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HP Businesses Printer

HP Printers Have A Pre-Programmed Failure Date For Non-HP Ink Cartridges ( 387

An anonymous reader quotes some harsh allegations from Thousands of HP printers around the world started to show error messages on the same day, the 13th of September... HP printers with non-HP cartridges started to show the error message, "One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace them with new cartridges"... When [Dutch online retailer 123ink] emailed their customers asking them if they wanted to check if their printer also had issues, they received replies from more than 1,000 customers confirming the issue...

Consumers who complained to HP were told the error was caused by using non-HP cartridges. A day later HP withdrew that statement and explained the issues were a side effect of a firmware update, [but] printers without any internet access started to reject non-HP cartridges. Therefore it's very unlikely that a firmware update caused the issues and the only other logical explanation is that HP programmed a date in its firmware on which non-HP cartridges would no longer be accepted.

"Printer worked fine for nine months," complains one of many angry users on HP's web site. "Then on 9/13 HP uploaded without my permission a firmware update that caused a message 'damaged cartridge' for all my cartridges and then it refused to print."
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HP Printers Have A Pre-Programmed Failure Date For Non-HP Ink Cartridges

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  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @09:37PM (#52909409) Journal

    Is there a printer vendor that doesn't play games with the consumables?

    • by slazzy ( 864185 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @09:42PM (#52909431) Homepage Journal
      Thanks HP, now I know to never buy your products agaim.
      • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @10:13PM (#52909565)
        I used HP printers for years starting with a LaserJet II. From about 2000 on, they were nothing but trouble, constant cartridge errors, clogs, etc. With both OEM and non-OEM ink. One with a scanner had the scanner self-destruct after about 20 page scans.

        About 5 years ago, I bought a canon. It's been through about 150 non-OEM cartridges. It's sat idle for a month and it's printed 200 photos in a day. And it works like a dream every time.

        This isn't really a plug for Canon, but HP is just so unbelievably bad. Nobody should buy their printers.
        • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:03PM (#52909725)
          Well,Canon's been doing it forever. They made the engine for both the original Apple LaserWriter and HP LaserJet.

          You might want to also check out Brother, who offer a lot of value these days with no DRM (at least in my experience).
          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:22PM (#52909785)

            The last brother printer I bought wouldn't work out of box with windows so I tried installing the driver on the included CD. Ended up installing a "helper utility" that started showing pop ups from the system tray offer me "deals" on consumables etc. I was gobsmacked. I paid them money for their hardware and they turned around and installed adware on my PC.
            After deleting it I phoned and complained but the rep was unapologetic and argued that it was completely my choice to install the software.
            I've never bought another Brother product, because fuck them.

          • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @11:26AM (#52911911)
            I have a Brother laser printer. It really is a fantastic printer, and it was quite cheap to buy. But it has a fuser assembly that's good for about 10-15,000 pages and will cost about twice as much to replace as I paid for the whole printer. I wasn't aware of that when I bought the printer and it means the printer is going to have a very short life before becoming landfill. I really hate Brother for playing that game.
          • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @12:22PM (#52912107)
            Canon also came up with an optical remaining ink-sensing system for their inkjet printers, meaning their ink cartridges are transparent [] so you can actually see how much ink they contain and how much is left. None of this BS of selling you a huge black plastic cube which is only 1/4 full.
        • I use an HP LJ 4L (circa 1991) that I've had since it was new.
          It just keeps going printing like it was new. I use recycled cartridges ($10) about once a year.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2016 @12:04AM (#52909979)

          It isn't that HP are bad printers here, it's that HP are trying to deceive their users into thinking the OEM cartridges are defective. And the timing reveals that its a trick in their software not a true fault.

          i.e. pre planned attempt to deceive consumers about the quality of third party cartridges.

          At this point the cartridge makers should sue (tortuous interference in business), and the authorities should look at this in terms of the Dieselgate scandal, since its an attempt to deceive consumers.

        • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @04:01AM (#52910785)
          This *IS* a plug for HP. Everyone should buy their printers...

