Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




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
    shanen (profile), 7 Aug 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Should close out my relatively happy story

    Well, I see that I left my story in suspense, and that was about 5 months ago. Anyway, I did receive the new ink cartridge, and it is working well, and I'm even making a bit of an effort to print on a more regular basis in hopes of preventing this one from dying prematurely. I'm not exactly thrilled, but I still think that HP is mostly being treated too harshly in most of the other posts here. (And no, I'm not working anywhere in the HP food chain, though (as mentioned below) I once sold their printers among other brands.)

    I offer my poor joke about how all printers after Benjamin Franklin are the spawn of Satan, and their only goal is to mangle and ruin as much paper as possible. Having said that, I basically think that HP is the best of the troubled lot. My own personal experience with printers has been kind of limited to three or four brands over 30+ years, but there was a period when I was in sales in a computer store, and I collected lots of stories from my customers, so I feel like I have a pretty broad view. In conclusion, I feel the printers have mostly gotten less evil over the years, and HP deserves a lot of credit for the inkjet technology that brought color printing to the masses.

    Having said that, I doubt I'll refill this particular HP again, so I'll be shopping for a new one when it dies, and support for extremely low-volume printing will be a feature that I'll be searching for.

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