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Friday, February 19, 2010

KODAK ESP 5250 All-in-One Printer Support

We all hate paying an arm and a leg for printer ink, so when Kodak brought out their reasonably printers with even more reasonably priced ink cartridges I was eager to retire my printer and enjoy the savings. The problem is the sacrifice. Poor quality print due to faulty a print head.

For help I went to the KODAK ESP 5250 All-in-One Printer Support web site, it offered online chat with technical support and they happily listened and responded in broken english (text) as we tried to resolve the issue. They came to the conclusion the print head was indeed faulty and opted to send me a replacement, the 5-7 day wait was over in just 2 or 3. I installed the new print head to a diminished, but continuing problem. How much patience should I have?

Year ago I told Kodak, and myself, that I would never buy another Kodak product, but I gave in for this new and wonderful technology. Big mistake!

So, I'm on the second chat with technical support now. "The printer will need to be replaced."

Wow, replace the printer? How does Kodak make money on this product?

I'm waiting for DHL to deliver my new printer... I'm not impressed so far. Kodak? If this printer doesn't work, you owe me $200. I'll let the 58 cents slide. If the new printer is fine, I'll make sure it's noted here but for now, don't follow my lead, buy something else (Lexmark or Canon perhaps).

UPDATE: 2010.02.25...
Aside from the absolutely STUPID service from DHL in delivering the replacement printer, the replacement printer is complaining that I need to replace my NEW (included with the printer) colour ink cartridge. Calling Kodak tech support...

Resolved. I replaced the ink cartridges with the two spares I bought with the printer, though I was unimpressed with their longevity of ink* so far.

Now, I'll keep you posted on how this printer is as time goes by, but I'll caution you, don't open the cover too often, apparently the print head cleaning process drinks ink like it's coffee! Because of the constant opening and closing of the printer as we tried to resolve the issue, we finished a pair of cartridges. Kodak Technical Support is replacing them, by courier, yes, DHL.

I still need to ship back the bad printer's carcass, yes, through DHL. I hope this is painless.

Where's my packing tape?

UPDATE: 2010.03.09...
There's a problem with using DHL. They're not open until after I'm at work and there's no one home to meet them, generally, should they want to pick up the package. Kodak, you're gonna need to be patient while I figure this out, the printer's packed and ready, but I need to figure out how to co-ordinate with DHL.

UPDATE: 2010.03.12...
It seems DHL can't pick up after 3pm on a weekday, and since I don't have a car, there no way I'm lugging this to DHL's Depot. So, Kodak, how are you going to get your printer back? It's YOUR printer, It's not going to be MY hassle. Good luck.

UPDATE: 2011.08.30...
It seems this is how long a print head lasts, about 18 months. The replacement cost is ~$26, and if you get new ink cartridges with the printer it's ~$46. That said, the printer has not been impressive enough in these 18 months that I feel compelled to save it. For one, I can't buy a print head for the printer in the retail channels, I'd need to buy on-line, via support. As it stands I can go to BestBuy and buy a new printer from HP for $60-70. It's a waste in so many ways, the scanner portion of this printer works well. The Card reader was a waste of space and it's purpose became moot with a $20 USB-based card reader from Kingston. The printer was NEVER great, and the number of ink cartridges I've gone through has never match the suggested page counts, even if they cost 1/2-1/3 of the cost of the HP print heads, you might be better off if you like reliable quality. My neighbour has a Brother MFC-290C he's happy with, I've heard great things about Brother. I have a Pogoplug device (pogoplug.com) which has e-mail functionality compatible with Epson and HP, so they are considerations so I can print remotely (via e-mail). Oh, Kodak offered me 25% off a printer bought on-line at their store, I ask them this, "If I have been unimpressed with the first Kodak printer and the ensuing support of that printer, why would I buy another Kodak printer, even at 25% off?" Notably, 25% off their printer is still more than the HP from BestBuy.