believe). The other is WIFI enabled and is a multi-purpose printer. Generally speaking, when one function stops working, you have to usually send the whole thing in for repair or replacement. I did not have the time to do that or the space, for all separate pieces of equipment or devices with individual functions. So, our other printer, our mainly/mostly used printer is, an all-in-one or a multi-function printer.

Do you use a printer for home/business? Do you need a printer? Do you have one and you need it? Are you working on taxes? When you hit print, do the pages come out without ink on them? Its obvious that your computer is communicating with your printer otherwise, there would NOT be any blank pages coming out. Did you check your ink and find there is plenty? Did you run every known maintenance tool from the software that came with your printer, to no avail? Did you take out the cartridges and tap them gently inside a waste can, just in case the ink was dried or something was clogged? Do you just happen to have a complete set of un-opened, brand new inks? Well, isn’t that special! DON’T OPEN THEM, thinking you will just try and see if they will work in your problematic printer!  Call the help desk of your particular printer’s manufacturer.

Your conversation (automatic conversation) will go something like this: 

“This call may be monitored.” (Would this monitoring be by automatic or live monitors?)

Press 1, if you know what your name is. 🙂

Press 2, for every possible language, that is spoken in, the United States, then press the appropriate number, for your particular language

Press 3, if you are calling in, the United States (Don’t worry about this, they have your U.S. number recorded, so they can call you back)

Press 4, if you are an existing customer (wait) If prompted to give your customer number DON’T, when you DO speak with a ‘live’ person, they will ask you for it anyway).

Press 5, if you are interested in making a purchase (quick connect)

Press 6, if you have some problem (if not immediately disconnected, there will be a L        O       N       G wait time)

Press 7, if you are in this country illegally (quick connect and FREE stuff)

Press 8, if you would like technical assistance (chances are they either don’t have techs, they are on break/at lunch etc. or you will be routed to sales because, they just want to sell you more stuff)

Press 9, if by now, you have forgotten why, you called in the first place

Press 9 1/2, if there are too many choices and we will route you to, 9 3/4

Press 9 3/4, if by now, you are wondering, WTF and we will route you to, 10

Press 10, if you did not understand 1-9 and the message will be repeated, really very, very slowly

 

Notes: The reason for the fractions  ( 9 1/2 and 9 3/4 is simple, numbers on the phone only are from 1-9 and 1 + 0 is your 10, but that’s it. Now this is very, IMPORTANT, Do NOT Press 0 (for operator), you will most likely speak to a real person that will route you to, the correct department. 🙂

 

OK, so you get through, FINALLY. YAY! And the tech (really a sales person) informs you that you have a print-head problem (that’s the thingy that makes the printer print ink on your page).

The solution is, to either repair it, for say, $300 (almost or over twice, for what you paid, for the printer when it was new). Now, if you elect this option, you will most likely pay to ship it to a repair facility and pay, for them to ship it back. And there is no guarantee that they will be able to repair it (after you have waited, for a response, for about 10 days or more. And then, you may give some communication that let’s you know,

“We’re sorry, but your printer could not be repaired! Do you want to pay us to ship back your old one? Would you like to purchase a new printer?”

OR, you can just replace your printer with a brand-spanky-new one, which is what they want you to do!

All of this kind of defeats the purpose of calling for technical assistance if, the print-head is, built to pretty much FAIL, in around two years. Most warranties of new products are from say, the store where you bought it until, you have reached the parking lot and placed it into your car (or vehicle). Sorry about that, I get a little confused about the difference between a warranty and built-in obsolescence. 🙂

The reason I get confused is because, the manufacturers always want to offer you an extended warranty, for extra $$$’s (extends the life of your purchase to the point they know it will FAIL, sometime, just after the warranty has expired).

Oh, there’s always something ‘New & Improved,’ but your extra ink from your old printer, well, those cartridges won’t work in the new printer! See, I told you NOT to open them! Try and take them back where you purchased them. There is a good chance they will give you a refund. Why, because those cartridges are still being sold. Just because, your printer has not had a print-head problem YET or you are not looking to replace or purchase a new printer yet, does NOT mean your printer’s maker is going to make you buy a new printer! Oh no, not as long as, you are still buying ink!

Printers are generally pretty cheap. So cheap (in all ways), we should get them for FREE! The companies make their money on selling us ink!

OK, so I needed to get a new printer. We used HP (Hewlett Packard), for years. Never had a problem with the quality of the pages printed or their tru-color print quality or their software. Our problem was the cost of ink! They used to use tri-color cartridges – cyan/magenta/yellow or blue/red/yellow and a separate one, for black + as an option, photo-black (whatever that means).

Whoops, ran out blue, but have PLENTY of red and yellow left. Sorry, NO PRINTY! MUST REPLACE WITH NEW CARTRIDGE!

There were only two companies that made individual ink cartridges, at the time we decided to replace our HP. These two companies were, Epson and Canon. I have a Canon camera so, we decided to go with Canon. We eventually purchased two.

