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Outrage over Epson stopping working printers from functioning with hardcoded end of life date

It’s fair to say that some of the most well known printer manufacturers don’t have the best of reputations.

It’s fair to say that some of the most well known printer manufacturers don’t have the best of reputations.

From deliberately stopping multi-function devices from scanning if there’s no ink, to stopping you from using anything but branded ink that’s more expensive than champagne, it seems like there’s always a trick or two to keep you spending.

Now a university lecturer in the US has shared his wife’s experience with her Epson printer, which was pre-programmed to stop functioning even though it still worked.

“My wife’s very expensive Epson printer just gave a message saying it had reached the end of its service life and proceeded to brick itself,” Mark Tavern tweeted.

“Apparently she can pay to service it or buy a new one even though it was working fine. Outrageous!”

The Fight To Repair substack newsletter delved into the issue in more depth, describing why it happens under the sub-headline ‘Important Product Update – You’re F**cked’.

According to Fight to Repair, Epson has hard-coded an ‘end of life’ into the software that runs its inkjet printers.

“It doesn’t matter that your printer was working. Epson corporate has determined that your printer and its constituent parts are simply too old,” it stated.

“They’re at the end of their service life (even though the printer appears to be working fine) and the device needs to be replaced or (reluctantly) serviced… by an Epson authorised service professional, of course.”

The issue is likely related to ink pads, the newsletter said.

According to the Epson website they are the “porous pads in the printer that collect, distribute, and very importantly contain the ink that is not used on printed pages”.

“Most users will not receive this message before the printer is replaced for other reasons. Some high-volume users or those who use the printer for many years may receive this message about ink pads before other components reach the end of their usable life.”

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