Raw Deal On Printer Ink

from the price-gouging dept

Having just had a story about the various printer companies spreading FUD about how so many ink cartridges out there are counterfeit and may damage your printer, I thought this next article was interesting. One of the "warnings" the printer companies kept saying was that these counterfeit cartridges often came only half full. That does sound like a ripoff, until you realize that the printer companies themselves are effectively doing the same thing by having their printers tell you they're empty when there's still quite a bit of ink left. In one test, they found that an ink cartridge was still 38% full when the printer said it was empty. That's 38% of a tiny cartridge that (as the article points out): "costs more than vintage champagne". They also point out that the Epson printers (such as the one I use) are the worst - because they won't let you print if the printer says it's empty - so most people are simply throwing away nearly half of the ink they bought for insanely high prices. In tests the magazine ran the least amount of remaining ink was 17%. Meanwhile, the Lexmark case (where they sued another company for figuring out a way to allow non-Lexmark cartridges to work in their printers) continues to move forward with the EFF filing a brief against Lexmark. The anger over these printer company tactics and the FUD they're spreading suggests that a more formal investigation is coming. I wouldn't be surprised if the FTC gets involved at some point to investigate these practices. Already, in the UK the Office of Fair Trading is looking into the issue.

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  1. identicon
    Ci Ci, 21 Dec 2006 @ 3:24pm

    Lexmark Printer Ink Cartridges

    I get a MAXIMUM of 40 pages using Lexmark "high yield" print cartridges. I don't print photos - just straight text, size 12 font, black ink. While Lexmark customer service response is excellent, I keep getting told to perform all kinds of tests because "it might be caused by a printer problem.' Not likely - this is the 2nd (and last) Lexmark printer I've had, and with both printers, the ink levels say o.k. but there is no ink left in the cartridge (made evident when I try to "clean" the cartridge - no ink on the tissue. I figure it costs me about $0.65/page to print.)

    The printers cost $100 - the ink can cost $1,000's ..... over a period of months. There ought to be a law, or at least, an investigation. What a rip-off.

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