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This site started out as an advice site to educate people on how to save money amid all the confusion and scams on the net. What the printer companies are doing amounts to legalized piracy and our goal was to help you keep your own money in your pockets. Eventually visitors urged us to stock the items we recommended and offer them on the site. When we discovered the reusable cartridges, we found a fantastic product difficult to obtain in the US so we had to import them. Our advice site evolved into a family business. Our goal is help you save money while getting great results from your printer.
We consider ourselves more than reasonable in dealing with customers and go the extra mile to make sure no one is disappointed. However, sometimes a few individuals make it difficult for everyone else. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone conducted themselves fairly and we wouldn't need lawyers and contracts to keep people honest? So while we would like to say 100% money-back guarantee, no questions asked, a few people have made it impossible to do this without adding some conditions. They can be summed up in two words: be reasonable.
We have a 60-day window in which to give credit car or paypal refunds, so refund requests must be received within this time frame (though we have at time sent refund checks even after that time period). The time limit for replacement is much more generous. If there is a problem with one or two of our cartridges, we will replace them. If three cartridges, we will refund the purchase price for those cartridges and any unopened ones returned within the window. If a printer uses four or six different cartridges (black and 3-5 colors) and you opened one of each, we will take those back. But don't open more than one of each color and expect a refund.
Why this limit? It is always possible that one or two were defective. This can happen (and has) even with genuine Epson products. But if it is two of the same color, this indicates a problem with the printer itself. What happens is the print head gets clogged and the printer stops producing that color. The customer puts in a new cartridge and it still won't print. The customer assumes the cartridge is defective and tries a second. At that point, the customer should realize it is a printer problem. Even if the customer believes it to be a cartridge problem, if two don't work, there is no point in continuing to open the rest. Return them for a refund. But we did have at least one person order a dozen black cartridges, then (without contacting us) return them all opened and empty six months later, claiming they were all defective. We did not refund in that situation. Another customer received 12 black cartridges on a hot day in a southern state. Exposure to heat creates pressure within the cartridge. (So does exposure to extreme cold.) He then emailed to say all 12 cartridges spewed ink when he removed the yellow tape and he wanted a refund. Had he called or emailed after opening the first one or two, we could have told him to put them in a refrigerator and let them cool off before opening. (And had it been a cold day, we would have recommended letting them warm up.) But if the first one spewed and then the second, why continue to open all 12? We have to protect ourselves from geniuses like that. Incidentally, we did send another 6 free and that person is still a loyal customer. But we went beyond our warranty and are not obligated to do so.
It does not take months to decide an entire order is defective. The customer tries one and it doesn't work, tries a second and has the same issue and at that point should contact us. Naturally we don't expect a customer to test an entire order within two months. So if they bought a quantity and a few months later find that one didn't work properly, we will replace it or add extra to their next order. But to request a refund, it must be done within the window. The excuse "I know I bought these 6 months ago but I just got around to using them" doesn't cut it. What's to stop anyone from buying anything - a MP3 player, computer, car, etc and saying they didn't use it until after the warranty expired? The warranty begins from date of purchase, not the date they decide to use it.
We have made exchanges a year after the purchase date when there was good reason. For example, customers bought a quantity of cartridges and then had to buy a new printer which couldn't take the old cartridges. We almost always take back sealed cartridges. But we don't want to be obligated to do so, hence the limitations in the warranty.
If you experience a problem, email or call first. Often we can resolve the problem over the phone. We get very few cartridges back and most of those work just fine in our printers. If we can't solve it, the next step would be to replace or refund. We may require that you send the product back to us. We do not send prepaid potage labels or reimburse your shipping. If this is for replacement, we will add extra to cover your costs. (We also put extra cartridges in most of our Epson, Canon and Brother orders.) This is what you accept when placing your order online. If you buy an item from a store and it doesn't work, it must be returned to the store. You can't call them up and expect to get your money back. If you expect a refund without returning the merchandise, shop elsewhere.
When returning opened ink cartridges, you must be careful to seal them against leaks. If they leak, the Post Office will dispose of them without delivery. Tape the bottom of the cartridge where the printer punctured it and the top where you removed the yellow tape. Place them in a baggie. Do not put closed cartridges in the same baggie. Return them to:
2412 Oceancrest Blvd
Far Rockaway, NY 11691
We supply schools, professional printers and corporations. We do almost no advertising. Most of our customers come to us by referral from other customers. We must be doing something right (and our cartridges must be working properly) to achieve this track record. As long as your expectations are reasonable, we will be more than reasonable.
