back to article HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

HP Inc is trying to spin its way out of the mess it created when it decided it would be a fantastic idea to brick unofficial and refilled printer cartridges. Jon Flaxman, COO of the printers'n'PCs chunk of the former Hewlett Packard, confirmed on Wednesday his company really did in fact issue a firmware update in March that …

  1. Tom Betz

    HP has guaranteed that all those people affected, and many others who hear about this, will never buy an HP inkjet printer again.

    That Epson EcoTank line looks better every day.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      No more HP

      Too true. I was helping some friends choose a new printer last week - ignored HP. At least Epson ones moan, but let you carry on with the cheap inks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No more HP

        This news came at the right time. I was about to hit the 'add-to-basket' on a business HP laser. Now I am taking delivery of my first Brother printer instead. Vote with your wallet.

        -K

        1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: No more HP

          ... plus, Brother Lasers are very refillable. Have a look at http://www.urefilltoner.co.uk/ .

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No more HP

          I was about to hit the 'add-to-basket' on a business HP laser. Now I am taking delivery of my first Brother printer instead. Vote with your wallet.

          LOL - you changed a hardware problem into a software one. I will never allow Brother printer software near any of our machines again - whoever wrote it must be writing computer viruses in their spare time. It is nigh impossible to get rid of.

          We've switched to Epson. Does the job, good quality and fast (and yes, we used to use HP too).

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: No more HP

            "LOL - you changed a hardware problem into a software one. I will never allow Brother printer software near any of our machines again - whoever wrote it must be writing computer viruses in their spare time. It is nigh impossible to get rid of."

            Last Brother laser I used did PostScript as well as it's own BR language and since I don't use Windows, didn't use any Brother supplied driver packages. Does Windows not include a basic driver for most Brother printers? Must you install the full fat Brother package?

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      I took a look at the Epson EcoTanks, and sadly, they're multifunction units. I've been burned too many times by those. When I want a printer, I'll buy a nice printer. When I want a scanner, I'll buy a nice scanner.

      I don't want to be stuck unable to print because a motor's not working in the scanner or something. I've been down that road already.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        My beef with Epson is that carts and nozzles are separate: a real problem when you don't use them for a while and then dry up and clog. I stopped buying Picture mates because of that. At least with HP, you get fresh nozzles with each cart.

        1. fishman

          "At least with HP, you get fresh nozzles with each cart."

          No, on some HP printers the ink cartridges and nozzles are separate.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "No, on some HP printers the ink cartridges and nozzles are separate."

            In particular, pretty much all of the OfficeJet Pro lines which are the subject of the story.

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          "My beef with Epson is that carts and nozzles are separate"

          That's a good thing; it reduces both running cost and waste. Designjets have been like that since they appeared, it is n't limited to Epson.

          The issue is "if you don't use them for a while". The solution is obvious. You could even put in a cron job to print a test page every few days. Inkjets are more environmentally friendly than lasers, even if you print a couple of test pages a week.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Environmental friendliness

            Inkjets are more environmentally friendly than lasers

            Care to cite any evidence, preferably from a peer-reviewed publication or a report by a respectable, independent test lab?

            At least for consumer-grade units (which typically have low duty cycle), most environmental damage is likely due to the manufacturing process of the printer itself and its subsequent disposal, not due to the making of ink/toner or the electricity consumed while in operation. If this is the case, then a good-quality inkjet, which is lighter and has less bulky parts is obviously a win. On the other hand, my personal experience with consumer-grade inkjets and lasers is that more often than not, cheap inkjets end up in a landfill within a year or two (hi, HP), while the similarly-prices lasers (hi, Brother) on a light duty cycle continue plodding for many years with no real issues.

            Anecdotal experience aside, I am genuinely interested in unbiased studies if such exist.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Environmental friendliness

              +1

              My laser is the best part of twenty years old, has had three toner cartridges in that time, and is still going strong.

              I've bought and thrown away seven inkjets in that time. Often because it was cheaper to do that than replace the cartridges.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Environmental friendliness

                "I've bought and thrown away seven inkjets in that time. Often because it was cheaper to do that than replace the cartridges."

                And if that's the case it serves the makes right.

        3. Lotaresco

          [Epson print heads] dry up and clog

          This is true, but it's very easy to unclog them. A wet wipe of the kitchen, rather than baby, variety can be used to dissolve the dried ink. On most Epsons this can be done by raising the print head (as if for printing on carboard) and then lowering it onto the wet wipe. Wait a few minutes, raise the head, remove the wipe.

      2. James 51 Silver badge

        Some are more multifunctional than others.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I took a look at the Epson EcoTanks, and sadly, they're multifunction units. I've been burned too many times by those. When I want a printer, I'll buy a nice printer. When I want a scanner, I'll buy a nice scanner.

        I'm actually quite happy with my MF unit, but especially the wider format EcoTank models are all "just" printers - have a look again. They're worth the money IMHO.

    3. James 51 Silver badge

      It does. I have one, there is no way that you could chip ink it uses. Bought one almost a year ago and haven't had to refill it yet (though the yellow is starting to look a little low).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      HP has guaranteed that all those people affected, and many others who hear about this, will never buy an HP inkjet printer again.

      Indeed. I've gone from swearing by HP to swearing at it :).

      That Epson EcoTank line looks better every day.

      That's the funny thing. The decision of Epson to let me use replacement ink (it'll whinge at you on installation, but then gets back to work) has more or less directly led to the decision to buy "official" EcoTank A3 format versions for some of our offices (we use them to run brochure drafts) as soon as they become more available (the ET-16500 is still too new to be easily available, but we're not in a hurry).

      Original ink gives you the best colour rendition and print quality, but the ink price was simply unacceptable. The EcoTank approach fixes that - it appears Epson saw the printing on the wall a bit earlier than HP..

    5. Luiz Abdala
      Go

      Epson EcoTank FTW

      And you can buy ink by the freaking gallon if you want. I found places selling ink by the pint, or by the liter.

      The original tanks lasted 2 years on mine, good for 4,000 A4 pages or more, with barely no clogging.

      Total cost of each CMYK tank: under 25 $LocalCurrency. The larger bottles were even cheaper.

      Even bananas aren't that cheap.

  2. Fan of Mr. Obvious

    Got Heinz?

    Speaks of total lack of confidence in the part of HP - we know we are inferior and more money, so we will just screw you over. Canon has been selling superior ink for photo enthusiast, and they seem to be doing just fine on the loyalty side.

    Could you imagine how Heinz would be viewed if they were somehow able to, and actually acted on preventing restaurants from refilling their bottles? All these places that do not actually buy Heinz would not be advertising for them, and those that want to use Heinz but refill the bottles from a lower cost can would find a less expensive option over buying new bottles all the time.

