BROTHER PRINTERS SCAM CONSUMERS
BROTHER PRINTERS SCAM CONSUMERS
2007-09-04 at 11:43:00 am #18696
Fault dogs NZ printer owners
New Zealand owners of Brother inkjet printers are the latest to be bitten in a worldwide problem with a faulty component.
“Error 41″ is the codename for the problem that has been dogging Brother printers around the globe.That is the message that pops up on the printer’s screen when there is a failure of the print head – a device that sprays droplets of ink from the print cartridge onto paper sheets.A Google search on “Brother error 41″ reveals blog strands, involving hundreds of people, devoted to the problem, how to fix it, and how Brother is handling it.A Christchurch technician alerted The Press to the problem with Brother inkjet printers and multifunction centres, believing the public should be warned.His company had been hearing disgruntled customers complain of “error 41″ and twigged they were not alone.”We noticed it wasn’t an isolated incident. It was happening in other places in New Zealand, as well as around the world,” he said.”The print heads should have been recalled years ago.”
For customers outside their warranty, a new print head costs about $170 plus labour – not a viable option in the case of Brother’s cheaper inkjet printers worth $99.One blogsite for people trying to fix their printers, has frustrated and abusive “error 41″ messages posted from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain.The problem is so widespread that Brother has had to extend its warranty on the print heads from one to two years.But that is too late for some New Zealand customers who have given up hope.They have listed their printers on Trade Me for $1, pointing out “error 41″ or “needs new print head”.Brother machines rated poorly in a Consumer magazine survey of 9000 subscribers who had bought new printers since 2003, published in June.Brother inkjet printers were the least reliable of the five brands in its survey, including Hewlett Packard (HP), Canon and Epson.
About 10% of Brothers had to be repaired.(THIS IS A LIE….MORE LIKE 60%)
Michael Smith, marketing manager for Brother International (NZ), said the rate of “error 41″ was unacceptably high in a series of machines launched five years ago.Models included the Fax1820C, MFC3100C, MFC3220C, MFC3420C, MFC3820CN, MFC5100C, and MFC5200C.”It is a serious error because the machine cannot produce a printout and it is inconvenient to the user because only suitably qualified technicians can replace the print head,” Smith said.Brother had moved by extending its warranty on the print heads. “Some units that have been repaired are in excess of five years old, even though the print head in any printer will eventually fail due to normal wear and tear,” Smith said.In his estimate, only about 2% of affected models were displaying the problem.”This is an industry-wide problem and not just confined to Brother,” he said.ME41 was a standard code for an image or media error on any machine, not just Brother’s.Brother could not guarantee the performance of its machines if third-party, or ink other than Brother’s, was used.With improvements in design and manufacturing processes, the latest models did not display error 41 to the same extent as the old ones, Smith said”It is a problem that is behind us.”
Several technicians who spoke to The Press believed the defect should have been addressed years ago.One with 30 years experience stopped selling Brother inkjets two years ago, unless one is specifically ordered.”The error 41 message is a manufacturing defect that Brother should have sorted out right at the beginning,” he said.He had seen some print heads fail after only a month and many after 13 months.