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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2013 @ 9:42am

    This was hands down the worst printer I ever owned. It was given to me by someone who had barely used it. However, after spending about $100 on ink cartridges it printed less than 100 sheets before all of them expired. (And it made hundreds of annoying clicking sounds for each sheet it printed). I did not replace the cartridges right away (nor did I try to print anything). When I finally replaced the cartridges, the print heads were damaged beyond repair (ugly black lines unreadable copy). Therefore, I estimate I probably spent about $200 on ink to make 100 copies before I ended up bringing it to a recycling drive. Ink Jet printers are a rip off in general, but this was even worse.

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