    HP had been a dead stick in my book for years. They seem to be about what tricks they can come up with to generate revenue rather than innovation and quality. They should do their employees a favor and act responsible.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Got Heinz?

      Not quite the same thing. If there's a bottle of red sauce on a restaurant table with a Heinz label on, then it damn well better contain Heinz red sauce. If they've refilled it from a bumper 25 litre drum, fine, so long as it's a Heinz drum. Ifit isn't then the cafe owner is booking a painful and expensive session with Trading Standards. Many pubs have been done for refilling branded vodka and whisky optics with some cheap stuff from the cash-and-carry.

      The HP compatible cartridges are very different. They don't claim to be HP ink, merely ink in a dispenser that will fit an HP printer. Bit like getting wiper blades from Halfords for the Porsche. They do the job.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Got Heinz?

        > refilling branded vodka and whisky

        Been there, drank that[1]. Pub got hit by a big fine from Trading Standards and ended up closing down.

        [1] Had a shot of what was supposed to be Lagavulin - which as anyone knows is an Islay malt with a very distinctive taste. Not only was what I was given not Lagavulin, it wasn't even an Islay single malt. It didn't taste like a single malt at all. What annoyed me even more was the total contempt of the customer in assuming that they were stupid enough not to notice such an obvious thing.

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Got Sarsons

      Fan of Mr O - Sarson's have done it. You can still buy 5l containers of Sarson's vinegar but you can't get the tops off the plastic shakers to refill them (well, you can, but with some difficulty and a pretty poor success rate).

      Sarson's reason? "We were aware that other vinegars were being decanted into our recognisable, tear shaped bottle and so the expected Sarson’s taste was not being delivered to our consumers when they used the iconic bottle."

      There wasn't much of an outcry as far as I remember, although I've never bought Sarson's vinegar since I broke the last shaker and I never will again.

      As for HP - I gave up on them after I bought my first laptop - which was HP - and a PoS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Got Sarsons

        The reasons you can buy big bottles is not to refill there own bottles, but to fill up 3rd party ones, such as the glass ones you get in the local greasy spoon.

  3. goldcd

    I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

    As I hurled it into the mixed waste skip, a feeling of liberation overcame me.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that nobody actually *likes* the printer they have. It was something they've just learnt to tolerate, like the monthly connection charge for your landline.

    My landline is still there due to the 'deals' in place to assist me in retaining it (don't pay it and you'll lose your landline and we'll take the discount off your internet bill and you'll end up with a 25p saving).

    I can't help but feel when a load of HP users suddenly find their printer no longer works, they'll just follow my example, rather than rushing out to the shop with £50 they suddenly feel the need to give to HP.

    Is "Resented Technology" a thing yet?

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

      "I have a sneaky suspicion that nobody actually *likes* the printer they have. It was something they've just learnt to tolerate, like the monthly connection charge for your landline."

      I'm actually quite happy with my Brother HL-3140 color laser printer. Which works absolutely fine with cheap third party cartridges, and if the printer thinks a cartridge is empty then it isn't, then Brother's website has instructions how to fix it.

      If you have one of these HP printers and you are a consumer in the EU, you take it back to the shop and ask for the problem to be fixed or a refund.

      1. redneck

        Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago. (brother printers)

        And I have a brother All In One. It replaced a brother printer. I've been very happy with these brother devices. I used to work for HP. I tried to be a dedicated HP employee who only bought HP products. I ended up buying a sledge hammer to take out my frustrations on HP printers. HP Printer Angst motivated me to buy Brother hardware.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

        I have brother dcp-7065dn (duplex mono laser + scanner), and i am perfectly happy with it.

        If you wax about your brother printer, does it make it bromance?

      3. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

        Best combination is 2 printers.

        1) Brother laser as above. Cheap to run, nice output

        2) For those just-got-to-be-inkjet moments - an HP multifunction (4502). Why? It prints only a few pages a month, so the price of the cartridges is not an issue. Plus, when it dries up, I can just put fresh ones in. HP seem to reduced the head-drying-up problem.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

      I love my Samsung multifunction laser. Does everything well and has no problem with extened periods of inactivity.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

        Good luck. Now it's an HP one... <G>

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

        I love my Samsung multifunction laser. Does everything well and has no problem with extened periods of inactivity.

        The way Samsung is going, that may not last that long anymore :).

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

          "The way Samsung is going, that may not last that long anymore :)."

          Didn't HP just buy the Samsung printer division?

    3. beerfuelled
      Facepalm

      Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

      I'm actually rather happy with my old Brother DCP-9040 colour laser multifunction. It's been working fine for several years, and it was even better when I found out that I could reset the toner levels with a few button pushes. The current set of toners are on about their third reset and still seem to be going strong!

      Unfortunately I found this out a little late and have disposed of a couple of sets previously without realising that they were probably still two thirds full!

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

      I have a sneaky suspicion that nobody actually *likes* the printer they have. It was something they've just learnt to tolerate

      True. But for real annoyance you have to have a wireless printer. The stupid thing sulks in the corner waiting for opportunities to go offline and disconnect from the network.

    5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I took my home printer to the tip a few weeks ago.

      I quite like my current gear (which does include some quite old bits like a HP LaserJet from the mid 1990ies that just works), but yes, "Resented Technology" is a good name for something that definitely is a thing.

  4. Robert Moore
    Flame

    HP still sells printers?

    I thought every sensible person gave up of HP crap after their first 100Meg printer driver download.

    You can easily get a decent (Non HP) laser printer these days for next to nothing and even on the high end business printers there are plenty of good choices.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: HP still sells printers?

      "I thought every sensible person gave up of HP crap after their first 100Meg printer driver download."

      You're free to complain but you didn't offer any solutions. Name you printer mfgr of choice and I'll show their 100MB driver download section. Lexmark, Epson, Samsung etc -- they're all in the same boat.

      "You can easily get a decent (Non HP) laser printer these days for next to nothing"

      Which make/model are you suggesting?

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: HP still sells printers?

        >You're free to complain but you didn't offer any solutions. Name you printer mfgr of choice

        Any, mere kb, when I have to download the driver ... but then again, I am on Linux.

        Sorry, for the Window Cleaner and Surface Specialist chicken box brigade ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HP still sells printers?

        I've a cheap Samsung I bought several years ago. Use 3rd party toners, which were hit and miss depending on the brand. Then there were a load lot of genuine ones on Amazon (guess getting rid of end of line stock) for £10 each, so bought five, which should last me a few years.

