February 22, 2005

Some time ago, I gave up my inkjet printer for a personal laser printer. I had gone to purchase some ink cartridges, and went home with the laser printer because buying a new printer was cheaper than buying the ink for the older printer. (I paid $99 for it) Competition is certainly needed in the ink cartridge business to bring prices down to a reasonable level. Either that, or the companies that design the printers need to make them refillable out of the box -
Ok, that's never going to happen! The company that does that will be cutting off its nose to spite its future profits, after all...Of course, they could go in the complete opposite direction and purposefully force you to purchase their ink cartridges to continue using their printer. But would they? According to: Yahoo! News - Lawsuit Says HP Printer Cartridges Die Before Use a woman is suing HP because, as she claims, the cartridges for her printer "expire on a certain date, in some cases rendering them useless before they are even installed in a printer". Now that's certainly one way to ensure future profit! I wonder what dumb, stupid, ignorant, son of a bitch thought up that one - and how soon he/she'll be fired.
Seriously, though, this is definitely an area where consumers need to force manufacturers to get in step with our needs. Hell, it's cheaper to buy a new printer FOR FREE!!!! from Tiger Direct after rebate than it is to refill the printer cartridges in your old one. How silly is it that we manufacture throw-away electronics? They're not only giving them away, but they have been for years! My first color printer was a free-after-rebate deal from CompUSA. Come on, people, there has got to be some economic common sense applied here. The economy isn't going to get better if we manufacture goods, ship them, support them, etc... and make no money doing it. And why? To make sure that you have to come back for more ink? Well, if your company gave me a printer for free, why wouldn't the other company give me a printer for free when yours runs out of ink? Don't you think that somewhere down the line someone's going to figure it all out? Why are we all so collectively stupid?

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