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
    Ben, 19 Feb 2010 @ 12:47pm

    I move around a great deal. For simplicity I keep a printer set up in each place I visit. But because I move around a lot, my print cartridges don't see a lot of action. Recently my All-in-One office jet gave me errors about first the black, then a few weeks later, the colour cartridge. It seemed not to recognize the embedded chip software as HP cartridges even though both cartridges had not been altered and were genuine HP products. I suspect, since both cartridges were well beyond (2 years or so) their expiration date, that HP indeed has a failsafe that prevents the cartridges from being used after a certain date. If anyone has the hardware for it, I would sure be interested in seeing if my suspicion is correct.

    Either way, I am pissed. And though I have never bought knock-off recycled cartridges before, I'm damn well going to start. I don't pay top dollar for name brand stuff so HP can embed a suicide program in the product that guarantees that I will have to spend more money again soon.

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