Permanant Link For Entry #29

Why it sometimes pays to make your disapointment known to your suppliers

A copy of my note to Brother UK follows:-


I am sure this message has been routed to the wrong department but this is a consequnce of the inadequacy of the options provided in your online form.

I wish to bring to your attention my full displeasure with my experience of the Brother MFC3820CN network ready all-in-one printer.

Perhaps it's not a surprise that I was unable to use the appropriate drop-down on your online form to report this, since the model is not even listed. That's how much support you offer to a machine that is not the latest off the production line.

I bought one of these for my small buisness about 13 or 14 months ago. It was never the best quality printer but I expected and accepted no better since it was not very expensive. Plus the device was shipped with deficient device driver software for XP SP2 (admitted by your tech support function), but I put up with that too.

However, in the last couple of months the printer started has been failing intermittently by dropping various parts of the colour mix when printing. And now it will barely print at all. So now I have a very expensive scanner.

The printer alerted me to alleged low ink levels, so I purchased brand new Brother-branded inks for in excess of forty quid. Guess what? - no improvement.

I called your support number and was talked through the procedure for power cleaning the device but this did not work. It would appear that the print head has died for no good reason. It's not as if I use this printer to capacity.

They gave me then the number of a local company that services printers, since the printer was now out of any warrantee cover period. How handy was that?

Of course, the service company want a £35 inspection fee after which they would quote me a repair cost. But given that the likely problem is a dead print head and a replacement would cost upwards of £70, I'd be looking at paying the original cost again for my printer to work.

This means that ecomically the best thing for me to do is add yet further toxic waste to the environment by binning this printer and purchasing a new one. Do you think I feel inclined to purchase a Brother printer this time round?

It also means that I have wasted £40 in inks because the stupid device gave me rubbish information. Thanks.

I think this all stinks - the crummy device driver issue, the convenient failure just as the warrantee period expired, the totally irresponsible waste consequence, the extra time I have to spend getting rid of this unit and sourcing a new printer.

If Brother had advertised that the machine was cheap because it was crap then I would have known what I was taking on. I would have gladly paid double the price to have a device work properly and for a decent lifetime. But instead you chuck out near-rubbish which becomes real rubbish just months later.

I will be adding a copy of this note to my personal blog which is linked from my company's web site, and I will update it with the response that I receive from you, if any.


-James Collett.

*** UPDATE circa 12 June 2006 ***

Good news: Brother UK offered to collect the printer and undertake an assessment of its fault free of charge. In fact they did more than this and replaced it with a factory refurbished model of a very similar specification.

So hats off to Brother UK! I am very impressed.

Now it's just fingers crossed that this new model lasts a while. Beacon