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Home Offices - Buying a Brother inkjet printer

With so many working from home in these troubled times I found buying a home printer an enormous task. My print-head clogged up & the built-in cleaning setting didn’t work. I know it is sometimes cheaper buying a new printer than buying ink & I’ve often thought if printer manufacturers wanted people to buy genuine ink they should sell removable print-heads with ink boxed sets. If you’re like me you hate the waste of throwing out a perfectly good printer save for the ink or print-head.

I’m no expert I just thought my experience could be useful to some folks. Looking through many reviews I came to find Brother printers had far more customer reviews (& positive ones at that, though there are some negative ones) than any other brand on the market. I considered lashing out on a colour laser printer as they don’t have clogging issues, but they are not as versatile as an inkjet. A relatively new inkjet technology on the market uses large ink tanks & are toted as being more reliable than the print-head & small cartridge variety.

The one I bought, a Brother DCP-J1100DW ($294.00) is the smallest & cheapest in ink tank type says it can print 150 pages a month for a year on the ink that comes with it, as if I would print that much for home use. The downside is that their ‘INKVestment’ printers can only be purchased through Officeworks & therefor you can’t shop around for a better price. What’s more, visiting Officeworks is no guarantee of finding one.

As I said at the outset, with so many working from home Printers are being snapped up as soon as they arrive in-store. So I emailed Brother Australia & told them which printer I was after & sked when their next shipment to Officeworks was due. Not only did the Sales Manager respond promtly to my email, but he also emailed me again when it was about to happen. I then used Officeworks ‘Click & Collect’ online purchase system to reserve the printer.

Out of the box there are more than one tutorial for setting up, the quick start guide or online video. The wifi setup took a little to work out, but the instructions were simple enough & it’s amazingly fast from power on to print-ready compared to my Canon PIXMA which whirred & carried on for a good minute before it would do anything. I hope some of you find my experience useful.

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Most definitely does, being a Canon PIXMA predominant consumer. Next time…thanks.

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We use a very old Brother B&W laser printer for everyday printing. Also a Brother inkjet for colour and A3 when needed. Both network and installed with ease. We have both connected directly to the home network by ethernet cables rather than wifi.

Compared with the previous Epsom and HP Products, both are winners. The GoodGuys and JB also sell Brother printers. They are not exclusive to Office Works.
Edit: noted the J1100DW model is currently restricted (local store front) to Office Works. Hopefully the same is not true of the replacement inks.

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This type is only sold by Officeworks, must be a contractual arrangement here. AliExpress sell them.

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Most are ‘same old same old’ models but have unique model numbers for ‘exclusivity’ - just like many other products. Some ‘exclusives’ but not all have an extra or hobbled feature to set them apart from the versions commonly available.

I’ll add my vote for Brother from the printers/MFCs to support. I also have a Brother laser and an MFC.

HP is the poster company for integrated print heads on the carts, that also regularly ‘upgraded’ firmware to detect original carts and brick compatibles (until an original was inserted). They were routinely sued and backed off, only to try it again in a few years. Exorbitant pricing as with most originals. I would never touch an HP printer as a result, as a matter of principle.

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While a printer manufacturer could try and void a warranty for non-genuine ink (they would need to prove the non-genuine ink caused the problem in order not to honour a manufacturer warranty), in Australia non-genuine ink purchased here is covered under the ACL. It must be fit for purpose. If using non-genuine ink/toner results in the printer failing, then one can make a claim against the ink supplier/retailer.

This does pose a challenge though…proving the ink unit resulted in the failure. It is likely one may face a situation where the printer retailer/manufacturer blames the non-genuine ink and the ink supplier blames the printer.

We have a Xerox domestic laser printer where the toner lasted more than the manufacturer warranty period…and we chose to use non-genuine toner purchased for around 20% of the genuine article. We now use the printer substantially more and the savings made over the years by will more than pay for the next printer.

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I am cross about being able to buy a printer / scanner for $30 but new ink Pods cost $65!
How can we increase incentives to reuse?

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Do we need incentives, or consumers to be better informed, and make alternate choices?

Before buying a new printer we could talk to a local business that refills ink cartridges to establish which brands or models can be economically recycled or better, refilled and reused.

There are also now a number of printers offered with much larger capacity ink cartridges, including the range of Brother printers at the start of this topic. There are after market conversion kits that use refillable tanks for a number of higher quality office duty Ink type printers.

