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 user 2007-09-04 at 11:44:00 am Views: 59
  • #18697

    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.
    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.”

    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%)
    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.”

    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.