Advantages Attractive, quiet, very fast
Disadvantages Expensive, unreliable, ridiculous pricing structure for consumables that fail
The Tally 8008 looks stunning. It stands proud in the corner of our ICT Suite offering visitors a tangible sensation of cutting edge reprographics. The best way to admire the machine however is on 'standby' for when you begin to demand of it the Tally 8008 provides a fantastic advert for other printing companies. Fortunately, the Tally came with a five year on site warranty, hence my lead for this review; "Cheaper than online dating …". Our administrator has seen more of the Tally engineer in the last five years than she has of her own husband. Tally field services is stored on the phone's of most of those with the authority to initiate a field call.So, what makes this machine so unreliable? I wish I knew. As a school potentially we do give the machine heavy use but then it is sold as a workgroup printer and consequently we should be permitted to expect the printer to function effectively on a small network. Unfortunately, the Tally 8008 has an array of consumable parts, all hideously expensive, and no means of reliably informing you how long it will be before the next part is required. My solution for this was to buy in a full complement of the most likely consumables to be required. We therefore have an entire cupboard filled with expensive printer consumables and that still only amounts to one of each item. That is, one of each of the four colours of cartridges. At £115 each this amounts to over £450 worth of ink sat on the shelf. Now, put that alongside the purchase cost of the printer and the total cost of ownership begins to look a little jaded. Added to this we also keep in stock a fuser cleaner roller and a bottle of fuser oil. This is an additional fifty pounds worth of consumables so the machine has a steady £500 stock cupboard in order to answer the day to day calls for consumables. Those in the business of managing workgroup printers may well be thinking that this makes for a reasonable management of the resource and nothing that would be out of the ordinary. However … there is more!
The Tally 8008 we own has never arrived at the end of a part life without requiring a field service callout. Example, the drum a hideously overpriced piece of rubber; the standard procedure for this is as follows:
- send a mission critical piece of work to the printer …
- hear a grinding noise and smell burning …
- respond by calling in the field services representative …
- "oooo … nasty … "says he … you're drums melting…
- field service representative calculates how much of the life of the drum has been used and then charges you a proportion of that for the new drum.
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