I’ve had some brand loyalty to EPSON printers over the years. The Stylus 740 did good service with my old 1998 iMac, and a Stylus 760 served my parents well for many years.

But since then the picture has been far from sharp. A Stylus Photo R220 I bought for my parents for use with their new digital camera a couple of years ago never performed well, beset by print head alignment problems, and a paper tray that broke due to flimsy plastic. Now my super-duper Stylus Photo PX800FW (pictured) has developed a defective sheet feeder only 11 months after I bought it… And that from a printer that cost €379!

Anyway back to EPSON the printer went (via MediaMarkt and then on to an EPSON Service Center) and it has been returned to me complete with exactly the same fault as when I sent it to the Center. I’ve contacted EPSON Belgium today about this, so far without any reply or confirmation my mail was received. The printer is a hefty beast and I am none too keen to cart it to MediaMarkt again if it’s not going to actually be repaired when sent to EPSON.

Beyond that the website of EPSON Belgium is dire, and while the UK site is better it has no support for the PX800FW, presumably because the printer has never been for sale in the UK. Equally Googling for solutions doesn’t find anything of any use either – a world away from the depth of support discussions at support.apple.com.

In short I reckon this is the end of the road for me with EPSON printers. Next time I’ll try a HP or a Canon.

[UPDATE 26/01/2010]
Aggggh, I feel this is turning into one of those never-ending sagas where things go round and round and never get solved… I mailed EPSON in Belgium and they told me they could not help me via e-mail, I would have to contact the service number 070 350 120. They spend ages taking all my details, and then cannot actually track where my device was repaired. They then simply tell me I better take my printer to the local express center and not back to MediaMarkt. Where might that be I ask? The woman sounds a little sheepish: we’re not actually in Belgium she says. Where are you I ask? Barcelona…

So the best they can do is direct me to a page on the EPSON website where the centers are listed… and then there is not a single one in Brussels! The nearest is in Lot, 7.9km from where I live, in Flanders south of Brussels. So I fear there is no option other than to stick the printer in the bike trailer again and head back to MediaMarkt and try to persuade them to send my printer for repair again, only this time actually getting the right part repaired.

5 Comments

  1. Glad to hear a good story… 🙂

    The essential problem is that the only time I actually ever speak to another human when doing one of these transactions it is almost uniquely when something has gone wrong, so I am already annoyed even before I start. So few people ever have any hope of making me content about the transaction!

  2. My HP printer’s going strong, but it’s still pretty new – ~18 months.

    In terms of customer service, I actually had a good story the other day, which is such a rare occurrence I felt like telling someone. A few months ago I bought a Nokia accessory at Photohall. It packed up, of course.

    So I went back to Photohall, doing my best and well-practiced impression of the impossible-to-satisfy grumbling expat, without the receipt (buried in my accountant’s files), fully resigned to getting nothing.

    But no, they had my warranty in their database and took my hardware in for repairs/replacement without a quibble. Shame they don’t do printers.

    God knows what Nokia will do with those headphones …

  3. Printers are the kind of banal appliances that you wouldn’t think could drive a person to extremes, but when they don’t work they can really make you mad. I once had an HP DeskJet 400. It ended up flying out of a window.

  4. Chris Priestland

    One of the problems I find with Epson is their attitude to ink replacement – they make you replace your cartridges when they aren’t even empty and if 1 has run out you cannot print ANYTHING else – other than that big downside they are great printers.

  5. french derek

    Oh the woes of us consumers faced with built-in decay of appliances. Be careful of HPs. After years of loyal attachment to their printers, etc, my last two just about saw out their guarantee period before failing.

    I am currently using a Canon MP620 with my (2008) iMac. It’s OK – but I’m not sure I would recommend it.

    Just what has happened to good old reliable printers of yore?

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