This is a Canon QY6-0072 Printhead for ip4600/MP630/MP640 Printers.
I’m rather fond of my MP640 Printer. I paid $250 for it around 18 months ago. Having purchased Canon camera equipment for a long time, and with my Epson printer dying after 5 years of hard service, I decided I might go for an all-in-one printer that was networked so I wouldn’t be stuck with the need to plug it in via cable or share it via another machine. The MP640 fitted the bill nicely and was on sale.
So when the front panel started saying Error U052 incorrect print head installed I was rather upset. This would be because:
- The printer was 18 months old
- I think it would have been lucky to have printed a 500 sheets of paper in it’s lifetime.
- The faulty component disabled entire printer including the scanner, which I use a lot more than the printer itself.
Powering the printer off and on again would result in either the U052 Error again, or Error 5200 which reading would seem to indicate that the thermal sensor on the print head is faulty.
Searching around on the web suggested that I could get a genuine replacement printhead for around $45 USD from a dodgy source, and around $90 USD for a more reputable one (Amazon). Much to my annoyance when I went to purchase I found that Amazon could not ship to part to Australia!
Conveniently the local service centre for Canon is also a vendor for work. Not so convenient was the price quoted - $151 AUD! Holy crap between the cost of the replacement ink I purchased a few days earlier and the print head, I could have bought a brand new printer! And what about the fact Amazon sold the same component for $50 less???
Nevertheless I purchased the printhead - I didn’t want to throw out a perfectly working printer (except for the replaceable printhead) and $80 worth of ink, and the $150 right now is still cheaper than buying a replacement model of a similar calibre. Part arrived today, installed in the printer and it is now working fine again.
But what I still want to know is how Canon can charge $150 for something that probably cost around $50 unit price for R&D and manufacture? (Not including the answer “Because they Can”). Seems like price gouging to me