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Ativa Paper Shredder Complaints & Reviews - Quit after 6 months

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Ativa Paper Shredder

Posted:    Marti Ware

Quit after 6 months

Complaint Rating:  92 % with 50 votes
I followed the recommended procedure for oiling the blades but the machine quit working after just 6 months of home use. I bought the machine at Office Depot.

Don't buy Ativa products!
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More Ativa Paper Shredder complaints
Ativa Paper Shredder - Broke after little use!


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 27th of Oct, 2007 by   jack -1 Votes
Ativa products from office depot are great products that have never failed me I disagree with you buy Ativa products!!!
 30th of Mar, 2008 by   Fred Hartwell 0 Votes
Agree with the above comment. We had ours about 8-10 months. It jammed so tight impossible to free it up. This is a piece of junk. DON"T BUY ONE.
 13th of Apr, 2008 by   Mechele 0 Votes
I agree also with out Ativa paper shredder. We have had ours for about 4 months with little use and it quit working! We also bought it at Office Depot.
 22nd of Apr, 2008 by   Joe 0 Votes
My Ativa shredder, also bought at Home Depot, stopped working after about six months. I used it very carefully. Very poorly made product!!
 3rd of May, 2008 by   Owen 0 Votes
My shredder is also on its last legs. Paper shreds get caught in the housing around the shredding blades, mostly because the plastic "guide" for the paper around the blades is defective in its shape - it's wider at the top than at the bottom, and that creates a barrier to the shreds leaving the blade area and falling into the basket. Eventually, the shreds compact in there so tightly that the blades have trouble turning. There are also plastic spacers (between the metal shredding blades) that wear out - they snap onto a rod that's next to the shredding blades, and the snap part wears with time. They can also catch on the blades.

Mine claims to have a 5 year guarantee. Will be taking it back to the store to see if they'll honor it. Right now it makes a horrible grinding noise and the shredding blades barely move. Have had it for about 9 months.
 7th of May, 2008 by   rolie 0 Votes
ATIVA shredder are the worst shredder there is!!! Don't waste you money on any of their products, ..they are unreliable machines not to mention their RUDE so called support staff... they are just horrible as their products... DON"T BUY ATIVA !!!
 12th of May, 2008 by   Gaylen K. Cardwell, St. Peters 0 Votes
My wife bought an Ativa DX180D. It ran fine for a couple of months. Then we noticed a rattle in the motor compartment. Being fairly handy, I opened the compartment and found that a bearing cap on one of the gear wheels had ground through and came off. In addition, the gear axle was now wearing the hole through which it protruded in the mounting bracket into an oblong shape. In an attempt at repairing it, I cleaned all the metal parts and scraped the paint off the mounting bracket and JB Welded the bearing cap back into place. We tried using the machine again a week or so later and it operated for a while and then jammed. I took the motor assembly apart a second time and found my repair didn't hold, the hole in the mounting bracket through which the gear axel protuded was even more eliptical than before which caused the gears to fail to mesh properly (the cause of the jam). However, what was worse, apparently when the motor over loaded in the jam, the circuit card was damaged. I found a capacitor or someother electrical component had lost its metal cap and the material in side was definitely burned.

It appears the mechanical design, especially at the gear bearings, is insufficient to take the loads and they fail causing cascading failures in other parts of the machine.
 19th of May, 2008 by   PhDofnada 0 Votes
I am on my second Ativa DQ121MDn shredder. The first one did shut off after a few months so I went to Office Depot and was told to go through the warranty dept which is in the Southern Hemisphere. After waiting for over two months, I never got my "card" in the mail which would allow me to get another. Finally I got sick and tired of waiting so I called Office Depot main office. They were amazed by the lack of response from the manufacture, so a very nice women sent me a "money card" in the mail. She also told me if I EVER got the manufactures "money card" in the mail, use it on the "house." So I took my shredder back to Home Depot and got another exact shredder ($125.00), purchased the extra warranty. I have had the new one for six months and I am having the same problems with shredder turning off. I oil this shredder every month. I Will NEVER purchase another shredder at Home Depot. When this one finally dies (on its last legs now) I will not go to home depot but will purchase a much better (and costlier) cross cut shredder. Beware of Home Depot's stuff.
 6th of Jun, 2008 by   Nancy 0 Votes
I have used my Ativa paper shredder for over a year and it still works great. I find that if I shred a LOT of paper it can overheat and stop, but that is my overuse of it. When it cools down I am off and running again. Sometimes it jams, but in that case it is because I allowed the papers to bunch up and they were exceeding the "up to 6" sheets limitation. If I had the choice, I would again buy an Ativa. The price is right.
 10th of Jul, 2008 by   Vickie 0 Votes
Our business bought two high end Ativa shredders in teh past year. Both quit working in under six months.
The warranty is no good. They state that they will send you a gift card if the unit breaks within x amount of months. We have been trying to get a gift card for a replacement shredder for 4 months - they have either lost our request, or are out of gift cards.
This company should not be in business - lousy products, lousy customer service. Don't buy their products for your home or business.
 15th of Jul, 2008 by   leftfield101010 0 Votes
I disagree with what many people have said on this thread. Unfortunately, with the majority of shredders (Ativa, or even Fellowes, or Royal, or whoever), the end-user is the fault in the untimely death of the machine. The machines DO NOT accept what it says, unless EVERYTHING you shred is 20 lb paper. Almost ALL of what the average person shreds is considerably heavier paper that, when you attempt to force the maximum sheet count through WILL jam the machine everytime. THIS IS TRUE OF ALL, not just some, SHREDDERS NO MATTER THE MANUFACTURER.

