Is there a lemon law for printers?
MCHENRY, ILLINOIS -- I purchased a Designjet 130 from Hewlett Packard in mid 2005.
Before purchasing the printer, I did some research with Hewlett Packard themselves and with one of their dealers, IT Supplies in Rolling Meadows, IL, my HP ink and paper supplier.
Their printer had been recommended by an article about Joel Meyerowitz, a world famous photographer with Life magazine who had been using the printer and loving it, he does black and white photography.
My own prerequisites were that the black ink had to be pigment because of the needs of my process and that the printer print in black mode only for good black and white prints which are the mainstay of my work.
If you need my reasons for needing pigmented black ink, half of my work consists of printing black and white photographs on watercolor paper and then painting them with watercolors, dye inks bleed when I apply paint to the paper, pigmented inks do not.
HP assured me that both needs would be met by this printer, it used pigmented black ink and printed black only.
Because it is an expensive printer, and before spending $ 1,299.99, I asked IT Supplies, if they would make a black and white sample print for me comparing the DJ 130 to the Epson 7600 with a file that I would provide to them to make sure of the comparative qualities of the printers before making my purchase.
The prints they made from both the Epson and the HP were superb black and white prints, perfectly neutral, sharp and detailed.
That helped me decide to choose the HP Designjet 130 Printer, it obviously was capable of the black and white quality I needed.
The printer was delivered and from the start, I was unable to print a neutral black and white print, it was both green and magenta which is an impossible combination to correct for.
Green is the complement of Magenta, which means that if you color correct for green, the entire print goes magenta and if you color correct for magenta, it goes green, an impossible situation to correct and one that ALL of HPs tech support people seem to ignore. Roughly translated: it prints Green in the 25% to 50% gray area, and Magenta in the 50% to 80% gray or black range.
Upon calling and speaking to a Hewlett Packard tech support person, I was told that my information about the Designjet 130 was incorrect, it did NOT use pigmented black ink, all itâs inks are dye based, and it does NOT print black only, but prints cyan and magenta under the black to supposedly make it richer.
Information which is in total opposition to what I was told pre-sale
So, I asked HP to replace the printer with a suitable model, they refused and told me that it could achieve neutral blacks by "tweaking".
This person also told me that if my test print had been good and if âthis guy Meyerowitzâ was satisfied with the printer, it could be made to give me what I wanted! (?)
Having no choice, I then tried to follow HP tech support's suggestions, to no avail, the printer prints magenta in the dark gray leading to black and prints greenish in the lighter gray.
Iâve updated the driver several times and on my last phone call, I asked that they find me someone who knows the machine and can tell me how to fix it before I pay an additional $39.00 a week for nothing, still waiting.
Subsequent calls to HP resulted in a long series of attempts to make it work, the tech support people kept insisting that since the diagnostics were normal, there must be a bad ink cartridge or a bad printhead.
Since the diagnostic pages were indeed in the normal mode, I had no recourse other than to go along with them assuming all along that I must be doing something wrong, even though I had had no problem printing good black and white prints with my old Epson 2200 printer.
We started replacing the cartridges and print heads one by one, testing them, only to find that it did not solve the issue, by the time I had replaced and tested all 7 inks and heads, about 6 months had elapsed.
I was then hospitalized for 6 weeks, had surgery at Mayo which put me out of commission for about 4 1/2 months and effectively shortened my warranty and sure enough, when I resumed my work, the warranty had expired.
Now, HP wants me to pay for continued support to the tune of $ 39.00 a week without the assurance that this issue will ever be resolved, not only can I not afford this, they are continuing to affect my productivity and costing me money in that manner.
I continued trying to use the printer to do my black and white work, now the diagnostics were telling me that various printheads were either "non genuine" (which is impossible since they are HP and as far as I know, only HP makes them), and occasionally faulty.
I updated the driver again.
I HAVE NOW REPLACED PRINTHEADS AT LEAST 12 TIMES â THESE PRINTHEADS COST ME $ 32.99 EACH, PLUS $8.00 SHIPPING OR $40.99 EACH, WHICH HAS MEANT OVER $490.00 SINCE THE PRINTER WAS DELIVERED, ALL FOR NOTHING SINCE THEY DID NOT FIX THE PROBLEM AND THE OLD PRINTHEADS WERE ALL WITHIN WARRANTY AND WITHIN CONSUMABLES LIMITS. I STILL CANNOT PRINT BLACK AND WHITE PROPERLY AND NOW, HP WANTS TO CHARGE ME $39.00 A WEEK FOR ADDITIONAL TECH SUPPORT AND REFUSES TO ASSURE ME THAT THEY CAN MAKE THE PRINTER WORK.
One HP person told me to take it to a repair service station, which would cost me $75.00 just to have them look at it.
I called them anyway to ask if they had any ideas as to what my problem might be, over the phone, they said NO, of course, but did admit that they really could no nothing other than replace parts if the diagnostics said there was no problem, which, frankly, is understandable.
They did say they could rebuild it at a cost of over $350.00, which is ridiculous if they don't know what and why they are rebuilding.
Now, there is a new twist to this, with the warranty being over, it seems that HP has no records of all my phone calls, the only record they admit to is a call in December 2006, which was for a different issue and my calls to them last week.
I think this is a shallow ploy to avoid giving me satisfaction, I'm not sure what the solution is, but the entire transaction now seems a bit fishy to me, since I was assured of one thing presale and received another and they can't admit it or they would have to make good on it?
I HAVE WASTED MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME AND MONEY.
THIS MACHINE WAS NEVER CAPABLE OF GIVING ME WHAT I ASKED FOR, IT WAS SOLD TO ME UNDER FALSE PRETENSES THROUGH THE INCOMPETENCE AND GREED OF HEWLETT PACKARD WHICH ALSO PREVENTED THEM FROM REPLACING IT THE FIRST WEEK WITH ANOTHER MODEL WHICH WOULD HAVE SOLVED BOTH MY AND THEIR PROBLEM.
I WANT THIS PRINTER REPLACED WITH ONE THAT DOES WHAT I ASKED HP TO PROVIDE ME WITHIN THE FIRST PLACE, I NEED A PRINTER THAT WILL PRINT BLACK AND WHITE WITHOUT A COLOR TINGE, THAT WILL PRINT BLACK OR ALL THE COLORS WITH PIGMENTED INK, NOT DYES.
THIS THING IS A LEMON.
I spoke to a customer service person again last Thursday, April 19, 2007 and told them that I would not waste any more time doing diagnostics over the phone with them, or wait the interminable time for them to decide who is the right person to speak to.
I told them to find the correct, competent person who knows how this printer works and can fix it for me and to call me back or I would start filing complaints.
This is now Tuesday, April 24, I have heard nothing as expected.