Beacuse this newsgroup has proven itself to have the most intelligent and resourceful posters in all of usenet, I thought I'd take a shot at ranting a bit and asking a question here.
We rent a Neopost Model IJ25 postage meter for our office use, and they are raping us when we need to replace the red inkjet cartridge which prints the postage and our logo on everything we mail. I got a "low ink" warning on the postage meter display yesterday and called to order another cartridge. Last time, about 6 months ago, the price with shipping was about $65, this time it was up to $85.
To add insult to injury, Neopost has arranged for their inkjet cartridge to "run out" 6 months after the date it's installed, even if we only printed postage on jsut a few envelopes during that time, and it also "runs out" after a predetermined number of impressions, even though there's plenty of ink left inside it.
I busted open the last dead cartridge and found what I expected inside, a standard looking inkjet cartridge with HP's name and logo on it, along with an IC chip which must be what's letting Neopost laugh all the way to the bank at their customers' expense.
I've asked a few online sellers of inkjet cartridge refilling stuff whether they can help, without any luck thus far.
Anyone here encountered this and figured out a way to get around it without going back to licking postage stamps?
I thought there's fair trade laws in the US which keep manufacturers from forcing their customers to buy supplies only from them and also keep them from putting "poison pills" in stuff. But maybe I'm wrong about that, and because the USPS is involved Neopost can argue that the gummint is making them do it that way to make sure the imprints come out nice and clear.
Neopost also stuck it to their customers the last time the postage rates went up (January '06?). We had to pay them $100 to get a smart card to stick in a slot and reprogram the weighing scale so it would calculate the (new) correct postage. Those cards must have cost them less that $3.00 each to make and mail out. What a windfall for them, Shoosh!
I've asked around and it appears that Pitney Bowes isn't much better in that regard, they offer fair meter rental rates and then gouge their customers for supplies which only they sell. Too bad, ten or fifteen years ago the electromechanical Pitney Bowes meter we rented used ink saturated felt rollers and metal "type". I could just paint some more ink on those rollers when needed, using a bottle of red ink Pitney Bowes sold me for less than $10, and which lasted us for many years.
End of rant on a rainy day...