With global recession biting hard and prices increasing rapidly, businesses and consumers are looking for more ways to save money. As a result, the sale of compatible franking consumables is increasing but many people are still confused about the implications of using non-branded inks and labels in their machines.
What are compatibles and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) franking cartridges?
Compatible cartridges are non-branded consumables produced by third parties, as opposed to the franking machine manufacturer. OEM franking cartridges are produced to a high standard by the manufacturer of the specific franking machine and go through stringent testing to ensure they meet their quality standards.
How are compatible franking cartridges made?
Some compatible franking cartridges are simply refilled – the casing is cracked open and refilled with new ink. Compatibles produced in this way are generally poor quality, unreliable and often lower capacity compared with branded franking cartridges.
Why is the use of compatible franking cartridges increasing?
The obvious advantage is cost - compatible toner cartridges are now available for a wide range of printers and can save you up to 40% compared with original, branded cartridges. However unlike traditional printing, franking marks need to be of high quality and of the specification of ink approved by the Royal Mail. Refilled ink within franking cartridges can be problematic. The most common malfunction is that of a cracked or "exploded" casing which consequently empties its contents into the internal workings of the franking machines. Also, the volume of ink or toner can often be lower than that of the original alternative.
Will using compatibles invalidate my warranty?
Any damage caused to your franking machine by the use of third party consumables will not be repaired under the terms of a franking machine maintenance agreement. Also, most contracts stipulate that as part of a supply of a franking machine that the supply of consumables, in terms of ink and labels, must be provided by the system supplier.
To Sum Things Up...
Although the use of compatibles in home printers does not cause many problems, this should be best avoided with franking machines, as the colours required need to be accurate and quality is paramount the Royal Mail. For a business critical system such as franking machine, the potential increase in down time caused by a faulty compatible cartridge and the time taken to make an invalid maintenance claim, needs to be considered.
Whilst the decision on whether to save money by purchasing compatible consumables is entirely down each individual business, commonly the short term savings do not outweigh the long term issues caused.
To find out more information about The Mailing Room, please feel to contact us on 0800 0192 033 or visit www.themailingoom.com
The Mailing Room is a leading services provider, with a comprehensive range of products & services within its areas of excellence; being franking machines, postal services, stationery, consumables and asset finance to create cost savings in the business mail process. By delivering a ‘one stop shop’ for UK businesses to single source mailing room supplies, The Mailing Room provides the highest level of service and market leading pricing to reduce our customer’s overall costs. Our aim is to become a long term partner with all our customers to help them plan their mailing room requirements and simplify the procurement process.
The company has grown quickly since its inception in 1999 to servicing over 10,000 customers nationwide, in both the commercial and public sector. This growth has been fed by working closely with best of breed suppliers, including an exclusive distribution for the north of England and public sector for the FP range of franking machines.
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