    2. Chairo

      Re: HP still sells printers?

      No they don't. They are selling ink. The printers are only a necessary means of empting the ink cartridges as soon as possible.

      For me HP printers are dead for several reasons. One of them is county coding the cartridges. In the last 15 years I changes my country of residence 4 times and shipped my complete household including IT equipment overseas. I bought an HP printer specifically because it was specified to work with both 100 and 240V. And then I realized that the only way to get refill ink is either to ship it in from overseas or to buy hacked refill cartridges at EBay.

      Another problem are the drivers. Over the years HP drivers evolved from simple drivers to a complex and bloated mess of crapware.

      Finally their hardware seems to be carefully crafted for planned obsolescence. It was interesting to see the various parts fail one after another. The most messy story was the failure of the print head deflation. That was done by a plastic cogwheel, pushing up a spring via a lever. The force of the lever caused the cogwheel to crack and thus no deflation happened. Instead of air flowing in, ink spilled out from the print head into the printer and ultimately over my furniture, hands, clothes, ... Oh, and only this cogwheel that had to withstand the lever's forces was made of plastic. The rest was good solid metal. Interesting choice of material.

      Ironically without these shenanigans they would not only have sold far more ink to me over the printer lifetime, but I would still use the printer and continue to buy their ink. As it is, some other company sold me my next printer. Back to evil school for HP management. Perhaps they'll learn something.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: HP still sells printers?

      With drivers, HP learned the lesson and now you can download driver-only setups. Or a zip with the drivers to be installed through the OS facilities.

    4. kmac499

      Re: HP still sells printers?

      Our print quantities are small and primarily text, the previous inkjets were for ever drying up and any sizeable colour print had to be hung out to dry and then ironed flat (well almost.)

      Consequently we've got two HPs, a 15 year old monochrome laserjet for draft use and a new multi function color laserjet for posh stuff. But Oh dear, the HP bloatware that comes to 'manage' your images etc is a complete nightmare.

      Inkjets are great for photos but if I need any doing I'm going to a high street or online print service

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry Mr. Flaxman, but it is MY printer, not yours....

    You are only required to make my experience exceptional if I choose to use your ink. Once I have paid for it, the printer is MINE, not yours, and I'll stick it in what I please. If I choose to provide my own ink from my own source, my experience is of my own making. As long as you choose to view the sale of your company's printers as a life long ink jet or toner subscription from HP, then I'll buy some other vendor's printer.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Sorry Mr. Flaxman, but it is MY printer, not yours....

      Actually, thinking of subscriptions...

      I was in PC world and they were offering HP subscriptions. Something like £2.99 for 50 pages/month up to £7.99 for 300 pages a month. What kind of headcase goes for that? £96 to print 3600 pages? I suspect even genuine HP cartridges work out cheaper.

      1. goldcd

        As a counterpoint - I nearly went for this.

        My post above relates me "finally removing my printer from my life" - but £3 a month to be able to print what I need actually sounds pretty good to me, it would just join Netflix and Spotify on my DD list I don't bat an eye at.

        What pissed me off with printers previously was the anger I felt towards the thing.

        The £75 of spare carts I had to maintain, the over-eager squirting of ink to 'clean heads' when I turned it on every couple of weeks to print a couple of sides of A4. I looked at my printer, and it made me angry.

        I've personally got no issue with chucking a few quid a month to have a 'printer available' and replacement carts proactively coming through my door to maintain this service.

        Personally, I've got printers at work if I need a hardcopy of something and no shortage of excellent online services that will not only print out my photos, but send it directly to the ageing relative who demanded them without me having to bother with packaging/posting.

        It was a tempting death-rattle, and nearly got me, but I do feel good that I resisted.

      2. Chris 125

        Re: Sorry Mr. Flaxman, but it is MY printer, not yours....

        Actually.... I went for it.

        It's £1.99 for 50 pages, which is all I print at home. The kids print the odd Wikipedia page to claim they've done homework, a few photos, sometimes work demand that I sign and return a Word document and the easiest way is to print then scan, a bit of craft stuff for the younger kids. I've only gone over the 50 pages once, when organising a scouting event.

        Oh, and you get one month rollover, so I can print 100 pages for that monthly cost if I've been a bit slack on the turning-trees-into-documentation front for a while.

        Now I get what you're saying. It's lucrative for them, all subscription services are, and I shouldn't be so silly to buy into it. But my experience pre-Instant Ink is that I'd spend £70 on a full set of cartridges, one would run out, the others look low so you just bite the bullet and buy the colours as a set. And then knowing you've spent £70 on a set, you get twitchy every time the kids send a full A4 photo to print knowing it's bleeding the tanks dry.

        £2 a month is nearly three years if I'm paying £70 for a set of cartridges. My sets weren't lasting three years (hell, the printers don't last three years!). And a page is a page, whether it's a bit of text or an A4 photo.

        It's really not that bad, compared to the extortionate price of doing it the other way....

    2. Eric Olson

      Re: Sorry Mr. Flaxman, but it is MY printer, not yours....

      Unpopular Opinion Alert:

      Yes, you own the printer: A disposable piece of plastic, copper, and whatever they scraped off the hooves of dairy cows who've stood in wet pastures. It has little actual value, and even less if it doesn't print.

      They can design it however they want, up to and including encoding that only accepts their refills. You may not like it, but HP has not a secret of their stance on refilling HP cartridges and third-party cartridges. Their manuals and documentation are quite clear that you are to use an HP replacement. Using a cheaper solution is a risk you take; it's unsupported and there is no promise by HP that it will work in the future. When they do disable it, all those previously purchased black ink cartridges from Bob's Discount HP Shoppe will become useless.

      If HP was the only printer game in town, I might be more sympathetic to your plight; without other options, HP would be abusing their market position. But there are numerous other options (named earlier in this thread) that can do the job, and maybe even better. That you choose to stick with HP is an issue you'll have to come to terms with.

      1. DryBones

        Re: Sorry Mr. Flaxman, but it is MY printer, not yours....

        Does that make it qualify as "Not Fit For Purpose", then? I see a rash of returns in HP's future...

      2. fruitoftheloon
        FAIL

        @Eric Olson: Re: Sorry Mr. Flaxman, but it is MY printer, not yours....

        Eric,

        Err no, in this case, HP have moved your goal posts WITHOUT ASKING YOU after you bought it, and you're fine with that eh?

        On the same lines you wouldn't have a problem with your (insert preferred brand) car ONLY accepting a given brand of fuel after the garage serviced it and 'updated' the siftware, otherwise it won't start, BUT the nearest garage that stocks it is 200 miles away....?

