I'm at the end of my rope. About two weeks ago, the yellow cartridge on our Epson Stylus CX4600 dried up. It was a replacement from Laser Monks (which I highly recommend, by the way) which I've used since I bought the printer. I've run 6 or 7 sets of Laser Monks cartridges through this printer with no issues. So when this one died, I had a spare already sitting on my desk, popped it in and thought I'd be good to go.
Not so, first the Laser Monks cartridge wouldn't get recognized. I fiddled with it for a while, but the printer just wouldn't recognize the cartridge. No problem, I figured the chip got damaged or something was just wonky; it happens. So we bop down to Best Buy and drop $14 and change on a genuine Epson cartridge. Pop it open, replace the cartridge, let the thing charge and the printer says we're good to go; 4 ink cartridges recognized and full.
Print the first page and... only blue. Ok, it's been sitting for a while, so I run a head cleaning. Print again. Nothing but blue. Hmm, ok. Another two head cleanings later and I've blown (according to the monitoring software) a perceptible amount of ink just cleaning the head. Print again. Blue again, but almost invisible.
Now I'm worried. I pull all the cartridges, give them a little shake, pop them back in. The printer charges them, does a cleaning, and sets up. Print another page, full color, photo quality. I'm going to get that clog out of there somehow, even if I have to ram the ink through. Blue again, then less, then less, and by the middle of the page, no ink at all. Blank paper.
I'm currently running what is likely to be the 10th to 12th head cleaning cycle on these cartridges. More than 1/4 of the ink has been wasted on just cleaning the heads. At $14 and change each, across 4 cartridges, that's almost $14 to CLEAN the head. Which still doesn't work. This is the second printer I've done this too in the last week (in-laws printer had the same swan song). Both printers lasted less than a year.
I know printers are a commodity now a days, but this is awful. The quality on this thing would make Yugo laugh. And where do I go for a replacement? HP? Lexmark? Brother? *shudder* Now I have to buy another all-in-one because a part (which likely costs less than $20, but can't be fixed for less than $100) was engineered to break. I've loyally bought Epson printers for many years and for many people. I've given them as gifts, I've bought new ones with features I wanted. But the last few I've bought have been crap.
Goodbye Epson, I'm done with your products.