the fear factor

A short time ago, I wrote about our connectivity problems here at home.  In one of those posts,  I finished off with saying it was the printer that caused it. That could have been true, but I’m not so sure. All of a sudden it changed, so instead of losing the connection in the morning at 9AM, it happened around 4:30 in the afternoon. Now it’s gone.

printer_fearHowever, our printer was a little over a year old. We’d bought it in Costco. It got totally screwed up, said there was a paper jam, which wasn’t true and I turned it over to a tech savvy friend and he couldn’t find anything either. I took it back, asked in Staples if they could fix it but they wouldn’t do it. They told me, the parts it would need, would cost as much as a new printer.

All this printer trouble, occurred during a time when we would have needed it the most. My husband was going to Moncton and give some speech about bilingualism, and he had to do all his notes by hand.

Either way, went back to Costco to look for a new printer. Wanted to stick with Costco, because the ink is cheapest there. The guy there asked me if I’d talked with the people at the customer service desk, about the old printer, but I told him it was over a year old … the warranty was out. He said that didn’t matter, they would take it back anyway. I thought that sounded really strange, but since I had the old printer out in the car, I thought I’d give it a try.

Brought it in, told them my story, and they just took my card and made sure that we’d really bought it there … took it back and I got a full refund! How about that?! No questions asked. I tell you … Costco went up many notches in my books!

So … now we have another HP printer for $47. The printer’s much cheaper than the ink cartridges! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it will stay faithful and work for many years, like our old Lexmark did.

29 Replies to “the fear factor”

  1. Love that picture, lol. I have had two Cannons. I really like them. I liked my first one best. I don’t think they make them to last. I think it’s in purpose. They want to sell more product. That was wonderful you got a refund.

      1. I don’t know about Costco but is all there stuff new? We have a store here called Big Lots and they told me once that they sometimes sell refurbished stuff. That was why they were so cheap.

        1. No, Costco is a wholesale place, where you have to pay for membership. It’s a little cheaper to buy certain things there, because the packages are so large! They aren’t all that much cheaper than any other place, and they’re definitely not refurbished. I think you have something called Sam’s Club there, which basically is the same thing..

  2. What a deal to get a full refund. I have a Brother that scans, faxes (not that I have a landline to fax with) and copies.Probably an overkill but it has been a good one so far and I am knocking on wood as I type!

    1. Yes, I was very impressed, and happily surprised. I’d felt so bad that it would break down that quickly. It had [and the new one has] those same functions that you mention.

  3. We had a Canon printer for several years. Then the ink pad deep inside the machine got to the point where it sent messages back saying ‘Enough!’

    I couldn’t repair it because the part is designed not to be accessible. I watched a YouTube video of someone repairing a similar model and it was so complicated and fiddly that I simply gave the printer away to someone who had the skill and inclination to try to salvage it.

    Replacement Canon printer was £35. It worked for a couple of months and then started eating paper. Took it back and got a new one for free. Another couple of months and something else went wrong. Again, got a free exchange. This time the printer is OK, thus far.

    If the ink pad on the original printer had been placed so it could simply be taken out, washed and replaced, we would still have that printer.

    Crazy built-in obsolescence that is destroying the world’s resources, eh?

    1. Yes! They’re definitely made NOT to work. Our first Lexmark [that we got because we bought a little digital camera 2004] was still working, and we gave it away to my husband’s son.

      Not only printers [even though they are the worst], appliances in general, I think, are made only to last so long. So if you’ve bought a whole bunch of appliances at the same time, you’re in for some trouble five, or ten years later, when they all break down simultaneously 🙂

  4. You’re absolutely right. They smell fear. They smell, Hurry up, I’m late for class. They smell, This legal brief has to go out by 4:00 p.m., and at this rate I’ll never get it to the post office in time. I think the digital side resents the paper it’s forced to deal with, so it acts out, and we’re caught in the middle.

