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OEM Warranty Rights

Has your Printer Service person told you that you can't run 3rd party inks in your printer? Do they blame the inks on the printer breaking? Do they threaten to void your warranty if you continue to use them? Well you may not know this, but it is illegal for Gerber or any distributor to tell you that because it is clearly not true and unlawful. That situation would be similar to your car dealer telling you that you must purchase their stocked Firestone tires when you need replacements otherwise they will void your warranty. The following information will help you handle this situation.

The Next Time Your Digital Imaging Printer Service Person Says This:

"Sorry, I'll have to void the warranty on your equipment because you're not using the OEM's brand of ribbon."


"I'll have to charge you for the labor and parts because you're not using the OEM's brand of ribbon."

Do This:

Ask the Service person to put the statement in writing on their companies stationary.

Tell them that it is illegal to require or force the owner of a computer printer to use only the OEM's brand of ribbons or supplies. To make this requirement is in violation of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts.

A classic example of this issue was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1936, and involved IBM vs. the United States. At that time, IBM leased data processing machines to customers with the requirement that they only use the tabulating cards manufactured by IBM. Their customers were threatened with termination of their lease if they used cards produced by other manufacturers. As decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, this requirement in IBM's lease agreement was held to constitute a "tying agreement" and was found to be in violation of the antitrust laws.

Do not be intimidated by sales or service people. Let them know that a computer printer manufacturer cannot legally require, in writing or verbally, that a printer owner or lessee exclusively purchase ribbons, or any other supplies, from them. In order to make this kind of requirement, they must conclusively demonstrate and prove that other ribbon brands are incompatible to their printers .

Show this information to anyone who insists on voiding a warranty or charging you for a service call because they found that you were not using the OEM's brand of ribbons. Protect your right to use the supplies from a vendor of your choice.

Other ribbon supplies can be tested against the OEM's specifications by independent laboratories. Ask your OEM supplier if they are willing to supply their ribbon specifications to an independent lab, you can have your alternate ribbon supplies certified to specification. If they say no and void your warranty, they are in violation of the antitrust acts.