Advice from Middle Aged Female Tech

Hollyecho Montgomery - 812-779-6088

Women's Computer Consulting

I have been in the industry with my own company since 1994. The entire time I have worked in this field there have been very few times any two techs ever agree completely. The advice I give here is based on my experiences, testing, and what I know works.

Today’s Subject: Ink Cartridges, the real story

I was told by a customer that she “can’t” use discount or off brand ink because her printer can’t use them and it will void her warranty. This is Very, very false.

In the United States there is what is called: The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C.A. 2302) forbids the conditioning of a warranty upon the purchase of any product or service "which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name." In other words, your printer's warranty cannot be voided just because you used a non-OEM ink cartridge.

Whether an off-brand compatible or remanufactured discount ink cartridge will perform as well as an OEM cartridge depends, of course, on how well it is made. A fly-by-night outfit may use inferior inks that don't produce vibrant, or non- fading colors.

To find a reliable supplier of discount ink cartridges, try searching for your printer model online along with keywords such as "compatible", "refilled" or "remanufactured" ink cartridges. Look for suppliers who have loyal fans and have been in business for a number of years. Also look for warranties provided by suppliers.

As a personal example, my printer is an Epson Artisan 730, from Epson the cartages cost $98.48, which is more than the printer itself cost! (Though I really love this printer and what it can do and print) Obviously, being who I am I do not buy my ink there, I buy from, where the same bundle, but called ‘remanufactured” is only $24.95. Big difference isn’t it?

The best way to look for these remanufactured inks to just as simple as doing a google search, your printer brand and model, and the word ink. Places like staples and OfficeMax sells the store brand name of ink cartages for many popular models.

It comes down to scare tactics, OEM’s (original equipment manufacturer), the maker of your printer want to

‘scare’ you into buying only their ink, because they make more money selling ink than they do their printers (Remember my example of cost?). Generally, courts have upheld consumers’ rights to save money with compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges.

Some OEMs include software with their printer utilities that checks the "authenticity" of newly installed ink cartridges. If the software detects a remanufactured cartridge, (which my Epson does) a warning pops up on your screen telling you that the cartridge is not "genuine" and "may" damage your printer. If this happens, just push ok and use anyway, because you know now they are only trying to bully you into buying overpriced, inflated cost ink.

Personally, I've never had a problem with remanufactured or compatible ink cartridges. (I have ruined clothes while trying to refill my own cartridges, but that's another story.) Using them is a great way to save money and recycle plastic cartridges. Some remanufacturers partner with local charities to collect empty cartridges, paying a bounty on each cartridge to the charities. That's a good way to spread the benefits of recycling around.

Again, if you have ANY questions, don’t hesitate to email me! I answer all questions to the best of my ability. I am always about saving money and not spending it on things you don't need to

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