OKI Data issues consumer warning about clone printers

Several companies in Canada and the United States are altering OKI Data Office Printers and may be misleading consumers to believe that these clone printers are OKI Data Digital Transfer products. These clone printers are not covered by OKI Data’s warranties, are not eligible for OKI Data service, and will not receive firmware or driver updates from OKI Data. Specifically, OKI Data is aware of the following printers that are unauthorized alterations of OKI Data printers:

The OEM added that OKI Data will not supply on-site service, consumables, supplies, spare parts or technical support for these printers. Nor will OKI Data supply the companies that modify these printers with any of the above. Also, OKI Data Americas will not be responsible for these printers or any performance or safety issues that may arise from using one. Many of these companies are using the OKI model C711 and C831 office printers as a base for their products. However, these clone devices have not been properly modified by OKI to utilize “White” toner – nor have they been optimized for the digital transfer process, OKI added.

Moreover, the white toner being supplied with these clone printers is not covered by OKI Data’s Material Safety Data Sheets, and the potential hazards caused by the chemical toner to health, fire, reactivity and the environment. “Since these companies are not ‘partners’ and have no business relationship with us, their consumers do not have access to firmware upgrades and/or drivers, which may potentially shorten the expected life of their purchase,” the OEM added. All printers manufactured by OKI Data are covered with a national on-site warranty. Also, an OKI Data printer has a Model Number identification plate that identifies OKI Data Corporation as the manufacturer, as well as certifications assuring compliance with Safety and Government Agencies.

As all the clone printers identified above have been modified without authorization from OKI Data, none of the agency certifications obtained by OKI Data (such as the FCC certification and Underwriters Laboratory certification) apply to the clone printers. “Consumers who elect to purchase and operate the clone products should be aware of the potential consequences of using a product that hasn’t been certified for U.S. safety standards” OKI said. Additional ways to confirm a clone printer include: Agency/Safety rating label missing, large openings without covers or panels where duplexers/fusers were installed, as well as an Operator panel that’s improperly marked. Consumers or printers who are unsure if they’ve purchased a clone, or are about to purchase one, can verify by contacting Oki Data Americas at procolor@okidata.com.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.