Our Disposable Society
Today I was contacted by a potential customer that has an HP OfficeJet Pro 8500. He wrote that the printer is displaying a paper jam error message and that it seems to have a broken gear inside but that there is no evidence of paper actually jammed in the printer. The printer costs $300 to replace and he is concerned about the costs of repair.
In my email response to him I wrote…
We charge $125 for on-site repair plus $3 for cleaning materials plus parts. The parts could be anywhere from a few dollars to over $100. The problem is that getting parts puts us at the mercy of the manufacturer because these machines are all proprietary. So, even if it just needs a gear, it might mean that we have to buy an entire internal printer assembly to get the gear. So, I can’t tell you exactly how much the part costs until we get in and find what is broken and find out if we can buy the part or if we have to buy a whole assembly.
It’s a tough call and I hate throwing away stuff. We do way too much of that these days. But it could possibly cost more than $300 to fix this machine. Unfortunately, HP (and most other printer manufacturers) does not always sell the tiny parts that break so you have to throw the whole printer away and buy a new one.
But that is our capitalist system. The free market makes it possible for manufacturers to make it too costly to fix. And so we have landfills full of only slighlty broken printers, appliance and all other types of very repairable products.
Can you think of a solution that would prevent this waste?
Hey! The woman on our website looks like she is happy to see all this trash piled up.