REVIEW: LaserMonks – caveat emptor

UPDATE 20 April 2011:

I was alerted to the fact that the website of Laser Monks has been down for maintenance for a while.   I sincerely hope they are able to get back on their feet and do a great job in the future!


ORIGINAL POST: Jan 28, 2011

You know that I often will review and promote products made by Catholic religious.  Have I mentioned Mystic Monk Coffee lately?

I have always been pleased with what I have ordered or received from these groups, such as soap made by Domincan nuns.

A while ago I ordered some printer products from LaserMonks, Cistercian Monks who sell recycled and new stuff for computer printers as well as quite a few other things.  A great idea right?  They have been around for a while.

I used them once before.  The cartridge I got for a laser printer was, I believe, the culprit which effectively deep-sixed that printer.  I hadn’t used them since.

Just recently I saw they had a promotion going and decided to give them another shot, since I was in real need of cartridges for my color ink-jet printer.

I ordered stuff on 8 January – 20 days ago.  I received my confirmation.  Everything was paid for.  I didn’t pay for the fastest shipping method, thanks be to God, but…

20 days later I still don’t have the things I bought from LaserMonks.

They should have arrived in just a few days.

I wrote two emails to them.  No response.  I called, twice.  The first time, during business hours, I couldn’t get to a human being.  The second time, I got someone who explained that they were having some problems filling orders, but that I would have my order by Wednesday (two days ago).  Still nothing.

Today I received an email from LaserMonks explaining that their recent growth has created problems for orders and emails.

All I can say is, when it comes to LaserMonks, caveat emptor.

Other people will have, I am sure, positive experiences with LaserMonks.  So far, I have not.  I share this that you may be more aware of what you may be getting into.

If you have anything time sensitive going on, if your business depends on reliable delivery so you can do your own thing, know what you are getting into.  I can’t speak about their own products… since I haven’t received them.

If they can correct their obvious problems, my tune may change…. if I can ever be convinced to try them again.  If they can ever convince me to try them again.

If people want to post their positive experiences with LaserMonks, they should feel free to do so.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Papabile says:

    I have used them and have had a positive experience each time.

    I do not view them as a business, though. To me they are doing what they can to feed themselves and get by so as to further their apostolate. [Okay. But it looks to me like they are doing this very much on a business model. Look around on their site. I hope they can pull this all together. Really. They have obviously grown over the years, so they must be doing something right. I wish I had a better experience to report.]

    I tend to keep a stock of stuff that I replenish when I need to, hence time is not nearly as critical to me.

  2. dans0622 says:

    Sorry you’ve had these problems, Father. I’ve had good experiences with them. In fact, during their recent logistical problems, they mistakenly sent me my order twice, without charging me double. I offered to pay for the extra items or send them back. But, they told me to keep the items as well as my money.

    By the way, how would a cartridge ruin a printer?

  3. Joseph-Mary says:

    I used to use them with good luck. When I was in temporary lodging and used a PO Box, they would not send to me.

    I have ordered the recycled catrridges and two of three would not work. I never was able to get replacement. So I did not order from them for a long time. Recently I tried again and it took about 3 weeks to get my supplies and in the meantime I had to go and purchase an ink cartridge. May not order from them again.

  4. ecclesiae says:

    Perhaps you should pray to Saint William of York for guidance.

  5. erinalicia says:

    I haven’t had great success with them either. The last two cartriges I bought ran out of ink extremely fast, and I don’t use my printer that often. Would love to help them out, but I can get a better product elsewhere. And as I recall, it took three weeks for the items to be shipped. Too bad.

  6. julie f says:

    I have always ordered the recycled cartridges, and while I do find that it takes an age for them to arrive (well, a couple of weeks), they’ve always worked well for me. In general I find that Catholic sites are not as good with shipping as the big business sites, which seems like a fair enough trade off. Most major sites ship within, say, three days, but the Catholic ones often take a week or more to put your box on the slow boat. So thinking ahead and exercising patience is in order.

  7. Gail F says:

    I bought toner from them twice, the recycled kind. In both cases it was only a few bucks less than the brand toner and it didn’t last as long. No shipping problems, though. If you want to buy it to support them, then by all means do so. But I found that it was not as good a buy.

  8. s_schmude says:

    @dans0622 – If you have a leaky cartridge, toner powder gets all over the inside of your printer. Not good.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Maybe this is connected to a vocations crisis. Pray they get more monks

  10. s_schmude says:

    We used to use LaserMonks as our main office supplier at work. We had endless problems with them. When they carried office supplies as well as toner, we found that one of the major reasons for shipping delays was that they used Office Max, Office Depot, or Staples as their wholesaler and then sent the items on to us. We had an order misplaced on their end. We complained, and while we were waiting for it to arrive, we got a box from Office Max that was addressed to a priest we didn’t know. I refused the shipment, assuming it was a misdelivery. What they had done was had their wholesaler (Office Max) drop-ship to us. Even though now they only do ink and toner, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s still how they operate. That would explain the delays.

    It’s tough, because of course you want your money to go to “the cause” – but when you need the things to get on with work and life, it just doesn’t cut it.

  11. mitch_wa says:

    delivery is slow, but otherwise they have been great. I have only ordered ink from them, but it has always worked great

  12. Seattle Slough says:

    I wish I could give the monks a good score, alas, I cannot. I had to return my last order and still the cartridge is of poor quality and useless. I will not use them again.

  13. Will D. says:

    I ordered a LaserJet toner cartridge from them several years ago. It’s working fine to this day (I don’t print much). I remain satisfied with that aspect of the transaction. However, they relentlessly bombard me with email offers, even after trying to unsubscribe. That bugs. [I think that has precedence in the Gospels. It is just that, when you order, it would be good for the stuff to come.] When the time comes to replace this cartridge, I’ll give them a look, but they will not be at the top of my shopping list.

  14. Stephen says:

    Fr. Bernard O.Cist. mentioned that all the companies are trying to make recycled cartridges impossible to use. Perhaps Bro. Stephen O.Cist could shed some light on this.

  15. baymedlevel says:

    I have ordereed from them before. These guys take “per secula seculorum.” It is unfortunate.

  16. What I am getting from this is: if you don’t care when the stuff comes, they aren’t so bad.

    I would rather buy stuff from monks than from, say, Office Max. Are you kidding? Of course!

    But when I buy it and they say it is going to be delivered, and I bought it because I need it,… I just wish it would come.

  17. I look forward to reading more comments with positive experiences.

  18. doughboy says:

    i’d recommend just giving them a donation if you want to support them. they used to make dog biscuits for sale. don’t know if that’s still up & running. stay away from the printer business. just trust me on this.

Comments are closed.