Photo Printer Fiasco

Photo PrinterYou all know by now that I use a photo printer to print all of my photos at home.  Here are the reasons why I use a photo printer.

If this reads like a long, whiny rant I apologize.  I’m still pretty upset about it.

Around Thanksgiving, my beloved HP Photosmart 7350 conked out.  It was ten years old and always printed gorgeous photos.  It’s really a long life for a printer, I know.

Off I went to scout Black Friday deals on printers.  I decided to stick with HP Photosmart because I liked the quality of photos I got from the last printer.  Note, I do not like HP printers for regular printing because I think they eat too much ink too quickly.  I have a different everyday printer by Canon.

I ended up with the HP 5510.  There were more expensive versions of it, but they did things I didn’t need.  Seriously, I don’t need a photo printer that can also scan, fax and make french fries.  I just want to print photos!

Initial Reaction to the HP 5510

Speed – I’ve been used to a slow ten-year-old printer.  The 5510 prints fast!

Quality – Impressive.  I was absolutely satisfied with the quality and it matched what I had before.  It also does a better job of edge-to-edge printing than my old model, which means I can squeeze an absurd amount of pictures on a page and save paper.

Setup – Pretty darn easy.  It’s wireless to boot so if I kept photo paper loaded at all times, I could print scrapbook photos from anywhere in the house.

Photo PrinterOverall I was very pleased and planned to test it for a couple more months before writing a post about it.

Then Things Went Terribly Wrong

One evening I was on a scrapbooking roll and had 4 pages of photos .  I had a set deadline to finish these layouts because we were going away for the weekend.

Errr-orrrr.  What happened to the photo quality?  When I printed the pictures, I got these organge-ish lines on them.  I wasted a few more pieces of photo paper trying to diagnose the problem.  I opened a set of new printer cartridges to see if that would fix it.  Nope.  Nada.

Photo PrinterMy printer was under warranty (thank goodness).  I had to spend at least 30 minutes on the phone with HP, running every little test they wanted me to do to see if it fixed it.

Tip: if you’re in for a long call with customer service, put on a headset.  That way you can craft while they put you on hold.  It’ll make you less testy.

Photo PrinterFinally, they agreed to replace the machine and I had to wait several days for it to arrive, since they charge $17 if you want it shipped more quickly.

You know that feeling when you’re on a crafty roll with projects and some unforeseen circumstance prevents you from finishing?  Yeah, that was me.

It Wasn’t Over Yet

Several days later, I ran home with the new machine.  Setup was pretty easy . . . until I had to put the cartridges in.  You see, this printer comes with special “setup” cartridges so you have to use the ones that come in the box to install the printer.

After I installed the cartridges, the printer decided to pretend like the pink one wasn’t there.  Great.  After trying everything I could think of, it was back on the phone with HP.

After running all kinds of tests again (I think this took at least another 30 minutes), they decide it’s a bad cartridge.  I was beyond upset at this point.

Photo PrinterThey offered to send me a new setup cartridge, but of course I would have to wait for a few days or I could pay $17 to have it sent overnight.

At list point, I lost my cookies.  I’m paraphrasing here, but I essentially told the guy on the phone, ahem, firmly, that HP had no idea how much productivity they had cost me during this situation, the situation was getting beyond ridiculous and they would send me the cartridge overnight free of charge.  They put me on hold for a while but eventually agreed.

All Better, for Now

The new cartridge arrived and all was well.  The new machine is back up and running and I printed the 4 pages of photos out immediately.

Where to from here?  Not sure.  After this fiasco, I’m pretty sure this is the last HP machine I will own.  Although I’m happy with the quality, I can’t recommend this product.

I still firmly stand behind my method of printing all the photos at home for all the reasons mentioned in my original post.

8 thoughts on “Photo Printer Fiasco

  1. Awe man, that stinks. That would have annoyed me too. We just got the HP Officejet Pro 8600. I’m going to try to print photos for the first time on it next week. I hope it works because I think it will save money in the long run if it does. We’ve always had good luck with HPs, hopefully it’s smooth sailing for you from here on out!

    • Thanks. I hope the new machine works for you! I really like printing photos at home – I feel like it opens a lot of creative avenues for scrapbooking.

  2. I love, love, love printing photos at home, especially since I like to scrap using photos of less conventional sizes. I use 8.5 x 11 photo paper, and put as many photos as needed to fill the page before printing out. I have an HP Photosmart D7260 for several years and haven’t had problems

    • I’m the EXACT same way. I only print on 8.5×11 paper and I too fit as much as I can on one page. I’m really disappointed that I had trouble with this printer because the last one lasted over 10 years!

  3. I’m impressed you got 10 years out of a printer! I tend to get at best 2 years out of any printer. I am on the lookout for a photo printer and am sorry to hear your disappointment. I was just flipping through a flyer for a local store advertising this printer for less than $100 and thought I’d look into it. Maybe not…

    • I feel like 10 years was quite an exception. We only used it for photos though. You can try the one I got, it’s not too much an investment in trying something, I just can’t fully endorse it because of my experience. Could have been a fluke, who knows.

  4. Oh know. I love my 7760 HP photo printer. I’ve had mine for at least 7 years. Still prints AWESOME. I’ve always loved it. I hope that the new one performs well for you because it would make me sad to think I’d have to find a different brand after the one I have has been such a solid performer. Good luck!

    • My point exactly. I am SO disappointed because my old one worked so well. The new one is fantastic quality-wise aside from this replacement issue.

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