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
    Christine Jones, 4 Nov 2014 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: My Letter to HP President and CEO Mark Hurd

    I agree 100% with you. I have had more HP printers than I want to admit and EVERY one died within a year or two. I have one that uses 88XL cartridges and just now starting giving me the message. I generally buy cartridges from Sams Club and Office depot. I bought the printer in Feb 2012 and bought two sets of 3 multipack cartridges so I would not run out. I just discovered that the ink Sams Club sold me in June 2012 has an expiration date of Dec 2011 which they tell me they will replace. I have the receipts. I also have two magenetas from Office Depot that I purchased in December 2012 and Office Depot says they have a two year warranty and it is now Nov 4, 2014. I also have that receipt. Hopefully I can just replace the expired ones for new cartridges with those companies and be satisfied and will continue to do business with both.

    This information may help some other people since I suspect many with this problem were sold expired ink in the first place since we didn't even think to look for an expiration date and we did not know our printers would stop using them.
    HP is VERY VERY scammy and somewhere in the last few years we have lost any checks and balances we had in consumer protection. It is a sin that even though a lawsuit was wont on this issue, that all ripped off consumers got was a max of $6 person and I wonder if a cease and desist was ever issued.

    I will Boycott all HP products when all my HP's finish dying and will stick with Canon and Epson which have been more reliable(ink still pricier than gold). Consumer reports gives too high of rating to HP printers in the most recent issue because they do not consider their ink games or their average age at death in their ratings. If people knew the truth perhaps they would make better choices. I have an old reliable Canon copier I have had for 25 years and it still works fine.

    I will also say that my printer wast making great copies until it decided to scam me. There was absolutely no problem with expired ink.

    Thank you for sharing how to remove the battery. Most people with the problem would be tossing it in the dumpster.

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