And Another One Bites The Dust…

Why is it that we all willingly fall prey to planned obsolescence with our technology tools? I’ve had this HP Photosmart printer since 2005 – have loved this machine. It prints, faxes, scan copies and would probably bring in the morning paper if I programmed it to do so. The past few days my technology workhorse has decided that it would no longer copy or scan, and if it prints something, it comes out in the smallest of font that even an electron microscope could not read it. So, I did all of the diagnostics recommended in the manual and then I called HP.

Jessica my customer service rep was very nice and very politely informed me that my model printer made in 2005 is now obsolete. To HP that means that it no longer manufactures parts to repair the printer and no longer authorizes its licensed repair centers to do repairs on the machine. So, HP has literally wiped its hands of my printer. Ok, I guess I get that. After all the printer is six years old, a dinosaur by technology standards. So I decided to try plan B – find an independent repair place to get the printer serviced. Then I find out that HP will only license independent repair shops to work on certain things – so some can only service large office printers and some can actually service the small home office ones. You have to call around to find out who can work on what.

I found someone nearby who actually could work on my printer – the catch: $95/hour for labor plus parts. And of course (and I do get this, I really do), they have to do diagnostics on the printer first so that they can give you an estimate of what the repairs would cost.  And, such a deal, if they do the diagnostics and you decide not to go ahead with the repairs, they will only charge you $65.  If you look online, printers can be purchased rather cheaply and technology that was expensive five years ago is now actually pretty affordable. You can get a decent new printer for anywhere from $100 – $200. So why would you want to pay a third or more of the price of a new one to repair a dinosaur that might break down again in a year. By that time, you can invest as much if not more than the price of a new printer.

So, long story short, I am in the market for a new printer. And although I always love to get some newer technology, I wonder why we all support a system that has us all imprisoned in obsolescence that appears to get shorter and shorter every day?

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