Bricked Epson printers make a strong case for user repairability

Epson has faced some scrutiny in recent weeks after the company disabled a printer that was otherwise working fine, leading to allegations of planned obsolescence. Epson knows that without simple servicing its printers will stop working at some foreseeable time in the future, and it knows that sending in their home printers for servicing will not be profitable for many owners. So why not build them to be user serviceable from the start? The edge: That Hate mail from @marktavern mentions that his wife was unable to use her “very expensive Epson printer” after receiving an end-of-service error message. Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Epson printers. Reports going back several years mention an infamous error message that reads, “Parts inside the printer have reached the end of their useful life.” Epson confirmed to The Verge that the fault is related to the printer’s ink pads, likely due to prolonged use were saturated and now in danger of getting into the rest of the printer mechanism.

In a recently updated support document, Epson offers several solutions to fix the problem. This includes sending the printer to Epson for ink pad replacement or having a certified technician on site. Earlier (via Wayback Machine), just before the problem became known, Epson acknowledged that “a repair may not be a good investment for lower-cost printers, as the printer’s other components may also have reached the end of their useful life.” It then added that “most out-of-warranty consumers choose to replace a less expensive printer when they receive an end-of-service notice.” Now, Epson is proposing the feel-good option of sending the bricked device in for recycling .

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