  5. Don’t start me on printers. I spent all yesterday afternoon trying to print something on a Brother (fax, scanner, colour printer) and it kept telling me there was no paper. I use a canon laserjet for normal b&w printing, but I was trying to do business cards – which it has done perfectly well before. At this rate, I’ll have to buy a third printer. I’m running out of space. Great service by Costco. Can’t imagine that anywhere here.

    1. I hear you! 🙂 It’s so frustrating, having that little screen telling you something that you know isn’t true. At work, when they had just computerized the clinic, we had three, and they were network printers. Imagine when the patient was loaded into the ambulance, the paramedics stood there hopping, waiting for the paperwork … Oh, the suppressed anger one must carry around 😀

  6. How nice you got a new one, good service. I can see from what is written that a printer is more expensive here than abroad. I only have to go to my neighbourgh countries to save money, but- I have to pay for fuel and ferries/bridges- and then nothing is gained.
    We bought a new printer last week, it isnt set up yet because we havent had the time- it was on sale for about 5oo DKr, printer, scanner and copyer ( about 56£ or 67€).

    1. So true … people tend to forget that, that they have to spend on petrol and other fees. Like in old times, when all the Swedes went to Finland to drink cheap booze on the ferries LOL

      There are many printers on specials now for around fifty bucks, before Christmas, but yes … they’re in general a little cheaper.

  7. Congrats Rebby, Costco’s great for Customer Service; but you’ve scraped open an old wound with this post.
    We, and lots of other people I’ve discussed this with, have had this happen over and over again… Ink’s too expensive (and yes, Costco’s $ IS the best: ) but, once you get the dreaded “Paper jam” error (and no, we couldn’t find anything wrong either) suddenly you’ve got a 10lb piece of ejunk on your hands. Call me weird, but this is NOT my idea of a bargain. I’d far rather spend more for a machine that’s going to last – or CAN BE REPAIRED. “Planned Obsolescence”is thievery. Plain and simple.

    1. Well said, Deb! It’s so true, and I’m SO thankful they took care of it. At least *I* didn’t have to drive around to some place to have it recycled.

  8. It is great to read about GREAT customer service at a store…it seems most stores no longer care about keeping customers! I wish we had a Costco here….
    Sherri-Ellen (stuck with WalMart; G-D help me!)

          1. Highly unusual!! When I had to return the crappy phone I bought a Canadian Tire they REFUSED to give me my money back. I could have another crappy phone or a store credit. i took the credit & my friend’s hubby gave me the cash for the card…I will never buy anything from CRAPPY Tire again 😦

            1. Yeah … I’ve been there too with a little radio, I’d bought for the kitchen. The power switch broke right away, so I took it back, and was offered another one. I suspected that would be crappy too, but it still works (!!!)

              1. You are lucky! I went thru 2 phones from there. Then no batteries available for the stinking V-Tech phone…turns out these phones were seconds & there were no replacement batteries made for them. I went to The Source & they researched this for me. They said these phones were flooding the market & people were flocking to their store looking for batteries. So once I got the cash from my froend I went to The Source & i bought a rather pricey but fabulous Panasonic phone that haas worked perfectly for over a year now…I really believe we get what we pay for these days!

                1. Yeah, we bought Panasonic in Costco. One is corded and three cordless. We didn’t need three, but it was on sale. Works like a breeze.. and I can actually HEAR what the other person in saying too!

                  1. I am a Panasonic girl now!! I see more people buying them…the V-Tech phones are cheap & the writing wears off within days…not a good product by a long shot!!!
                    I love having a cordless phone. I take it with me when I check the mail or go to garbage room & always had it with me when I was out on patio with Nylablue. That way if I fell I could ‘phone a friend’, lol…for a ‘pcik-up’…I really love my phone! 🙂

                    1. Yes! I really like them. The previous, cordless one, I could hardly hear, which made it difficult especially when you talked with some computer support in some far away country. I like that there’s also one that’s corded.

  9. Wow, Costco went up a few notches in my book too. That’s incredible. The only other time I heard a story like that was a sports bra a friend of mine took to Lululemon to to fix the strap. They just gave her a brand new one instead!

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