Saturday, April 21, 2012

44. Dudes, What The Hell Kind Of Logic Is This?

I stepped into the air-conditioned shop of the Unity plaza building out of the midday heat in Colombo.

I had bought my first hp DeskJet printer for Rs. 5000/= at The Unity Plaza. A few months later as the cartridges ran out of ink, I went to the same place in the hope of buying replacement ink cartridges. I couldn’t believe my ears when the salesperson quoted the price -  Rs. 5500/=!!!

I was flabbergasted and told him I bought the complete printer itself only for Rs 5000/= a few months back. What he told me knocked me over totally. He said, 
“Sir, we can give you the latest model of the printer you have for just Rs. 4850/= now, a knock down price, because you happen to be a regular customer."
What the hell kind of logic is that? I was feeling hot in the air-conditioned interior.

So, I bought a brand new printer again instead of replacement ink cartridges and saved Rs 650/= and ended up with an extra printer without cartridges. In other words an unnecessary, fully functional heap of plastic with no mechanical problem, and also a heap of e-waste.

But still, dudes, what the hell kind of logic is this?

Now, the ones who pull the strings should not get the wrong idea to impose more new taxes to sell the printer at Rs10000/= and make the difference. That’s not what I mean. The prize of the cartridges should come down to an affordable price from this current ridiculous one. This should be the result of some moronic tax regulation. Otherwise, the printer with original cartridges can’t be less expensive than the two cartridges or the other way around.

And when new cartridges ran out of ink I tried to refill them at another famous shop in Unity Plaza building itself.  It was done at a reasonably low price. They worked just fine when they demonstrated with the test copy in the shop. And at home, they worked until they printed 6 more copies and dried up in 2 days. So much for their refilling service.!  I cursed the refilling dudes and determined not only not to try it again but also to spread the word.

My father used to shave with a metal alloy Gillette safety razor, which used four sided razor blades. All he discarded were only the spent blades.  Razor itself was a lifetime investment if you used it carefully. 

He used to write with a Parker fountain pen earlier. He bought pots of ink for refills. All he discarded were glass inkpots, which wasn’t all that frequent.

I, on the other hand, use plastic triple bladed disposable razors, ballpoint pens, and gel pens, which I discard much more frequently at an alarming rate. My spent razor means permanently fitted blades and plastic handle and everything.  Discarded ballpoint pen consists of  two tubes of plastic with some more plastic fitting which are of course non bio degradable. Only with razors and pens I pollute the earth perhaps 100 times more than my father did.
These are only two examples. Lets’ forget about the plastic water and fizzy drink bottles and the lot for the moment.

The modern consumer pattern doesn’t support environmental policies they preach about. It beats me why the system supports more waste generation.
A Teflon coating over the paint of your house is fully justifiable. It’ll prolong the need for another layer of paint for years to come. That’s how to use plastic to protect the environment and save the nonrenewable resources.
But why does this happen? When you buy a printer every time you want to buy replacement cartridges, where are we going to end up? May be there are other products also like this unknown to me. Still this defies all logic. Something is wrong somewhere because someone turned a blind eye.

These are my suggestions to whom it may concern.

  • I know it would be difficult to roll back to my father’s metal alloy razor era. Nevertheless, razors in budget packets can be sold with one handle and ten heads that can be fitted on the handle.  Pollution will be much less and you do the math.
  • Sell ink or gel refills for ballpoint and gel pens at one third of the price of a pen. Many people will use the same pen much longer, and again you do the math, as I’m real bad at it.
  • Sell printer ink cartridges at a reasonable price, perhaps the same price as those fake refills.
  • Sell soft drinks and water in glass bottles and stop this ridiculous system of charging extra for deposits for the glass bottles. Once this is stopped, nobody will want to collect glass bottles at homes and the customers will even return them or dump them in assigned trash bins. An effective retrieval system of empty bottles for refills will pay dividends.
Well I can go on like this, but let’s try these first.


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    1. Dude, Thanks. That's very encouraging. I visited your website 'effecten stoppen met roken'. It looks like an awesome site at a glance but unfortunately I can't read it because it's in Dutch. (Am I correct to guess it is Dutch? I made that wild guess because it is somewhat similar to German)Thanks anyway.

  2. damn truth...believe me or not i have two discarded printers due to same problem..i used original cartridges as much as possible with a refill kit then when it comes to buy new cartridge i had to buy new printer..

    small clue..use inktek refill kit to refill your own cartridges at home.

  3. Thanks Panda, for the tip. And thanks for the comment, too.
    Just now I visited your blog. You read both my Sinhala (මට හිතෙන හැටි) and this English blog, huh? I just wonder how I missed your blog පෑන්ඩාගේ සිතුවිලි all these days. Gonna read it leisurely. Now I gotta run.

    1. im really sorry im not aware of your sinhala blog..may be i have read without knowing it urs..suddenly found this blog today itself and hope to read all posts from today on. :D

  4. So true.... i mean absolutely absent logic. well said. hope those responsible for this would see it... :-D

  5. 'flabbergasted'

    thanks for this word.:)

    This hell of the situation can be seen in many products. Don't know whether they appear in our country only.:) But don't give up refilling cartridges, there are people who can do it well.

  6. Its funny.. The same thing happened to me when I went to buy the new print cartridge. That's the way they make money.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I visited your site. I only got a rough idea what it's about because your site is in French.

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  8. Totally agree with you machang. Same thing happened to us when we bought a colour printer for our office, when I was at Ampara.

    It is true with the ball point pens too. We all have heaps of half used ball point pens at home, office, quarters, everywhere.

    Now the girls are using a new piece of paper, every time they want to clean their nose!



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