HP Accused Of Expiring Ink Cartridges

from the must-use-by... dept

What is it with printer manufacturers and their increasingly sophisticated means of screwing over the customers who buy ink from them? Even going beyond various attempts at using technology to block out competition, printer makers have long been accused of having their printers claim a cartridge is empty when it's still 25% full. However, some consumers are claiming that HP goes a step further, and includes a "must use by" date encoded in the chip in their ink cartridges, meaning that if you don't use the ink by a certain date, no HP printer will let you use it any more. It's not clear if the complaint focuses on the fact that this exists at all, or (more reasonably) that the expiration date isn't given to consumers. HP's defense, of course, will most likely be to point out that older cartridges may clog up, causing damage to the printers. Which may, in fact, be true. However, without telling the buyer that the cartridge expires, they may have opened themselves up to trouble, as many people will assume the cartridges will remain good.

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  1. icon
    Nuke (profile), 25 Jan 2011 @ 3:01pm


    The CP 1700 is getting on a bit now (as is this thread) but mine is still going as it has only light use. Hence I come up against the expiring cartridge problem. One day it was printing OK with 80% full cartridges, the next the printer was dead.

    I tried setting the date back on the PC BIOS as some suggest here. My advice is DONT, at least not with Linux. I knew that the PC would have reset itself anyway as they get their date from the Internet these days, but I tried anyway and Linux freaked out. It reported some file dates were in the future, decided that my file system must be corrupted, and dropped me into command line recovery mode. I restored the true date but I still had to to "repair" the file system with fsck before I could return to normal. I am guessing that a modern version of Windows would react similarly.

    Then I tried the "momentary" battery disconnect with a slip of plastic, and that did not work. Disconnecting it for an hour did however, getting rid of the "Expired Cartridges" message. But my network print server (HP JetDirect 300X) also seemed upset by now, maybe by the date trick, and I had to reset that too. Btw, you won't reach that battery without taking off the left panel unless you have exceptionally thin hands.

    An afternoon wasted, thanks HP, but at least 100 saved.

    Three years ago Mac wrote :-

    We've got too much government as it is; the last thing we need is more. The power to fix this problem lies in the hands of the consumer. If people quit buying HP products, HP will have to change in order to remain competitive. That's how a free market economy works. So, if you you don't like the way HP does business, buy from their competitors and leave Congress to do what they do best: Tax and Spend...

    Well the "free market" hasn't worked. has it? Choosing a printer is not as simple as that, there are many factors. I bought HP because they do the best drivers for Linux, and some other makes and models would not work for me at all. If I refused to buy things because something about them p$$es me off, I would never buy anything. Anyway, I was unaware of this scam by HP when I bought, as would most people probably - unless they are techies who read web sites like this one.

    And a scam pure and simple by HP is what this is. It would be like Ford cars stopping in their tracks after 2 years because Ford "did not want their cars to be seen to get old and tatty". Anyone who kicks HP around over this gets my approval, and that would include government. Stopping dishonest scams is indeed a job for governments IMHO, as is stopping theft (which is not much different) - or at least trying to.

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