How can HP stop me from using a cheaper printer cartridge?

I bought my usual recycled toner cartridge for my HP LaserJet printer. When I installed it I got a message saying that printing was blocked because it was not an HP cartridge. Turns out, in the past few weeks, HP updated the printer’s firmware (without asking) to stop using non-HP cartridges. This means that I will have to pay an additional 30% for my toner cartridges. What is happening?
PW, Argyll & Bute

I think I can answer that in one word: speculation. This is not how HP describes it. Altruism is the excuse he prefers. He tells me that the practice he calls “dynamic security” is “to improve the overall printing experience for our customers.”

Banning cartridges made by any other manufacturer increases print quality and security protection, he says. He confesses an alternative on his customer support page, where he says: “The purpose of the dynamic security feature is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property.”

Dynamic Security has been introducing cartridge restrictions, unbeknownst to printer owners, during firmware updates since 2016. Users, who have relied on cheaper ink brands for years, are now being forced to ditch them, used or unused, and pay a premium for HP ones. own. The ramifications of this type of protectionism are significant. It’s like disabling an electric toothbrush if a customer doesn’t use Colgate.

It seems to get worse. SAINT from Boothby Pagnall, Lincolnshire, reports that his HP printer suddenly rejects HP cartridges that are considered expired. “I didn’t even realize there was an expiration date on the inks,” she writes. “I’m sure I’m not the only one buying in bulk, only to have them expire before they’re used. One I replaced yesterday was £45.

What’s extraordinary is that HP has recently and quietly expanded the practice months after agreeing to a €1.35 million out-of-court compensation package for customers in four European countries who ran out of money after their cartridges were blocked without notice. .

In 2020, it paid out $1.5 million after US customers filed a class action lawsuit alleging it had abused its security update system to put them at a disadvantage. Also in 2020, the Italian Competition and Markets Authority fined it €10 million for introducing the restrictions without notifying customers.

HP stated that the agreements did not suggest an admission of wrongdoing. far from there Deep on their website is the warning that any printer could stop accepting non-HP cartridges at any time.

Clients are faced with three options. They can dig deep for HP cartridges. Or decline firmware updates that can disable your cartridge pool and risk leaving your printers vulnerable to malware. Or they could switch to another manufacturer.

The UK Markets and Competition Authority tells me that manufacturers must make it clear upfront if a printer is restricted to certain brands and that any claims of incompatibility are not misleading. He declined to confirm if he would be investigating.

And a shout out to those who put service above cost.

There are companies, usually smaller ones, that consider customer satisfaction critical to revenue, so here’s a shout out to those who put service over cost:

The letter about Dorset Cereals’ reaction to someone’s glasses nose pad in a muesli packet really blew us away! Our favorite brand, Pure Delish, in New Zealand, contained segments of fruit so hard we nearly broke some of our teeth. We emailed a complaint and received an apology response the same day. Two days later, half a dozen packages of different cereals arrived, with a note hoping that we would enjoy a better quality product in the future. We hope Dorset Cereals follows the example of their New Zealand colleagues!
C and JH, Auckland, New Zealand

I lost a wrench from a Hilka Tools set and couldn’t find a replacement to buy individually. I contacted the firm and they sent me one free of charge.
United Kingdom, Perth

I ordered a dress from Nancy Mac. It was beautifully made, but it didn’t fit me. She sent me two more to see if they would be a better fit. She also offered to make a dress in the preferred length at no additional cost and the owner phoned to check that she was happy. Returns were free. Rarely have I come across such excellent customer service.
DN, Stroud, Gloucestershire

When one of my 20 year old Velux skylights failed I figured I would have to replace it. The Velux rep said it seemed like a known issue and customer service confirmed the unit had been recalled due to a defect between 1997 and 2002 and they would replace it, along with the other two units, free of charge. The job was completed within six days of my call.
CH, Greater Manchester

Email Include an address and phone number. Shipping and posting are subject to our terms and conditions.

Leave a Comment