If it ain't broke, fix it!



Was: CANON: DESIGNED TO FAIL by a dishonest company

About my old failing Canon BJ-300, I wrote:

Mickey answered:
How sad you are but there is hope. Maturity comes with age and 21 is
not too far away.

21 not too far away? Oh, this would be the nicest Christmas gift!
Unfortunately for your reasoning, if I was one of those kids who's been taught
ecology instead of how to use a screw driver, I probably would have declared
my printer obsolete soon as it first stopped working in 1996.

I suppose I got this attitude from one of my uncles, a mechanic who was still
driving his 1947 Chrysler around 1980. Not only did he keep his car for more
then 30 years before he sold it as a vintage car, but every time a part would
fail, he would consider fixing it before buying a new one. Open the hood, take
a look, consider: that was his attitude.

I still own his mini-dryer. In twenty years, I only had to change a switch and
a fan belt. My only regret is that, though the dryer will be 40 years old in
2005, I can't any money from it as a vintage dryer :)
Are you aware that the HP LaserJet you mentioned is powered by a CANON
printer engine. All LaserJets have used CANON print engines.

"Have used." And now?

What you're saying here just goes to prove my point. The BJ-300 is a work
horse capable of delivering much more than the 12,000 sheets I got from it.
And Loosenut Boogs may rest assured that the stainless steel shafts are not
rusted, the rubber rollers are not degraded and no ink has spilled on the
printed circuits. This printer was mechanically made to last. So what?

It seems that at the time of manufacture, Canon decided at the last minute
there was more money to be made with ink than printers. That's when the change
occured, Soon thereafter, the new Bubblejets came out at around 200$. So they
had a problem on their hands with this printer designed the good old way.

There were no one picoliter, or whatever, drops at that time and any ink would
do OK. So, they put a sponge in the purge unit that would at least eventually
block the most off-the-plate non-Canon inks, in order to sell their 35$, 350
pages, cartridges.

In other words, they ****ed up the ink distribution system. But because the
printer had been costly to produce, they didn't lower the price. So, the
customer -- me , in this case -- ended up with an expensive unreliable printer.

What was HP's approach with the Deskjet 500 at the same time? As I already
explained, it's one of the most rugged printer of all times, and it sold at
about 50$ less than the BJ-300. Millions of pages must have gone through some
of those printers. And the printhead being part of the cartridge, it couldn't

Of course, if was impossible, even less than now, to build a disposable
printhead of as good quality as a permanent one. When you looked at a print
made by a Deskjet, you could see minute droplets of ink around the letters.
And, of course, every magazine would confirm this.

So, I told myself, what was 50$ more to get better quality? Only later was I
to discover that the difference in quality would cost so much more and so much
pain in the ass.

A friend of mine had a Deskjet and used to buy plain Carter's ink, which still
sold in pharmacies at the time, and refilled her cartridges with a seringe for
her drafts.

"It must clog the head", I told her. "Of course, after 4 or 5 refills, it
does, she answered. I then have another new empty cartridge ready to refill."

With the help of magazines, who hardly ever test long-term reliability, I've
been one of those Bozos who've been lured by Canon's so-called
high-technology. Too bad there isn't a law to forbid printer companies to sell
ink. The printers would certainly be more expensive, but the print would
finally come down to a lot less, with much less trouble.

Of course, I'm neither a printer, nor an industry specialist, and I couldn't
tell how HP is behaving since La Fiorina took control or how Lexmarks does
after IBM decided there was nothing to get out of it. But I know one thing for
sure: Canon has spearheaded this /revolution/ were the customer has become the

And I know that, to this day, Canon has refused to acknowledge they sold me a
printer at yesterday's price with today's flaws. I know they went as far as
refusing to provide the information I needed. I'm sure they still perfectly
know about the flaw I'm experiencing today and are still refusing to provide
the few words of support I need.