Our warranty only covers the cartridges bought from us and for up to the amount paid us. We do not cover any other expenses. If someone waited until the day an important job was due and discovered a cartridge didn't work and had to run out and pay a lot more somewhere else, they can't expect us to refund the amount they paid for the other cartridge. We had one customer say since a cartridge didn't work and she couldn't find another one, she bought a whole new printer and expected us to pay for it. Sorry, but that's not the way it works. Another customer complained that his 4-year old printer stopped working a year and a half after putting in our cartridges so it had to be the fault of our cartridges and therefore he expected us to buy him a new printer. I hope anyone reading this understands why this is not a reasonable expectation. If not, please shop elsewhere.
Don't wait until you're down to your last cartridge on the last day you have to complete a critical job. At about $3 a cartridge, there is no reason not to have a backup. Someone's failure to spend an extra $3 does not impose an obligation on us. An entire set of our cartridges cost less than a single Epson cartridge. Instead of spending $60-$100 for one set of Epsons, spend $20 to $40 for two to three sets of ours. With our special bonuses for buying backup sets, there is no excuse not to be prepared.
We do not offer lifetime free replacements. Cartridges do not contain any moving parts. There is no particular reason a reusable or refillable cartridge can't last for years. We have a set going on four years. However, electronic chips can be damaged by stray voltage, liquid, or being touched by sweaty fingers. So don't count on your cartridge lasting forever. We typically replace it free within a few months of purchase or we add an extra in your next order. But we did have a professional print shop with multiple printers buy a single set of refillable cartridges and move it from printer to printer. Naturally doing this caused the ink to be used very quickly. Every time time cartridges are inserted in a printer, they go through a charging process which uses a good deal of ink. This print shop kept calling to complain the ink was being used too quickly. In four months we had sent five replacements for the four cartridges they bought. In all that time, despite our reminders, they didn't take the obvious step of buying a set for each printer. Expecting unlimited lifetime replacements of a $4 item is not reasonable. Epson won't do it and their cartridges cost five times more and give one-third the ink. Incidentally, when we stopped replacing the cartridges, this print shop bought several sets and has had no problems since. They still buy their ink from us and gave us a glowing recommendation. See our customer testimonials on the upper left. We also had customers call every few months to ask for a replacement for a different cartridge - all without placing any new orders. They were basically using our warranty to get free replacements every time they ran out of ink. Over a year they had received a complete new set, cartridge by cartridge. With some people abusing our warranty we can no longer afford to be that generous. So if you make your purchase expecting our basic warranty and you experience some issue, you will receive service which exceeds any reasonable expectations.
About ten years ago, shortly after I opened a $195 account with Charge.com, I came across a "no application fee" account with Aaacess.com, also called First Alliance. After speaking with Aaaccess at length both on the phone and via email, I was led to believe that they did offer such an account. Charge.com has a price guarantee in which they claim they will refund the difference if you find a cheaper account. I contacted them about Aaacess. Charge.com refused to believe that such an account was possible and would not refund my application fee unless I closed the account. So I closed my Charge.com account, received a full refund, and opened one with aaacess.com. I should have suspected something when there was a $49 gateway fee that had never been mentioned. Still, $49 was better than $195, so I opened the account.
The account was opened within a week and functioned exactly as I expected it to - with one exception. Providers of merchant accounts always tell their account holders to have a liberal return policy. What they don't tell them is that the providers keep the fees, even on immediate refunds. When someone ordered a $200 item and then changed their mind, the $6 I was charged to put through the transaction was not refunded. This is fairly standard in the industry. Most merchant accounts will not refund charges. (Score one point for Paypal and Google checkout.)
I have been offering my customers discounts for using payment methods which don't cost me money. Six months after opening my merchant account, I found that most of my customers were using other means in order to save money. A traditional merchant account charges a monthly minimum of $25. This means that you will pay a minimum of $25 a month in fees even if you never process a transaction. This is in addition to any gateway fee and statement fee, which at the time were $10 a month for each. I was not processing enough credit card transactions to warrant paying $45 a month. Then I found two companies offering no-minimum merchant accounts. I decided that I would rather pay 3.5% with no minimums, gateway, or statement fees. That's when Aaacess hit me with a $250 cancelation charge. This charge had never been mentioned in all of our conversations nor was it in any of their documents. I called them, emailed them, and faxed them to send me a copy of any document I had signed mentioning this charge. They never responded, other than to withdraw this amount from my bank account. When I finally got them on the phone, they referred me to another number which had been disconnected. They did not answer subsequent calls. I was able to get my $250 back by going to my bank and reversing the charge.
When you open a merchant account, you get the ability to charge Visa, Mastercard and Discover. You have to apply for American Express separately. A lot of business people use American Express. However their rates are higher - over 4%. We no longer accept it except through Paypal. (According to some financial mavens, if Amex doesn't wake up and become more competitive they may be headed for the same fate as Bear-Stearns.)
