My main studio printers are a Canon iPF 5000 and Canon iPF8100. Both have been workhorses for me over the years, and I’ve printed hundreds of prints on each one. I’ve had the iPF5000 for 3 years, and aside from some software related issues, it has been a great printer for me in terms of maintenance and the quality of the prints. Within a few weeks of purchasing it, the automated roll feeder stopped working, and Canon promptly sent a technician to my studio to repair it which involved replacing some parts. It has worked perfectly ever since.
During the Fine Art Printing Workshop this weekend, it came as a surprise when I attempted to print a student’s image and the iPF5000 gave me a “Nozzle Check” error. This is not the sort of message you want to see in the middle of a workshop while 6 students stand over your shoulder! I reset the printer, tried to run a cleaning cycle and tried other quick fixes, but the error remained. Luckily I have a backup in the iPF8100, so I switched to that printer for the remainder of the workshop.
The next day, after reading the manual and searching online, I was pretty sure I needed a new print head. Unlike Epson printers, which do not have replaceable print heads, Canon’s can be serviced and replaced over the life of the printer. The downside is they are expensive ($525), and according to my dealer, once one print head goes, the other usually follows (most Canon printers have two separate heads). The dealer suggested I just buy a new printer which would be the same cost as two new print heads. Needless to say, I was disappointed and frustrated, but heeding my wife Brenda’s advice, decided to call Canon just to confirm.
Once Canon had indeed verified that I needed a new print head, to my surprise they offered to replace the head at no charge as a courtesy to those who had purchased this printer – their first generation model. Their new line of printers have redesigned heads which last much longer. Instead of a 1 year warranty, they were replacing the heads if it had printed less than 10 trillion drops of ink. This they were able to determine through a diagnostic mode they had me run in the printer.
I’ll be receiving a brand new print head today, and if the other fails, I’ll be able to have it replaced under warranty as well – not bad for a three year old printer. I am thoroughly impressed with Canon’s service, as well as the friendliness of the technician I spoke with. These are compelling reasons for me to continue to purchase Canon equipment, where service and uptime is of paramount importance. As someone who regards customer service as the most important aspect of my interaction with customers and clients, it was great to receive much of the same from Canon.
Of course, following Brenda’s advice is the real key.