• Nick Thomas

Perilously Priced Printers

Yeah, I did that.


This is a cheap printer. It's a decent enough printer, for the price ($49), but it's cheap, and this can come with its own set of costs. Recently I was called out to a customers house to install it on the network as they'd tried and given up after a couple of days of hair pulling. In the manufacturers attempt to release a cheap printer, there's no LCD screen and no menu on the printer. On a normal printer, you'd select "Settings" from the LCD, then "Network Settings", then "Wireless Setup" or "Network Setup Wizard" or something to that effect - it's fairly logical, fairly straight forward. On this particular model and / or similar cheap models, you can sometimes have the option of connecting the printer with a USB cable, then using the provided software to set it up on the network, sometimes they don't. Or you can press the correct sequence of buttons on the printer itself to set the printer into WPS or Push-button mode so you can then press the pair or WPS button on the router. But knowing what combination of buttons to press is impossible without A) knowing about it; and B) hunting it down - neither of which I would expect of your normal average customer.

So! I had to come out and set it up. Now, I charge a $40 call out and then $100 per hour ($20 / $80 with consession). So this cheap printer ended up costing them $49 + $20(onsite) + $40(1/2 hour), where as a slightly more expensive model, say a TS5160 ($79) would most likely have saved them the expense of calling me out as it has an LCD and a much easier method of wirelessly connecting to an existing network. Sometimes being cheap does not pay.

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