Sadly, as hardware prices are driven down by online competition, printers that are built to last for many happy years printing, have become ‘throw away’ models due to the online price wars between manufacturers hoping to gain market share.
We love the Canon range and believe that Canon’s build quality, and attention to detail, are second to none, which is why we sometimes aren’t keen on the honest advice we have to give our customers.
Regularly we are contacted when a ‘mature’ printer experiences problems. Sometimes we can help with simple media setting advice or a nozzle clean, sometimes even with the age old ‘turn it off and on again’ approach. We like those types of easy-fix calls, but whatever the issue, we always give honest, and sometimes hard to take, advice.
Let’s face it, even when a machine is running perfectly, nobody likes buying ink and nobody likes replacing their printhead. The financial outlay never comes at the right time, but rest assured your machine is working hard for you, and printing in house is super-efficient compared to outsourcing, so don’t despair. More on the eye-opening and incredibly low ‘cost per print’ in another blog, but for now here’s a real life scenario.
We looked just the other day at a comparison for a long standing customer whose older Canon iPF605 now required a replacement printhead. On chatting further, it appeared that the 6 year old printer had a couple of minor issues and error messages that came and went and, whilst replacing the head would most likely fix the issues, we couldn’t be sure. So we weighed up the options - after all 6 years with only one printhead is remarkable…..
When you replace the printhead in one of these Canon machines, the new head will fill with ink which means ink leaves the cartridges. If your ink levels are low then the likelihood is that the machine will ask for replacement cartridges and of course will pause the head replacement process, which is not ideal and wastes valuable time while you then order inks for next day delivery. With this in mind we recommend that you make sure you either have a spare ink set to hand, or you check that your ink levels are at least above half in all colours before you start the process. It is also important to check the status of your maintenance cartridge (or waste ink tank). This needs to have a good deal of space available too.
We discussed this with our customer and priced up the new PF-03 printhead, 4 new PFI-102 inks and a spare MC-16 maintenance cartridge which totalled a mighty £533.40 exc VAT. Even with the tiny discount we could offer, that’s quite some pill to swallow and, at this point, we couldn’t be 100% sure that the machine wouldn’t then throw another error message. Now this printer has been used day in day out for all those years without so much as a real grumble, but it was starting to niggle a little, so we had to weigh up the options... Is it better to spend £533.40 and then see if an engineer is needed too? Hard to say if another error might suggest a part was required.
Now we at GDS are not in any way scare mongers, but we simply cannot sell consumables, hoping that we then also get the call for a service visit. It’s just not who we are. So we are not afraid to speak the truth and to offer the best alternatives.
You could spend £533 on 520ml of ink and the new head for your old printer, or look at a brand new promo priced replacement machine for £774 which is delivered for free with a new printhead, 2 sets of starter inks (that’s over 1 litre), a paper roll and a full on site 1 year warranty from Canon. On the new iPF670, a standard sample A1 technical drawing uses just 0.3ml of ink - that’s a lot of free prints.
It may be a sad world, but it’s a buyer’s world, so it’s worth checking your options before you reach for your wallet and put that PF-03 printhead in your shopping cart. Whatever you decide is right for you, we will help.
Potential Upgrades are:
- iPF670 – A1 - £774 – from the iPF610, iPF605, iPF650, iPF655
- iPF770 – A0 - £1195 – from the iPF710, iPF750, iPF755, iPF760
If you want to talk, we’re always happy to run through things with you. When you buy a printer from GDS you’re always welcome to our support and advice, whatever the question!