Post Office generic

Hundreds of postmasters across the UK have been left without a working printer, after a rollout of new ink cartridges by the Post Office (PO) caused breakdowns.

Earlier this year, PO distributed new ink cartridges for 26,000 printers in operation across its 11,500 branches, following a trial. However, in recent weeks, subpostmasters reported ink blockages, forcing some to close their branch.

Communication Workers Union‘s subpostmaster branch secretary, Mark Baker, told betterRetailing he contacted his area manager calling on PO to “support those people who have been let down and forced to close their business”.

In response, a PO spokesperson said: “As soon as we were made aware of these issues, we advised postmasters to only use ink from our previous supplier and we are sourcing new printers for those who have been impacted.”

It is understood the printers, manufactured in Japan, are being held up due to global shipping delays. In the meantime, the PO said it is contacting branches that have unused printers, or ones that were broken and not fixed, to see if area managers can collect, repair and return them to those impacted.

Despite claims subpostmasters were being asked to carry out the boxing up themselves, a PO spokesperson said: “The collections were made by PO employees and no decommission work was required by the postmaster.”

When asked when the PO expect this issue to be solved, the spokesperson told betterRetailing: “We are working as hard as possible to find a permanent solution. We expect a delivery of replacement printers in the coming weeks.”

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