I opened an account with United Bankcard because they offered me a flat rate with no additional fees. Every month they tacked on extra charges. When I called them to question these, they would apologize and issue a credit only to do it again the following month. After several months they told me they could no longer offer this account and forced me to close it.
At the end of the first month I was charged the equivalent of 5.5%. When I called to question it I was informed that the 1.99% only applied to what was called "qualified transactions." If a corporate card was used, I would be charged double and if a Canadian card was used, I would be charged even more. There were also additional fees for validating the address and CVV number and a 35-cent per batch fee. Each evening all charges made that day are transmitted to the processor in a batch, so I would be paying an extra 35 cents per day, which added another $10 a month. All of this was explained in paragraph 9 of the small print. There was also a second $79 annual fee which my friendly rep had failed to cross out. Even though the contract clearly stated a $10 per month gateway fee, I was charged $23.90. I was told that this was the quarterly charge of $30 which had been reduced since the account was opened in middle of the month.
I called my rep to express my dissatisfaction. He assured me that this was all a mistake and he would see to it that all these extra charges were removed or reduced. Every week I would call or e-mail him and each time he assured me he was working on it. The next month I was charged the same rates and the same fees. On top of that, there was another 23.90 gateway fee. I was now locked in with them for three years unless I paid a $295 cancellation fee.
When I was finished reviewing the terms, I typed out an email detailing all the fees. There were transaction fees of 1.79% plus 15 cents, and a monthly minimum of $25. I added at the bottom, "There are no additional fees other than the ones listed on this page above. There are no annual fees, monthly, gateway fees, statement fees, batch fees or any other charges. XYZ processor will pay the $295 cancelation fee CCS will incur upon terminating their already existing contract. CCS can cancel the contract with XYZ within 60 days with no penalties." I sent this to my rep and told him I would sign his contract if he pasted my email on to his letterhead and returned it to me signed. He did so. I then canceled my contract with Federated/Safepay and signed on with him.
Trouble began within a few days. My contract was activated on September 30. I was immediately charged the $25 minimum for the month of September. On top of that, I was charged a $15.70 monthly gateway fee. I emailed my rep several times complaining that no company charges the full monthly fee for an account which has only been open one day. If I was to open a Netflix account for 9.95 a month on September 30, they would not charge me 9.95 for that one day. And my contract specifically stated no gateway fees. He assured me I would be getting a refund of the $25 and the gateway fee. The next month there was no refund and a gateway fee of over $20. Another series of e-mails were exchanged with more promises. Then they sent me a letter saying I would also be charged $120 for a security check. As for the 1.79% rate I was promised, the fee charged to my bank account is about 4% of my charges. They have now explained to me that cards which give the customer any sort of reward such as points or airlines miles are considered mid-qualified at the 3.69% rate. I cancelled my account with them and only after cancelation did they call to apologize and offer to refund the overcharges but only if I signed on with them again. They also tried to claim that I would have to pay the $495 cancelation fee. When I pointed out that I had a promise from them in writing on their letterhead that I had 60 days to cancel, they tried to claim it would take a week to cancel the account and that would put me beyond the 60 days. I told them if it took them a week, that was their problem. I had canceled within the trial period and any attempt to extort money from me would be met with a chargeback and complaints to the authorities. Then - ten days after the account was cancelled - they charged me the $120 security check fee though no check had ever been done and I had never agreed to this. In all I was overcharged $188 in a 2-month period.
Recently one of their account managers called and promised to refund the overcharges. The $25 fee charged in September has already been returned. He explained that there was a communication failure between my account rep and the accounting department but I would be getting everything back. I don't understand why it took canceling my account to get their attention, but if they are willing to correct their mistakes they are already a step ahead of the previous company. On December 21st, the balance was credited to my account.
What does it cost to open the account?
What are the monthly fees, statement fees, gateway fees, annual fees, per transaction fees, and batch fees?
Don't let them tell you the lowest rate for "qualified" cards. Ask about non-qualified cards, corporate cards and foreign cards.
Is there any long-term commitment? Are there any closing/cancelation fees?
The cheapest account may turn out to be the most expensive.
He promised that for those I recommend there would be NO application fee, annual fee, monthly fee, batch fee, avs/cvv fee, cancelation fee or PCI DSS fee. The people who signed up at my recommendation told me David is a man of his word and there were no unexpected charges. There would be a statement fee of $10 a month and a gateway fee to authorize.net of $15 for 250 transactions. There may be a one time fee of $89 to authorize.net. Instead of quoting a qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified rate, they use the interchange rate table with about 80 rates in it and said the average rate would be about 2.3% plus 20 cents a transaction. Based on my experience, this is the best deal available. (If you know of a better one, I'd love to hear about it.) If you want to know more, email email@example.com and I will provide the contact information so you can talk to David directly and decide for yourself.