Epson Printers Dirty Tricks

by Izzy Goodman

click for article: Texas AG may sue Epson over firmware upgrades

Every so often Epson releases a firmware update which is sent to your printer via the net unless you decline. These updates do nothing except block third party cartridges. Since it is much easier for Epson to release a software update than for a compatible manufacturer to recall all their cartridges in order to update the chip, it is important that you do not allow these updates to run. This is one of the reasons our official warranty is 2 months. Unfortunately, too many customers run these updates and then expect us to replace their cartridges when they stop working. There are ways of rolling back the upgrade. You can Google it for your printer. Here is a method which works for the T410 cartridges with link to methods for many other printers. Note that you need ALL the cartridges working BEFORE you run the downgrade. It will not work if a cartridge is not recognized. A customer replaced one of his original epson cartridges with one of ours and it was not recognized. It did not allow him to run the downgrade. He bought a genuine Epson cartridge, ran the downgrade and now it recognizes our cartridges. Good thing because the one Epson cartridge cost as much as an entire set of ours.

XP series (T410) firmware downgrade

Epson started something new with their latest printers several years ago. Every chip has a unique serial number and the printer will not allow the same serial number to be used twice. This prevents refilling. It also means every chip must be made separately and can't be mass-produced, which jacks up the cost. These include T220, T410 and T786.

These tricks are illegal in other countries outside of the US. I found a Chinese supplier selling refillable T220. When I inquired, he told me they would not work in the US because of the Epson programming, however they will work in Europe.

Then they took it a step further. Now every printer needs a different cartridge. There was a time the same cartridge would work on 20 different printers but no longer. Epson knows that compatible manufacturers can't spend the time and money to make a cartridge which only fits one machine. So if you buy a printer with this kind of cartridge, (702, 802)  you will be ripped off on the ink - big time. The ink often costs more than the whole printer. No wonder there are people who buy the printer, remove the ink and then sell the printer alone on ebay. Epson ink now approaches $100 a set.

There are printers which cost less than the ink for these new epson printers and have cartridges in the $1-$5 range. See our article on the best printers. It makes more sense to buy a more efficient printer than to feed the epson.

Read our article on the Epson ecotank printers - where you only buy ink instead of cartridges - to learn how Epson is ripping you off with these as well.