Dealers are being urged to inform customers of the hidden costs of using non-original inkjet supplies after new independent research has exposed costly risks.
Significant problems such as ink leakage, poor quality print and, in some cases, damage to hardware were revealed in the research, which was commissioned by Brother.
14 brands of third-party inkjet cartridges were put to the test against Original Equipment Manufacturers' (OEM) supplies from Brother. The tests compared print quality, image durability and general user experience achieved with new-build compatible cartridges, against the performance of Brother's genuine supplies (LC1100 inkjet cartridges).
The results indicated quality, usability and efficiency problems with the third party cartridges. A variety of issues were identified, which could potentially cause users who purchase third party compatibles, loss of time and money.
The hidden costs of third party ink cartridges included:
- Ink wastage certain cartridges delivered a low percentage of ink - the worst performance recorded was 38%
- Leakage all but one brand presented ink leakages (original cartridges were not susceptible to leakage of any sort)
- Compatibility issues some cartridges struggled to be recognised by the printer
- Low quality print in some cases streaks appeared on the page (due to low quality ink clogging the print head)
- Increased cleaning frequency ranged from 7.3 to 77.3 cleaning cycles per cartridge to resolve streaking and lack of ink due to blockage (compared to 2.3 for genuine Brother cartridges). This wastes time and ink
- Reduced durability third party prints ranged from four to 47 times less light-fastness than genuine consumables (Brother's inkjet cartridges can achieve more than 100 years of light-fastness under glass)
- Yield variation - of more than 100% for some brands (whereas Brother has a variation of just 8% and cartridges exceeded their claimed yield by over 90 pages)
- Unpredictability including cartridge failure immediately on replacement and major leaks
- Damage to hardware third party ink often dried out, which can damage the print head. One brand also damaged the ink sensor during installation
Phil Jones, sales and marketing director at Brother UK, comments: "This research is evidence of the risks associated with using compatibles. Customers being tempted by lower prices should be aware they could be losing more money in the long run.
"As a trusted source of advice, it's up to resellers to make customers aware of the risks and benefits of both options so that the business can make an informed decision on their purchase.
"By using original manufacturer consumables, users can be guaranteed they're getting the best possible quality print results and protecting their hardware against potential damage."