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The travails of my printer and modern consumerism

Although frustration in the digital age is a common topic on the Rust, here I will put it in the context of modern consumerism.

It’s all to do with my Canon Printer which about a month ago only copied and printed in blank.

At first I thought the cartridges needed replacement.

First point: printers are sold cheaply as the profit is made on cartridge replacement.

However this replacement – duly and expensively made – did not cure the problem.

Three people with more expertise than I looked at the printer. None could diagnose the fault, let alone repair it.

I was advised to call Canon Support.

I was dreading a long wait and then being told that “Your call is important to us …” and “You may prefer to find the answer on our website …” whilst being obliged to listen to music I would not normally want to hear.

I have to say Iris (we were soon on first name terms) was helpful and answered promptly.

The problem was ink clogging the printer heads and she explained how these could be first cleaned, then deep cleaned.

Sadly the fault of blank copying persisted so she advised me to switch the machine off for 24 hours on the basis that she would call back the following day.

She duly did so.

Still blank copying.

She said it was like a car or old-fashioned ink pen, it must be used at least once a week.

My own view was that the printer had built in obsolescence which would generate a fatal seizure after the one year warranty period.

The problem is – and this is point two – you are constantly being urged to print out as we live in a society where, to protect the environment, the supplier is reluctant and often refuses to send a paper document, e.g. a ticket other than to your mobile.

So you are forced to accept the supplier’s method of practice.

I complained to Iris you do not even get a manual. “No …”  she replied “ … to protect the environment you have to go on the internet“.

All this makes the supplier’s life easier and the consumer – especially if he/she is elderly -frustrating.

Ingolby is not so easily beaten.  I sought the advice of my accountant and other friends who advised me to buy a laser inkjet printer from Hewlett Packard. I acquired one for under £60’which will be delivered tomorrow.

No doubt in 18 months time I will be complaining again.

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About Gerald Ingolby

Formerly a consumer journalist on radio and television, in 2002 Gerald published a thriller novel featuring a campaigning editor who was wrongly accused and jailed for fraud. He now runs a website devoted to consumer news. More Posts