There’s a trap for the average home user if you print infrequently a small number of pages, the low cost of starter printers is hard to resist.

It’s worth considering options such as OfficeWorks if you have one handy and only need to print a few times each year. Alternately there are a number of choices for home laser printers that cost less than a $30 starter inkjet and a full set of replacement inks. Black and white is all most jobs need. And the toner cartridges can be refilled/exchanged. If we need colour photos, it is cheaper to go to K-mart etc than use our own ink!

We rarely find a need for a scanner, using a mobile phone or tablet and App to photo capture to PDF documents.

P.S.
Perhaps the one incentive that could work is to mandate customers must buy a full set of high capacity replacement inks with the purchase of every new ink type printer? Apologies if you just saw an airborne bacon donor flash by the local member’s office.

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Officeworks and others have cartridge recycling bins. Not precisely what you may have meant, but.

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Another thing to remember is to ensure that you have somewhere to buy your ink from. Many places sell the printer but don’t have the ink.

For years I have bought HP printers. When the last one died (printhead) I searched the net for reliable colour lasers and settled on a Brother MFC-L3770CDW. It has performed flawlessly, unlike the HP printers I had that kept losing their network connection.

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My story is similar my Brother B/W Laser works perfectly but my Canon G6060 only works via USB ie I can’t use it via home network.
PeterH
If anyone is interested this is the tale of woe:

About 3 months ago I purchased a Canon Pixma Endurance inkjet printer which initially worked OK on both wifi and Ethernet.

About 4 – 5 weeks ago Windows 10 ver 2004 downloaded on to my PC and suddenly the printer would not work in WiFi or Ethernet. Looking on the internet this latest version of Windows 10 was causing problems with certain printers – due to a print server error. Microsoft issued an update which supposedly fixed the issue – it didn’t for me. My Brother B/W Laser works fine over a home network.

About 4/5 weeks ago I contacted Canon Support (explaining the above) – they offered – a lot of suggestions – reboot the modem/router, PC, reset the printer to default, download the software again and so on – nothing worked.

So I thought, why not try to use the printer via an iPhone/ipad? I installed the app on my iphone but I just could not get it to recognise the printer (it had recognised my B/W Brother Laser – no problem).

I again contacted Canon support by email – no response. So I phoned Canon support in Australia and was told that a support person would contact me – nobody has to date.

I had purchased the printer from OfficeWorks and contacted the local store, and they were quite helpful and said that they would take the printer back for repair or replacement. They suggested using a USB cable to see if it worked – and it did. But, I can’t access the printer over my home network – I even connected via a Netgear D7000 modem router and a Netgear RAX80 wifi router – but neither would recognise the printer.

So, this is background and my questions are:
Should Canon offer support for their products and just not bother to reply to a consumer?
Could I return the printer for replacement as it now works on a direct USB connection but not in wifi or airprint.

PeterH

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If you specifically purchased it to work over a WiFi/wired network and it doesn’t you may have grounds to ask for a refund, or a replacement or repair (your choice if a major fault not the retailer’s choice). ACL under major faults states:

"What is a major problem?

A product or good has a major problem when:

  • it has a problem that would have stopped someone from buying it if they’d known about it
  • it is significantly different from the sample or description
  • it is substantially unfit for its common purpose and can’t easily be fixed within a reasonable time
  • it doesn’t do what you asked for and can’t easily be fixed within a reasonable time (my bolding); or
  • it is unsafe".

If the retailer refuses to do as you require you should put your demand in writing (send by email or by registered post for proof of sending). You should advise what you want done and give them a reasonable period to respond eg 7 days or 14 days in that written communication. If they don’t respond or the outcome is not what you request then you can contact your Office of Fair Trading to make a complaint. CHOICE Help service can give you guidance on what steps to take, if you are a member of CHOICE. They also provide templates for letters/emails as does the ACCC.

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I bought that model last November and reckon it’s a cracker. Three others have been bought by family members since and they too are very happy with it. It’s quick to fire up, quick to print, quiet and easy to use. The large ink tanks don’t have chips on them to prevent third party ink being used or lock your unit up when they are ‘expired’. Although it prints double sided, the document feeder only scans single sided, my only gripe. It’s heavy weight gives a sense of robust build quality.