          Just not their *INKJET* Printers.

          Buy a laserjet 4000 series, or maybe even find an old used Laserjet 4 or Laserjet 5. The laserjet 8000/8100 series are built like TANKS. I have seen dozens of those printers with MILLIONS of pages printed, and they are still going. They are repairable, Use PCL language that is supported by EVERY operating system, and even support both US and European paper sizes. You could by a new HP inkjet printer every 2 years for $150 (plus countless ink cartridges), or ONE HP Laserjet for 30+ years.
          • The laserjet 8000/8100 series are built like TANKS.

            So they're slow, bulky, high maintenance, require multiple well trained people to operate them and are too big to simply throw away when they don't work anymore?

        • by idji ( 984038 )
          I fill my old Canon deskjet printer with bottles of ink and a syringe simply through the ink pad at the bottom of the cartridge. Then i zap the chip with a resetter.
          I took the printer on a plane for 12 hours, and then never got around to using it for 18 months! I then took it back home 12 hours on the plane, plugged it in and it worked perfectly.
      • by DahGhostfacedFiddlah ( 470393 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:31PM (#52909821)

        HP's been a zombie company running on inertia for a long time now. There's no quality behind their products, they're just a brand stamped on crap.

        I haven't considered buying HP in over a decade.

        • by Pax681 ( 1002592 )

          HP's been a zombie company running on inertia for a long time now. There's no quality behind their products, they're just a brand stamped on crap.

          I haven't considered buying HP in over a decade.

          In Scottish Service Engineering circles we always joked with our new apprentices that when you look at your HP Certification badge.. you'll noticed that there's a sticker on it, and if you peel that, the HP logo comes off and either a canon or ricoh logo was underneath.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Sunday September 18, 2016 @02:57AM (#52910597) Homepage Journal

        Sounds like HP owes them a fix or a new printer anyway. EU warranty is s mandatory two years. Can't be broken by third party cartridges unless those carts actually damage the printer. If firmware bricked it, the shop that sold it must either prove it was the customer's fault, fix it, replace it or refund it.

        If HP doesn't relent, retailers are going to pay the price.

        • Sounds like HP owes them a fix or a new printer anyway. EU warranty is s mandatory two years. Can't be broken by third party cartridges unless those carts actually damage the printer. If firmware bricked it, the shop that sold it must either prove it was the customer's fault, fix it, replace it or refund it.

          Not quite. HP doesn't owe anything, the seller does. For six month, the seller has to fix the problem unless they can show it's the customer's fault, after that the customr has to show the defect was present when the printer was sold. Which shouldn't be a problem if thousands of printers start failing on the same day. And importantly, this is _consumer law_. It applies to printers bought by consumers, not printers bought by companies. (And I'm sure that there are contracts between HP and dealers where HP pr

    • by xlsior ( 524145 )
      Is there a printer vendor that doesn't play games with the consumables?

      Look for the one that charges six times as much for the printer itself?
      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        So Konica Minolta, then. :-D

        But seriously, I like my KM color laser printer, and I like my old Brother black-and-white laser. I'd pick either of them or Canon over anybody else any day of the week (not counting the inkjet printers from any of these companies; inkjets suck).

    • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @09:49PM (#52909459) Homepage

      Best bet is to get a laser printer. Inkjets are basically designed to have high consumable costs. If you don't print often enough, the ink will dry out. If you print a lot, the ink costs will be high. I got a cheap laser printer about 5 years back and it has served me well. I've only had to get 1 toner cartridge after the original that came with it. It's a Samsung. Of course, their printer division is getting bought out by HP []. At work we use Brother printers and they seem to be very reliable. The cartridges are reasonably priced for the number of pages they print. You can use third party toner, but we don't because the price difference isn't that much.

