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Author Topic: Epson 9900 failure. Class action possible?  (Read 4919 times)
motionbroker
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« on: June 26, 2013, 04:11:51 AM »
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I have a 9900 which I bought 14 months ago.

After printing no more than 100 prints it has a failed VLM channel. Ive tried cleaning cycles (both normal and in maintenance mode) , cleaning fluids and pretty much everything I can find on the web.

I am located in southern Thailand and had an Epson tech arrive who had clearly never seen the printer before.

My frustration is enormous, as I was so looking forward to use this printer for an upcoming project and now it is the worlds largest paperweight. The repair will cost at least 2000 USD which seems insane.

This is professional level gear. It should not fail so easily and it seems from all that I am reading on these forums that failure of the print head is extremely common. If this is the case why are we not banding together and making our voice heard?

Given what I am reading this section of Epson's promotional material is a complete lie

Our advanced Epson MicroPiezo TFP print head is capable of producing higher quality prints, at speeds almost twice as fast as our previous generation. And, with our latest ink-repelling coating and auto nozzle verification technologies, clogged nozzles are virtually eliminated.

It seems that at least half of the printers out there have had premature head failure. This is too much to bear. Its time for Epson to own up to this issue. I for one will never buy another Epson product unless they do.

Very interested to hear the collective thinking on this.

MB
« Last Edit: June 28, 2013, 05:13:09 AM by motionbroker » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 04:30:29 AM »
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How old is the printer? Is it under warranty? Do you know the percentage of actual head failures relative to the total number of those printers Epson has sold over the years? Answers to those questions will tell you whether any kind of *class action* is even conceivable, let alone the costs and logistics of managing one, with a highly uncertain outcome.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Benny Profane
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 06:44:23 AM »
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Are you an American living in Thailand? I ask because only an American would use the phrase "class action" so easily.

Didn't you have a warranty? How old is your ink? Southern Thailand is quite warm and muggy, right? Do you have the printer in a climate controlled room? How is you local power supply? Spikes and/or brownouts and blackouts?
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kdphotography
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 07:35:58 AM »
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I have a 9900 which I bought 14 months ago.

After printing no more than 100 prints.....

No more than 100 prints in all that time?  Epson wide format printers like (and need) to be used....
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motionbroker
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 09:29:16 AM »
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I am curious as to whether any of the people who answered me actually own one of these printers.

As to the number that have failed print heads, no way we will ever know. What i can say is that of the five my dealer has sold 3 have had new print heads installed.

I am two months out of warranty. Extended warranty was not offered in my area.

The power is fine, i have the printer on a ups. I realise that the printer needed more use than it was getting but i was religiuos about starting it at the very least every week and at least running a nozzle check. One day not long ago the VLM channel just refused to print

In regards to using class action lightly, i dont. I just have the impression that there are a huge number of failures and unless some sort of noise is made nothing will change. Its real easy to make wise ass comments when you are not staring at a 2000 usd repair bill.

I have been a loyal epson user for years. I have a 9600 which is ok ten years on, at least three smaller epson printers in my practice, and multiple hidef projectors. I wont be buying another epson product any time soon unless i can be assured that the print head will last longer than the six months guarantee on a new one epson has offered me.
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 09:48:35 AM »
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For a long time, it's been clear to followers of the subject here on LuLa that the Epson x900 printers are more prone to clogging than their predecessors. There is an immensely popular and long-running thread dealing with some aspects of this. I have had personal experience with a progression of 4900s, replaced under warranty.

I recommend that people buying these devices buy a service contract, although in general I don't believe service contracts are cost-effective.

The people who benefit the most from class-action suits are the lawyers involved. I don't believe the claims Epson made about the printer nozzles in their promotional material are specific enough to be actionable.

Jim
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 10:10:12 AM »
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For a long time, it's been clear to followers of the subject here on LuLa that the Epson x900 printers are more prone to clogging than their predecessors.

Jim

More prone to clogging than the 3800/3880. Previous models such as the 4000 and the 4800 were also very prone to clogging. My experience with the 4900 indicates it is fine as long as it used at regular frequent intervals for actually making photographic prints - not just nozzle checks. Leave it alone for as much as a week and one or more cleaning cycles are needed. But clogs is a different issue from actual head failure.

I agree with you that class action is a non-starter.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 10:13:30 AM »
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More prone to clogging than the 3800/3880. Previous models such as the 4000 and the 4800 were also very prone to clogging.

Point well taken. I've considered replacing my infrequently-used and bulletproof 9800 many times, and -- wisely, I think -- never have done it.

Jim
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 10:15:14 AM »
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...clogs is a different issue from actual head failure. .

From my perspective, a clog that I can't clear is a head failure.

Jim
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Benny Profane
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 10:25:31 AM »
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I am curious as to whether any of the people who answered me actually own one of these printers.



For the past 5+ years, I have worked with three in my workplace. No head clog problems at all. As a matter of fact, just a few hardware problems, easily fixed. Very reliable.

