It's not often that we read about positive experiences with respect to problem solving when we encounter issues with our pro graphics printers... whether they be Epson, Canon or HP. I'm as guilty as the next photographer in that I'm quick to complain when something is amiss and I don't take the time to thank the people responsible for resolving problem issues that shut my printer down.
Two weeks ago my "Low Ink" light came on for Vivid Magenta Ink while printing an image on my Epson 3880 printer. I wasn't concerned as I had a back-up cartridge and know from years of printing with my Epson 9600 that one can still make a number of prints before the cartridge hits the wall. This printer has been the most trouble-free printer I've ever owned as well as THE most economical in terms of ink waste. I think I've only had to do one cleaning cycle in the two years I've owned it!
The ink ran out and I inserted the new cartridge. The panel on top of the printer immediately read "Ink Low" for the new cartridge I just installed. Puzzled, I began a new print and the printer stopped after printing just two inches of the new image. The panel now read "Ink Out" for the new Vivid Magenta cartridge I had just installed.
I removed the cartridge, shook it again for a full minute and reinserted it. "Ink Out" was still indicated for this ink. I shut off the printer and waited a while, reinstalled the cartridge and the warning still persisted. I tried in vain to remove and reinsert the cartridge several more times before giving up and calling Epson Tech Support.
I reached Jim Weeks and he was kind and cooperative. He mentioned that on rare occasions a bad cartridge will sneak through and this is probably what happened. He offered to send me a replacement via Fed Ex and confirmed my correct address. I asked him if he wanted me to send in the defective cartridge and stated that I'd gladly do so and he said "I'll call you if we need to see it." That was it.
The cartridge just arrived via Fed Ex.
I very much appreciate the integrity Epson showed in standing behind their product. It shows that Epson cares...
The flip side is a recent experience with Canon. I had the Maintenance Tank light flashing on the Canon for the past weeks. I've replaced only the Yellow cartridge since purchasing the printer and all of the other colors are well over half full. I purchased the 8300 after reading many testimonials on this and other forums about how "frugal" the Canon was with respect to the cleaning cycles when compared to Epson Wide Format printers. While I had gone through at least two full 220 ml sets of ink on my Epson 9600 prior to having to replace a Maintenance Tank, it seemed unconscionable that the Canon Maintenance Tank would fill up with less than half of the original 330ml cartridges used!
I called Canon and explained the situation to their Tech Support. I spoke with a gentleman who expressed no concern and stated as matter of fact as he could "sounds like you need a new maintenance tank." His mastery of understatement was laudable!
I then called IT Supplies who I bought the printer from. Matt was out so Chris handled my call. I simply asked if this was normal: that a Maintenance Tank would fill with less than half the original cartridges used? I explained that I purchased the Canon because it was reputed to be much more frugal with ink waste (than Epson) but that my personal experience was certainly proving otherwise. My indoor humidity is a constant 67%, which is optimum for a piezo printer like the Epson's. Canon's are supposedly more resistant to plugging with dry conditions so 67% would appear to be even more in the Canon's favor.
Chris said he'd do some research and get back to me. That was last week... and I haven't heard from him since.
I very much appreciate that Epson cares and wish that Canon would show a little more concern at what I feel is clearly a problem.