25 March 2011

printer frustration

I seem to be collecting printers. All the same model. I now have three Epson Artisan 725 printer/scanner/copiers... temporarily.

I wanted a new printer capable of producing top quality photographs. Initially I bought an Epson NX510 at Future Shop but that went back when its images were generously supplied with dark horizontal lines. No amount of head cleaning or realignment would stop this. I've had three very good Epsons over the past decade so decided to persevere and climbed the range to the afore-mentioned Artisan after some research.

I got a good price from B&H Photo in New York and a large box was promptly delivered three days later. Exciting stuff! Except that this model too produced unsightly horizontal lines until I used the highest quality settings. The results are great but it is officially now the slowest printer I have owned, despite advertising to the contrary.

After three weeks the printer stopped picking up paper. It clicked, rattled and shook and generally tried its hardest but the paper wouldn't feed. During a thorough inspection I discovered that the CD tray wouldn't descend either. There's a little tray which is supposed to glide out at the touch of a button allowing a CD to be drawn into the innards for direct printing.

By now I'm cross.

The Epson help line is conveniently located three time zones away on the west coast of America. After consulting world maps and time charts I calculated the correct calling time and spoke to a representative. After the usual efforts to identify an easy solution she gave up and announced a "new" one would be with me in the post. Excellent, and what's more there would be a pre-paid shipping label to send the faulty one back.

The "new" one arrived the very next day but my excitement soon evaporated. The box was marked 'refurbished' and had ominous damage to one corner - as if it had been dropped from a fair height. Sure enough, when I opened up the package I found a panel had sprung off the underside of the unit, not a repairable thing. To make matters worse the refurbished unit had clearly seen some action. It was scuffed and scratched and was leaking ink through the new hole in the bottom.

I wasted no time in calculating Pacific Time before grabbing the phone and stabbing the Epson numbers in. Another very helpful and apologetic rep listened to the sad story. I told him even if this refurbished unit had been in working order I would have been heavily down on the deal as the one I am sending back is, outwardly at least, in pristine condition. I want a brand new replacement.

This required the approval of his superiors. It took three minutes to arrange that but he came back on the line all chuckles and reassurance.

Yesterday our FedEx deliveryman came with yet another large box and a face loaded with deja vu. So... now I have three. I spent a while setting the latest one up because I cocked up the wireless settings at first. Uninstall failed but System Restore did the trick and I started again. Hooray, we're up and running.

All that remains now is for me to drive two thirty-five pound boxes to the FedEx office to get them out of my sight!


Russell 'C.J.' Duffy said...

My My, you do know how to have fun. It is at this point that you the Virgo and I the arian really part company. One of those machines would now be lying in pieces having been thrown from a window!!

Perfect Virgo said...

I barely kept my cool, CJ. The perfectionist in me demands that all things should work as advertised and that world-renouned Companies should be utterly reliable. I was let down on both counts.

Having said that, Epson came up with a brand new replacement (second time around) and I applaud them for sticking with me. Will I stick with them next time I am in the market for a printer? Quality control seems to be a thing of the past but they don't baulk at coughing up replacements so it will be a tricky choice for me.

Pickled said...

Late but great to catch up on your writing! I'm very familiar with the keypad stabbings - laughed out loud at that one. :D

I hope this 3rd one was the last!

Perfect Virgo said...

Cheryl - glad to see you back. I laughed too but only several weeks after the fiasco!