How To Recognize A Defective Print Cartridge & What To Do

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How To Recognize A Defective Print Cartridge & What To Do

Posted by Dan Widdis on 2/27/2018 to Telemarketers

A “defective” print cartridge is one that does NOT print perfectly – we like to say “up to your expectations.” But there can be MANY reasons for poor print so “What to do” sometimes takes a bit of figuring out.

You might just replace your cartridge, and maybe you’d get lucky and the problem would be solved. But what do you do if it’s still there? If you are a smart shopper then you’ve chosen an honest, reliable and intelligent dealer to purchase your print cartridges from – whether a traveling salesman, off the internet or from a brick & mortar store, and the BEST thing to do is to call them and tell them what’s up. On the other hand, if you went cheap and purchased your stuff from an unknown site or even from a random dealer on eBay or Amazon you might be lucky and get a refund… good luck with that, but they’re NOT going to help you.

So, once again, the BEST thing to do is to contact your honest, reliable, intelligent print cartridge supplier and tell him/her what’s happened, they’ll most likely tell you to replace the cartridge and see if the problem goes away but, depending on how you describe it they may prescribe service – but they’re the BEST place to go first. And if you don’t feel you can trust your supplier then for Pete’s sake find one you CAN trust!

If it’s a cartridge problem: you may have blank areas, stripes, streaks, blotches, spots, gritty text, or even print that wipes right off the page. If it’s a printer problem: you HONESTLY COULD have the same issues! So how do you KNOW what to do?

Back to that honest, reliable, intelligent sales rep! And PLEASE, don’t be insulted or feel stupid if they ask you if your cartridge is empty or if the pull strip is still in it – you’d be SHOCKED to know how often this is the case! Listen carefully and learn when they tell you how to know if your cartridge is empty or how to get the rest of the ink/toner inside it to print on your pages – they should be well trained and able to teach you.

I’ve had clients who were heavy smokers and complained that they had a bad cartridge only to clean their printer and prove the cigarette smoke had so coated the lenses inside the printer that it couldn’t print clean anymore. I’ve had clients “lose” perfume packets, postage stamps and toothpicks inside their printer. I’ve had clients with pet hair clogging their printer. One lady complained her printer looked like it must have a paintbrush inside because of the poor quality print… only to find several long eyelashes stuck on the printhead, dragging through wet ink as she printed! I had a company that used 3-hole punch paper when printing large reports tell me my cartridges were causing the printer to jam up, they even called the paper company rep to meet me there – and then I proved to them it was the hole punches that were causing the problem, the cartridges were perfect!  One client used “linty” paper which caused massive dust piles inside their printer – every time they had a large job pages would jam and they would disturb the dust while removing the jams… and then it would spin into the cartridges, they destroyed many cartridges until we showed them the massive dust globs caught inside the cartridges! I had another client purchase high-end linen envelopes then complain their print now “wipes” right off – only to learn certain types of paper require more heat to SET the print in place… something their printer was not capable of doing.

Bear in mind, the print failures discussed above happened while using remanufactured inks and toners BUT, would have been virtually identical using OEM inks & toners and to the untrained individual would have appeared to be legitimate cartridge failures! The point is – not always but, SOMETIMES IT’S THE PRINTER! A GOOD print cartridge person can help you discover the truth of the matter after-all, THEY don’t want to lose a client!

So then, what if it IS the cartridge? It happens to EVERY company, OEM or remanufactured, at some point. Of course there are companies out there that it happens to in HIGH volume, some on a regular basis, and some very rarely (as is the case with – BUT it DOES happen to ALL.

