View Full Version : Lexmark takes third party cartridge vendor to court

04-02-2003, 05:20 PM
Hard to say who I really side with in this. I tend to think if ink costs too much you should print less or get a colour laser. Knowing about issues of warranty support for printers choked on third party ink, I know it isn't a simple issue.

Ink Cartridge Lawsuit (http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2910015,00.html)

Also, given what I get charged for petrol from a so-called service station and the fact that we pay more for a DVD that costs less to produce than a VHS tape, I just don't know whether what is fair ever comes into it.

However, the environmental impact of not recycling all those cartridges is nearly worse than the oversupply of mouse pads in the world.


04-02-2003, 05:22 PM
Oh, and don't forget to vote. The result so far is pretty interesting.

Graham L
04-02-2003, 05:38 PM
Only 97% for "free market"? Poor Lexmark. :_|

Heather P
04-02-2003, 06:18 PM
Well, you're the journalist who researches these things and can influence buying patterns. Are there any companies producing printers using the alternative formula - high start up cost, low running cost?

If there are - are they broke, struggling or gaining market share?

Do they need the occasional magasine article to help them on their way? Or would research and testing prove they aren't any good?

Dolby Digital
04-02-2003, 06:51 PM
I'm gonna tried a "refill" next time (my printer is way way out of warranty anyway).

Horses Hoof
04-02-2003, 06:52 PM
> Only 97% for "free market"? Poor Lexmark. :_|

Yes, BooHoo

04-02-2003, 07:15 PM
Thing is, I like the low entry high feeding cost model. I buy like one cartridge every two years so I really don't care about the cost. I may be a bad example, though.
We should do some tests on who has the cheapest per page cost for ink, though.

Susan B
04-02-2003, 07:47 PM
> We should do some tests on who has the cheapest per page cost for ink, though.

Yeah, but make sure you test the quality as well. I'm not happy with the quality of the non-HP black inkjet cartridge I bought. For the sake of saving $15 it wasn't worth it.

Terry Porritt
04-02-2003, 08:01 PM
Maybe you just buy another printer when the cartridge runs out, and throw the old printer away :)
That's the way Lexmark price their printers.

04-02-2003, 08:21 PM
Yep sure do, just buy another printer.

hmmm maybe they'll end up following what Gillette does at some stage and actually have coupons in the paper where you can bring in your old printer and swap it for a new printer so they don't have to continue making the old cartridges ;)

Billy T
04-02-2003, 08:22 PM
I'm with you there Susan

I have a colour laser worth of empty Canon cartridges here, in fact three colour lasers if you count the $2k models now appearing, and recently I tried some aftermarket products.

In 8 years of Canon printer use, through three models (two were still in use) I have had to clean the printheads so rarely that I can't remember when I last did this.

After moving to aftermarket products, I found that I was having to clean them weekly if not more often, then one set of printheads clogged up so badly on yellow that I have not been able to clear them (hence I now have only one printer in use).

I still think the competition needs to be there to keep the OEM cartridge prices within the bounds of reason, but I will never again use anything but an original manufacturers ink cartridge.


Billy 8-{)

04-02-2003, 09:08 PM
> Maybe you just buy another printer when the cartridge
> runs out, and throw the old printer away :)
> That's the way Lexmark price their printers.

Harvey Norman has a special on Lexmark Z33 printers @$99.95.
A replacement black cartridge alone can cost about $112 at Warehouse Stationary

05-02-2003, 06:32 PM
While it does seem to be that the more you pay for a printer, the less (relatively) you pay for the consummables (I think this was mentioned in a PC World review), the prices are out of this earth. My canon 7000 printer, which cost $900 about four years back, takes $240 to fill up with ink, but that does last around 9 months of fairly constant use (they are 75cl tanks - huge!). I have used Calidad cartridges on three occasions with other printers (an Epson and an HP). Every time, it stuffed the print head within about 2 weeks (I'm a slow learner!)! Never again. So it would be nice if the prices came down, but I'm never using after-market cartridges again.

