Mark...you have readily admitted in an earlier thread that relying on Epson service is not always practical or feasible when one lives away from larger centres ....you might continue reminding people of that when you fall back on the "ring epson " recommendation..for those of us living in beautiful rural places.a huge flaw in epsons marketing strategy is selling machines to people who are in no position to avail of epson service facilities...i would advise that Epson products are impractical to own unless one can actually price in a service warranty and product repurchase when the warranty has expired...that is the real cost of trouble free printing with minimal ink wastage.. (I had a financial and risk assessing background in an earlier life..)
Frankly, whoever you are in reality, I have nothing to "admit" or not "admit". I would always recommend contacting Epson if I read a post from someone having trouble with their printer that doesn't indicate whether they have done so. Epson actually makes it very easy to do this - especially Epson America's Pro-graphics tech support. I don't know how well this works outside North America, but any time I've had issues with Epson products, and trust me there have been - I've been using their printers since the 2000P hit the market thirteen years ago, I have been able to communicate quite readily either by phone or through their on-line support system and they have been very helpful, particularly with in-warranty products. When it comes to out of warranty products, well, they're out of warranty and then it's another discussion.
Even for in-warranty service beyond the first 30 days, their usual policy for anything that can't be handled over the phone is to exchange the printer with a refurb rather than sending a service-person, because the time and cost of that often exceeds the residual value of the printer; and I must say for Epson, based on very recent experience with one of their office "all-in-ones", they will support this policy for however many printers it takes until you have one that works properly. Heck, if I call a serviceman to look at my washing machine or dishwasher the fee for walking through the door is 85 dollars and then the repair costs start mounting - if they don't tell you outright to save the money and buy a new one. Getting personal service at your doorstep these days is just darn expensive, like it or not.
Now going out of warranty, they aren't obligated to us, and they obviously don't think it's practical and economic for them to maintain their own service network for doing actual machine repairs at peoples' premises. So they outsource it. Many manufacturers do likewise for the same reasons. The outsource arrangements are often sub-optimal from a user perspective, because depending on where one lives, accessing such service whether by the machine being sent to them or them coming to us can be very expensive. I'm well aware of all that, but I would still advise contacting Epson for all the help they are prepared to provide, because for Prographic support (all the x800/x900 printers) even out of warranty
they will still provide email and phone support. Beyond that service can be costly no matter how arranged. So yes, I agree with you, one needs to think of all that in making a purchase decision, but I don't believe any of this varies much over a wide range of bulky high tech items one buys. Fr example, I know if my large, expensive high-def TV goes belly-up, given who made it and where they service it from, I'll be buying a new one.
Now let's turn to the subject you raise about the extended warranty. I still do have another life - consulting on financial evaluation, risk analysis, legal underpinning and structuring of major projects. As we both know, this is effectively an insurance policy, so insurance principles apply. There is a premium set by the company based on the cost of trouble, its probability of occurrence and the number of policies they expect to sell. So if they are rational economic actors, which we must assume they are, it's always structured in a way that they don't lose. And if they happen to lose in one year because they bet wrong, they'll make it up the year after. From our perspective as purchasers of such insurance, we need to make judgments about whether it's worthwhile. It's a bit of a crap-shoot; on average pretty-much a zero-sum game apart from their profit margin on the premiums, but for an individual it all depends on what happens - it's either a complete waste of money or a wise decision, which one gets to know after the fact. None of this makes an Epson printer impractical to use. It just complicates decision-making with options and each of us need to optimize based on our expectations. FWIW, I pondered this decision long and hard, and haven't bought such insurance, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Time will tell.