I sell remanufactured inks and toners and have since 1993. Over the years some people have shied away from my products because they like to waste money – honestly, I don’t know what other reason there may be since my products have the same or lower failure rate than the OEM products, print as nice, last as long and cost far less. Let me give you a couple real life examples from my own, personal experience in the field:

                 I have called on quite literally THOUSANDS of businesses – in person, in the flesh – from mom & pop shops to Fortune 100 corporate giants… and my experience has been the same at each. Failures are entirely random. Oh, we like to put a % on it because it’s easier to understand from a black & white (pardon the pun) perspective. But the FACT is you can use OEM or remanufactured and experience the same, identical results. Now I’m not talking print quality for the moment, I’m talking about failure rates. A “Failure Rate” is that percentage, across the board, where a dealer/sales rep can say only XYZ percent out of 100 will fail on a fairly consistent basis.

                “Some swear by us, others swear at us!” I coined that phrase many years ago and still use it today, and while it may seem a bit cute or funny, it’s just the truth. For over 11 years I built one cartridge sales company that had over 3,000 clients so when we’re talking about test labs and print results I think I have a pretty solid handle on it. While there I personally delivered product, serviced printers and managed a well-trained sales staff. We had some clients who used several cartridges per month who never had a single failed cartridge over the space of several years – then again we had some clients who at the beginning of tax season would order a dozen of one particular cartridge (every year for several years) and if we got 2 out of 12 to work perfectly we were shocked – so we would replace all the bad ones and things were fine afterward for them. So what’s the deal? If they got 10 bad out of 12 what did the other clients get? That’s the funny thing… that particular cartridge worked nearly perfect most of the time everywhere else we placed it – so we still maintained a low failure rate of 5%!

So up until now I’ve only shared some personal stories of clients using remanufactured cartridges, doesn’t that PROVE the remanufactured is not as good as the OEM? No, it just proves I’m honest enough to put my remanufactured products in a vulnerable light FIRST before telling you of some OEM failures. So, let’s pick on HP and Lexmark, they’re both large market share holders and the favored printers with similar failure rates for their OEM product… around 4%+/- on a regular basis, that means THEY know (honestly) that about 4 out of every 100 cartridges are destined to fail. As I said at the beginning, it happens to ALL. You might be one of the 96 people who use one perfect cartridge a month and NEVER get a bad one, OR you might be the guy who buys 6 and has 4 of them fail right out of the box – it happens.

As a dealer who used to sell OEM inks and toners I have returned just as many OEM’s for failure as I have remanufactured – but then again I have sold a VERY HIGH QUALITY REMANUFACTURED product (our current failure rate for the past 3+ years running has been well below 4% of which I’m VERY proud, while many of our competitors are seeing rates of 30-40%!). The OEM failures have been as varied as the remanufactured failures; gray print, streaked print, striped print, blotchy print, spotty print, etc. We’ve returned OEM products with insects living inside the cartridges – in the sealed foil bag! And we’ve seen evidence of rodents and other things inconsistent with the “perfection” they tend to brag about and promote.

But there’s one HUGE difference between us and the OEM – our warranty. With the OEM you get a 12-month warranty, on the cartridge ONLY, IF you can prove with a receipt the date of purchase… and even then sometimes the retailers won’t take it back in trade – YOU have to contact the OEM manufacturer and try to convince THEM to send you a replacement! I’ve done this for OEM clients in the past more times than I care to remember! At our warranty is simple, honest and straightforward – if you’re EVER unhappy with your toner cartridge performance we will replace it ASAP at no charge to you. A similar warranty is put forward on our inks, except that is limited to 12 months because ink is a liquid and can dry and/or turn into a gummy substance, but the rest of the warranty is the same. And IF one of our cartridges EVER breaks your printer we will repair or replace that printer at no cost to you. Of course I’m paraphrasing here but you can read it for yourself on our website – it’s even part of our homepage banner!

And finally, don’t EVER let a printer repairman tell you that you MUST use OEM cartridges in your printer or it will VOID your warranty – that is a LIE and punishable by law! You are protected by the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act and can learn more about it here:

For more information about printing issues contact:, Toll-Free 844-230-6384, eMail

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