I had only words of praise for Canon before I bought this printer. I still own
a Canon FTB-QL 35 mm camera and, though I haven't used it for quite some time,
it probably still works perfectly. But sometimes, companies change. They're
headed by /more efficient/ administrators invertors learned to luv.

As a customer, I don't peculiarly appreciate Canon's way of management. As a
matter of fact, I now truly abhor this company. They might send as many trolls
they want, whether I tell my story long or short, it will get more precise
each and every time, and rest assured I'll get the message through. Money talks!

In the meantime, the planet is dying and buying a Prius is really an indecent
way of acquiring an ecologist status. "Cutting-edge technology", as Motor
trend puts it, comes at an expense when repair time comes.

So here's my advice for the New Year to every sensible citizen of this world.
Stop preaching ecology, get a screwdriver and, if it's only a glitch, it ain't
broke, fix it!




Bob Kos

I remember I bought a Canon BubbleJet way back when. I think it was a BJ600
or something like that. It was a demo model, but still had plenty of ink in
the original carts, indicating very little actual use. One of the heads
died right out of the box. At first Canon didn't want to do anything about
it. After the fact I found out it was a notorious problem on those printers
with a $200 replacement part required. They finally decided to fix it, but
they made me transport the thing 25 miles to their chosen ASP. 25 crappy,
traffic jammed miles. It took me two full afternoons of screwing around to
get it fixed. I got it back, immediately sold it and never looked back.
Canon may make good laser engines for other companies, but I'll never gamble
again on their IJ technology.


Bob said:
Canon may make good laser engines for other companies, but I'll never gamble
again on their IJ technology.

I know gambling is some kind of sickmess that's hard to get rid of :) So I
suppose the best I can do is wish you good luck if you want to take a chance
with a Canon laser printer or camera. Do you really figure their repair center
for those will be any closer?

I for one am not much of a gambler and won't buy any Canon product anymore.



Canon isn't dishonest. At least Canon doesn't use chips in their ink
cartridges like most other companies do to rip their customers off. And
many of the printers in the Canon line use clear tanks so you can see
exactly how much ink is left... unlike their competitors.

My Canon s820 has lasted longer than my previous Epson.

Harry Kiri

GP said:
I know gambling is some kind of sickmess that's hard to get rid of :) So I
suppose the best I can do is wish you good luck if you want to take a chance
with a Canon laser printer or camera. Do you really figure their repair center
for those will be any closer?

I for one am not much of a gambler and won't buy any Canon product anymore.



You guys think their printers are bad - you're lucky you never
purchased a Canon XL1 video camera (complete with focus, backfocus and
major lens problems).

Like you, my days of purchasing Canon products are at an end.




Arthur Entlich

What this disagreement proves is that each company has a certain
percentage of bad product. Certainly even Canon acknowledged the
problems their printers had in reliability, which is why they started
over from scratch and put millions into R&D to come up with the i
series. I think the i series has some good value and good design, and
the tanks are indeed easier to refill, but even Canon seems to be moving
their model toward more costly ink cartridges.

The main weaknesses with Canon's printers are: they do not handle
pigment inks well, and have never endorsed pigment inks, to my
knowledge, for these printers. They did some promotion about making
pigment inks but I don't think it ever came out.

Secondly, I warned when they first came out that the idea of a permanent
ink head using a resistance bubble jet or thermal technology seems like
a contradiction of terms. I expected head failures within 18-24 months
of purchase for heavier users, and it seems to be now doing just that.

I very much like the removable head for cleaning and the number of
nozzles makes the printer very fast, as well. I like how they reduced
dot size to allow for elimination of the light dye load inks, as well,
something again I predicted someone would do.

Epson and Canon together would possibly be able to produce a better than
product than either by themselves if they each adopted some aspects of
the others technology. However, in the long run, the two technologies
do not appear to have compatibility.

I still tend to believe the cold piezo head is more durable and
flexible, and with certain modifications, would be even more reliable.

