How You are Being Cheated on Your Ink Jet Cartridges
November 22, 2008
PC World magazine decided to test printer cartridges that registered as having run out of ink, and the results confirm what you may have suspected -- many cartridges leave a startling amount of ink unused when they read empty. In fact, some inkjet printers force users to replace black ink cartridges when the cartridge is nearly half full.
They tested printers from four major manufacturers: Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, and Kodak. The models from Canon, Epson, and Kodak reported ink cartridges as being empty when in some cases the tanks had 40 percent of their black ink remaining. The quantity of unused ink ranged from about 8 percent in an Epson-brand cartridge to 45 percent in a cartridge for a Canon printer. And the printers wouldn't resume printing until a new cartridge was inserted.
There are valid reasons for not draining an ink cartridge completely -- many inks, if they run dry, can cause significant damage to the printer. However, printer owners are still probably throwing away a lot of usable ink. And consider that an average black-ink cartridge contains 8 milliliters of ink and costs about $10 -- which translates into a cost of $1250 per liter of ink.
"I personally think that consumers are getting ripped off," says Steve Pociask, president of the American Consumer Institute. Pociask recently coauthored a 50-page study on the ink jet printer and cartridge market.
Honestly, I can’t stand waste of any kind (not to mention the thought of all that ink potentially ending up in landfills and contaminating our environment), so I think this is an important issue to let everyone know about. If you haven’t already gone paperless, much of the money you spend on ink cartridges may be wasted, and who can afford that nowadays?
Fortunately, the handy tips and tricks contained in my previous article Your Printer is Lying to You and Wasting Your Money can save you lots of money by showing you what to do, so you don’t have to replace your ink cartridges before they’re completely empty.