      • I'll second this solution. Good color laser printers are available at a reasonable price now. I print seldom, but when I do, I want good clean copy. I was always faced with dried ink on my inkjets. Finally got a cheap color laser, a Ricoh, and have been much happier with my general printing solution.
      • Thirded. I've owned three inkjets over the years and they were a constant source of frustration. I bought a color laser printer and it Just Works every time. If you can afford the initial cost, you'll save money in just a few years. More importantly, printing is no longer a thing I dread.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        Yes.... How did people not get that particular memo? I've been using only Laser printers with single-color Black toner for the past 16 years.

        They have the lowest cost per page, and also the lowest maintenance costs for infrequently used equipment.

        These days there's very little that really needs to be printed....

    • Funny brother, the company that wouldn't scan when a cart was low not playing games.

    • I'm so cheesed off with HP (and other makes that want to lock you in to buying genuine replacement cartridges) that I'm switching to an Epson L655 'ink tank' printer. The purchase cost is high, but the economy (and convenience) of ink tanks more than offset this for me.

      • I don't know about the EcoTank, but Epson PhotoSmart printers (at least at one time) had a self-destruct counter that caused them to print terrible after so many prints. For a short while, there was a reset that "fixed" the printing issue, but Epson put a stop to that.

        I won't buy Epson, having seen this first hand, and honestly, I've given up on inkjets entirely. Color Lasers are cheap enough these days.

    • by Memophage ( 88273 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @09:56PM (#52909495)

      Epson makes an EcoTank printer which supposedly just has a "tank" of ink that you refill *gasp* from a bottle. They charge you more for the printer because they're not recouping costs by jacking you on ink, but once you buy it you can put in whatever ink you want.

      • My dad has one of those and its great. That ink lasts forever. He has it for couple of years now and he only added ink (which is cheap) recently. And he prints in color fairly often so I was actually very surprised when he told me that he only just now both new ink bottles.

        It prints as well as on the first day so I cannot recommend this line of printers enough.


      • by Mark4ST ( 249650 )
        I use a non-EcoTank Epson, but I have added on a 3rd party Continuous Ink System. It consists of four ink tanks outside of the printer (which you refill with 3rd party ink, cheap), with surgical tubing running to fake ink tanks inside the printer. The fake ink tanks have a little chip with a sneaky-beaky reset button on it, which scrambles the serial number of the ink tanks. This works so well, and is so cheap that I don't take into account ink costs anymore. Cheaper than my laser per page, but I can pr
    • My Brother laserjet (HL-L2360D) has a "setting" which will override the "cartridge is empty" message. That is to say, it will warn that the cartridge is empty, but it will keep printing forever. That is good, as shaking the cartridge and keeping an eye on it gives a few extra weeks worth of printing. It is not an obvious setting, but it is there!! Of course, a day will come when the printing starts to get light, and then of course, need to change the cartridge. But I am happy to take responsibility for a fe
      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        I went for almost a year on a Brother with the shake and print method. I had a replacement under the desk the whole time.
    • I have a Lexmark T522 [] that I got for free when a company moved and didn't want it shipped. After the toner ran out, I bought a 20,000 page cartridge through Office Depot for $150. It's worked for the last 3 years with no issues other than on cold mornings (takes a while for the fuser to reach proper temp).

    • Watch out if you have a Samsung printer - HP is buying Samsung's Printer Business for $1 Billion []

      A future driver update will probably screw you.

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        A) why are you updating a printer that's working? B) at $50, why do you care what they're doing on ink?
    • Is there a printer vendor that doesn't play games with the consumables?

      Is there anybody who makes significant use of hardcopies anymore? I used to have a cheap ass colour laser printer but it broke down and I haven't bought a new one. Whenever rarely I print something I do it at work. The last time I printed something it was a painting template for a crafts project I've been working on. I've spent most of my time converting hardcopies (a.k.a. my paper book library) to digital format so I can store them on my various gadgets. At the last count I had digitised about 20 Kg worth

    • Brother. Had our Brother printer for a couple years now and it never says a word about ink carts no matter whether they are generics or Brother. Crazy cheap on the ink as well, IIRC we paid a grand total of $12 on Amazon for 6 complete sets of CMYK with $4 to ship, that much will easily last us for months so if this printer buys the farm? I'll get another Brother.
    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      Is there a printer vendor that doesn't play games with the consumables?

      My Canon AirPrint cheap-o laser has done fine for over a year. I see the toner level on my print dialogs, so no surprises.

    • I have a brother HL2170W that's been our household workhorse printer for over eight years now. Had an issue exactly once, when a small foam pad in the inner works started to get sticky, causing paper jams. A quick youtube search showed me how to repair it. Other than that it's been working great. All the previous printers we owned, from HP & Epson, barely lasted two years. I learned my lesson long ago, and I will *never* again buy an HP product.
      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        I recently upgraded my Samsung ML-1710 to a Brother HL-2270DW.

        No complaints with either one.

    • by swalve ( 1980968 )
      Lexmark. They say what they will do with consumables and then they do it. When my printer says the cartridges are empty, they are pretty damn close to empty. It also prints nice. I like them because they don't even bother to sell retail anymore. They are for people who actually give a shit.

      Fuck HP and the carcass of a company Carly Fiorina turned it into.
    • I have a five year old MFC-9970CDW (SOHO) laser printer that has thrown an error message saying that the life of the drum unit has been used up for the past three years. Now it says that the paper drive unit has exceeded it's life and needs to be replaced. The printer continues to work perfectly.

      Along with this, I've found that when you get a warning saying that a toner cartridge is low and needs to be replaced immediately, it has about 20% of it's life left. It took me a very expensive cartridge or two

  • If a printer doesn't have Internet access, how would it know the date? Do printers have battery powered RTCs? ...and, yes, it's been a long time since I bought a printer.

    • The driver running on the PC surely tells the printer the date.

    • Printer's got to be connected somehow, in order to print. Either it's connected via ethernet (all the wifi printers), in which case ... internet access, or it's USB-only, in which case the driver could tell it regularly (or at least each time you print) current date and time.
    • I lot of printers have you set the date and time as part if their initialization routine when first installed. Especially if they have a fax function. I don't know if they compare that date to any local computer or internet server.

  • For years now... (Score:5, Informative)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @09:58PM (#52909503)
    HP has played shenanigans with firmware. I once had an early 2000s HP Photosmart. It printed well, had an optional duplexing unit and an SD card slot. Pretty advanced for its time. A couple years later, someone sent me a malfunctioning HP Office jet to look at. Different color plastic, no SD card reader or LCD screen, however the frame, head and paper transport mechanisms and duplxing unit were identical. I repaired this printer (just needed the head parking area cleaned) and ran print comparisons. The Photosmart blew it away in quality.

    If you know printers, HP printers have the nozzles in the ink carts. Nozzles are the primary factor that determines DPI. This means that the Officejet's driver or firmware nerfed it to a lower DPI for no reason other than that it was a lower cost printer.

    This was when I stopped buying or recommending HP..

    When it comes to 3rd party ink, I can understand a manufacturer that has a separate print head being sensitive to the quality and source of ink. However HP printers have the nozzles/head in the ink cartridge. The nozzles are also extremely low voltage, so the chance of damage to the printer from 3rd party ink is very low. As we all know this is a money grab, as the consumables are where the money is in printing. Margins on the hardware have been driven to nothing or less.

    • Are you sure it was the firmware and not the stepper motor that controls the paper forward feed and horizontal alignment of the heads?
      I would think that the electronics that control stepper motors are the same, the mounting parts the same etc. but what would make the difference between a good and a great printer would be the manufacturing tolerances and tolerances within the stepper itself.

    • I think all printers are purposely designed to fail these days. I have an Epson that I use once or twice a year. I can't recall the last time I tried to use it and didn't spend an hour trying to clean the print heads only to order a new cartridge. It's not worth owning a printer if you are just a casual user. I spend like $30 a year to print 5 pages every 6 months. It's much cheaper to just take your print job to a store.

      • by swalve ( 1980968 )
        My last HP printer had a 157 pagecount and was on its thrid set of cartridges. I tossed it in the dumpster and bought a lexmark color laser, and it's tremendous.
      • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @12:20AM (#52910077) Homepage

        That's the nature of inkjets. They dry out. Just print something small every couple of weeks or buy a laser. Unless you want your printed pages to smudge, you want the ink to be able to dry out. There's no easy way around it. It's the ink prices that are the only problem with this.

  • Inkjet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @10:25PM (#52909611)

    I gave up on inkjet printers last century

    • Seriously, stop purchasing inkjet crap. For business work, buy a color laser printer. The tone doesn't dry, and last much longer than inkjet cartridges. The printer itself is more expensive (twice), but all in all - quality, reliability, toner and printer lifespan, speed - the laser printer wins by a large margin. For home pictures, go to a photo shop.
      • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

        I haven't yet found a laser printer that will print on CDs/DVDs. And yes, I do a reasonable volume of disc printing - small-scale video production mostly, with some private audio CDs. Just not enough for a commercial run.

        That's "private", not "pirate".

  • I hope they have a firmware update soon before Monday morning. A lot of printers are gonna be broken in a lot of places. There's a lot of places that use HP printers and there's a lot of places that use "Non-Genuine" cartridges to save costs.
  • You know the routine, check the license. Chances are you signed over the house.

  • by Nunya666 ( 4446709 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @10:53PM (#52909691)
    I filed the following complaint with the BBB over 5 years ago.

    I bought a new HP office-quality printer from Sam's Club. When the ink ran out, I replaced it with used cartridges from Rapid Refill. The printer recognizes that non-HP ink has been installed, and refuses to print. If I replace the new cartridges with the almost-empty HP cartridges, it prints fine. I Googled the problem, and found that a "fix" is to open and close the ink access door. Every time I print a document, I have to open and close the ink access door. Even if I'm standing at the printer to copy or fax a document, I have to open and close the ink access door before it will process the request.

    Last week, I ordered refillable ink cartridges from an Internet store. When those cartridges are installed, the printer refuses to print at all, even with the ink access door trick. It complains that the ink cartridges are "empty or missing."

    HP now puts a small computer chip on every ink cartridge. That chip allows the printer to recognize non-HP ink cartridges.

    This behavior is as unscrupulous as blackmail. "You must buy our overly-priced ink, or we will brick your $170 printer!"

    HP's response was to send me a free ink cartridge. That satisfied the BBB, and they closed the case.

    I haven't bought another HP product since, and encourage others to do the same.

    • The key here is "$170 printer". This is not the cost of the unit; it's right at or below. The reason is because printer manufacturers have gotten used to being able to pick customers pockets once the purchase of the unit is made, counting on the consumer to have "Sunk cost fallacy".

      That being said, I have advocated for simply throwing out HP equipment in my employment. I won't go into details (NDA and I don't want my opinion getting me sued) but I won't purchase HP if I have any say in the matter at all.

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:04PM (#52909729)

    I will never tire of telling this story until the day I die, or the neo-millennials go "huh" when you mention BSODs or 404s.

    Back around 2003 (the last time I volunteered to "help" somebody with their Windows system), I was recruited by my sister to help a friend of hers install a printer driver for her new HP printer.

    I thought, "surely this won't be too hard".

    So I went to the right website, downloaded the correct driver, and clicked "install". Whirr, whirr. Time to reboot. Oh, shit, BSOD! Reboot again. BSOD.

    "Oh well, I guess I'll have to uninstall that POS printer driver."

    Boot into safe mode. No problem. Click on HP-provided utility to uninstall broken driver. Dialogue box comes up: "uninstaller can not run in low resolution". Program terminated. I forget the resolution required, but it wasn't available in safe mode. Piss around with the video mode in safe mode for fifteen minutes. No dice.

    Start reading the internet about how to manually uninstall broken HP printer driver. God knows what files I deleted or what scary reg-edits were required, but I eventually got rid of the damn thing. Computer now boots normally again, but the printer still doesn't work.

    I go to the HP support page to file a bug report, through an HP supplied URL. Many, many, many required fields. Gave them a piece of my mind in the comment box. Click submit. Result comes back: "404 not found". This is HP's own support website, as found in ancillary tools packed with the broken driver. It found the form for me to fill out, but couldn't find the server after I finished filling it out. Submission lost.

    HP forever since has resided in my colossal fuck-up bucket. I know people who purchase their expensive HA kit and swear by the organization, but on the consumer side, I can only swear at this organization.

    Despite this, I did buy a networked wide-body inkjet from HP subsequently at a huge discount from a going-out-of-business sale, and it hasn't been terrible, but I only replace the ink when I know I'm doing a lot of printing for a few months.

    I don't know any company that's fallen further or faster in consumer esteem (once upon a time, a time I still recall, HP calculators represented the pinnacle of consumer esteem) except perhaps for the Hudson's Bay Company, but to comprehend that story you have to know what it once owned: a list of assets many nation states would envy. They spun off oil companies, railroads, real estate. What did they keep? Zellers.

    I keep telling my wife that the insurance business has the rare business model of litigating its own customers (just try to collect ...)

    But just now I realize that the ink jet market is not so far behind as all that.

    • I don't know any company that's fallen further or faster in consumer esteem (once upon a time, a time I still recall, HP calculators represented the pinnacle of consumer esteem) except perhaps for the Hudson's Bay Company, but to comprehend that story you have to know what it once owned: a list of assets many nation states would envy. They spun off oil companies, railroads, real estate. What did they keep? Zellers.

      Two words: Carly Fiorina.

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      HP "support". Customer wanted Windows SBS2011 on his new HP server, so I checked the compatibility matrix on the HP website. All OK.

      Server arrives, drivers disc states "suitable for Windows Server 2008". Hmmmm. I call HP tech support for advice, and they tell me that server model is not supported for SBS2011. Being a suspicious type, I'd saved the URL for the compatibility matrix page, and I read it aloud to the service tech, who proceeded to remain silent for several moments. He then admitted that the situ

    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      I don't know any company that's fallen further or faster in consumer esteem ... except perhaps for the Hudson's Bay Company ...

      Palm, Yahoo, SGI, Sun, SCO....

  • PC LOAD LETTER. WTF is that?

  • HP Printer Issues (Score:3, Informative)

    by WindowsStar ( 4692767 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:15PM (#52909765)
    This kind of bullshit from HP that caused us to move to Dell Printers 5 years ago. We started having service issues with HP where they would refuse to service the printer in warranty, then we started having issues like this were our non-HP ink would fail to work no matter what we did. We have never had any issues with Dell plus they will bend over backwards to fix issues as needed. We have never looked back. On a side note: we have discovered over the last few years that HP computers and laptops are also having issues, break faster than normal, or just don't work well. We are slowly switching to Dell computers and have had no issues. We are beginning to think HP is having some major issues with their company. -WS
    • by pz ( 113803 )

      We are beginning to think HP is having some major issues with their company.

      I believe the issues you are finding would stem from Carly Fiorina. She did a world of bad for HP, a once great company. I used HP equipment starting many decades ago. It used to be that when you bought an HP instrument, it was indestructible. I quipped to a fellow student of mine when in graduate school that if the high-powered HP power supply we had just bought on the used market worked, it would work for ever. And, I was right.

      For equipment from a specific era, it's hard to beat HP.

      But, regrettably,

  • God damn printers (Score:4, Informative)

    by darkitecture ( 627408 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:21PM (#52909781)
    It always seem to be that the most frustrating and/or ridiculous computer stories have something to do with printers.

    One personal experience I will never forget had to do with a Canon multifunctional I purchased. It was a printer/flatbed scanner and was pretty good at both. But one day it simply stopped reading the cartridge. It gave a message that I needed to insert a cartridge even though one was in there. Replaced it with a new cartridge just in case but still wouldn't recognize it.

    I thought to myself "well, the scanner still works very well and it's really fast so at least I can use it as a scanner, right?"

    Wrong. The printer would remain in 'flashing light error' mode and would not allow me to dismiss it in anyway whatsoever, preventing me from ever using it as a scanner. Seemed like a waste of a perfectly good scanner.
  • the coffin
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Saturday September 17, 2016 @11:53PM (#52909939)

    I'm not defending HP on this one, but it's common knowledge that you get what you pay for when it comes to consumer hardware. When it comes to PCs and printers, you really have to step up into the business lines to get something that has a chance of lasting, or doesn't have artificial restrictions like this put in place.

    I've seen HP printers at Best Buy, Costco, etc. for less than $100 in some cases, and certainly the majority are less than $300. At that price point, when you consider how much it costs to market, stock and sell that device, wouldn't you expect tricks like this? Same thing goes for PCs and laptops -- business laptops can still be over $1000 these days, and consumer ones are below $500. But, one comes with a 3 year warranty and a guarantee of a stable hardware configuration, and the other comes with a 90 day warranty and is assembled from the spare parts bin with whatever components they happen to have on hand that day. And it's not just HP -- all the PC manufacturers have a consolidated set of business-level SKUs, plus hundreds of consumer SKUs, all slightly different, to be sold at various levels of retailer (office supply stores, Costco, electronics chains, etc.) In the printer world, you need to buy at least the low end business models to have a chance of them lasting more than a few years. I bought a LaserJet P3015 years back and haven't had any complaints...but the printer retailed for about $900. Buying the office model for home is expensive but it does just work and still has echoes of the old tank-like build quality of LaserJets of yesteryear.

    HP, Lenovo, etc. should all just jettison the crap consumer lines, cede the low end of the market to tablets or Chromebooks, and focus on making high-margin quality hardware for people who still need it. Their bottom lines would be much better off, and people wouldn't have to put up with stuff like this.

  • Another problem with HP- if you run out of yellow (or any single color) you just can't print at all. Even your black only documents will refuse to print.

    But the worst problem is tech support. God help you if you ever need that.

    On the good side, when other brands were struggling with faulty paper handling, HP was flawless. Never a double sheet draw, never a jam, never a missed sheet, even with the duplex unit, even after it got old and full of crud. The sheet fed scanner sometimes struggled with odd sized or

  • I will NEVER spend a cent of my own money on any HP product. And I will recommend to friends and family not to buy HP gear either.

    And if I am ever in a position to make decisions in an office environment (or recommendations to co-workers/bosses/etc) about gear, I will recommend against HP in that situation too.

  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @03:31AM (#52910721)

    An organisation causes an otherwise safely operating piece of machinery to stop operating by means of a sent message. Does that not constitute criminal damage? A few thousand convictions in courts around the world will probably do wonders for their behaviour in future. However it requires someone with imagination to bring the charge!

  • by CAOgdin ( 984672 ) on Sunday September 18, 2016 @11:23AM (#52911897)

    The very popular HP m451 is a Color Laser with a very attractive price, but the cartridges (e.g. the black CE410X) is priced at HP at $103.99 each. I was replacing that, and the three color cartridges about every six months. But, I got suspicious. So, when the messages started showing up on my computer about the toner being low, I decided to ignore them. Then the printer started demanding I press the "OK" button to print because, it claimed, the "Black cartridge is Very Low." After I punched the button, the next message suggests that print quality will be poor, and "could become gray."

    However, I have now printed more than a ream and a half (about 750 pages) with not a single flaw in the quality of black printing without changing the cartridge (yet). It is clearly a scam.

    I think there's a specific intent to delude customers into buying excessively-priced cartridges LONG before they're empty, as a means to increase HP's supplies income at the expense of customers. By charging excessive prices, and rigging their printer software to emit scary messages long before the toner is exhausted, HP is reaping huge income increases. Messrs. Hewlett and Packard are spinning in their graves, because the company has now sunk so low as to scam their customers with specifically designed software to encourage them to throw away still usable toner cartridges.

    If others can share similar stories, this seems ripe for a class-action lawyer to file a legitimate case of fraud against HP for designing the software to try to scare people into buying over-priced cartridges when the existing cartridge is far from empty.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler