Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inkjet Cartridge Refills or Generics: Just Say No

Pretty much everything I write about here is a result of my experiences; I don't make this stuff up. I tell people I've made all the mistakes so they don't have to. Here's a big one to avoid.

Inkjet printers use ink, in disposable/recycleable cartridges. Manufacturers of almost any type of equipment will tell us to use only their accessories, usually "for best performance". Sometimes we listen, other times we are enticed by lower prices or convenience found elsewhere. 

Inkjet printer cartridges should be one of our exceptions when we're looking for cheap or convenient. We make the decision to buy a new printer, perhaps studying the options and picking out just the right one for our needs. Then we fill it with cheap ink and ruin the printhead, carriage, rollers or the entire inside of the printer. I suppose it's human nature - wanting the best price for a consumeable that tends to be pricey in the first place.

Besides the fact that using anything other than the manufacturer's branded ink cartridges will void your warranty, it's not a matter of if, but when the generic or refill will ruin your printer.

You see, there's no good way to repair a printer that has experienced a leaky or explosive ink cartridge. You can find instructions online to attempt a cleanup of the internal parts, but I can tell you if you take a printer apart it will not go back together again the same way and there will be extra parts.  And it still won't work, and even if it's in warranty the manufacturer will tell you "So sorry - we have a great deal today on new printers".

Why am I so sure about this, despite the handful of clients who insist they use remanufactured cartridges all the time and have never had a problem?  Because I have twice as many clients who did have a problem, and suddenly had a new boat anchor.

Oh, and I did it myself.  As usual.


Joan said...

once again- THANKS for the tip!
always informative and usefull ideas for the GP!

Anonymous said...

YEah -- I tried those 'cheap' refills.. one time ... and as they say -- got what i paid for ... the result was no where near what I was getting witht he manufacturer's ink .. so -- cough it up !! Not that I doubted your word, of course !! My Guru !!!!