        Cheers,

        Jay.

  6. tjdennis2
    FAIL

    Choice

    Choice is always the best customer experience. Even if we choose a bad cartridge once in a while, we can always fix it ourselves. Locking people into your own overpriced ink is the worst in customer experience.

    My HP OfficeJet 8600 actually got rated as the worst ink waster in the industry. It wastes ink even when I'm not printing because it wants to be ready in case something comes a long. I'll do everything I can to find the cheapest ink to feed this thing.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Choice

      Choice is not always for the best. Consider Decision Paralysis.

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Wrong Choice

      tjdennis2 - isn't it "choice" that's caused this problem? For similar functionality, most customers' choice is based on the ticket price in the shop, not the total cost of ownership. By exercising choice in this way the customers have caused the manufacturers to drive down ticket price to the point where the manufacturers make a loss on the printer, so they have to make the money up somewhere else.

      Maybe if we all stop making stupid, lazy choices then the manufacturers will price differently.

      I'm interested to see where the Epson Eco Tank printers go. They are pricey, but not too different from some other pretty average printers which have pretty poor ink usage and cartridge costs. The cynic in me expects there to be a catch.

  7. Duffaboy
    Trollface

    "We will continue to use security features to protect the quality of our ..."

    Balance Sheet ?

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Corporate Blame Game...

    Rather, the HP Ink COO places the blame on the company's handling of the rollout,

    So he's in the C-Suite and blames "the company"???? Huh????

  9. John 104

    "We will continue to use security features to protect the quality of our customer experience, maintain the integrity of our printing systems, and protect our IP including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working," Flaxman argues

    And as consumers, we will continue to use our brains to buy other products that aren't going to stuff us in the ass on a whim.

    I've been a HP printer user for decades. It was reliably the one thing they did right. I gave up on ink a long time ago, and strictly use laser. However, I was quite displeased the other day when my printer out of the blue printed a page telling me it now had an email address and I could web print. WHAT THE FUCK? I didn't ask for it but I think it pushed as part of my laptop driver when connected to my internal network. No idea how to clean this mess up. Quite pissed about the whole thing too.

    1. Mike Flex

      "However, I was quite displeased the other day when my printer out of the blue printed a page telling me it now had an email address and I could web print."

      If you have an IP-addressable HP printer point a web browser at it; it probably has an internal web server.

      If you have a fancy-schmancy HP enterprise printer the internal web server may give you access to a hard disk with a cache of everyone's print jobs since installation. Happy browsing!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you have a fancy-schmancy HP enterprise printer the internal web server may give you access to a hard disk with a cache of everyone's print jobs since installation. Happy browsing!

        Mmmm. A PEN test on a significant British (well actually not a British company) who provided secure services to government bodies brought that as one of their multiple problems. We captured 2 weeks of printed material (up to labelled 'Secret') before we checked logs (it was a wee bit difficult to do it frequently - they got that bit right). That brought the test to a very abrupt end as I am afraidd we told tales.

        Mind you that is 2-3 years ago. Very lucrative contract with some interesting followups though.

    2. Mark 65 Silver badge

      I saw

      Flaxman acknowledges that the update has caused some previously functional and otherwise fine cartridges to be rendered useless, but claims HP also has a right to protect its brand from infringement.

      and immediately thought "that's what courts are for". However, HP will no doubt shortly be finding out what else courts are for especially the EU ones.

  10. Mark Simon

    No Apology

    “one customer who has a poor experience is one too many” — however we’re not going to do anything about because the customer is an evil bastard who dares to deprive us of desperately needed cash.

    Corporates may be happy enough to squander money on Genuine HP cartridges, but normal human beings may think differently. In any case, having the company screw you with a misleading and malicious update is hardly going to win the hearts of ordinary consumers.

    It’s OK for me, I threw away my HP junk in favour of a printer which did the job properly. There are now enough options to allow consumers to vote with their feet.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Broken by design

    Sad state of affairs really. HP used to produce good stuff. My old HP LaserJets are built like tanks and have been churning out pages for decades, but I wouldn't touch one of their consumer printers or "multifunction" abominations with a barge-pole.

    1. goldcd

      Oh I've definitely got a soft spot for HP printers

      My Dad in the late 90s spent some horrific amount of money on an IIP (plus RAM cart - please note back then 'print what's on my screen' wasn't included in the box).

      My homework never looked better, and the thing was as you say, built like a tank.

      But that was back in the day when you sold the printer to make money, and gave the nervous consumer the option of buying branded toner as a sideline.

      All went tits-up as the price of printers raced to the bottom in the hope the difference would be made up in consumables.

      I did (maybe uniquely) own a Kodak printer, when they tried to resist the prevailing market with "expensive to buy, cheap to run" - but they promptly got smashed under the feet of idiots wanting a £25 printer.

      I don't bear a grudge. Just satisfied to see the market and their remaining "enabling" users, rotting in printer-hell.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Oh I've definitely got a soft spot for HP printers

        I bought a LaserJet6 in around 1998-ish for serious money (about £600 I think) and it is still working here doing its job. OK I need to have a parallel printer port but at least they still exist on many motherboards if you use one of the ribbon cable thingies.

        Now I would not touch HP printers with a barge pole

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Broken by design

      I have an HP Laserjet 1012 (from memory) that has been a great little workhorse for almost 15 years. I get refilled non-HP cartridges and never had a moment of worry. I am hoping it will see me out. I find I am trying to keep all my old can't-phone-home kit, because all the new stuff either has bloatware or costs too much to run. Gave up my third colour ink-jet a month ago and living with black and white and really, my life has not worsened as a result.

  12. HarryBl

    ""We will continue to use security features to protect the quality of our customer experience, " and make sure that we drive all our current customers away to competitors...

  13. David 132 Silver badge
    Flame

    The "timebomb" is what'll get them.

    What really stinks here, and what seems to be getting minimal attention, is the delayed "timebomb" functionality.

    If HP thought they had a perfect, uncontroversial right to prevent use of 3rd-party refills, they'd have activated this security measure immediately upon installation of the new firmware. And put it prominently in the release notes. Ideally, with a pre-install warning that highlighted the change.

    But, no. The fact that they coded it to only take effect months later, speaks volumes - they knew it was controversial, would piss off a lot of customers, and was basically an "anti-feature" (thanks EFF for that term). By putting it in as a time-bomb, they obviously hoped that people wouldn't make the connection between "hmm, printer isn't working this morning" and "that firmware update I installed 6 months ago cos it said it fixed security issues and offered 'functionality enhancements'...".

