The world’s most successful scam

posted in: Life and things | 1

Printers. They’ve become almost essential. Certainly, many companies are encouraging us to receive documents such as statements and receipts online. Which means we have to use our own paper and ink to print said document to save as a hard copy. Maybe some time we’ll be so good at keeping backups and what-have-you that hard copies won’t be even an afterthought, let alone a necessity. But not quite yet, grasshopper.

Which brings me back to printers.

They would have to be the world’s most successful scam. Really.

You can buy an inkjet printer from any number of high-end computer companies – think Epson, Canon, HP etc – for under one hundred bucks. Of course, you can spend a lot more than that but basically, you’re getting a fancier inkjet printer which is probably more efficient.

But either way, that’s where the rort starts. Because you have to buy ink. And ink is expensive. Here’s a quote from Choice from 2017. “One standard black HP ink cartridge we looked at cost $46.18. This may sound reasonable, until you realise that works out to $8,396 per litre.” That’s more than class one champagne or perfume.

Essentially, the companies are selling the printers as loss leaders, knowing they’ll make their profit on the ink. That’s bad enough, but printers appear to have built-in flaws designed to force you to buy more printer ink.

  • If the printer runs out of ink in one cartridge(say) cyan, the printer refuses to print even in B&W until cyan is replaced
  • The printer warns it’s running out of ink long before it actually does
  • The printer is as bad as a cat when it comes to self-cleaning – a process which (er) uses ink
  • And have you noticed that there’s a new shape of cartridge for EVERY new machine? So if you buy a new printer, you can’t use the ones you have stashed in the cupboard ready for when the dratted old machine runs out of yellow?

I’ve thought about going up market and buying a laser. But laser printers aren’t cheap (especially if you want one that prints colour) and neither are laser cartridges. Since we don’t print often, it’s hard to justify the expense. And laser printers have their issues, too.

As a reader service, here’s a link to an article in PC Magazine about the ten most common printer problems. Just in case anyone needs some advice.

Oh – and take a look at this short video, which reveals even more about how the printer manufacturers are ripping us off.

Okay. Give me a sec while I calm down <pant pant>

And to finish off, here are some nice pictures.

We stopped here for a driver break in Vietnam
Fishing in Ha Long Bay
Sunset on the Rhine
A junk, its red sails illuminated, adds to the light show at Hong Kong harbour

  1. Michael Hayward

    Your absolutely right, a couple of years ago I ditched our inkjet colour printer in favour of a cheap Brother laser black and white. Cost around £45 and I get recycled laser cartridges at around £8 per time. If we want colour prints (we is very occasionally) then we use an internet service or the supermarkets.
    The biggest scam in the UK has been insurance companies vastly increasing rates for loyal customers while offering cheap discounted rates for new customers. It’s been going on for over 10 years and now the Regulator has finally realised what is happening. Makes you wonder who is funding the regulator

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