Is your Cartridge Really Empty?

There have been several instances when users have reported that their ink cartridges still contained some ink while the software on the computer prompted them to change the ink cartridge. Steven Bass, a blogger at PC World had a firsthand experience with the case of empty cartridges and here’s a recount.

Steve’s Brother 640CW printer recently popped a message demanding for a cartridge change. There was visibly some ink left in the cartridges, yet the prompt for a cartridge change.

Here’s what Steve had to say – “I examined all three allegedly empty cartridges–cyan, yellow, and magenta. From the top to bottom, they measured 1 1/8 inches. There was still roughly 1/4 inch of fluid at the bottom of each one. That’s about a fifth of the cartridge’s capacity, so my loss in ink was roughly $2.25 per cartridge. That’s not exactly big bucks, but enough to make me feel like I was being scammed.”

Steve shot a letter to Brother PR and duly got a reply. The fun with the giant corporate is the diplomacy in their replies.

Here’s Brother’s reply – “…regardless of what small ink volume you may see remaining in an ink cartridge when it needs to be replaced, we guarantee that the ink volume that was provided and ‘used’ meets this industry standard calculation. Any additional ink volume left in a cartridge at that time was not put into the rated yield calculation that is guaranteed by Brother.

“In effect, remaining ink should not be viewed as waste, but as Brother’s affirmative action to provide ongoing high quality output and performance of the machine.”

Printer manufacturers usually provide technical reasoning behind every glitch of theirs. This instance of wasted ink is to save the printer head from drying out but it’s hardly convincing.

About the author:

Abhinav has been blogging about printing and related technologies on CreativeCloud for several years. He is also a project manager for a large technology company.

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