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Fact or Fiction?

ECS discuss the myths surrounding alternative toner cartridges.

After recently picking up the Remanufacturer of the year award, the South Yorkshire based remanufacturer joined us today to discuss some of the issues, myths and horror stories regarding alternative toner cartridges that often encourage consumers to turn towards OEM products.

We were joined by Director Chris Fink, who answered some of the frequently asked questions and statements aimed towards the use of alternative toner cartridges. ECS would like to make it clear that they do not speak on behalf of ALL alternative cartridge providers.

Q: Do you believe there is an unfair stigma attached to alternative toner cartridges?

Chris Fink (CF): Without a doubt. A major barrier we experience when trying to convert prospects into long-term Partners is the fact that the majority of these companies have had a negative experience with an alternative toner cartridge, or that they’ve heard through the grapevine the number of issues and problems that alternative cartridges can cause, most of which are actually false claims made by OEM retailers. A lot of these opinions towards alternative toners are, however, very much understandable, as there are a number of aftermarket cartridges which are very dangerous and in fact illegal. What we suggest to those who want the benefits of a cheaper alternative cartridge without the hassle and negatives that they are associated with, is to use a reliable manufacturer of alternative consumables, such as ECS.

Q: The invalidation of a machine’s warranty is an area of conflict when it comes to the use of alternative products – could you explain your thoughts on this?

CF: A cartridge that has been recycled and remanufactured correctly will not nullify the warranty of a printer/copier, nor will it affect any type of maintenance agreement. OEM’s make this clear in their own contracts – it’s actually illegal under European Trade Law for any company to claim this. ECS toners won’t harm your machine and they certainly won’t affect your warranty.

Q: You suggested earlier that those looking to use alternative cartridges should seek a reliable distributor. What is it that makes ECS a reliable distributor?

CF: All of our remanufactured printer and copier toner cartridges are recycled and remanufactured right here in the UK. Each cartridge undergoes strict quality control and matches the OEM in colour, copies per gram, waste generation and performance. When we receive cartridges through our recycling and collection scheme, they are stripped, cleaned, inspected and refilled at our own UK based plants. Any worn components are replaced with brand new ones, including OPC drums. The toner we use to fill each product is individually tested and exposed to a variety of conditions including a change in atmospheric conditions to ensure a high level of performance. Each of these factors give our Partners confidence that our solution is reliable, however, poor quality cartridges are still available in the marketplace and are extremely difficult to identify, which is why we stress the need to buy from a competent distributor. Above all, it’s important not to presume that all remanufactured products are of the same standard.

Q: The quality of alternative consumables is often questioned. Is it possible to replicate the quality of an OEM cartridge when using an alternative version?

CF: Our research and development team is second to none when it comes to producing a cartridge that is able to match the OEM in terms of quality, performance and reliability, which is why we’re nearly always first to market with our remanufactured toners. We put thousands of hours into testing and improving our products. In terms of matching up to the OEM cartridge, the failure rate of an alternative cartridge is lower than 1%, equating to less than two cartridges in every two hundred, while OEM cartridges have a failure rate of 0.5%, which means one in every two hundred. The difference is clearly negligible, but remember this is only true when using an ISO9001 Verified ECS cartridge.

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