If the clogging issue were better addressed, and it could be, the piezo
would be more reliable, more accurate, and overall allow for much more
variations of ink. There is a reason why the art segment and the ink
manufacturers has mostly looked to Epson piezo technology.

But in terms of image quality, all three majors are close and it comes
down to format wars, which I am not interested in engaging or fanning
the flames.


Bill Crocker

Your problems started when you began using third-party ink, not made by
Canon. This is Canon's fault? Inkjet ink technology is very complex
chemistry! More often than not, when using ink other than that of the
manufacture, you will eventually run into problems with any Inkjet printer,
regardless of who made it, not just Canon.

The other problem is a result of using it so infrequently. Again, any
Inkjet printer, will have issues if it's not used on a regular basis.

It sounds like you should seriously consider a laser printer, for your
particular needs.

Bill Crocker


Arthur said:
What this disagreement proves is that each company has a certain
percentage of bad product.

No. You didn't read what my posts. The BJ-300 is not a bad product. It's a
product where flaws have been voluntarily introduced in the ink distribution

The same goes with the problem I now have. Some Loose Nut here said that my
printer was old and probably nobody remembered how to fix it.

Of course, everybody noticed how ridiculous this opinion was :) Companies have
databases where new problems are registered so that all repairmen throughout
the world don't go through the same troubleshooting.

Canon has certainly sold thousands of BJ-300 just like mine that have been put
through much heavier use. And certainly the same problem, whether planned by
Canon or not, has occured before and the solution is in their database. They
just refuse to give the solution because they want you to buy a new printer.

And people do buy new printers. Unfortunately, they don't buy new /Canon/
printers. I took a ride to Staples this aft and I heard a woman looking for an
inkjet printer say to the salesman she wanted any kind of printer, just not
Canon. I said I agreed and, remembering all the problems we'd been though with
Canon, we laughed.

As I said in my first message, Canon's name, which was everywhere in the
dealers' ads in the Yellow pages have all but disappeared. And this is not
because this Canon product is good, this other one is bad, as you pretend.
It's because Canon has developed a "couldn't care less" attitude towards the

Dependable computer stores deal as little as they can with those companies.


Certainly even Canon acknowledged the


Bill said:
Your problems started when you began using third-party ink, not made by
Canon. This is Canon's fault?

Buying Canon's ink make a printer worthless. It's way too expensive.
Inkjet ink technology is very complex

After 3 months without printing, I would probably have had the same problem
with Canon ink. Today's equipment -- spectrometers, chromatographs, etc. --
can make a pretty good chemical analysis. And, you know, Canon doesn't make
its ink on Mars.

And when the sponge dries, washing it in demineralized mater is very simple
technology, believe me!




Arthur Entlich

Well, I guess our water is different in Canada.

The Canon marketplace, with good reason, was quite depressed prior to
the development of the i series printers. You'd see very few Canon
inkjet printers on dealer's shelves. Canon admitted to the problems
they had, if not to individual owners, certainly to the trade and media,
and that was the inspiration for the newer printer design.

Since then, at least on the West Coast of Canada, the Canon market share
has improved considerably. Not only the shelf space, which could be
Canon's own doing via payment, but their sales are up. The printers are

I can't discuss customer service, because, quite honestly, I do not and
never have owned a Canon inkjet printer. But, that aside, and my
concern about the reliability of the new head long-term, I know of many
people who like the print quality and other features of the Canon inkjet
printer line. I am not going to judge a printer I haven't used, but the
output on them is darn nice. I do think ink fading is still an issue,

As to your personal experience, I am not going to challenge it. I
assume you are stating it as it occurred or at least as you perceive it.
And from that, I can see how you may feel you were not treated
properly by the service you received. I can state that I do not believe
you would have received any better treatment by any other major inkjet
company in the same situation. That is not to excuse anything, but to
simply try to put the situation in perspective.

Can you honestly suggest another brand of inkjet printer which you feel
you would have received better service in a similar set of circumstances?

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