Inkjet printer manufacturers have long been the subject of controversy because of their business model – largely based on the sale of ink cartridges. As a result, it is common to find this type of printer at very low prices. The manufacturer makes up for it by selling original cartridges, which quickly represent sums higher than the purchase price of the printer itself.
Added to this are several controversies over the ink cartridges themselves. In 2003, a Dutch consumer association discovered that Epson printers demanded cartridges be changed even though they still contained ink. The firm then retorted that it was part of the design of the ink cartridges, and avoided the blocking of the nozzles by drying of the ink.
At the time of the Paris agreements, Epson’s practices question
Before offering all the same financial compensation to American customers. Then we saw in the following years Epson fight in court against generic cartridge manufacturers, impacting its business model. But in 2015, it emerged that the amount of unused ink per design in Epson cartridges was around 20%.
Which seems far too high compared to the official goals of this reserve. However, the discovery of academic Mark Haven is likely to make a lot more waves. The scientist tweeted about his frustration when his wife’s “expensive” Epson printer started displaying an error message stating for no apparent reason that the device had “reaches the end of its life cycle”.
After the message appeared, the device stopped working altogether – forcing its owners to an expensive repair, or completely replace the printer. Mark Haven did not stop there, however. After investigation it appeared that the message was related to porous sponges inside the printer which collect excess ink.
These components are usually particularly durable and other mechanical parts try to break before these bearings are worn too much. Nevertheless, everything seems to indicate that the firmware of certain printers arbitrarily displays this message after a certain volume of impressions. Even though the whole device seems to be able to function normally.
According to the Substack Fight to Repair, the following Epson printer models are affected: L130, L220, L310, L360 and L365. But our colleagues from Gizmodo note that all Epson printers over 5 years old are likely to display the same error message. Epson does provide a tool to slightly extend the life of printers that display the error message.
But this tool, exclusive to Windows, works only once, and extends the use only for a very limited period. Beyond that, you must go through the official after-sales service, or buy another printer. Tutorials also exist to replace the famous ink collector pads yourself.
Also Read – The latest version of Windows can cause your printer a big problem
But the fix isn’t as simple as it could be – given that the message seems to be showing up in many people. At a time when the fight against waste is an absolute necessity, it seems surprising that companies like Epson continue to design the product as disposable devices, to be replaced regularly…