Learned the hard way not to trust third-party inks.
In my last job we had an Epson A3 photo printer for which the full set of cartridges were well over £100.
After the accounts dept had a shakeup they had to be ordered by our purchasing officer.
His main area of activity concerned operations, catering supplies and drinks – almost £2m a year. But he was a keen computer user, and insisted on ordering cheaper compatibles from a supplier who had previously supplied cartridges to a branch office.
They arrived the day we needed a dozen A3 posters for an evening event hosted by the chairman and chief exec.
After installing, the first couple of prints were poor, so I ran the head cleaning routine, and they were no better. We rushed down the road to a friendly local print shop who charged us a fiver each, arriving back at base with minutes to spare.
Next day we launched a systematic troubleshooting attack - remove and refit cartridges, run head cleaning and alignment, print test pages on film and glossy. All to no avail – and meanwhile the chairman was wondering what the *** was going on as he needed more colour printing for another event.
We explained events to the chairman who had words with the purchasing officer – and sent me off to the shop in central London we knew stocked the branded cartridges. We fitted those, ran the setup and tests again – and hey presto: perfect prints.