Ativa shredders are manufactured in whole by Royal, a very well respected company in the manufacturing business. Other Ativa products are supplied and manufactured by: Canon, Fellowes, Lexar, Belkin, etc. Ativa is not a company, but a company label. Much like going to your local Kroger and buying store products.
 27th of Jul, 2008 by   Marti Ware 0 Votes
I received a question from Ken yesterday & my reply bounced, so am posting it here for him.

No, I never received a replacement or any kind of credit from either Ativa or Home Depot.

As for the comment directly above, I never put the max number of papers through the shredder as it struggled with just 3 sheets of normal computer paper. I think the Ativa may be made by a reputable company, but that corners are probably cut to cut cost, and that is why these things are crap.

After my Ativa bit the dust, I bought a Fellowes & it runs perfectly.
 9th of Aug, 2008 by   anonymous 0 Votes
I think that it is really unfair to dis the company because of a defective paper shredder! This is what the extended warranties are for! I buy them on everything!
I had an Activa Shredder that was $125 for 7 months with the warranty. When it broke, I called the number and they sent me a gift card in the mail. They never even asked for the old one back! That is what the warranties are good for.

If you guys think the system is such a scam by the way, why don't you take advantage?!
Purchase a new same shredder adn return the old one in the new box with the new receipt. If it is the same shredder, there will be no problem and the same associates won't notice you soming in every 6 months probably.

BUY THE WARRANTIES PEOPLE! Stop saying it's the store's fault. We all have the same problem. It is the fault oF the person who designed the shredder. Take advantage and get the free gift card after using it for 7 months! I do :)
 25th of Aug, 2008 by   Melissa 0 Votes
The Ativa shredder is a piece of junk. I have been diligent in oiling it and it quit working within six months of home use. I have been able to drag it out for another six months, but need to break down and get a new one. I am glad I did a little more research because I was unaware this is an Office Depot Brand. It goes right along with I won't buy their remanufactured print cartridges either because they leak in the printer...
 13th of Oct, 2008 by   Steve Treml 0 Votes
Ativa DQ120D is a piece of junk. It has slowly destroyed itself in less than one year.
 1st of Dec, 2008 by   Diane Davison, Esquire 0 Votes
To Anonymous, an extended warranty is not the answer to a defective product. It only gives you protection and recourse for a longer period of time than the original warranty. However, if multitudes of people are having the same issue with a product during the first 6-12 months of its life cycle then there is an obvious problem with the design and implementation of that product.

If the product does not function as it is described and intended to function then that is called a "defective product, " whether it is during the regular warranty period, during an extended warranty period, or later. The fact is that most of these Ativa shredders, with any amount of basic usage, do not continue to function without blades locking up and paper getting caught. In fact, my shredder doesn't even accept the number of sheets stated without becoming seriously jammed.

Almost all Ativa shredders have a 3 year warranty on the blades. However, the warranty department takes an absolutist and absurdist position on the warranty coverage so as to refute a claim. They stated to me that if I did not lubricate the unit monthly, even when not in use, then the warranty is void. This means that if I owned it for 8 months but never used it and it remained in the box, I should have still lubricated it every month. This is a ludicrous position.

I will never again purchase electronic equipment from Ativa, or Office Depot (since Ativa IS Office Depot).
Thank god that American Express refunded my money regardless of OD's policy since they agreed that Ativa's shredder was defective.
 16th of Feb, 2009 by   hannaeliza 0 Votes
Who did you contact? I bought one which stopped working entirely after just a couple months. I took it to Office Depot and they told me to contact the manufacturer. I looked it up online and it says the manufacturer is in fact Office Depot.

Any help would be great.
Thank you.
 8th of Mar, 2009 by   felix 0 Votes
 19th of Mar, 2009 by   MATT 0 Votes
I bought an Ativa shredder from office depot...after about a year...the switch that turns the machine on when you insert a piece of paper has failed. this part probably cost about 5 cents, and if i could find this part...i would re-solder and repair the unit myself. the problem is...you can't buy the small affordable electronic parts used when the machine was assembled. So...at this point..i can turn the shredder on and make it go in reverse...but the idiots didnt make a manual forward position on the manusal switch. I WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING EVER AGAIN FROM OFFICE DEPOT OR ANY PRODUCT THAT BEARAS THE NAME ATIVE. THESE PEOPLE ARE RIP OFFS AND THE SHREDDER IS MADE OF CHEAP FOREIGN PARTS THAT CANNOT BE REPLACED.
 23rd of Dec, 2009 by   shredfix 0 Votes
Got a used broken Ativa DQ120D shredder. Machine out of warranty. Shredder would work in reverse, but not forward. Investigation inside machine revealed that circuit board seemed broken, maybe around the on and off switch, but Ativa (Office Depot) doesn't sell parts. Even the one small electrical appliance repair shop in town said they probably couldn't get parts. (They had thrown out and replaced a shredder with a similar problem.) Had a thought that maybe I could reverse the polarity and make it work, since it would go into reverse. -Whereas reverse would become forward. Opened machine again and switched black and white wires on electrical motor and it worked! Even CD shredder works! I've read reviews that the bearings aren't built well, so it may not remained fixed for long, but at least we can get some more use out of it for a couple more months! If the switch stops working on your Ativa shredder and it will only go in reverse, this solution might work for you. It's worth a try and fairly easy. Just remove the 8 screws from the bottom (two are covered by stickers), open it up, and switch the wires on the electrical motor. (Picture included here. But you can only see the white wire that was switched. Black wire is on other side of motor.) -Then you just got to worry about the cheap gears going out! When I buy a new shredder, it won't be an Ativa.

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