*NEWS*ARE THE OEM’S CLEANING UP THEIR ACT

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*NEWS*ARE THE OEM’S CLEANING UP THEIR ACT

 user 2006-01-09 at 10:15:00 am Views: 84
  • #13637

    Printer firms have started cleaning up their act(YEA RIGHT)
    jan
    2006 With complaints from IT buyers declining, the Office of Fair
    Trading thinks the industry has made some important improvements in
    recent years, despite ongoing legal battles over ink cartridges    
    Businesses
    and consumes who buy IT equipment such as printers are getting a fairer
    deal than three years ago, according to the Office of Fair Trading
    (OFT).
    Speaking after the OFT published new guidance for companies
    that sell IT services remotely, a spokesman for the organisation said
    on Monday that retailers had taken action since it highlighted several
    problems back in 2002.
    This included the restrictions imposed by printer manufacturers to prevent people from using third-party ink cartridges.
    “I
    think things have improved. Back in 2002, a lot of printer companies
    said customers would violate their warranties if they used cartridges
    made by other firms. This was anticompetitive, we felt, as it meant
    people couldn’t shop around,” said the OFT spokesman, adding that most
    manufacturers have now mended their ways.
    The issue of generic ink
    cartridges still rumbles on, however. In October, HP claimed that a
    reseller was violating its intellectual property rights by refilling
    used cartridges with new ink. Such attacks would, if successful, make
    it much harder for consumers to find cheaper alternatives to products
    from major manufacturers.
    The OFT is also pleased that the printer
    industry has developed a test “standard” for monochrome inkjet
    cartridges to help consumers compare the performance of different
    products. The standard, ISO/IEC 19752, was launched in June 2004.
    However, the OFT added that a similar standard for colour cartridges still “isn’t there yet” and is still being developed.
    Another
    issue identified back in 2002 was the poor training of some sales
    staff. Some large IT retailers have since told the OFT that they have
    revamped their technical training programmes for salespeople, and there
    are indications that this may have paid dividends. Complaints to
    Trading Standards Services about IT purchases have dropped by almost 50
    percent since 2001, the OFT said.