Where do you get your statistics that so many are a problem?
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amc-photo
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 10:45:26 AM »
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I have 9 of this generation of printers, all between 1 and 3 years old.

2 of the 9 have new printheads, one was still under warranty. Overall I am impressed with the quality of the machines and work they produce.

All are worked hard and are in almost constant use. I never turn them off and they are kept in a temperature controlled environment. I don't think turning them on once a week and doing a nozzle check is sufficient to keep the printhead exercised.

Annie
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 10:46:28 AM »
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From my perspective, a clog that I can't clear is a head failure.

Jim

Fair enough, but clogs should clear if you use the right technique for clearing them - clean-print-clean-print, etc. Never two cleans in a row. Ultimately clogs should clear - some episodes more stubborn than others. If they don't clear period, it could also mean something else is going on and you have a case of head failure.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2013, 02:02:27 PM »
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My new 9900 was constantly giving me "power cleaning needed" messages, even during multiple copy runs. It was also unable to clear clogs with any of the console methods. I had two service calls under warranty, one with a head change plus many other related parts. That seemed to fix the problem. The consensus is that these are workhorse machines that do need to be constantly used. In my case my printing frequency is only 6 to 12 prints of various sizes per week, with it sitting idle for a few months at a time. Since the warrantee work the lower printing quantity hasn't hurt the performance.
What nobody has solved is to correct the "ink out" function that is supposed to pause the printer when it senses that one or more of the ink cartridges needs to be replaced. My 9800 did it perfectly with no ink lines even if it paused in the middle of a print. My 9900 simply stops in the middle of the print job and cancels the print queu. Huh  Maybe I'll call them when I return to AZ in September and have another warrantee visit for that problem. If you swap enough parts it's bound to work right, right?
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chez
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2013, 02:55:11 PM »
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Fair enough, but clogs should clear if you use the right technique for clearing them - clean-print-clean-print, etc. Never two cleans in a row. Ultimately clogs should clear - some episodes more stubborn than others. If they don't clear period, it could also mean something else is going on and you have a case of head failure.

Do you also have to tap your toes and say pretty please. Sounds like a pain in the ass.
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darlingm
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 07:47:49 PM »
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Have you tried any of the cleaning options in the service mode?  You aren't supposed to tinker in there, but many of us do... It would be my last option, but  before I shelled out $2,000+ I'd be trying the supersonic cleaning option.  (WARNING: I've heard it purges like 500-600ml total of ink across all channels, so like $200 worth of ink.)  Not saying you're at the point where it's necessary to try that - just letting you know it exists in case you didn't know.  I know there are less expensive cleaning options in service mode - I've been lucky to not have to get familiar with what's in there.
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Mike Westland Printworks
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2013, 08:34:29 PM »
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Sounds like a pain in the ass.

So is this post.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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motionbroker
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2013, 06:31:16 AM »
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First of all thanks to those of you who have responded constructively

Point taken that regarding class action lawsuits. That was the anger talking. I know that wont go anywhere. Thinking about it now class action should be taken more figuratively (IE collective action).

More to the point would be some sort of letter signed by those of us who have had issues with the x900 and are concerned that Epson thinks its ok that a printer chews through 2000 dollar print heads if it is not used 24/7 and kept in a NASA clean room.

Im sure that the printers will run well if they are kept running constantly and used in a professional context. Some of us need this kind of output more sporadically and Epson should be clear that this unit is not the one. Please dont tell us in the marketing material that does not clog as much as a 9800. Its just not true.

Equipment always works better when constantly used. Singapore mercedes taxis routinely run for 600,000 miles because they are constantly running and get well serviced. That does not mean that the car should fail need a new engine after 14 months if you only drive it on Sundays.

Once again thanks for the constructive discussion. I have been through all the maintenance mode cleanings etc. No effect. I now need to make a decision about how to proceed.

And Mark, if you found the post to be a pain in the ass, just stop reading it and move on.




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enduser
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2013, 02:39:49 AM »
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When machines breakdown and a member looks here for help, attacking that member is one of the most useless forms of reply.  Particularly if the reply is from members who don't even have the machine in question.
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kikashi
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2013, 03:05:41 AM »
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When machines breakdown and a member looks here for help, attacking that member is one of the most useless forms of reply.  Particularly if the reply is from members who don't even have the machine in question.

That's obviously true, but the tone of the initial post gave a sour taste to the whole thread. It reinforces a golden rule: don't post when angry. As HAL remarked: "I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over".

And no, I don't own a 9900 either.

Jeremy
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2013, 03:50:53 AM »
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And Mark, if you found the post to be a pain in the ass, just stop reading it and move on.


Not at all. This post makes sense. And I particularly agree with your point that Epson needs to be more articulate in their marketing material about the target market niches their various machines are designed for. I think this would have saved a lot of grief for both them and their customers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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