I have to say that this is very disappointing to have to report, since we used to be big supporters of Brother printing equipment, and pretty much recommended and installed their printers at most of our clients locations, but Brother crossed a line today, that in our eyes appears to be defrauding consumers.
Even though we used to stand behind their equipment because we used to believe they were better than others on the market, we have to take a stand for our clients, and other consumers who have fallen victim to a malicious design by Brother.
Recently a client notified us that their Brother printer, which was purchased in August of 2012, was having a problem with the new toner cartridge after replacement. The client received a "Replace Toner" message from the unit, and proceeded to replace the cartridge with another, genuine Brother TN-750 toner cartridge. After closing the toner access panel, the printer would warm up, only to stop and display "Replace Toner" once again. As the machine was still under warranty, and in an effort to try to repair our reputation of providing reliable equipment, we contacted Brother to diagnose the issue.
After explaining the issue with the unit to Brother support, the support agent asked us a series of questions, all pertaining to the toner cartridge used. Since we were calling on behalf of the client and didn't have the cartridge in front of us, we were unable to provide Brother the serial number off the cartridge. Their support agent informed us that they could not provide us the necessary 'reset' steps if they did not know which cartridge was being used. We were very confused with this since there are only two possible cartridges that could be used with this unit, and they were unable to provide us with 'reset' steps for both. The agent insisted that there are 'many' possibilities and that we need to be sure first which cartridge is being used in the printer. The agent continued to ensure us that in the meanwhile, he would send us an email containing 'some reset' procedures that we can try before calling back. The email they sent us was a joke. It basically said to 'shake the cartridge side to side' then reinstall the cartridge to see if the message would clear. This 'shake the cartridge reset' step apparently was so complicated that the agent was unable to tell us this process over the phone.
We traveled out to the client and once again called Brother support. Now with the cartridge in hand, we were once again asked to provide the serial number. After the support agent was satisfied that we were using a genuine Brother cartridge, the agent finally walked us through a 'reset' procedure involving entering a code on the printer itself. The agent did specifically warn us that the process she was going to show us, must only be done with genuine Brother cartridges, and that if we do this on a non-genuine cartridge, we could damage the printer.
The process for this model: MFC-8710DW was to insert the toner cartridge, and with the access door still open, press the clear button. This will display "Replace Drum?" on the screen. Then you enter "*, 1, 2." The printer display shows "Accepted." and returns to the normal display. Once the toner cartridge panel was closed, the printer resumed operation.
I asked the agent to provide us an email for our documentation of what steps we took and what procedure was performed. The agent refused and explained that they could not provide any written documenation regarding this matter. I asked them to at least explain to us what we had just done, to which the agent replied, "we just reset the toner page counter."
After some bickering back and fourth with the support agent as to the reason behind all this secrecy and runaround, the agent revealed that it is to combat the rising problems with used toner cartridges.
Once we were done with telling Brother how we felt about this literal waste of time, we vowed to post our experience as well as the procedure online for everyone to see. We also had a revelation that made us realize that Brother is really scamming consumers buying 'genuine' cartridges. If the printer has a toner page counter, which stops the printer from printing and displays "Replace Toner" even though the cartridge could be new, 3/4 full, 1/2 full, or anything more than empty, means that consumers are replacing cartridges that are not really empty. This is called a scam. Most consumers believe that the message "Replace Toner" corresponds to an empty cartridge. These consumers literally are led to believe that the printer simply cannot produce any more prints since there is no toner left to use. In reality, the cartridge has toner and could continue to print. This essentially means that Brother is deceiving consumers.
As of right now, we no longer recommend purchasing any Brother products and would encourage people to purchase toner refills online. Simply use Google to search the cartridge model number you have and add the word 'refill.' Searching on eBay will yield plenty of sellers providing compatible toner.
FYI - You can buy a 'genuine' cartridge once in a while, should the cartridge wear out from too many refills, but don't worry about buying the high capacity cartridges. Simply buy the normal yield and purchase refills online. These refills usually are equivalent to a high yield cartridge, and all normal yield cartridges are really high yield cartridges with less toner.