Printer longetivity/reliability

  mjojo 16:01 30 Jun 2004

I bought a canon s330 printer 14 months ago, and now the print head has failed. Replacement head £47 plus VAT plus p&p. (Not likely!) 14 months moderate home use is not good enough. Canon and Choice Stationery (ink supplier) both not interested in any customer recovery.

My trusty Oki dot matrix printer is still going after 10 years, along with my trusty Atari 520ste, 4 meg, and huge processing power! Perhaps I have just been unlucky with this model? The only way consumers can vote is with buying power. I will be adding Canon, and Choice Stationery to the list of companies I refuse to buy from!

So is it unreasonable to expect more than 14 months careful use from a printer? I will be buying an HP 5150 (from Amazon £70.22 free delivery), on recommendation from PC Advisor, and other friends. Allegedly the print heads are built into the cartridges, so this should be one less potential problem. I can now purchase manufacturers cartridges from the USA at a more reasonable price. Should this really make such a difference? Manufacturers of washing machines don’t expect, or make brand only washing powders. I am interested in the views of all you other printer users.

  961 16:11 30 Jun 2004

I have always bought HP on the basis that you do get a new print head with every new cartridge, and the rest of the mechanical stuff will keep going forever. I have an attic full of old HP printers which still work but have been overtaken by more dots per inch and all the rest of it

My basic way to go is to buy the HP printer that has just been replaced by a newer edition (every 6 months or so) and is being sold off at half price

The quality of print output from these jobs is amazing and unless you want top notch photo prints remanufactured cartridges work just fine for me

I have an Epson for photos, and it is good, but I know that when the print head goes awol there is only the dustbin for it. Getting someone to put a new one in is just not worth the hassle

  Stuartli 17:40 30 Jun 2004

My Canon BJC600e is eight years old and is used quite extensively - it is working as quietly and as vibration free as it was on the day I bought it. Build quality is way above many of today's offerings, but it did cost £364 inc VAT at Makro.

In fact it has always been housed on top of my system MidiTower case, being conveniently situated to add/remove paper or switch on and off.

The print head is the original and Canon's manual estimates it should last the life of the printer itself; the only cost has been that of compatible JR or Jettec ink cartridges at £1.85 each plus VAT (black, cyan, yellow and magenta) or the double capacity black cartridges at £2.05 each plus VAT.

I only need to change each cartridge when it runs out, usually about once a month to six weeks.

  Stuartli 17:47 30 Jun 2004

As the printer is apparently out of warranty, why do you presume that Canon or Choice Stationary should have any involvement in supplying or paying for a replacement print head?

  mjojo 18:30 30 Jun 2004

Choice say: “...but in the unlikely event that your printer is damaged by one of our cartridges, we will collect, repair or replace your printer free of charge - ask for further details”

I’m not sure what exactly this statement means. Canon imply that you should only use their ink. How exactly does a cartridge ‘damage’ the printer? Shortening the life of the print head?
I’m not necessarily holding them/anyone responsible, but what does the statement mean?

The printer is out of warranty, I agree. However I do not think 14 months of ‘home use’ is reasonable. How can a print head not be available for less than £47+VAT+p&p, when the printer cost £60ish? Perhaps this is the choice we make, expensive to last, cheap to replace. Your printer has lasted longer, but cost more. There again I could have bought 6 cheaper printers in that time.

I don’t presume either company to require involvement, unless they wish to keep me in their future customer base. I made the post to see what other people thought, and your views are most interesting, because you use compatible cartridges, and say the build quality is better. The replies I get could influence my purchase decision!

  oresome 18:49 30 Jun 2004

As mjojo states, 14 months of moderate use is not enough and most people would feel agrieved with a purchase that failed shortly after the manufacturers 12 month warranty expired. It would be useful if products had an expected life span printed on the box. Buy cheap and get a short life or pay for quality and both the performance and longevity improve. At least you'd know what you were paying for, although it would lead the manufacturers open to lots more claims, so won't ever happen. How many consumers would purchase a product with an expected life of 14 months? In the circumstances, I would do as mjojo and not purchase again from the manufacturer or supplier, it's the most effective power the consumer has.

  961 18:53 30 Jun 2004

As I say, if the print head is in the cartridge, then you don't have this problem, and I can quite understand the printer maker and the cartridge maker blaming each other. 'twas ever thus

Having said that, I think most of this sort of trouble is caused by ink drying up inside the print head because of periods of lack of use

The answer is to get new print heads when you buy the cartridge and then the problem does not arise, although I accept that the cartridge itself may be a little more expensive

  kspatto 22:10 30 Jun 2004

you may not be aware but just because your warrenty has run out you still have rights under the fair usage act a product should last for a reasonable length of time there are guide lines for products but this is something of a grey area although I would imagine fair usage for a printer would be at least 3-4 years try contacting your citezens advice I have always found them to be very helpful

  kspatto 22:21 30 Jun 2004

click here this is a link to CAB advice guide have a read of page 2

  davidg_richmond 22:42 30 Jun 2004

Having used both Canon and HP printers exclusively for the last seven years, I personally consider print heads to be a consumable item in the same way that cartridges are. For instance, my Canon BJC2000 needed a new head after 2 years while my HP cartridges always came with a new head anyway.

The printer may not necessarily be 'faulty' as such but just needs a part replacing that is considered a short lived item. At least you haven't had a head problem with an Epson, where you would have to go out and buy a whole new printer not just the head or cartridge.

P.S. if you choose the 5150 for £70 I would advise trying Dixons or PC World where the better 5650 is selling for the same price (while the stocks last as it is end of line).

  davidg_richmond 22:48 30 Jun 2004

As far as print heads go don't they in fact get more reliable the more frequent you use them? Based on the fact that ink cannot congeal and block the head if it is used frequently.

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