Our first Canon printer was specifically purchased, for its photographic and fine art quality. It had eight, count them 8, individual cartridges. Very cost effective and the software would let me know long before, I needed a new cartridge. Or, I could just open the lid and look! And if I did not pay attention, it would still print, but with missing color(s) I was out of. Yep, then, I figured out, I was out of ink. 🙂

HAPPY – HAPPY WITH MY CANON PIXMA PRINTER! Then the print-head failed. OK, since repair was not an option that made since even then, I went to my photo shop where I got the first one, to get a new one, but NO, they don’t sell them anymore! Why not? Well, I found that my new Canon Photo printer with the 8 individual colored ink cartridges, prints in greater quality than they do as professional printers! Now why would they want to sell me a printer that competes with them? NOPE, not hap-nin,’ “wouldn’t be prudent.”

So anyway, back to Canon Direct. About this time, our HP printer was ticking me off because, of their tri-color single cartridge crap and pages just would not print. The print-drivers or software was regularly getting locked up and lost in the ‘print-Que.’ More than often, I could not cancel printing that wasn’t printing anyway. More than often, I would have to re-boot my computer and start all over again. I mean really, what is the point of being able to cancel printing, if your printing that’s not printing, CAN”T BE CANCELED!

So, Canon made me a great deal on two printers (the Photo printer and the multi-purpose one). The Canon All-in-one, multi-purpose (scan/fax.print/copy) printer uses five, count them 5, individual ink cartridges – red, blue, yellow, black and photo black. To be fair, I understand that HP finally saw the handwriting on the wall (were forced to change) and now, offer printers with individual ink cartridges. But they did NOT, when I needed a new printer. Oh, I’m sure they knew what Canon and Epson were doing, but why change if they did not have to (still making money). Well, they must have finally figured out that they, had to change! I dunno’ why, maybe customer complaints or maybe it was just decreased revenue?

At Canon, I was introduced to their ‘customer loyalty program’ (saved even more money). OK again, HAPPY – HAPPY with their products until, just a few days ago, when another Canon printer and our first Canon, All-in-one printer, print-head failed!

Nope, no refurbished models for my PixmaMX892. Must buy a new one, PixmaMX922. Nope, my old cartridges will not work. Must try to take them back to get a refund. Must buy new cartridges in the future. So, OK, the retail price was around $200, but they had it on sale for $179 and would give me an extra $10 off, from their ‘customer loyalty program.’ I almost bought it for $169, but it was on back order. Wouldn’t you think they would know this, before they tried to sell me a new one that I couldn’t have? One would think so! OK, I guess, (not happy about it, but) I could use my other photo printer (didn’t want to) until, they could ship it to me (whenever that would be).

Remember “taxes,” taxes I said. I’m working on taxes?! Not wanting to wait until nobody knows when I ‘d get it, and not wanting to use my other printer, for regular printing, I told Canon I MAY, call them back. I wanted to see, if I could get this one at least on sale, for $179, but definitely sooner than, who knows when, Canon would get it and ship me one.

Are you having fun with this post? It gets better as we move now, into the world of, EXACTLY, how much does a retail price of around $200 on sale at $179, really cost?

Wal-mart is, the closest store to me if, I wanted to go there and try and get a refund on the ink that won’t work on the new printer and to get the new printer, NOW.

Oh, by the way, NEVER BUY INK FROM Wal-Mart! Well, at least not HP or at least this was they way it was. No one could beat Wallyworld’ prices for HP ink! NO ONE! Well, I found out that the EXACT-SAME product that you would find at any other store, (same numbers and packaging and everything) had 25% less ink in the cartridges sold at, Wal-Mart!

Well, how much for the printer needed/wanted at Wal-mart? First of all, the printer I wanted is, NOT in their store, at least NOT, in the one nearest to me. OK, so I will wait to either have it shipped to them and pick it up there or have it shipped to our home here. OK, the bottom line, at the world’s largest retailer and the land of “falling prices” is, $199 + change or just call it, $200. WOW, not even the sale price! NEXT!

Hello, do not I, own a piece of the Internet? Yes! Hello, why not order it from your own company and get cash back, for doing it?! DUH! OK, so I tried to do just that.

The printer in consideration (Canon PixmaMx922) was listed as, being available from 10 partner stores. They pay us for advertising their stuff and for sending them customers. Cool! So, out of these ten stores, (Wal-mart being one of them), but not Amazon as, it is a competitor, the cheapest price was from TigerDirect at, $119. Awesome, I’m in! My cash back was only $2.40 cents, but still, that’s something.

So, I ordered it from a third-party through, TigerDirect. I promptly received an e-mail confirmation, the order was placed, i.e. credit card accepted etc. Then, I received another email that it was canceled. I’m talking about a minute or so between the two emails. WHAT? What happened? What’s going on? Do you not verify that the money is available in order processing, before sending a confirmation? One would think!

