Compatible Cartridges, Should I Try Them?
FAQ - Printers, Printing and Ink

Compatible Cartridges, Should I Use Them? If you are concerned at the high cost of ink cartridges for your printer you may have considered using the cheaper, compatible, cartridges.  One of the questions we are asked regularly is, “Will they damage my printer?”

Our general advice is that if your printer is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty you should stick to original cartridges.  The main reason for this is that the original manufacturers cartridges and ink are produced to a strict specification which the compatible cartridge manufacturers may not adhere to, this may therefore increase the risk of ink related problems, i.e. leakage or blockages (clogging).

If you do decide to use compatible cartridges in your new printer and it stops functioning you may find that when you return it to the manufacturer they advise you that this is not a warranty issue but instead has been caused by the use of these cheaper cartridges and may refuse to repair it or charge you for the repair.

For example the official Brother statement regarding compatible ink cartridges is:

“Use or attempted use of potentially incompatible ink and/or cartridges in the Brother machine may cause damage to the machine and/or may result in unsatisfactory print quality. Our warranty coverage may not apply to any problem that is caused by the use of unauthorized third party ink and/or cartridges. To protect your investment and obtain premium performance from the Brother machine, we strongly recommend the use of Genuine Brother Supplies”

Obviously other printer manufacturers also take a similar line.

Once the warranty has run out, by all means experiment with compatibles but avoid the very cheapest cartridges.  A local dealer, like Alien Technologies, is the safest place to buy your cartridges from, the cost savings may not be as impressive but they tend not to take chances with quality as they prefer to have satisfied customers who come back again and again.  Also be aware that the use of compatible cartridges normally increases the frequency with which you need to carry out the head cleaning cycle that is part of your printer maintenance program.


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