[Geman]Epson also has customers who has a Readyprint subscription. Then these customers get new ink cartridges when the existing cartridges run out of ink. Now there seems to be trouble because the payment service provider Epson uses can't actually process the customers' debits. Since Epson is missing payments, the manufacturer deactivates the printers via remote connection. The customer then can no longer print. The blame clearly lies with Epson and its payment service providers.
Epson ReadyPrint and its pitfalls
ReadyPrint is a subscription-based printing service from Epson designed to simplify printing. The user takes out a subscription and can then print as much as they want. Whenever the ink level is low, the printer triggers an order for ink cartridges supplied by Espson. The customer then only needs to replace the ink cartridges or refill the ink.
Customer payment missing, printer get disabled
If the customer does not pay or if the customer terminates the subscription, the supply of ink is suspended and the printer is remotely deactivated. And now we come to the point where my "Schadenfreude" comes from: the customer places himself in dependency on the manufacturer Epson and must bear any consequences. If the customer slips into fiancial issues, printing is no longer possible. If there is a payment bottleneck, the same threatens – and the use of third-party cartridges also ceases. The customer voluntarily puts himself in the manufacturer's thrall.
Now, The Register has covered the case of a customer who, through no fault of his own, ran into this problem of a remotely locked printer. The user, John Lamont, signed up for ReadyPrint with Epson in 2021. The manufacturer cancelled the subscription and the ReadyPrint service worked fine until February 2022.
But then the customer received an email informing him that it was not possible to collect his monthly payment for ReadyPrint. Espon was going to make another attempt to collect the payment in 14 days. The email also warned the customer that his cartridges would no longer work after two unsuccessful collection attempts by Epson, for the subscription.
The customer updated his payment details as recommended in the email from Epson, but found that the payment was not collected. What had to happen was that the printer suddenly refused to work and print. The display simply showed a message: "The ReadyPrint service is not available due to an account problem".
Epson customer service was able to solve the mystery. The payment service provider (RBS and Natwest are probably affected) through which the customer should process his payments with Epson is not compatible with the required Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). This means that no money can be transferred – The Register says that procedural changes due to Brexit are involved.
Long story short: It seems to have affected some customers who have now run into printing problems with their subscription. Printers worth about 480 euros are now worthless. The customers are pissed off – and Epson is probably sending out standard ink cartridges so that people can print again. At the same time, Epson is trying to solve the problem with the payment service providers. But: Whoever gets involved in something like this has to bear the consequences – that's my opinion.
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