How can Epson be 'ripping us off?'. You asked one of their service agents to perform a task (I assume you asked for a quote) and they got your printer working again.
Had you considered spending a little time with a Google search, you would have easily found this little gem click here and others like it.
In the case of your problem, it was most likely the waste tank pads wanted cleaning or/and changing plus a reset. My local Epson agent charges £30.00 for this, I do it for nothing.
eBay are full of such printers ;O)