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Ink Cartridge Hell

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Small yield ink-slingers are the bane of my existence. By small yield I'm talking about the home and small office inkjet printers. At work they are primarily used in the lower school. Each (LS) classroom will typically have one printer shared among the 3 or 4 workstations while the other divisions better utilize the bigger centralized printers like the networked lasers and copiers. Not a week goes by where I don't get a few calls about these stupid printers not working, jamming, dried up ink, etc.

Typically speaking, the smaller capacity the printer, the more expensive it is to run. We go through a decent number of ink cartridges so this year I thought I'd try to save a little money by using recycled cartridges. There is a pretty big effort to make Harley "greener" so I figured I do my part. I also decided to go with a local company (which shall remain nameless) to support local business and to get things moving a little faster by cutting the shipping cost/time out the equation. That decision is starting to turn around and bite me on the ass.

These recycled cartridges are less than stellar in performance. Don't get me wrong, when they work they work great but a significant percentage of them don't work. No big deal; I can just call up the local company I bought them from and they'll drive out replacements for any duds. Recently I've gotten a lot of duds. Between Friday and today (Monday was a holiday) I probably went though 8 cartridges between 3 printers and I still haven't gotten 1 of them working at an acceptable level. With new ink I can just hand the person a cartridge when they ask for one and they'll put it in themselves and it'll just work. With these refills I can't do that because chances are the first or even second cartridge won't work. It's infuriating; it takes like 1000 times longer to perform the simplest of jobs.

I've already decided I'm never going to use recycled cartridges after this year, but I'm still debating on trying to return what cartridges we've already purchased.

Comments (2) Subscribe

#1 - Jan 17, 2007 at 1:37 PM
You sure have your days don't you. Know the feeling. In my little desk area at work we have 3 printers, 2 are inkjet and the other is laser. So it is a challenge for the chief's secretary to get everyone to let her know when the supply in the closet is low. The mostly used printer is the laser, so it lasts a while. One of the inkjets is a fax machine, so that runs out of ink a lot. And the other inkjet is not used too often.
#2 - Jan 19, 2007 at 6:48 AM
Printers are just obnoxious. I have a couple color lasers and they go through toner so fast it's ridiculous. Now most of that is my fault for not noticing that the cartridges can only do about 1500 pages (at 5% coverage). I think when I ordered them I saw that number and my brain though 15000, which is comparable to the black and white lasers I have. Oh well.

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