Investigation and pending class action lawsuit against Brother Corporation in connection with Brothers Multi-Functional Centers, or 'MFC' all-in-one inkjet machines.
Brother markets its MFC machines as an economical devise designed for the small business or home office that can copy, fax, scan and print all in one unit. These devices are compact, and are touted as providing an inexpensive way for a small operation to handle a diverse amount of business tasks without taking up too much space. Brother presents the MFC devices as superior to competitors' machines that use a single ink cartridge, because the MFC's four-cartridge design supposedly saves consumers money by allowing them to replace only the cartridges they actually use.
A class action lawsuit has been filed in which it is alleged that the design of the Multi-Functional Centers are engineered to gobble up ink at a far faster rate than necessary, thereby costing consumers unexpected and unwarranted costs to replace the ink cartridges, even though the consumer has not used the ink for print or copy jobs. For example, the machines indicate that the ink cartridges are low and need replacement when they do not. Moreover, the machines blend color ink with black ink, thereby depleting the color cartridges even when printing exclusively in black and white. In addition, the self-cleaning "feature" of the MFC machines depletes the ink in all four inkjet cartridges, even if none of them is being used.
The foregoing thereby requires consumer to repeatedly buy replacement ink cartridges, which Brother insists must be manufactured by Brother in order to maintain the machine's warranty.
Lastly, in the class action, consumers have claimed that something known as "Error 41" is frequently displayed on these units and is indicative of an internal design flaw. "Error 41" indicates that a print head needs replacement, at a cost that may exceed the original purchase price of the unit itself! In fact, a little known warranty extension is offered by Brother to those few buyers lucky enough to question this issue, while the vast majority of buyers are left out in the cold.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Brothers International Corporation
Brothers International Corporation, a subsidiary of Brother Industries, Ltd., markets, sells and distributes consumer products and consumer electronics in the United States.
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