    Reaching for the ever-trusty-and-not-at-all-cliché car analogy: many car manufacturers "recommend" use of a particular brand of fuel "for best performance". Imagine if, at your scheduled service, Ford slipped in a change to the engine-management software that meant the car would stall and refuse to run unless filled with Shell V-Power(TM). But not until 6 months and many tank re-fills later.

    Anyway. Scummy, devious behaviour by HP and they deserve all the opprobrium being heaped upon them. And the usual bland management-speak apology just adds insult - those anodyne terms we're so wearyingly familiar with from corporate and political culprits. "Lessons will be learned". "It is to be regretted". "Our customer's experience is important to us".

    Gaaaaah!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like HP. I'm certified to repair HP printers and copiers. My next printer will be an epson MF with multiple paper trays. I'll be damned if I'll let rose color glasses makes me by a product I'll never own.

  15. Queeg
    FAIL

    Sorry to hear about your miscommunication snafu HP...

    One thing though.

    Can you say Class Action?

    No matter how dumb you think people can be,

    the Universe is always ready to produce one with a lower IQ.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Sorry to hear about your miscommunication snafu HP...

      Fine sentiments @Queeg, but don't say "class action". The lawyers get millions, and the affected customers ("please provide a receipt for the printer you bought 2 years ago, and a signed affidavit from the Pope to confirm that you still own it") will get a voucher for $0.50 off a new HP printer.

      In fact I can see it now...

      "HP firmware version October 2016

      * We're proud to provide exciting new functionality. If your HP printer detects that you're trying to print an HP class action claim form, it will mysteriously jam and stop working. For your own protection and the enhancement of your HP printer experience."

      1. mhoulden

        Re: Sorry to hear about your miscommunication snafu HP...

        Most scanners and copiers detect the EURion constellation which is a pattern of symbols on banknotes. On the new fiver it's on the white bit near the transparent window. If they find it, they refuse to copy and come up with a cryptic error. It wouldn't be too difficult for a printer to do a bit of processing and check they're not being asked to print something criticizing the manufacturer.

  16. gryphon

    Page counts

    The old 3si's were pretty much bulletproof. Change the feed rollers and separator pads from time to time and they'd go on forever. I'm pretty sure I worked on one once that had done 2.5 million pages but memory may be playing me false. I think the duty cycle was something like 50k pages per month.

    4's, 4p's etc were always needing repaired but I think that was because users tended to use them more with labels and overheads and ended up screwing up the fusers and final feed assembly. I spent many a happy hour changing the individual rollers in fuser units since the user always had this "business critical letter" that just had to go out and couldn't wait until the next day for a refurb fuser. My company would let me carry spare rollers but not fusers.

  17. Jim-234

    Basically malware level tactics

    It would be one thing if the download prominently said it would disable non HP ink right away.

    But to put a time delayed booby trap in your firmware ... That has got to be a new all time low!

    Really, what kind of evil bottom dweller thinks that's a great idea?

    Welcome to nobody ever trusting your software / firmware or you ever again.

    If they are so desperate for revenue they are stooping to tactics used by criminal scum, HP really needs to just go bankrupt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Basically malware level tactics

      I trust neither firmware nor software updates. Certain governments have made those questionable already. Now the megacorps have joined in criminal activities. What fun.

  18. Bloodbeastterror

    "the quality of our customer experience"

    Vile f***ing weasel.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

      Yes. Just once, once, I'd like to hear a spokesweasel (corporate or government) stand up and say

      "I admit it, I got greedy. I thought this was a good idea and that I'd get away with it. I betrayed your trust for short-term gain. I, and all my colleagues who went along with the idea, will be resigning forthwith and forgoing our bonuses."

      I would also like a pet unicorn and a magic hoverboard while I'm at it, please.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

        Or even, "Yes, we locked out competitors cartridges because we could and because f*ck you, that's why. We're in business to make money, and we're going to make as much as we can. If you don't like it, go somewhere else."

        At least, they would be being honest about it.

        1. Peter Ford

          Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

          Isn't that pretty much what they *are* saying?

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

          That pretty much IS what they said; using different words, admittedly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

        "I admit it, I got greedy. I thought this was a good idea and that I'd get away with it. I betrayed your trust for short-term gain. I, and all my colleagues who went along with the idea, will be resigning forthwith and forgoing our bonuses."

        You forgot to add "... and I'm NOT sorry about it and rest assured I will try it over and over again. Now, fuck off!".

        1. Darryl

          Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

          Or "I feel so bad about what we did that I'm going to have to take the private jet to the company owned resort off Panama for a couple months of therapy."

          1. Wensleydale Cheese

            Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

            Or "I feel so bad about what we did that I'm going to have to take the private jet to the company owned resort off Panama for a couple months of therapy."

            Nope. You mean one of the company Gulfstream V jets.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "the quality of our customer experience"

              HP has job grades for pilots .......

  19. Charles Smith

    Off the Christmas List

    Oki my dear Brother I've removed HP from the pressie list. Must remember the Epson salts in case we overindulge.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Off the Christmas List

      Well you're a bit of a loose Canon aren't you? A Sharp response, though.

      1. Darryl

        Re: Off the Christmas List

        C.Itoh you he was funny

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP Shoots itself in the foot

    When will printer manufactures learn that extortionate prices for ink cartridges hinders sales? Cartridge sets are now around the £40 mark, almost 2/3 the cost of a new printer! I do everything I can NOT to print in colour.

    I have an HP printer, and the moment it rejects my cheaper cartridges, the HP will be binned, and I won't buy from them again. Cost per page is my number one criteria for buying a printer.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: HP Shoots itself in the foot

      They did. Two things spring to mind: Loss Leading and No Business Like REPEAT Business. As for the competition, they can point to hard-to-clean clogs.

  21. I Like Heckling

    Epson for me... But HP for my Mum

    I've been using Epson printers for the last 15yrs, I got burned too many times with HP and Lexmark ones... where it was actually cheaper to go out and buy another printer than buy the ink many times.

    On the other hand I've also had printers ruined by using cheap inks and that's the issue... I can actually understand why HP are doing this, but I think it's a bad move that will hurt them in the long run. I my printer fails because I used cheap inks then that's down to me... But if I want to save money and the manufacturer deliberately blocks me doing that, and at the same time renders me unable to use the ink that I've already purchased... Well... F*ck you too... ex customer who'll never buy your ink or printers again... It's cheaper to grab a deal on a new printer than buy their ink at the moment.

    However... they also do their subscription service and that's handy for my mum... 50 pages a month for £1.99 (unused roll over to the next month) is all she needs, and rarely uses it up... In fact I've been encouraging her to print photos out just for the hell of it, she's got a massive ream of photo paper after all.

