Star Micronics DP8340RM Label Dot Matrix Printer Reviews
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Star Micronics DP8340RM Label Dot Matrix Printer

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Specs great, reliability and service atrocious

Jan 25, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Disappointing

  • Ease of Use:
  • Paper Handling:

Pros:Good imaging and scanning specs

Cons:Horrendous customer service, questionable reliability

The Bottom Line: Bad Customer Service and unreliability torpedoes what appears to be a good feature set and performance specs.


In this day-and-age of technology, competing product vendors necessarily match each others' feature sets and specs closely. When trying to decide which of various nearly-identical products to buy, the one factor that should leap to the top for the savvy consumer is: Service. And this is where Canon, sadly, fails miserably.

I spent many hours online researching which multifunction color laser printer to buy for my wife's home office for Christmas. Comparing specs and features, the Canon MF8180c rose clearly to the top. Reviewers praised its high quality color scans, which was pertinent, since my wife is taking advanced Photoshop and design classes. Its other specs were likewise impressive. Based on this "paper" evaluation, and on the superior quality of Canon cameras and a photo printer I also own, I chose the Canon MF8180c over the HP, Brother, Ricoh, Xerox, and other competing all-in-ones on the market.

Through faults of the e-tailer I bought it from (mWave.com), it never showed up in time for Christmas, finally getting delivered on Jan 9, almost a month after I placed the order. Since the MFC8180c weighs in at nearly 90 lbs., it had to be shipped via a trucking company, whose 18-wheelers couldn't get into our rural property. (To their credit, a trucking company employee had to finally drive it over in their personal vehicle to deliver it.)

After all the shipping hassle, we unpackaged it and set it up, only to discover that, out of the box, the color copying/scanning function on the MF8180c failed totally -- producing all-black images.

The e-tailer I'd bought it from disavowed all responsibility for this failure (arguing the subtleties of "defective" vs. "damaged"), thereby pawning off responsibility to Canon to deal with the problem. It was a D.O.A. unit, but Canon insisted on dispatching out a service tech "onsite" to my house rather than simply shipping out a new unit. In two separate service calls over the span of a week, the tech replaced all the major components in the scanner pathway -- the CCD, a power supply, the "density scanner", and even the printer mainboard -- all to no avail. Clearly, this was a "lemon". After the tech said that during testing, he'd already gone through almost half of the "starter" toner that comes with the unit and that he couldn't avoid wearing out certain internal "snap-together" interconnects -- which weren't engineered for repeated disassemblies -- I finally had enough, and escalated the problem ticket to demand a replacement unit.

The Canon tech support service center dial-in is every bit as annoying as most -- long hold queues where the incessant piped-in jabber assaulting your ears touts how wonderful their tech support is: "no hassles or runaround", which proved to be exactly what I would get. After speaking with six separate individuals over the span of two days, a total of three hours on hold, and two failures to call me back as promised, my "tech support" experience culminated in a twenty-minute argument with a supervisor who claimed he had no power to help me, and gave me my final answer...

Canon flat-out refused to send a replacement unit. Their argument was that the tech had more parts to replace -- including another CCD, which they'd _already_ replaced! -- so they couldn't just ship me another unit. The tech wasn't surprised, saying that he'd seen the same exact thing with another Canon MF8180c repair job for another customer, and added that even if they did send me a replacement unit, it'd be a "refurbished".

How Canon can think that this is reasonable customer service is beyond me. You'd think that they'd want to do some "damage control" after my D.O.A. and just send out a replacement. Plus, they'd already probably eaten up three times the profit margin in the printer with multiple parts shipments and all the tech dispatches to my house, but they stubbornly and bureaucratically stuck to their guns.

I managed to get an RMA from the e-tailer, and I will eat the huge cost of shipping this behemoth back to them, but I consider it a bargain to be out from under the burden of Bad Customer Service.

Don't let this happen to you!


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 750
Operating System: Windows

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