I’ll admit it. I thought my printer woes were over. After all, back at the end of February I bought a brand new printer. A Canon Pro 9000 Mark II. I went away from Epson who made my last two printers because I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the Epson I just got rid of. It mad nice prints but for the last couple of years was real twitchy and I ended up wasting a lot of my time and money to get it to make nice prints. Then it broke for good. So I got the Canon.

I can’t really say if the Canon makes better prints than the Epson. I’d have to run tests side by side to determine that but somehow I think the Epson prints were a little livelier. That could just be my imagination and I do like the way the Canon prints but on some level I must find them a little inferior. I’m not even sure why. Like I said it could all just be in my mind.

I’ve been perfectly content with the Canon for time I’ve had it. It’s worked well with no trouble or struggle to get it to print correctly as plagued my Epson near the end. It worked well enough so that I stopped thinking about it at all and used it as the tool it is. That’s until one recent Saturday when it stopped working at all.

I was printing out a proof of a print that I was coloring and the first time it printed fine. As I tried to print out a second proof something went wrong. It wouldn’t print a thing. I checked the little printer program that tells me what’s going on with it and it gave me a meaningless to me error number and told me to unplug the printer and call a service center. Unplug the printer? Was going to explode on me?

I tried turning the printer on and off, unplugging it, re-installing the printer drivers, and anything else I could think of. The printer did nothing but blink its orange light at me time after time and I kept getting that same error message. I’ve been using Epson printers since 1997. I can’t remember if I had two or three of them but in all the time I’ve owned them I’ve never had to call a service center. They always ran well or I fixed them up myself so they would run well again. But after a little research on the net I knew that the Canon was having a hardware problem. Nothing I could fix.

So I e-mailed customer service on a Saturday afternoon and they got back to me within the hour. Not bad. The guy asked me a couple of things and had me try a couple of things but they were to no avail. I guess this is a problem they are familiar with because they offered me an exchange for a refurbished one or I could take it to an authorized repair shop.

The nearest repair shop was too far away so I opted for the exchange. I had to jump through a couple of more hoops and e-mail them a copy of my receipt but by Sunday afternoon they said one would be UPSed to me on Monday. I was to put the broken one in the box the working one came in, affix the pre-paid UPS label, and drop the broken one off at a UPS drop point. Simple enough and it was in the end but not before one more little hassle.

On Monday instead of getting a notice that they shipped the printer I got an e-mail saying it was on back order. I found that a little annoying. Luckily on Tuesday I got another e-mail saying it was on its way by UPS Ground. That evening FedEx showed up at my door. Canon also sent me a set of inks for the printer. That was nice but I found it a little odd that the inks came second day air and the printer was coming by ground. After all the inks do me no good without the printer. They probably just came from different departments and warehouses though.

I had one small concern with the printer exchange. In every e-mail about swapping printers they said (in obviously cut and pasted instructions) I was to remove the print head, ink cartridges, power cord, and any paper trays and use them with the new printer. I was not to send them back with the broken printer. The problem was that when I turned my printer on it did nothing. The printer head and ink are supposed to move over to be removed only when you lift the ink cover and they shift themselves left. I lift my ink cover and nothing moves. How was I supposed to get the ink head and cartridges out? I figured I’d worry about that when the new printer arrived.

Like I said before, they obviously must have dealt with this particular problem before because when the printer arrived on Thursday, despite the cut and paste directions saying they wouldn’t be there, there was a new print head to be installed (the print head is replaceable on this model unlike my Epsons and is easily snapped into place) plus a complete set of inks. That made me happy.

In no time at all I was up and running again and happy to have a working printer. I use my printer a lot especially when drawing. I scan in a drawing, change its size, and then print it out in blue line so I can work on it some more. A printer makes things easier for me.

I hope this one lasts longer than the last one did but overall Canon did a nice job getting my problem sorted out quickly and I had the replacement printed five days after mine broke down. I’ll take that.

I wrote all that and then on Monday morning, four days after I got it, the replacement printer stopped working. It wouldn’t power up at all. I’d hit the power button and then the printer would flash its green light at me twice and turn off. This time they overnighted me a replacement printer. Hopefully this one will last a while.