I ran my previous HP printer trouble free on cheap refills for years. They came with their own chips to trick the printer into working with them. I was paying $18 for a set of 12 cartridges delivered (it took 6) while genuine cartridges at the time were $30 each for colour x5 and $65 for the large black cartridge. There are photos on the wall printed with this cheap ink over 10 years old with no fading.

When the HP died, my wife bought a Canon for $30 from Coles. It weighed next to nothing, made one hell of a racket when it started printing and only printed two sheets before the supplied ink stopped flowing. At under 10 times the price the Brother can print around 900 times what the Canon did on just the ink supplied with it.

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From who…it is likely that Microsoft is the issue and not Canon. As the printer worked when it was originally purchased and Microsoft’s updating of Windows 10 caused the issue, then Microsoft has resulted in the printer’s failure to work as advertised. One would need to approach the original vendor of Windows 10 or Microsoft directly. I assume that the contact will not be successful as they will try and point finger elsewhere.

What is the solution then… I would be reversing the Windows update to the version where the printer did not conflict with the operating system. I would do this until such time that Canon or Windows releases a patch for this bug.

Most of these printers sell themselves on being compatible with Win 10, others can produce printers that continue to work after updates. Something in the way they arranged the WiFi firmware in the Printers that doesn’t fully embrace the standard?

For clarity, is it only your PC that cannot recognise the printer on your home network? It seems not because you also wrote

As a trouble shooting action have you been asked to see if the printer is represented in your router DHCP tables, and if so, is it? If not, have you been asked to assign a static address to the printer and corresponding settings in the router? If on the LAN (hardwired) I expect it should show on Windows File Explorer as a networked device similarly to
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as well as a printer and scanner. On Wifi printers may or may not always show, but still should be represented in the router DHCP tables.

Can you ping the printer? Open a ‘cmd’ prompt and try pinging and you should see something like

image

If not, and you have a good mate, have you taken the printer to his/her place to try it on that network? That would be the easiest litmus test to see if the printer somehow got borked or it is in fact something in your own network.

If it can be isolated to the printer you can do a warranty claim. It is highly unlikely a Microsoft update could affect the printers firmware; there is always a chance the printer developed a fault concurrently with the update.

If your printer works on another network it is back to trouble shooting.

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I realise that and it was compatible with Windows 10 when it was bought…but is was a Microsoft update caused the incompatibility. It could be a driver conflict with something else (another piece of hardware) or a conflict with other software. One hopes that Canon has pre-release versions of Windows update for testing…but with the regular rate of updates being released, it is possibly not possible in all cases.

The BBG
The problems with the Canon Printer started after a Windows update to ver 2004 and not subsequently fixed in later updates.
The printer in WIFI and Ethernet from installing with the G6060 driver/software installs to either 192.168.0.18 or 192.168.0.20 - Both can be pinged and sometimes they respond sometimes they don’t.
The other weird thing is that my pre-installed Brother Laser Printer gets assigned to either of the above addresses (not the Canon and immediately following installing the Canon software) and will not print until I click on its WSD entry via printer properties. After that the Canon printers show in either address 192.168.0.18 or 192.168.0.20.
Now in both ethernet and wifi I can scan and save to any home network PC using the Canon G6060 but I cannot print.
The iphone app cannot install/setup the Canon printer - it “sees” the printer but cannot go the final step and use it via airprint - it recognises a Brother printer no issues.
Add a USB cable - I can print (but not on the network obviously) but I cannot scan.
pH

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I might be getting into uncharted personal territory, but if you have nothing else to do, such as most of us Victorians at the moment. Some things to try. I had to set statics a while back for my two Brother printers as the network software would occasionally ‘lose them’, but the ‘Brother printer network repair’ would fix it; got tired of doing that, set them all to static, and never looked back. As with your problem the MFC would scan but not print, and the laser being Wifi only would go ‘offline’ and stay there until ‘repaired’. Feel free to jump in doing only #2 and 4. Anytime the PC is involved you might need to flush its IP cache to be sure of nothing improper ‘held over’.

  1. turn off everything. Reboot every thing except the PC. Try to configure and print to the G6060 with your iPad. Does it configure and work?
  2. Set both the G6060 and Brother to static IPs both in the printers and router.
  3. Try #1 again.
  4. Reboot the PC and in the printer properties, also manually assign their static IPs and reboot the PC.

Any joy?

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