Wednesday, 14 March 2012

PRINTER CARTRIDGE MAINTENANCE AGREEMENTS; ARE THEY A RESTRICTION OF TRADE?


Often printer users are locked into a maintenance agreement preventing them from buying cheaper toner cartridges.


So what to do? Well, there is not much you can do, but wait until the maintenance agreement expires.
When a brand supplier such as Brother, Canon, or HP sell a business consumer a printer, or printers, they sprout the advantages of signing up for a maintenance agreement, and the dire perils if you don't. 
What they don't tell you is that for them, the Maintenance Agreement is where the real profits are!
The user is locked in and can't escape the agreement. And certainly when your printer needs another cartridge, it is promptly delivered, and normally their service is acceptable, but if you require parts - "oh, if you look at the small print, that's not included". 
Have you noticed how the supplier will encourage you to sign up for two years - obviously the longer the better to enjoy 'this restriction of trade'. 
And finally, have you tried to evaluate the cost of the printer cartridges as they are replaced, as a cost component of the agreement? No. Probably a good idea not to, the shock could be severe.
It might just pay you to look around for an independant printer maintenace firm, usually manned by ex senior-technicians previously with the brand company anyhow who will charge you a lot less, and allow you to chose your own printer cartidges.