Monday, August 08, 2011

Don’t Buy Kodak ESP-3250 Printer


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Don’t buy those Kodak printers that claim they have the cheapest ink.  I made that mistake and now I’m paying for it.  I presume all current production Kodak printers do this now too.

Here’s why:

I don’t print in color, except in very very rare occasions.  I almost always tell it to print in draft and black and white only.



My black ink cartridge that came with the printer ran out of ink shortly after I bought the printer and I’ve been running on a full sized replacement since then that I had to buy separately.  I’ve not replaced the introductory color cartridge because I have no need for it.

When I just now tried to print a document, using the settings shown above, I got this error:


Notice, the ONLY option is to “Cancel Printing”.

On the printer, I get this:


(Error  Color ink cartridge needs replacing. Press OK. (Error code 3508)

If I press OK, it moves the print heads to where I can pull them out, but won’t print.

If I press the “Cancel” button on the printer, it just cancels the print job.

If I remove the color cartridge, then put it back in, it KNOWS it’s still empty and behaves the same way.

I contacted Kodak support via chat.  The final results from the tech support agent are:

  1. Even when you explicitly image tell it to use only black ink, it still uses color ink for the “grays”.
  2. There’s NO WAY to tell it to use JUST black ink.
  3. There’s NO WAY to make it print, at all, even if you’re just printing black, have PLENTY of black ink image, but ONE of your 5 color wells is empty.

So, my options are:

  1. Buy ink I don’t need and don’t want, throwing out probably about 90% of the original color ink that’s STILL IN THE CARTRIDGE in the color wells that were never used.
  2. Toss this POS and buy ink for one of my shelved printers that actually WILL print, even if the color is out, and heck, even if the black is out too… at least it’ll attempt it.
  3. Hack this oversized paperweight to trick it into thinking it’s got a full color cartridge.

On a related note, check back later for an article on how to hack your Kodak ESP 3250! Winking smile

BTW, Kodak’s main selling point of this line of printers is that they’ve got the cheapest ink, which is a lie.  I found ink just as cheap for other printers.


Here are TODAY’s prices for color ink at WalMart:



And, BTW, ink for inkjet printers is more expensive per gram than PLATINUM!  I have an acquaintance that actually cracked open one, weighed the ink, and was able to determine that by weight, the ink is considerably more expensive than an equivalent amount of platinum.

According to WolframAlpha, the current price of platinum is $1,716 per troy ounce.  Hmmm…  My acquaintance made the measurement about 5 years ago, and it looks like the price was about $1,100/oz then.  Maybe… just Maybe, platinum has become more expensive than printer ink… not quite sure.


[Update]  After I posted this I started searching for “kodak esp 3250 scam” and I found other people reporting the same thing, and worse:

BTW, if you want an invite to Google Plus, e-mail me at image.  That’s not a clickable e-mail address… It’s a picture to prevent spammers from easily scraping it.  You’ll need to type that address, exactly as you see it, including the G and the + in front of the word “Invite”.  I’d also appreciate you clicking the “+1” at the bottom of this post.
See this image? image_thumb26
You’ll find an actual working version of it at the bottom of this article. Please click the appropriate buttons in it to let your friends know about this printer scam.

Check back later for updates too

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Good Luck!


  1. Hack please! I'm at my wits end between my crappy printer not recognising my new colour cartridge and it refusing to print only black...sick, sick sick of it! Waiting avidly for your hack and will welcome it with open arms. :D

  2. I'll see if I can get to it this weekend.

  3. Trying to find out what happened still can't get my printer to print and I've tried replacing the color cartridge 3 times ....did you hack???????????? HELP

  4. I would love to see a hack on this!