Sunday, September 6, 2015

Trying to Find a Creative Solution to a Problem: Epson, Shame on You

I'm a photographer, printmaker, and collage artist. Three years ago, after saving about a year, I bought an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer--finally upgrading to a professional level printer to expand my activities as an artist. I've used the printer very lightly, but it's been critical to my photographic work. After printing only 50 sheets, a piece of the head transport mechanism cracked, causing serious, but temporarily manageable problems. The repair shop that diagnosed the problem believes the failure to have been a result of a manufacturing defect. Epson would do nothing to help me, despite that. Not long after, the print heads clogged so badly that the machine has become entirely unusable--and these machines are designed so that they are more expensive to repair than they are to replace (Repair estimate: $1,650). During the diagnosis, the cracked head support broke off completely. I tried to suggest nicely to Epson that this is like a $25,000 auto becoming undriveable after 3,000 miles and costing $28,000 to repair. I even wrote directly to the CEO of Epson America, but simpy got another rejection from people hired to protect the bottom line. I have nowhere to turn. The machine is out of warranty. That's all Epson cares about. Period. Tough luck. They refuse to stand behind what is clearly a lemon. Others have had nothing but praise for this machine and used the 3880 for many years--as I expected to do. Clearly my experience has been anomolous, not my fault. I bought a lemon. If you look at the photo here, you can see that the factory protective films are still in place--that's how little it's been used.

Why should you donate? You shouldn't have to. Epson is responsible here, but they've left me in the lurch and I don't have the money for a new printer. Having a printer is important to supporting my work. If you love art and hate companies that leave customers out in the cold--and product design that forces replacement rather than repair (creating yet more plastic in landfills)--then please do what you can to get me up and running again.

Happy to provide documentation of any details to parties that may be skeptical. The amount I'm trying to raise ($1,582) will cover a new printer ($1,405--retail price plus tax) and the three ink cartridges I had to buy to diagnose the dead printer ($177--yes, the ink costs $59 a cartridge, and there are nine cartridges; a full set costs close to a third of the price of the printer). 

To see examples of my work, go to To make a donation, see My GoFundMe campaign 

Thank you!

[Update: Epson finally agreed to send me a refurbished printer if I would buy a one-year warranty upgrade for the original product. That seemed a reasonable compromise, so I accepted the offer. I now have a printer again--although the first replacement they sent was faulty and had to be replaced itself. That said, they  made this offer only because someone mistakenly sent me a form letter long after our correspondence had stopped about how my complaint had been resolved (which it hadn't). The offer was made in response to my reply to the form letter, which pointed out that the letter was an added insult. In other words, they offered me a replacement printer out of embarrassment, not in recognition of the initial problem. While I'm glad I have a printer again, it seems to me Epson would have done better simply to have acknowledged the original failure and to have done something about it promptly.] 

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