By Alexander Villafania
PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA – Japanese printer firm Epson cautions local consumers about buying fake ribbons that sell at very low prices.
According to Epson, the proliferation of fake ribbons in the market, in unauthorized reseller outlets, has resulted in various complaints from customers, who did not realize that they purchased non-genuine consumables.
The use of fake ribbons has been tested to cause damage to the print head the entire machine itself, said Epson Product Manager Lyn Lizarondo.
“There have also been instances when users come to us complaining about their ribbons only to find out that they were using fake consumables all along,” Lizarondo said.
With the improving economy, more businesses are expected to purchase hardware for their businesses. Printers are expected to sell well as many small-to-medium scale businesses build their infrastructure.
But the printer market is mired by the sale of fake printer ribbons, sold for about two-thirds to nearly half the price of original consumables.
“We’re also affected because customers are expecting good quality prints from our products,” said Lizarondo.
Legal action by the Japanese headquarters Seiko-Epson, in cooperation with the government of the Philippines, has been taken against sellers and distributors of fake ribbons.
Meanwhile, Lizarondo stressed that buyers of printer ribbons must check their purchases beforehand to avoid potential damage to their machines. She said most printer manufacturers have security features embedded in their ribbons. These could be in the form of proper packaging and a holographic sticker.
She also noted that consumers must also watch out for ever improving faking of the holographic stickers that can easily fool consumers.
These nearly identical with the holographic stickers of original cartridges are also forcing manufacturers to keep changing the designs and embedded features in their cartridges.
TÜV Nord Group of Germany, a third-party expert on quality management, recently certified Epson genuine ribbons for dot matrix printers as the most durable and efficient after undergoing stringent tests and evaluation.
About 51 percent of Epson Philippines’ business is from inkjet printers (and inkjet cartridges) while dot matrix printers (and ribbons) contribute to about a third of local sales. Sales of consumables are considered part of hardware sales.
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