Monday, March 7, 2011

Free Printer?

Along with our desk and desk chair upgrade, Matt and I were also looking for a new smaller printer. One that doesn't cost us $60 every six months on ink. Our printer was an Epson that I got in college to print photos on. Then I realized how expensive it is to print photos at home and how cheap it is to print at Walmart or Target.

I've had this printer about 5 or 6 years and early on in that time, I remember getting some letter about a law suit Epson was involved in about how when the ink is low, it won't let you print anymore even though there is still ink left. I ignored it at the time, but eventually(with Matt's help) we discovered just how deep this problem goes. Apparently, there is a counter in the printer that counts the pages that come out and THAT is how the printer determines when the ink is out. NOT what the actual ink levels are. So, even if all you print is black and white text(like us), you still "run out" of all the color ink every 6 months.

To prove this, Matt opened up the plastic ink cartridge and cut open the ink sack, revealing that it was still almost completely full of ink. There are free programs online that claim to override this counter, but we couldn't get them to work.

My objective was to sell the Epson for at least $50, so I could buy a new HP for $50(ink included) and not spend any money. It sold at auction on ebay for $50. I still had the original box, and lots of bubble wrap, so I packed it and off it went(to California, I think).

There were two HP printers I had my eye on at

-A top loader(meaning you insert the paper on the top/back of the printer)

-A front loader(where the paper goes in on the bottom/front)

Both were $50. The bottom loader wasn't in stock in the store so I bought the top loader. Then, I started thinking that the front loader would be better as far as space saving because there is no paper sticking out the top. We could shove it on a shelf or under a desk and would only need a few inches clearance to lift the scanner lid. It wasn't in stock so I ordered it online(97 cents ship to home. Awesome!)

When the second one arrived and I finally made a decision to keep the front loader, I took the first one back to the store. She scanned my receipt and told me they would have to give me store credit. Ok, fine. Who can't spend store credit at Walmart? Then, she told me the computer had flagged the item because it was past the 15 day return policy.


I did NOT know about this return policy!! I thought I had 90 days. It had be 18 days! She called her manager over the override the computer and give me credit. It didn't work. The computer wouldn't let her. I was angry. No, angry was an understatement. Nowhere on the receipt does it say I only had 15 days. Nobody told me when I bought it. Nowhere was is visible for me to see that day. How can they expect people to bring the item back if they don't even know what the policy is and everyone assumes is the 90 days that are printed on the receipt and on the large sign?

The manager said it's posted all over the electronic department. Really? Really? I went back there to see. I had to search for the sign. The ONE little, tiny sign that was hung WAY up high with about 6 paragraphs of TINY print that I had to walk up to and stand there and read all of it to figure out what the policy was.

Really? Really?

How many people 1. See the sign, 2. Go over to the sign, 3. Stop and read the sign, while they are shopping in the middle of Walmart?

As I made my grocery purchases that day, I saw the manager on my way out and it took every fiber of my being to NOT go chew her out about it. I know it wasn't her fault, but no reasonable person would see the return policy sign. They could do a better job of making that information available when people buy electronics. I didn't even check out back there because I had so much other stuff in my cart. All I'm saying is, make it more visible, or have it print on the receipt when you buy an electronic. It's like they didn't even try. I'm just glad I only lost $50, not $500 on a TV or something.

*Update* A week later my dad bought it from me because he was looking for a new printer and this ended up being cheaper than the one he was looking at.


  1. can you sell it on craigslist or something?

  2. We were going to try ebay, but my dad ended up buying it(this happened a week or two week ago). He was in the market for a new one anyway.



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