Brother Ink Jet Ripoff: Class action coming

Here's an update on the the Brother inkjet ripoff, namely the fact that:

a. Cartridges are declared empty when there is still ink in them.
b. You can't print anything when any of the four cartridges are declared empty.

I have now documented this in two models and comments indicate others (mine are the MFC 3820CN and the MFC 420CN). I have also found a law firm that is considering a class action law suit.

Next step to post my video of this problem and the weight readings that indicate how much ink is left when Brother says the cartridge is empty (hint is more than 5%).


  1. the worst buy i ever did the brother dcp-540cn ran out of cyan went bought more just to print in black mind you then they tell me yellow has ran out when i hadnt even printed anything since, boycott brother printers

  2. I had the same issue as the poster on March 22nd. I rarely, if ever use color, and I had to install a Cyan cartridge after a month and then a Yellow the next month.
    Ridiculous. Does anyone know a print company who leans away from this sort of shady practice?

  3. Brother MFC-240C I have the same problem:
    1) Ink cartridges dry out or are "cleaned out" when I do limited color printing.. cartridges do still have some ink in them
    2) Machine won't print even in black unless I replace all cartridges flagged as "out of ink"
    3) Brother customer support tells me - "yes the printer won't print if any one cartridge says "out of ink".. Also, "the printer cleans the cartridges as needed to ensure the highest quality printing."
    4) Brother could not give me an address to send a written complaint. They gave me this phone number for complaints- 908-704-1700.

    Does anyone know which printer maker and model number is most efficient with use of inks?

  4. I purchased a Brother (forgot model) all in one printer and tried it out once by copying a color document. Since then it's been off. This was about 3 months ago. A couple of days ago I was in the computer room and heard the printer working on its own WHILE OFF. I waited until it finished then I turned it on and immediately it was telling me my ink was LOW!!! I was ticked off. I bought this to replace an expensive EPSON printer that drained my ink in no time and had a class action suit.
    Anyway, I still use an older printer I'm 100% happy with. No dry head or ink. No excessive priming. No need to replace color ink to print. You CAN REFILL IT IN SECONDS. It's been printing for years. It's a Canon i320. Other Canon i-series (older ones) work the same way....

  5. I have a Brother MFC-465CN and have the issue described. I planned to use it solely as a B&W printer and was shocked when it ran out of color ink when I had never printed anything in color. I then found out I could no longer print in B&W unless I replaced the color cartridges! Of course when I called customer support all the woman did was remind me to use genuine Brother ink when replacing the cartridges. This is a huge scam - avoid Brother all-in-ones at all costs.

    What's the latest with the class-action?

  6. Brother MFC 490-CW

    I spent almost an hour on the phone with brother product support yesterday trying to explain how I had printed in color maybe 2 times in the two months after I installed brand color cartridges, but somehow the machine said that I was completely out of all my color ink. The representative and her supervisor spent about 50 minutes trying to explain to me how the color ink could run out in two months even if I didn't print in color.
    I responded by explaining how ridiculous of an assertion that is and that they know 100% that no printer should ever run out of color ink when it is not being used for any reason. They told me there was nothing they could do because I couldn't find my receipt, even if I did their "warranty" covers ink cartridges for a maximum of three months. Anything over than that and the customer is out of luck.

    I have never been so frustrated at a company in my life. This has gone beyond a defective product to an outright global scam.

  7. I also have a Brother MFC-420cn, and luckily I somehow managed to break my ink monitors. I powered the machine off, and replaced the cartridges when the stupid thing said my cartridges ink was low, when they were not, and powered the dumb thing back on and it didn't even realize that I had replaced the cartridges. At first, I thought that this was a major annoyance, but now it has been a blessing in disguise because now I can only fill it up with black ink and can still print just fine even with empty cartridges. I can also fax with one of the cartridges being empty and use aftermarket cartridges and not "scam you" Brother cartridges. I had to print something really quick and didn't have time to order any cheaper cartridges, or run to Wal-Mart. It cost d@mn near $80 bucks for Brother cartridges.

