Being a blogger is fun, especially when you get all sorts of random stuff gifted to you for review. Last February, Epson got in touch with me about their Epson EcoTank ET-4550 printer. They asked me to try the printer and review it on Amazon.co.uk . Which I did – here.
It comes with ‘two years’ worth of ink – which is a great idea. You fill up the tanks on the side, and it drinks the ink as it needs it. It’s a great idea to save on cartridges and waste.
So.. In just over a year, I’ve printed just over 500 pages from my Epson EcoTank – which isn’t really all that many. This has included a variety of pictures on Epson Photo Paper too. It’s not really had a hard life, however, in the last month or so – it’s been a pain.
Basically, it can’t pick up paper from the tray. Almost every time I send something to print I have to remove the tray and adjust it everso slightly for the printer to feed. It’s a ballache, but I’ve put up with it. I tried to print some pictures the other day, and it just wasn’t working. No matter what I tried, it just wouldn’t feed the photo paper in.
I’ve tried everything possible to try and make it work – take off the back to check for any rogue bits of paper. It’s been factory reset and had a firmware update. Still, it can’t pick up photo paper, and struggles with plain A4. I reached out to Epson on Twitter, and they DMed asking for the serial number, and then replied with all the troubleshooting stuff I’d already tried.
They pointed me to the direction of the ‘Live Chat’ to resolve the Epson EcoTank woes
This is what happened..
11:15:43 AM Agent: Thank you for contacting Epson’s UK Customer Interaction Centre based in Telford, Shropshire. My name is xxxxxx
11:15:59 AM Agent: Hi Kip, Please describe the issue you are experiencing and the troubleshooting steps you have already completed.
11:16:47 AM Kip: The paper doesn’t get picked up from the sheet feeder, It will sometimes feed plain A4 – it can’t pickup Epson Photo Paper
11:17:02 AM Kip: I’ve tried doing a factory reset, updating the firmware – it’s still not working
11:18:06 AM Agent: I would suggest you power off the product and remove the power and data cable for at least a minute, lift the lid to check for any foreign objects, remove any paper or other items that should not be there. Please push the ink carriage over to the far right, this may click into place and then power the printer back on.
11:18:17 AM Kip: I’ve done this too.
11:18:58 AM Kip: I removed the bit at the back too
11:20:09 AM Agent: One moment please
11:20:20 AM Agent: The issue you are experiencing indicates a fault that needs to be repaired by an approved Epson technician that we can arrange directly.
11:20:35 AM Agent: Please confirm the date the product was purchased and where it was purchased from.
11:21:06 AM Kip: I’m not entirely sure – it came from Epson directly as a product to review on Amazon.co.uk
11:23:23 AM Agent: As your product is out of warranty, we can offer a fixed price repair. This would cost £118.80 inc VAT, Parts and Labour, Repair, Collection and Delivery and 6 months warranty
11:25:21 AM Kip: You’re refusing to repair a £350 printer after a year?
11:25:54 AM Agent: As the product is out of warranty, we are unable to offer an in warranty repair
11:26:42 AM Kip: Under EU law I thought all products must have at least a 2 year warranty
11:27:24 AM Agent: You have quoted a number of references to European statute, all of which would be considered to apply to the “legal” warranty pertaining to the product – this legal warranty represents the basic rights that attach to the consumer.
Please appreciate that many manufacturers will actually run with a “commercial” warranty, which is additional in substance to the basic rights of the legal warranty, and they will advise this as appropriate. For Epson UK, the commercial warranty is a standard 1 year warranty, which is in fact consistent with most other printer manufacturers.
Note that the commercial warranty can never restrict the rights of a purchaser under their legal warranty. (This was posted almost straight away – I imagine it’s a copy and paste!)
11:28:28 AM Kip: I’m not paying you £118 to fix a printer that I’ve owned for just over a year
11:28:54 AM Agent: I am sorry that I am unable to provide you with a more favourable response on this occasion.
11:29:09 AM Agent: Alternatively, You can take your product to an express centre
11:29:14 AM Agent You may find it more cost-effective to replace the printer rather than have it repaired due to the labour costs involved.
11:30:47 AM Kip: Amazing..
11:30:58 AM Kip: Thanks for the help xxxxx
11:31:07 AM Kip: I certainly won’t buy an Epson printer
11:31:39 AM Agent: It is never our intention to disappoint customers in any way and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. We value the comments that you have made and I would like to thank you for bringing them to our attention.
11:31:39 AM Agent: Is there anything else I may help with?
11:31:51 AM Kip: Nope
11:32:19 AM Agent: Thank you for using EPSON e-Talk. If you require further assistance please reconnect to http://www.epson.co.uk/contact. Lines are open 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.
Cut a long story short..
So – essentially a £350 Epson EcoTank printer with TWO years worth of ink is only under warranty for one year. Plus, after a relatively easy life – the bloody thing breaks and they want a third of the cost to repair it. I’m loathed to pay for a repair on something that’s only just over a year old. Something else could easily fail after a repair. Even the Epson rep suggests my money is best spent on a new printer.
It’s really awesome getting sent stuff to review, and I will always write honestly about things. Ultimately, I’d never want someone to waste money on something after my recommendation. So, without a shadow of a doubt – avoid the Epson EcoTank ET-4550 – I can’t recommend this at all.
Anyone got any GOOD printer recommendations?!