Ooops, I used the wrong credit card with an expiration date of 9/15? Oh, right, I have the same card, but it’s the new one for 9/16. My mistake. OK, so I must activate new card. Did that. Placed order again. New email response that it was declined, more or less. Why? Probably because, the online activation of my new card had not shown up in real-time yet. But, the email gave me information to try and resolve this and it provided a telephone number. So I called, thinking it was my own third-part liaison between me/us and TigerDirect, but Lo and behold, I was talking to TigerDirect, directly! Hello, US, do WE (you and I) not want our own business? I guess NOT?

Well, the man on the other end said, “I cannot help you with ‘third-party’ issues, but if you want to place an order, I can help you.” At this point, I don’t care if I was ordering it from myself or about getting back $2.40, for doing so, I  JUST WANTED AND NEEDED A PRINTER!

TigerDirect offered me the same price of $119 + something that no one other than Canon Direct did, an EXTENDED WARRANTY. OK, I’m listening. What is the manufacturer’s warranty? Answer, a limited, 1 year + you pay for shipping to return it. Not good! I have already experienced that the printers are usually only going to last, for two years. So, TigerDirect offered me either a two or three year extended warranty through, ‘Square Trade,’ for either $11 or $18. They will just replace the printer with a new one or a better model, no questions asked, no shipping, no deductible just BOOM, done! OK, I chose 3 years, for $18.00, to remind me my print-head will probably fail, sometime after two years, so I don’t have to do this, all over again.  Just a word of advice. It’s not IF your print-head will fail, but WHEN!

Here’s the bottom line of my recent print-story experience:

 

Canon Direct – $179 – $10 customer loyalty program = $169 + tax NO shipping charges, higher costing and only a 1 year extended warranty (they know it will fail after two years so, this is money wasted to me)

Wal-mart – about $200 no extended warranty

TigerDirect – through my aggregate third-party shop, $119 with $2.40 cash back and no extended warranty offered

Amazon.com – $99 + taxes & shipping or about $135 with, an extra set of inks (a good deal), BUT no extended warranty

TigerDirect (direct) – $119 + 3 years of extended warranty through SquareTrade, all, for a total charge on my credit card of, about $153

 

No, I could not compete with Amazon.com’s price of $99 or even their $135 with an extra set of inks which I would use, but they did not offer an extended warranty, which I need.

So, my new printer, for, $153 is, less than the suggested retail price of about $200, less than the sale price of, $179 and less than the Canon Direct ‘customer loyalty program’ price of $169, BUT I HAVE THREE YEARS OF COVERAGE!  I’m Happy! 🙂

Yes, it is important to search, for the best price, but price alone, may NOT be all that you need. Trust me, your print-head will most likely fail in about two years (depending on how much you use it, and ours are used a lot). To us, the warranty is important. I’m hoping that WHEN the new print-head fails (and it will) in a little over two years, mine will still be under warranty! But overall, I’m HAPPY – HAPPY with Canon! 🙂

Now, the funny thing about the new printer is, the Canon PixmaMX922, looks exactly like the old one, except for inside, it has the new cartridges that the old one won’t work with! Improve stuff by all means, but why can’t I use the same cartridges, I already purchased? 😦

In this day and time of such incredible technology, why cannot stuff be made that lasts and just works with great quality, ease of use and with minimal costs associated with it? THEY CAN BE, but that goes against all rules of business – MAKE MONEY, MAKE IT PROPITIATORY (cannot use anything other than their stuff. And DON’T you dare ever try to save yourself money, by using generic inks, it will void your warranty),  MAKE EM’ CHEAP (make the devices so that you can basically give them away and it looks like great value/a good deal), MAKE CUSTOMERS INTO CONSUMERS (so we keep buying stuff, ALL the time), MAKE IT TO FAIL (built-in obsolescence) and then it all circles back to, MAKE MONEY, all over again – and again, “to infinity and beyond” and ad nauseam (excessive and sickening)!

But what if it was in everyone’s BEST INTEREST, to make stuff that lasts and just works with great quality, ease of use and with minimal cost? Oh NO, companies would have to diversify, in order to just survive. How will they survive and thrive if their stuff is so good, we buy it and it just lasts? They cannot be, just a “one-trick pony!” They cannot be, just about doing one thing well. They must diversify you know, like buying up and out other non-related products and services, to extend their portfolio of companies.

Well, how about this kind of diversification for a printer company – Why not make the world’s best printer, then diversify, making the world’s best parts and service department, the world’s best and fastest 3D printers (which is really 2D, just printed over and over again until it gets to the right thickness/shape etc.). Yes, why not make 3D printers to make printers, inks and parts (even to be used at your own home/office) ON-DEMAND, other things that the world’s best 3D printer could make like cars, planes, medical devices, computers and computer chips, medical delivery systems, pretty much anything! By the way, such a fast 3D printer now exists!!! It’s just not commercially available YET!  But anyway, if that’s not enough diversification, they could just make the world’s best other thing or the next best thing!

Well, gotta’ go. UPS just delivered and it’s time to set up and install the new printer! 🙂

CanonPrinter2

Oh, by the way, I don’t consume ink. I am a customer. Businesses  exist because, we purchase their stuff. We do NOT exist because of them!! They need to get their priorities straight!

 

 

Just I-Magine,

 

Thankgiving09_MySig


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: