My office manager needed a new cartridge for an ancient Laserjet 5 Si… and she wanted it cheap.Calling around town, she heard $186 for an extended length, $137 for standard… then $60 for extended.
“Sixty bucks?” she squealed. “What’s the hitch?”
“Actually we refill your cartridge,” said the Cartridge World sales gal, “But it’s guaranteed to perform just like the original.”
My OM has always avoided refills, on the principle that renegade particulates from unknowns may stimulate more equipment trouble than they’re worth. But this is a special case. The printer’s on its last legs.
Further, Cartridge World’s a national franchise, with nothing else to sell. If anybody’s going to pump a good product, it’s a single-product national franchise operation. In addition, that 67% discount is awfully appealing.
All in all, today seemed like a good day to test refill-theory… as long as refilling didn’t take too long.
“No problem,” soothed the sales smoothie. “We’ll fill it up in half an hour, while you wait.”
That was it. My OM was out the door.
Two hours later, she stormed in.
Turned out, when she got to Cartridge World, the clerk hemmed and hawed for several minutes, then told my OM that she’d have to drive to another Cartridge World about ten miles away.
Half an hour later, my OM discovered that Cartridge World can’t refill a C3909X cartridge, but has a dandy workalike cartridge… for only $120. Sixty bucks times two. Smells like a classic bait-and-switch.
Initial prints are just OK. The bolds are black. Regular fonts come out light grey.
And I find myself wondering if the tiny evil my OM encountered was one stupid employee, a crooked franchisee or an overly aggressive franchise training program.
My OM wouldn’t care if the output was perfect.
She doesn’t like trading money with bums who think so little of their fellow man.