Are Inkjet Cartridge Chips Evil?
Imagine a world in which Epson made cars, instead of printers. In this brave new world you'd be admonished to buy special gas at Epson stations, no matter what the price. Use of other gas might risk damaging your car, and would void its warranty, although these stations would be rare, due to legal challenges by Epson. When filling up at an Epson station, you'd pay for a full tank of gas, but never know how much gas you were really getting for your money.
Sound farfetched? If you print with Epson inkjet printers, as I do, you know the horror of watching the graphical representation of how much ink is left in the cartridges creep ever lower, until it flatlines. The red light on the printer then begins to flash almost joyfully, as if celebrating the moment we so dread of having to hock more of the family jewels to purchase another cartridge.
|Rare dialog box #1206|
It was with some surprise, then, that I recently heard about the existence of the EpsonSettlement.com site. According to this, if you live in the US and have purchased one of the many qualifying Epson inkjet printers over the last few years, you've got some cash or a credit at the Epson online store coming your way, thanks to the modern miracle of class action lawsuits. In a nutshell, the plaintiffs "allege that Epson inkjet printers and inkjet cartridges indicate that cartridges are 'empty' and suspend printer function, even though substantial ink remains." Of course, everything hinges around the subjective word "substantial," one dear to the hearts of lawyers everywhere. Epson, as you might expect, "has denied and continues to deny the claims and any wrongdoing" but is nevertheless settling, no doubt to avoid a public relations melt-down.
If you have an Epson inkjet printer you should visit the site for all the gory legal details to see if you can snag your $45 per printer credit for use on the Epson store site. This amount can also be split into $25 cash and a $20 credit, or to receive 25% off on anything at the store, up to a maximum of $100. Hmm, let's see, how many new cartridges will that get me?