*NEWS*INK CARTRIDGE RIP OFF !

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*NEWS*INK CARTRIDGE RIP OFF !

 user 2005-11-03 at 11:07:00 am Views: 91
  • #14496

    Ink Cartridge Rip Off
    Have
    you ever thought that the running cost of keeping your printer topped
    up with ink seems a bit expensive? Well, you are not alone, recent
    tests have concluded that some branded printer inks are among the
    world’s most expensive liquids, with a price per ounce outpacing brands
    like Dom Perignon Champagne and Chanel Perfume. If you were to fill
    your car petrol tank with the same ink, it would cost you around
    £40,000, makes unleaded look rather cheap!
    For years, printer
    manufacturers have coupled low-priced inkjet printers to high-priced
    disposable ink cartridges, making more profit on the cartridges than
    the printers. HP’s Imaging and Printing group made sales of $6.1bn and
    posted a profit of $932m in the first quarter of 2004. However,
    independent businesses have been manufacturing, recycling or refilling
    ink and toner cartridges and selling to consumers for much lower
    prices. Recently it has been alleged that technology, mostly in the
    form of chips on the cartridges are being used to prevent or restrict
    refills and that the cartridges read as being empty, way before they
    have actually run out of ink. HP is facing a class action suit in the
    US from a woman who claims the vendor’s printer cartridges stop working
    at a predetermined date, rather than when they run out of ink.
    In
    2003 the Dutch Consumer Association, Consumentenbond, made similar
    allegations against Epson. Consumentenbond advised its members not to
    buy Epson inkjet cartridge printers because it claimed Epson’s
    cartridges contained a chip which stopped them working even when they
    had ink left in them. The chip doesn’t indicate the amount of ink left
    in the cartridge, the association claims, but stops after a number of
    print runs, even when there is enough ink available for more prints.
    Consumentenbond later withdrew its claims.
    The British Consumer
    Association’s Which? magazine printed similar accusations, advising
    consumers to steer clear of brand name printer cartridges and pick
    cheaper alternatives instead.
    Epson denies any wrongdoing, saying
    that the chip is preventing users from running out of ink and said the
    remaining ink was required to ensure proper printing. Epson also
    questions the test methods being used. In the US, Epson has filed
    patent infringement lawsuits against two companies that manufacture
    replacement cartridges for its printers. Epson claims that certain
    cartridges made by the two companies infringe on several of its
    cartridge-related patents. The lawsuits are not an effort to stamp out
    the third-party cartridge market and are aimed only at companies that
    have infringed Epson’s patents, says Alastair Bourne, a spokesperson
    for Seiko Epson in Tokyo.
    Meanwhile, the Lexmark DMCA 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 Electronic Frontier Foundation filing a brief against Lexmark.
    Last
    year, several printer manufacturers, including HP and Lexmark, tried to
    stop the European Union passing regulation that would outlaw the use of
    these chips, but their pleas were largely ignored. The anger over
    printer company tactics may lead to a more formal investigation at some
    point to investigate these practices, already, in the UK the Office of
    Fair Trading is looking into the issue. By 2006 the use of chips to
    prevent or restrict refills will be strictly forbidden under European
    law.
    With large demand for low cost printer cartridges, several
    online suppliers have emerged. One of these is Mouse2House. They
    advise, “Over years of experience we feel that on most occasions the
    original branded cartridge specified for your printer will give you the
    best prints, however this can be quite expensive. If the manufacturers
    charged more reasonable prices, the market would be of less interest to
    counterfeiters and consumers would have less interest to find
    marginally cheaper products. There would not be any reason to use
    questionable tactics and huge amounts of money would not have to be
    wasted on developing unnecessary technology. As the market stands
    today, there is understandably a huge demand for low cost printer
    consumables and a big manufacturing industry exists to supply
    alternative products, some very good quality and others very poor.