Canon Pixma ip4200-Are Canon in breach of the law?

  susiepops 07:44 21 Feb 2006
Locked

It was not until I had purchased this printer did I become aware of the constraints

placed by Canon on the use if compatible inks produced by other companies.

Under UK law it may be in order for Canon to provide warning messages that use of other

inks may result in inferior results. I see no problem if Canon wish to introduce a chip

that indicates that ink is running low. However, I believe that Canon's claim that to

use other than their ink will void their warranty is questionable. I believe they may be

unable to void the warranty under US law but am unsure of the position in the UK and,

even if they can, whether they would still have a liability under the Sale of Goods Act

or other consumer protection, especially since their stated position and conditions are

not apparent at the point of purchase and may not become known until sometime afterward.

My further understanding is that if you attempt to refill a cartridge, something

previously possible with a Canon printer, the following warning message appears:

“You are using refill ink in your cartridges, if you continue your printer warranty will

be void”

You are prompted to press OK. If you press OK, the low ink warning facility on the

printer no longer works. If this is the case, you must be very careful never to let the

inks run dry as this will burn out your printhead.

Using 'compatible inks' and possibly losing out on quality or warranty may be one thing

but if, as a result, the low ink warning no longer works the printer itself has changed

from that originally purchased since it fails to perform all of its original functions

with possible disastrous results.

I find it hard to accept that this is acceptable in law and is morally reprehensible. As

a Canon affecionado for many years I am most disappointed in Canon and am now wondering

whether I can return the printer for a refund because of the constraint and its

consequences.

Your views will be appreciated.

  ventanas 08:47 21 Feb 2006

I can understand why they do this. the IP4200, like others in the range, has a separate print head. On the cheaper models the print head is incorporated within the more expensive cartridges. Using compatibles here will do no harm, but they may damage the head on the 4000 range. Canon are simply covering themselves. I have an IP4000, and I will use Canon cartridges until the warranty expires in the not to distant future, when I will change to cheaper compatibles, which I have already purchased.

  wee eddie 08:57 21 Feb 2006

Where have you been living?

The use of third party ink has been discussed on TV, in the National Press, both Red Top and Heavyweight, on the Radio and in almost every PC based publication available in the UK for several years.

It's aggravating, a bit like those of us that shave, only being able to use Gillette blades in our Gillette Razor. That's why they sold us the razor for a £5'er.

  jack 09:08 21 Feb 2006

Its all hot air
Use the machine as you will, keep to makers carts whilst under warranty - just in case, if you will,
then go any way you please - compats, refill, what ever. These machines with integeral heads like Epson are considered unrepairable any way - if it dies ,go but the next one.

  HondaMan 09:48 21 Feb 2006

I would hate to think that my Pixma 8500 is unrepairable. A new print head is about £85, far less than the cost of a new printer.

  ventanas 09:55 21 Feb 2006

If the print head clogs up they can be cleaned by soaking in distilled water and left to dry. In fact I have even heard of them being cleaned in plain warm tap water. Agitating also helps.

  jack 09:56 21 Feb 2006

Similar then the the high end Epsons [R series]
Here Epson offer a flat fee swap facility for out of warranty machines- £45 - brings a refurb replacement to the door by Fed Ex and they take the old one away
I'm on my third - That is orig machine died out of warranty- Pay the money they swap - for a refurb with 1 year warranty - that died - on site engineer could not fix - swapped for another refurb, all for the original fee.

  susiepops 10:11 21 Feb 2006

Ventanas.

Unfortunately, the 4000 model differs from the 4200 model for which compatibles are not yet available and perhaps will never be. Sorry, Canon are not protecting themselves in the sense you suggest since a simple warrantly exclusion as has always been in place would still be as valid. (if it ever was-I believe US law does not accept this form of exclusion) This is a simple case of price protection for the lucrative market of ink cartridges.

Wee Edie.

Electronic products are now very cheap to produce I doubt whether printers, like dvd /cdplayers. and the razors you mention are really the loss leaders manufactueres would have us believe.


Jack.

Don't disagree but I dislike being forced to pay around £50 for a set of cartridges even if only for a year.

THE REAL POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE AND GET AN ANSWER TO WAS A LEGAL ONE. WHAT CANON HAVE DONE, SHOULD ONE DECIDE TO WAIVE THE RIGHTS UNDER WARRANTY, IS TO ALTER THE FUNCTION OF THE PRINTER (BY DISABLING THE LOW INK WARNING) AFTER THE POINT OF PURCHASE AND, IN ADDITION, AN ORDINARY USER WILL DISCOVER THE CHANGE SIMPLY BY PRESSING AN 'OK' BUTTON FOLLOWING A PROMPT FROM CANON. RATHER UNDERHAND IN MY VIEW.

  spuds 11:19 21 Feb 2006

I am sure that Canon consulted a shed full of very expensive legal people before they put words to print. If you have a problem with their selling conditions, then do not buy the product. If you consider that the terms (after the event) of the contract is misleading or to your detriment, then contact the office of fair trading, expressing that you consider Canon's terms contravene the Unfair Contracts Act.

There is nothing to stop you using compatibles, in fact Choice Stationary and a number of other compatible print cartridge suppliers, will cover any repair costs if your machine malfunctions through using their compatible products.Choice have even designed their own Epson type compatibles, so as to overcome some of the problems in that area.

Epson have already introduced certain safeguards into their printers, and Canon are following in a similar way, so as to prevent compatibles being used. But at the end of the day, it is money that doe's the talking. If you do not like the product or the manufacturers terms, then purchase from a source less restrictive. The choice is yours.

  rmcqua 13:04 21 Feb 2006

susiepops
Some electronic products ARE, indeed, very cheap to produce.
It's not the electronic parts of the printer that are expensive to produce - it's the intricate mechanical and electro-mechanical bits.

  keef66 13:09 21 Feb 2006

I doubt it's illegal if you're made aware of the fact before you buy. You always have the choice not to buy their products. I suppose it's a bit like a car manufacturer's warranty depending on you having it serviced by their own dealers, at particular intervals using the correct spec of oil, branded parts etc. I wouldn't have a Skoda because they insist on you using their dealers for service. I can and do have our Fords serviced by non Ford garages without voiding the warranties.

If I were Canon I wouldn't want to be handing out replacement print heads to people who'd bunged them up with cheap inks which don't meet the right specs.

Having said that, I have used both Canon originals and Choice Stationery compatibles in my Canon printers, and only ever had a printhead problem with one using the manufacturers own carts. Fortunately under warranty and replaced without fuss.

I do as suggested above; Canon carts until the warranty expires, Choice thereafter.

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