EPSON L300 Colour Inkjet Printer

EPSON inkjet printers designed to shut down after limited number of prints (List of Models)

*Epson explains the company has designed the affected inkjet printers to stop working when the pads get full of ink because of the danger of ink spills to consumers, urging users to either pay for a repair or buy new printers

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

When a product stops working properly, some consumers simply replace it.

Whereas others want to repair such a defective product, so they can continue to use it.

That’s the whole point of “right to repair” rules, which the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it plans to vigorously enforce in the American market.

Inkjet printer cartridges    Photo: GI

ConsumerConnect learnt some Epson printer owners observed that after years of use, their printers have displayed a message saying the device has “reached the end of its service life,” suggesting it must be replaced.

However, there appears to be an available repair, agency report noted.

The issue affects Epson L130, L220, L310, L360 and L365 models, which are all inkjet printers. There are pads inside the printers that soak up excess ink, report said. When the pads get full l, the printer indicates to  the user that its life is over.

Danger of ink spills to consumers?

Meanwhile, Epson says it designed the printer to stop working when the pads get full of ink because of the danger of ink spills.

Usually, the company says the printer wears out at about the same time the pads get full, so it’s time to buy a new printer, according to report.

However, a number of consumers posting on message boards say their printers were working just fine until the “end of life” message flashed.

A Reddit user going by the handle Flared 101 claimed it’s just another example of planned obsolescence.

The post said: “It’s all the same: buy another one of our identical products in this season’s colours, whose technology hasn’t fundamentally changed in any way since 2001.”

Epson’s suggestion on servicing the printers

Epson has said that the printers can be serviced to replace the pads, but it has to be done by an authorised Epson vendor. It has also addressed the issue on its Web site.

The company stated: “In the event a user receives this alert, the printer needs to be properly maintained in order to continue printing.

“Epson understands the importance for its customers to be able to print whenever they need to and offers flexible options to extend printing, including a one-time Maintenance Reset Utility, enabling North American customers to continue printing for a limited time in order to determine the repair solution that best fits their needs.”

Epson also said the printers in question are not very expensive, and a repair may be less cost-effective that simply buying a new printer. Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard University Professor of Law, has reportedly written that in cases like this, consumers think they have purchased a product but in fact, “are only renting a service.”

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