    At the time, only HP were offering such a service... but if others follow suit, then when her £40 printer goes tits up in a couple of years... Back to Epson she'll go.

  22. Drew 11

    Jon Flaxman seems very worried about HP IP ending up in the wrong hands. Perhaps we can help him in his crusade by not dropping HP Printers off at the electronics recyclers, but instead dropping them at his carparking spot prior to him arriving at work each morning?

  23. Schultz
    WTF?

    Really gotta love Mr. Flaxman for his fine prose of business speak

    "...dynamic security feature..." -- You won't know what hit you, stupid consumer.

    "We updated a cartridge authentication procedure in select models of HP office inkjet printers to ensure the best consumer experience..." -- Some more bilk in that cowsumer? Lets ensure there is no more bilk in that consumer.

    ""We will continue to use security features..." -- There should be more milk in that consumer tomorrow. Prepare the bilking machine.

    "...protect the quality of our customer experience..." -- Let's find that precise level of pain where that customer coughs up some more.

    -------------

    "protect its brand from infringement" -- How do I infringe the HP brand if I use a syringe to inject some extra ink into my cartridge?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear HP.

    I am the "Computer Go To Guy" for many of my family, friends, acquaintences, & folks whom want to hire me to do things for them. Among the many things I do is Product Recommendations. In the last few days I have been showing my customers the stories about how you have screwed over your customers, & telling my customers to Avoid HP Like The Plague.

    I can not attest to just how many have followed my advice, I don't hold their hands through everything they choose to do, but what I *can* say for sure is that a LOT of them have decided to skip HP all together. No printers, no laptops, *nothing* with the HP name on it. Why? Because if you're willing to fuck them over for a printer cartridge, you're just as liable to fuck them over for any other product or service as well.

    Congratulations on protecting your IP. You've secured it so well that now folks are going elsewhere for their printing/product needs.

    To add insult to the injury you've given yourself, I do volunteer work at various educational facilities. I've started switching them to non HP products. I've handed my bosses copies of the aforementioned stories as justification for NOT spending thousands of dollars of budget funds on your ink, rather to go with a different brand that allows bulk ink purchases AND purchases from third party suppliers. When a school has to fight tooth & nail for every penny of their budget, it's obscenely easy to convince them NOT to waste it on a printer manufacturer that decides to fuck them over WRT the ink. So they'll probably be free of the HP noose in a month or two. You can update that driver all you want, you can offer the manual fixing tool, but the damage is already done.

    I won't recommend HP to anyone I know, that I do business with, or that I do volunteer work for. You're too expensive & hostile to your own damned customers for me to have anything but utter disgust over you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear HP.

      But what brand would you recommend, given that the two top alternatives, Epson and Canon, both have built-in nozzles which means they become a pain to clean after a while when they clog...not to mention they make it wasteful of materials to clean these nozzles AND there's no guarantee it'll be fixed. I PERSONALLY know someone who once worked at a Canon service center, and their spiel is specifically designed to use up the ink, as they (just like HP) loss-lead with their printers. Meanwhile, I'm personally against Epsons after two PictureMates clogged beyond recovery. At least with HP's photo printers, changing the cart changes the nozzles, too.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Dear HP.

        HP printers are no longer the Deskjet 500.... My HP Photosmart D7260 had built in nozzles, the six cartridges were not placed on the printer head, but on the printer body, and it had long ink feeder ducts. It started to throw a lot of errors about the ink feeder system which no maintenance operation could solve. It was binned before I was able to deplete the remaining ink, because the touch LCD panel cable broke (inside the printer, as I found when I dismantled it before binning), and once a cartridge expired, there was no way to say to the printer to ignore it, the web interface was only informative.

        My Canon, instead, has a user replaceable print head. It costed 500 euro, though.... (and the print head spare is not cheap).

        Anyway, HP and Canon have heads with more nozzles than required, and "disable" clogged ones and map to another. Epson doesn't, and may have more clogging issues.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite right

    In my contract I am not "allowed" to like, post or link to unfavourable stories about any of our suppliers, subsidiaries etc.

    Which is ridiculous, and in breach of: ECHR, Magna Charta, US Constitution and a dozen other well established laws and principles that predate the British Government by centuries.

    I urge anyone else who works with HP to "accidentally" leak their employment contracts and any other useful data so we can see just how scumbaggy this company really is about effectively denying people their right to use out of date-but-working cartridges (strike 1), legally purchased but non OEM (strike 2) and general unkindness like forcing people with older systems to upgrade so their all-in-one installs the bloatware correctly. (strike 3: do not pass Go, go directly to Canon or Epson and save $$$)

    Whatever happened to being able to fill a cartridge at home anyway? I have a resetter tool which was purchased in 2007, every time the cartridge on my Epson runs out it just gets reset and run until any degradation is noticed thus doubling its useful life.

    The new chips do still work with it as Epson listened to its customers unlike HP and went back to the older, reliable variety with a resettable chip.

    Case in point, I have a Canon ip1700 which has had 3 (!) cartridges since purchased in 2007.

    Never had a problem with it, it just keeps going and going and going like the Energizer bunny!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quite right

      DO NOT go to Canon. They're just as bad AND their nozzles are in the printer (HP's nozzles are in the carttridge, meaning you get fresh ones with each cartridge, reducing clog risks). And since Epsons also use built-in nozzles, I've had bad experiences with clogs there, too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quite right

        That may be, but they are usually quite relaxed about refilling in my experience. I once tried the "wrong" cartridge in my printer and it did print although the quality sucked. Ever tried submitting a CV with brown ink?

  26. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    They're going to put an updated firmware on their website?

    Well, that's one way to ensure no one will be able to get it...their websites are completely unnavigable even for the things you might reckon they'd want you to find.

  27. BongoJoe

    HP 4000

    My black ink workhorse of a printer, the aforementioned HP 4000, is still going strong and I do buy third party cartridges for it.

    I would go as far to say that for a non-colour printer it's more or less perfect for my needs and is certainly better than the modern 'home use' one-shot printers which are around these days.

    Yes, this is the reason for sticking with a great printer: the modern consumable printers in which when one runs out of ink one buys a new printer is a disgrace and I refuse to go down that line, especially when I have a fine printer that works well.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All Inkjet printers are expensive and shit

    I've been running a HP Laserjet using toner cartridges for years. Low cost per page and good quality print. Initial setup costs are more expensive but cheaper than inkjet over the lifetime of printing.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: All Inkjet printers are expensive and shit

      Unless you frequently do color. On photo paper.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All Inkjet printers are expensive and shit

        "Unless you frequently do color. On photo paper."

