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 user 2008-01-08 at 1:09:00 pm Views: 55
  • #19066

    Printers and the cost of their ink are a pain
    2005, a woman in Georgia sued Hewlett Packard, alleging that the
    company “deceives consumers into buying new inkjet cartridges before
    the ink has run out.” You go, girl!This woman attacked HP’s “smartchip”
    technology (just hearing THAT little name makes me twitch). She claims
    that the smartchip, which senses when an ink is running low, is
    actually triggering the ‘out of ink’ message way too early. Imagine
    that. This, of course, forces us to throw away ink cartridges
    prematurely so that we can rush out to Staples and purchase
    replacements at $20-$40 a pop. A shocking, shocking allegation.

    denied the claim, as far. As I can tell, the fight is raging on.I don’t
    own an HP printer. I suffer the pain of owning a Lexmark all-in-one
    printer. It prints slowly and sends faxes … well … most of the
    time. Some days, and for no reason at all, my computer can’t find my
    printer and I have to shut everything off and then turn it back on
    again and suddenly it reappears. Oh yes, it’s a very productive
    exercise. Other times my printer feeds dozens of unnecessary sheets
    through or jams. Fun!But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is
    the ink. I was using about a cartridge of ink a week. The cost? $32.
    For ink. That means I was spending about $1,600 per year on ink. The
    printer itself cost me less than $200. Something was just not right
    here. Pouring champagne into my printer would be less expensive.Our
    Georgia Peach may have suffered a similar fate, so she took HP to
    court. I just don’t have that kind of fortitude. So I had to resort to
    figuring out a few ways to pinch some pennies on my ink costs outside
    of the legal system. I’ve succeeded over the past few years … and
    here’s how.I don’t buy the name brand ink, I buy the refurbished stuff.
    I’ve given enough money to Lexmark. For example, a new ink cartridge
    from Lexmark is $32 and the same Staples refurbished ink cartridge is
    $27. The quality difference is negligible and that saved me $250/year
    right off the bat. You can purchase refurbished cartridges on the
    Internet that are even cheaper, too, if you want to take a shot.

    monkeyed with the ink refill packages but didn’t like them as much.
    They’re kind of a pain in the butt to use and the quality was often not
    too hot. But I mention them here because if you want to invest the time
    it may be worth it to you. Many penny pinchers do.My local Staples
    offers $3 for every ink cartridge returned to them. We keep them in a
    bag, so that when we’re driving by the store we’ll stop in and turn
    them in. That’s another $150/year saved.We also try to save up our ink
    cartridges and buy in bulk. This way we can wait for the office supply
    store to send us one of their e-mail offers and then pounce. We’ll buy
    it online and we never pay for shipping.Some of our printers were set
    to “best” quality, others to “normal.” To heck with that. I went around
    to each computer and reset the default printer settings to “draft.”
    It’s not only faster printing but uses significantly less ink. For the
    rare time that we’re printing something that really needs to be the
    best quality (proposals, pictures of Britney Spears, etc.) we just
    reset for that document.

    We don’t print in color. We don’t need
    to. And it’s a rip off.Finally, we’ve just stopped printing a lot of
    stuff. When we send out quotes or invoices, we convert them to PDFs and
    then e-mail them. I intend to take this one step further and setup
    online payment so I can eliminate check printing altogether. Our fax
    number uses an Internet faxing service which converts any fax sent to
    us into a PDF and e-mails it to the recipient so we don’t have to print
    out those either.All of these steps saved us about half of our ink
    costs a year, or about $800. Now that’s some serious penny pinching. I
    need to find out if that lady won her lawsuit