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Many of us know that remanufactured printer ink and toner cartridges are a cheap replacement for ink in Hp or Canon printers, but we don’t use them because we are afraid refurbished ink will void or null our printer warranty. Is using recycled or compatible ink cartridges illegal or against the law? Will cheap printer ink cause you to legally lose your printer warranty?
Profit War Between Third Party Manufacturers & Printer Brand Companies
Are Remanufactured Ink Cartridges Legal? Do They Void Printer Warranty The marketing departments at top printer companies like Hp, Brother and Epson have been trying to scare their customers away from using remanufactured computer printer cartridges for years. “They don’t work,” they might say or, “Remanufactured ink will break your printer.” Why would big companies like Lexmark and Xerox say such things if there weren’t a legitimate reason, right? Well, there is a reason why big printer brands want to discourage you from buying cheap refilled or remanufactured ink cartridges, and it’s a pretty obvious one. If you buy ink and toner from generic aftermarket third party manufacturers, you won’t need to buy the more expensive printer ink from the company that made your printer, meaning they lose money and profits.
Is Remanufactured Printer Ink Illegal or Against the Law?
If you notice, printer companies will definitely try to talk you out of buying remanufactured ink cartridges, but when you really think about it, they will never outright tell you that you can’t. Buying recycled ink cartridges is not illegal. In fact, thanks to the Magnuson Moss Warranty Improvement Act, it’s actually against the law for printer brands like Hp or Brother to void your printer warranty for buying or using compatible printer cartridges. The Magnuson Moss Warranty Improvement Act is an actual law that protects consumer rights in regards to manufacturer warranties, including desktop inkjet and laserjet printers. (In case you’re wondering, the law’s official name is “Magnuson Moss Warranty Improvement Act United States Code Annotated Title 15 Commerce and Trade Chapter 50 Consumer Product Warranties 15 Sections 2302.” ) Here’s an excerpt from the law that specifically applies to the use of generic or third party parts in name brand appliances.
“No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name.”
Does Using Remanufactured Ink & Toner Cartridges Legally Void a Printer Warranty?
There you have it: using and buying remanufactured printer ink is legal and cannot invalidate your printer warranty, no matter what the brand. So you know, there is an exception to this law, however. Using remanufactured printer ink is OK and a printer manufacturer cannot refuse to honor your warranty based on an alternative remanufactured ink cartridge being loaded into your computer printer. However, if your generic replacement printer ink cartridge appears to have directly caused the malfunction of your printer, your printer warranty may not be honored.
Recycled Printer Ink is Safe, Legal, Eco Friendly and Cheap
So you know, for a printer manufacturer to void your warranty, the burden of proof rests with the company. For this reason, it is advisable to return your printer for repair without the ink cartridges. (Why make it too easy for the repair company to come up with a “reason” to refuse to honor your warranty that fittingly for them all comes back to what kind of ink cartridge you used?) To protect your warranty and your printer, it’s a good idea to buy cheap green printer ink cartridges from trusted retailers like Ink Station.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Cartridges refers to the cartridges which are manufactured and marketed by printer manufacturer viz. HP, Samsung, Canon, Epson, etc. in their brand.
Compatible Cartridges are cartridges manufactured & marketed by a company (other than OEM) to suit & work on the printers made by other companies HP, Samsung, Canon, Epson, etc.
Remanufactured- Some manufacturers collect used (empty) cartridges, clean and refill and market them as remanufactured cartridges in their own brand. Remanufacturing of toner cartridges may also require replacement of some worn out components, viz. blades, OPC drums, PCRs etc.
OEM cartridges – Made by the manufacturer of the original printer. Fit best, and typically have the highest quality ink, but also cost the most.
Compatible cartridges – made by a 3rd party company, but designed to fit and work in the same model printer. Typically much cheaper than the OEM cartridges. Quality is generally pretty close, but some generic cartridges may not fit as well, might not be as UV resistant, and aren’t quite a perfect match to the OEM tints. No part of these is made by the original company. They’re entirely cloned cartridges, including the lock chips. Some do not include the lock chips, and require that you salvage the chips off your old cartridges.
Remanufactured cartridges — They only do this with the cartridges that have a built in print head. The remanufactured cartridges salvage the OEM cartridge hulls that some companies have you send in for recycling. The cartridges are opened, cleaned, and have the flow control batting swapped out.
The ones sold under the OEM branding will be refilled with the same ink as the new OEM ones (HP and Lexmark offer remanufactured cartridges as well as new). These should perform identically to the new OEM cartridges, but cost 1/2 or 1/3 less than the new ones. Lexmark claims the new ones have sharper printing for text and pictures, but I doubt anyone could tell the difference without a microscope.
The ones sold under 3rd party branding will be refilled with some other inks, and should be considered the same as “compatible” cartridges in terms of performance and price — they just fit better, as the hulls are from old OEM cartridges.
OEM Cartridge – An OEM Cartridge is one made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. If you own a Hewlett-Packard Laserjet printer for instance, then the Hewlett-Packard brand is the OEM cartridge for your printer.
Remanufactured Toner Cartridge – A remanufactured toner cartridge is when a manufacturer takes an original oem cartridge, disassembles it, tests and replaces any worn parts, fills it with toner and re-assembles.
Compatible Toner Cartridge – A compatible toner cartridge is made by a third party manufacturer and is made up of all new compatible parts. It has a similar quality to an OEM cartridge.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Laser Printer Cartridges refers to the cartridges which are manufactured and marketed by printer manufacturer viz. HP, Samsung, Canon, Epson, etc. in their brand.
Compatible Laser Printer Cartridges are cartridges manufactured & marketed by a company (other than OEM, say ProDot) to suit & work on the printers made by other companies HP, Samsung, Canon, Epson, etc.
OEM stands for original equipments and compatible means it is perfect for other equipments.