        For which you should be using Snapfish to increase quality and reduce cost. Home printing colour photos is madness.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: All Inkjet printers are expensive and shit

          "Home printing colour photos is madness."

          What about on the go color photo printing? In a place where a photo printer may not be available? Or it's for stuff you'd rather it not be seen by a third party?

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "Home printing colour photos is madness"

          Why? It's just like developing and printing chemical photos yourself. You do it because you want to achieve that exact result on that exact paper in that exact format. It's not cheap, true, and it may be complex and require a lot of learning and experimenting (plus some tools to ensure the process is repeatable). But it's also a gratifying experience. As my old photo teacher told once - "a photo is not a photo until you print it".

          There are pros who do it, and many advanced amateurs. Just look, for example, at the line of photo printers from Canon and Epson... the quality can be much higher than a commercial service, unless it's a truly (and expensive) professional one.

          And, BTW - people also print B/W photos... which still requires an inkjet with the right inks to deliver the result you look for.

        3. IsJustabloke Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: All Inkjet printers are expensive and shit

          "Home printing colour photos is madness."

          Not if you're a halfway serious photographer it's not but then I don't have a cheap inkjet I've got a canon Pro100s

          Actually I do have a cheapish canon Inkjet as well but the ink for that is not quite so eye watering.

          To an extent consumers only have themselves to blame, if they were more willing to pay the true cost of the printer in the first place there'd be no need for these kinds of shenanigans, not that that means I think what HP have done is ok, they choose to sell the printers as loss leaders

  29. Jim Willsher

    My view on lots of the above posts:

    Models: I have a Dell 3130cn which I'm delighted with. it's been telling me for two years (or maybe three?) that the C/M/Y toners are nearly empty but it still happily prints all colours. Good job I didn't just chuck in my spare set when the printer warned me to.

    Multifunction: never, ever buy a combined printer/copier/scanner. You wouldn't buy a spork (spoon+fork), you'd buy a spoon and a fork separately. You wouldn't hold an iPad up to your ear to make a phone call, you'd have a small phone for calls and a big iPad for videos (or Android/whatever). Get the right tool for the job, and if that means separate tools then fine.

    HP: Never, ever buy HP. I did, once, and regretted it ever since. The nail in the coffin for me was when my £2k laptop had a hardware error the DAY AFTER the extended warranty expired, and they were not even remotely interested in helping me, even though my laptop was one of 20 that we'd bought. Cutting off nose to spite face?

    HP are no longer significant in any market (although some unwise folks still buy their servers for some bizarre reason). HP are a Woolworths; they sell lots of stuff but it's all humdrum and they don't actually produce a single good product that makes them the goto place for something. They're an also-ran.

    Downvotes expected. But I'm past caring.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Amazonians

      Sporks are available in a selection of colours.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Multifunction: never, ever buy a combined printer/copier/scanner. You wouldn't buy a spork (spoon+fork),"

      1. It's hard to do a computerless photocopy without something with photocopier functions, and a separate photocopier tends to be either a crappy or expensive proposition if you're not a big business. Most smaller business as a result get a MFP as a necessary evil: the scanning part gets used as much as the printing part.

      2. I actually DO like sporks as they're quite useful in certain applications.

      3. I won't buy Canon or Epson because I've had problems with nozzle clogs, which are hard to fix when they're built into the printer.

      4. I'm using a Color LaserJet (it had been donated to a charity shop because of a paper jam; bought it and fixed the jam) and have little to complain about it. But I also recognize it's not the right choice for photo printing, for which I keep a PhotoSmart 385 (I junked two PictureMates because of nozzle clogs, at least with HP buying a cartridge changes the nozzles, too).

    3. Captain Badmouth
      Terminator

      @ Jim Willsher

      "The nail in the coffin for me was when my £2k laptop had a hardware error the DAY AFTER the extended warranty expired, and they were not even remotely interested in helping me, even though my laptop was one of 20 that we'd bought."

      You should have gone to trading standards, a laptop that lasts just a year has to be unfit for purpose and possibly had an inherent manufacturing fault. (EDIT : Just seen that it was extended warranty, sorry.) I've helped people get refunds/repairs on "out of warranty" stuff many times including an aquaintance whose drill batteries failed in similar circumstances. Argos gave him vouchers approx. 1.5 times the cost of a new one in order to avoid a small claims court and subsequent publicity. He was happy. I've got a Dell laser with IJT carts and it's very happy. I just wonder why all the people with inkjets with clogged heads don't keep old carts and use some isopropyl ( generally inert on most plastics but at your own risk etc...) in order to do a cleaning run? I have to say that I have experience of some HP lasers that were built like tanks and go for years.

      Logo : Customer service for out of warranty problems.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: @ Jim Willsher

        Because at some point they get SO clogged not even alcohol will clean them. That's why I had to junk the PicureMates (because their carts contain alcohol in them for head cleaning but they still weren't getting the nozzles clean; they'd basically reached the "baked-on grease" state where nothing short of physical manhandling would clean them, and since the head is hidden behind non-user-servicable panels, that's why I went back to the PhotoSmart; at least there you can reach the head).

    4. The Travelling Dangleberries

      Sporkist comments

      Actually, after many years of testing various utensils on long summer cycle tours I have to say that the titanium version of the original Light My Fire spork is IMHO a useful and usable piece of kit. Unlike the plastic versions, the "knife" edge can just cope with cutting open apples and slicing cheese, whilst the spoon can be used as both a spoon and to spread butter, marmite etc on bread. It also can be used as a cooking utensil as it doesn't melt if you leave it in the frying pan by accident. As it is made of titanium it is very durable, light and much harder to break by accident.

      Admittedly a titanium spork is rather more expensive than its plastic siblings - a classic example of you get what you pay for.

      The same goes for buying a cheap multi-functional printer made by a gouging multi-national corporation - you get what you pay for.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
      FAIL

      > You wouldn't buy a spork (spoon+fork)

      Au contraire - my Dad used one for years. One of the joys of Parkinsons Disease..

      > Multifunction: never, ever buy a combined printer/copier/scanner

      Even when it's the right tool for the job? Your logic is inconsistent.

      > Downvotes expected. But I'm past caring.

      But you cared enough to post. See my comment about about inconsistency..

    6. jackandhishat

      I'd buy a spork for camping - they're surprisingly useful - but otherwise I completely agree.

  30. MaNIaC

    No sale

    Never have and never will buy any HP printer.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    HP likes Penguins

    Whilst I wouldn't condone their behaviour, I like HP inkjets: they are cheap, work well and last well. They also play well with Linux. Mine cost £57 six years ago and does its job. You also have to feel a (little) sympathy for them...I bet few home / home office users actually print much any more aside from boarding passes, recipes and an occasional invoice.

