Epson payments snafu leaves subscribers unable to print

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Epson's ReadyPrint subscription-based printing service is designed to take the hassle out of printing but its not working as intended, at least not for everyone.

The service was created to let users print as much as they like without worrying about running out of ink. For a small monthly fee, the firm will send customers refills for their Epson inkjet before they run out.

However, when something goes wrong, the user can also get locked out of their printer, unable to produce any documents, as is the case for one Epson customer who discovered Epson was unable to process his payments.

Reg reader John Lamont signed up for ReadyPrint last year, and the service worked perfectly until February when he got an email informing him that it had not been possible to collect his monthly payment for ReadyPrint, and that Epson would attempt collection again in 14 days.

The email also warned Mr Lamont that his cartridges would stop working following two unsuccessful attempts by Epson to obtain payment for the subscription service.

However, despite Mr Lamont updating his account details, as advised by the email from Epson, the monthly payment was still not taken, and eventually he found himself with a printer that refused to print. The printer simply displayed a message saying: "The ReadyPrint service is unavailable due to an account issue."

Getting in contact with Epson customer services provided a clue. They told Mr Lamont to "please try with a card from another bank if possible. e.g. not RBS or Natwest," so it appeared that the problem is with Epson's back-end systems taking payment from Natwest or RBS accounts.

We contacted Epson, which pointed the finger at Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), the measures that require banks and financial institutions to implement two-factor authentication for some payment transactions.
 
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