Billy T
05-02-2003, 06:46 PM
I rest my case :D

Graham L
05-02-2003, 06:53 PM
75 cl, Andy? That is, 750 ml? 75 ml seems more likely. But there is no justification for 17ml or smaller ink cartridges. Especially when the printer is set up to squirt most of the ink out in "head cleaning" each time the printer is turned on.

My best was an Epson with a 300 ml tank. The printer cost me $15, and the shops round town were quitting the cartridges for this long obsolete printer at $5. I goit a lot of printing out of that.

Now I just buy another printer at auction ($2 -$20 for inkjet, $2 - $30 for laser) and use it until it runs out of ink/toner. If all else fails, I've got dot matrix printers, and a cupboard full of lineflow paper. I still like lineflow: the pages can't get out of order.

I've just got an Epson which cost me $1 (with 2 486DX2-66 computers, and 3 digitizing tablets :D). I had to play around a bit for it to agree that there was ink in the cartridge, but it is working perfectly now.

Susan B
05-02-2003, 08:14 PM
andy: Calidad - that's the name of the darn cartridge that I was silly enough to buy. There is a huge difference in the quality of prints between that and HP cartridges. The boss asked me the other day if we should try refilled or "other brand" toner cartridges for the office's laser printer but I said "definitely not!" after this experience. The new factory owners can afford brand name cartridges anyway. ;-)

> Now I just buy another printer at auction ($2 -$20 for inkjet, $2 - $30 for laser) and use it until it runs out of ink/toner.

And when it runs out, do you take them back to the auction, resell them and get your money back? :D

05-02-2003, 08:43 PM
Having a lot of experience in this field i would like to add thoughts.

All of the leading printer brands actually Patent their ink formulas for various reasons. The problem arises that no 3rd party company can copy the formula so they change it slightly. Consequently it also clog the same. and the mixing of inks ie chopping and changing brands will cause the inks to coagulate in the heads and as a lot of you out there have noticed,stuff them.it will aslo clogg the pumps and block the lines. and quite possibly render the printer uneconomic to fix. Question is who is Liable?

To all of you out there who persist for whatever reason to use 3rd party inks please follow the golden rule..

Use one brand and stick with it for the life of your machine.
and never ever chop and change brands.

If you follow this rule you will yield the expectant life from your consumables..


06-02-2003, 10:46 AM
"75 cl, Andy? That is, 750 ml? 75 ml seems more likely."

Whoops, you're right. Large as they are, 3/4 of a litre they are not!

07-02-2003, 10:26 AM
Sure you can buy a new printer for less than the cost of the cartridges but the cartridges supplied in the new printer are never full & run out in a matter of weeks even with moderate use. Now you are back to buying or refilling cartridges again or tossing out your new printer. I have not had great success with refilling and less luck with Lexmark printers in general so would not recommend them to anybody.

Billy T
07-02-2003, 11:08 AM
I don't know what kind of shonky printers you buy Niggel, but Canon supply standard cartridges that are full and last as long as any. In fact, I've never heard that complaint before either.

Are you sure about that, or is it just an impression you get?


Billy 8-{)

Graham L
07-02-2003, 02:45 PM
HP definitely provide "special" (lower capacity) cartridges with their printers. (Look at the letters at the end of the type "number").
They probably have a reason (apart from getting you spending sooner :D)

Billy T
07-02-2003, 03:02 PM
Billy makes a mental note: Never buy an HP Inkjet! :|

Does that apply to HP laser printer cartridges as well? I recently bought an HP1200 and was a bit surprised at how quickly the first toner cartridge ran out.


Billy 8-{) :(

Graham L
07-02-2003, 03:07 PM
HP do make good gear. People seem to sucessfully refill their ink cartridges, and the (Canon?) laser drum/toner units. (The laser units are pretty much a commodity now because they are used so widely, and there's lots of price competition).

07-02-2003, 03:21 PM
It certainly applies to Brother lasers. I got a Brother 1250 laser and when the cartridge ran out I naturally ordered one with the same number. The agent told me they didn't stock that one as it was only good for 2500 pages at $140, whereas the 5000 page model was only $170. He said that the small cartridges were only really made to keep the printer price down.
I have seen a pc mag article recently that said that most printers (inkjet and laser) usually only come with minimal consummables these days.