  32. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Inkjet?

    I thought Inkjet printers died out 20 years ago. Cheap laser printers are cheap as chips these days. I bought a Samsung for about £170 a decade ago and it's going fine. Cartridges are 70 quid but off brand ones work fine and they last for years even with my relatively high usage (Call me a luddite but I like to run stuff off to read in the bath or down the pub, prefer paper to screen and it's better for eyes and thumbs for mobile devices.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Inkjet?

      They're currently the goto method for compact photo printing. All the other methods tend to be more specialized and therefore more expensive, both in printer and materials. They're also a viable option if you do infrequent color printing.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Inkjet?

      Lasers are usually larger/heavier (especially color/duplex ones), take more power, produce more heat, and toner looks more expensive for light usage. Many SOHO users can still find inkjets simpler to use, and some of them are better suited to print the occasional photo on glossy photo paper.

      High-end photo printers are also inkjets because lasers can't match their quality, and often use 10-12 specialized inks (i.e. photo black and matte black) instead of just four, or like my Canon, a clear coating to improve ink reflection.

      Also, an A3+ (or even A2) one is usually still a little more compact than a laser - but its paper management is usually different, aimed at handling large sheets (or rolls) of thick and expensive paper, not 500 sheets of plain paper.

      I ended up with a laser printer for documents and graphics, and an inkjet photo printer for photos. Not everybody needs are the same...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "potential security risks"

    The statement says, in part:

    "When ink cartridges are cloned or counterfeited, the customer is exposed to quality and potential security risks..."

    What, pray, potential security risks could be causes by using non-HP cartridges?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "potential security risks"

      "What, pray, potential security risks could be causes by using non-HP cartridges?"

      it's an OBVIOUS security risk, as in some situation, an HP printer might then not be able to print! Imagine, a VERY probable scenario: Cobra meeting, minutes must be printed pronot in order to be accidentally photographed while being carried in hand by a nominated nobody in order to remain secret for everyone who can read a newspaper and who hasn't yet picked up vibrations in the air. And the HP printer valiantly throws a wobbly. Surely a Security Risk, black alert and we're all gonna die! Happens practically every day, as HP's finest, Jon Flaxman, would attest.

  34. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I stopped buying HP printers years ago

    When I opened the front tray to change the ink cartridge on one for the first time and a load of springs fell out.

    I'm pretty sure that wasn't meant to happen as the printer stopped working after that. It was only two months old, as well.

    (Before you ask, I did get a refund thanks, and instead bought a Canon MFC which was built like a tank and lasted five or six years with no problems whatsoever. It probably still works - my ex has it now.)

    1. Captain Badmouth
      Happy

      Re: I stopped buying HP printers years ago

      "I'm pretty sure that wasn't meant to happen as the printer stopped working after that. It was only two months old, as well."

      It was meant to happen after a year. :)

  35. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    No problem

    Just buy another printer.

    It's often cheaper to buy a new printer than replace the ink cartridges.

  36. Maryland, USA

    If the update was for security...

    Why does it prevent authentic HP ink cartridges from working in my machine if the cartridges came from Europe?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marvellous juxtapostion

    "

    Alternatively, you can vent your anger at print-hpi@hp.com. ®

    Sponsored: Understanding ransomware and strategies to defeat it

    "

    Co-incidence? I hope not :-)

  38. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I guess nobody actually clicked on the link to the full statement which includes the bit El Reg omitted (naughty vulture) to the effect that they're preparing another update to fix it. Still far from ideal but it's possible HP are, at last, starting to learn lessons. They have a massive amount of work to do to rebuild their reputation. If something like this turns them around then so much the better.

    1. Adair

      @Dr Syntax - It always helps to read the article to the very end:

      '...Crucially, a fix is promised to reverse the damage. According to Flaxman:

      As a remedy for the small number of affected customers, we will issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature. We expect the update to be ready within two weeks and will provide details here.

      Alternatively, you can vent your anger at print-hpi@hp.com. ®'

  39. Simon Rockman

    If you want a real con, have a look at Franking machine cartridges. £120 for about 20ml.

    If you think of the old joke "how do you double the value of a Skoda? Fill up the petrol tank".

    To fill up the 90l petrol tank of a £260k Lamborghini Aventador with that ink would cost £540,000. It would triple the "value" of the car.

    Chanel No. 5 is substantially cheaper than printer ink.

  40. wyatt

    No idea what firmware my HP printer has but it won't accept any HP/none HP colour cartridges any more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Might be

      Bad ribbon cable.

      Also worth cleaning the gold "nipples" that connect to the cartridges, had this happen on my ip1700 once and it has not done it since. Maybe dried ink got onto them?

      Its also a common failure mode on HP printers, sometimes there's also a micro fracture inside the cable which causes gradual lines and resembles a failed head but eventually it interrupts the i2c lines and causes a complete failure.

      In this case an organ donor identical printer can furnish a replacement cable which can get it going, an even more irritating fail is the "tower-of-ink-in-the-spitoon" failure that jams up the sled.

      Re. earlier comments about the DIY ink, this was on an i70, a very small "pocket" sized bubble jet printer which had the advantages of non-smart cartridges and replacement heads being available if needed.

      Its a real shame Canon went down the route of head-in-cartridge as having to change a head when it clogged up irreversibly was annoying but far less expen$ive than on every single print.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news

    I have here some plans to "recycle" dead HP printers.

    Some older ones have a very nice LM35DZ 3 pin temperature sensor on the PCB where the lid sensor sits, which acts as an ink temperature feedback system.

    Also the newer ones have nice brushed motors which can be repurposed for robotics applications, even though they are somewhat underpowered 8 in parallel *per side* with the motors coupled to the 3D-printed tank tracks using the old sled driver belts works very well if you are making something that can do 17.5 mph while shouting "nO DiSaSseMbLe nUmBer fIVe" at Halloween party-goers on its way past.. any faster than that and its classed as a motor vehicle.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP (in my opinion) screws customers.

    In other news: water is wet.

  43. gudguy1a

    What a friggin' joke - years of HP (ink) games

    Yes, glad this is getting more traction. This damn company has been manipulating people's ink choices for many, many years. I was also affected at one point because of the HP ink cartridge schemes....

    And my ass:

    from HP "only a small number of customers have been affected"

    They have got to be frigging kidding - this has affected MANY MORE customers over the years...

  44. Huns n Hoses

    Buy our ink

    We'll throw in a printer. It was ever thus.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019