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 user 2008-08-21 at 4:56:08 pm Views: 72
  • #20801

    Walgreens printer cartridge refill review! Bargain or frugee failure?
    Failtest Frugees, you may remember when in July I wrote how participating Walgreens, including the one at 408 E. Michigan St, now offer printer cartridge refills.Well, I went to that Walgreens and tried it out. Frankly, my initial excitement bubble has officially burst…The bane of those trying to live frugally is that sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

    I hate it when that happens.
    A week ago I took the empty color and black ink cartridges for my Dell printer to the Walgreens at 408 Michigan St in Orlando. I found out from a worker in the Photo Center, which handles the cartridge refilling, that I would actually have to drop them off, and that it would take 20 minutes to refill.

    Twenty minutes to stick some ink back into a little plastic box?
    I did not have time for that, so I dropped them off, and came back the next day. Despite a prominent yellow-and-black sign that says “24-hour” above the photo center, there was no one behind the desk, and I stood there waiting with a blonde thirty-something woman and an elderly woman, also in line. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

    Finally, I went hunting for a Walgreens employee. I found a woman in one of the aisles wearing a name tag, and asked here why there was no one in the 24-hour photo center.
    Her answer was something along the lines of, “Because I’m not there, silly!” That irritated me.

    So, I followed her back to the check out counter, and asked for my printer cartridges.
    I was then told an elaborate story about how my cartridge malfunctioned, and that when they tried to fill it, it started spewing ink all over the place. Therefore, it could not be refilled.
    Oh no wait. That was someone else, said the Walgreens employee, who did not appear to be joking.My cartridge had a different problem. The black one refilled, but the color one “failed the electrical test.”Huh?!

    Apparently Walgreens photo centers conduct two tests on printer cartridges to refill them. In the first one, they read some circuitry on the outside of the cartridge, which I’m told is what my printer uses to determine how much ink is in the cartridge, and when it’s low.

    Mine “failed” at that. So, I paid for the one they actually filled. Both of them were given back to me in prescription-looking cardboard containers. Each came with an attached $5 off coupon for photo finishing jobs more than $15, and an additional coupon to develop 25 photos for free was attached to my receipt.

    Later, after pondering the incident, I decided to call the Photo Center. Just how often do printer cartridges “fail?” At least a couple times a day, an employee told me over the phone.
    So, bargain or a frugee failure? I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself.

    Until next time,
    Inspector Inexpensive