“Return Program” cartridges

dixons_southampton_110506_lexmark_printer
Image by cpchannel via Flickr

Both Dell and Lexmark offer laser and inkjet printers that take cartridges marked “Return Program”. Other manufacturers may soon follow in their footsteps.

What does this mean to you? What is this “Return Program” anyway?

The cartridge return program allows you to buy standard fill cartridges at a reduced price with the provision you return the cartridges to the printer manufacturer when they’re empty. You are usually supplied a postage-free envelope to return the cartridges in.

When you purchase these cartridges, similar to buying software with its Terms of Agreement, you are entering into a legally binding agreement with the developer/manufacturer. Because of this, our lawyers have advised us not to refill “Return Program” cartridges.

There are, however, alternatives. The manufacturers offer identical non-return program cartridges, usually designated with an “A” after the cartridge number (e.g. Lexmark 15 return program & 15a non-return program), that we can legally refill. Since Lexmark is selling their new printers without ink cartridges included, be sure you’re buying the “A” version of the cartridge and not the Return Program version. Then, when the ink in those is exhausted, we’ll be able to refill them for you at a savings of up to 50%.

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