    Knock on wood, I haven't seen the dumb error 41 error yet, but I have ran across the retarded TWAIN message when trying to use the scanner on Windows XP. Nothing I tried fixed it, except uninstalling everything from Windows XP related to brother and cleaning up my Registry with the muckery it made of it.

    I see the massive amount of complaints on this trash they call a printer, I would be more than willing to participate in a class action suit. I will call Brother Technical Support so that I can have a valid case.

  8. I have the MFC-240c. I owned mine for 8+ months but 2 months ago I disconnected the AC plug because I happened to hear the printer do head cleaning while OFF! I had previous printed 5 pages only using the copy function. I have a good printer i use for day-to-day printing and save something like this Brother printer for special copying or printing.
    However, once I heard it do this cleaning while OFF, I disconnected it to make it stop then reconnected it and turned it on ONLY to find out all inks were LOW.
    So after printing only 5 pages the ink is gone. This is a scam by poor design or maybe intentional design. Brother emailed me a response explaining the need to keep the head clean nonsense etc... So this is equivalent to your car running on it's own while garaged to keep the injectors clean and then forcing you to buy their gas.

  9. Buy 4 PC-21C color cartridges and get the 5th one FREE. The PC-21C color ink tank replaces the Canon BCI-21C color ink tank.
    HP Ink Cartridges

  10. I would be interested in a class action lawsuit. I cannot believe the things that companies are doing to drag money out of people these days, and I guess they are "legal". In the short time I have owned this printer, I have used it very little (printed about 100 black and white pages, no color) and have already had to replace all of them and have spent about as much in ink as the printer itself. Anyway, you can override your printer when it won't let you print, even though it is a black and white page and the yellow is "out", but you have never printed in color, and you can still see plenty of yellow ink in the cartridge. Just place opaque tape (or color in the area with black marker) over the clear plastic where you can see the ink reservoir. A sensor measures the amount of light that can get through this area. It's fixed. You can print many more pages. I have never tried to refill the cartridges. I have a MFC 490. This override will work, but I would just recommend not buying a brother printer and telling everyone that you know that they should not buy one either.

  11. outright global scam
    my dcp-150c does it too, as i can say i will never buy brother a gain ....

  12. I have a Brothers MCF-490cw. I have went through 2 sets of cartridges and have print maybe 5 sheets of paper in color ink. The cleaning process drained the cartridges. I HAVE FOUND A WAY TO FIX THE PROBLEM!! If you put a little piece of electrical black tape at on the cartridge that is "empty" the printer will read it has full. There is a window on the cartridge where light beams through where the printer reads if the cartridge has ink, and when you place the little black tape over it, it will read as full. I have done this with all of my cartridges that read empty...and I am still able to print full color!! There is plenty of ink left when the printer claims it is empty. As far as the Cleaning Process goes,I have read that you have to print something at least every 12 hours to prevent it from cleaning. This will use far less ink than the actuall cleaning process. Hope this helps!

  13. This is also going on with the Brother MFC8460 series all in one, wcich is just a black and white printer. The cartridge has a self winding mechonism that tells the printer you are out of ink after a certain # of pages, however after some investigation I have found that resetting this geared mechanism has shown to yield 1500 or so more pages, WTF, this is a huge shakedown.

  14. Same here. Brother Printers suck. I have a full black tank and cant print my kids project because cyan is empty - even though I never print in color. I smell something fishy.

  15. I made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing a brother mfc490-cw all in one printer. The first time I tried replacing the ink cartridges (genuine brother) I get message saying "cannot detect cartridge" after removing and reinstalling them I now get message saying "insufficent ink to maintain print quality" These printers are garbage, I am surprised Amazon gave so many good reviews on them. I've tried returning it, but naturally it's just out of warranty so no luck. Tech support with brother is a waste of time, no help there either. I tried the tape trick and it still says "cannot detect cartridge". Count me in for a lawsuit, the mental anguish and anger and hours spent messing with this piece of sh*t have been terrible. Does anyone know how to replace this junk sensor? Or should I do what I feel like doing and throw it in the dumpster? My name is Bill Parker and my email is if anyone has any ideas. Someone please let me know if theres a lawsuit to..I'm in! Thanks for reading my post. Bill