back to article Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

One man’s effort to sue HP Inc for preventing his printers from working and forcing him to use its own branded, and more expensive, ink cartridges can move forward in California. Florida man John Parziale was furious when he discovered in April last year that HP had automatically updated his two printers so they would no …

  1. ExampleOne

    And this is why you buy printers with CIS systems installed. Not much they can do to control the ink sourcing with them.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      And this is why you buy printers with CIS systems installed. Not much they can do to control the ink sourcing with them.

      Or block printers from accessing the internet.

      1. Beeblebrox

        block printers from accessing the internet.

        Good idea. Why don otherwise?

        Another option is to stop printing.

        I think I printed < 5 pages of A4 last year. Nothing yet this year.

        I have a criminally slow HP LaserJet from around 2010 at home. This got a bit of a workout when the kids were still at school, I even bought some kind of toner refill in around 2015.

      2. Rol Silver badge

        Yep! I have an A4 Inkjet Canon printer, that prints directly onto DVD's as well, and is wonderful.

        Run it on inks a tenth of the branded cost, and has never let me down in the...what..almost 10 years...no can't be..Yes 10 years, I just checked the invoice.

        It has never been connected to the internet, or an O/S that was, so I can't attest that Canon are not beyond chicanery.

        The inks run dry without printing a thing in about 2-3 months, and the heads, even after many months of idleness, are just one automatic clean from being perfect again, unlike other printers I've had that just died from lack of use. Sorry, my Commodore PET's dot matrix printer is probably still eager to play, like some eternal Springer Spaniel in a museum somewhere.

    2. BillG
      IT Angle

      HP Printers are a Virus

      My first and only experience with an HP printer is a familiar one. Back in the days of Windows XP I installed an HP printer "driver" that had a 65M installation file. Of course it slowed the entire computer.

      And of course the HP uninstall programs were incomplete (remember?). It took me days to remove all the additional files, hooks into the system, and registry entries. The entire time I repeated in my head the invocation "I will never buy another HP printer again." I was pretty good at IT back then but no expert. The computer ran better but still had glitches. It eventually took an OS reinstall to finally restore it to it's pre-HP glory. I also learned the value of system & registry backup programs and installed one on every computer I was responsible for.

      I kept my promise - I never bought another HP printer - or HP anything - again.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: HP Printers are a Virus

        HP LaserJet printers in the early 1990s were very nice.

        I would never pay money for an HP Inc printer these days, of course. I've had to use a number that I didn't purchase (my wife's printer, one I had at my part-time teaching gig, etc), and they were without exception horrible, even without taking the vastly overpriced ink into account.

        About ten years ago I debugged a hanging HP printer software installer on my daughter's Mac. It was easy - the thing was a Bourne shell script written by someone wildly incompetent. As part of the installation it had an array of files and for each one it was doing a "find / -name ..." command, searching the entire filesystem tree. That seems to be typical of the printer division's software quality.

      2. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

        Re: HP Printers are a Virus

        If you their business line there is usually a "driver only" download. These are far superior to their full management downloads.

        I avoid consumer any brand as a matter of course. That backfired when I purchased Win10Professional and found it had games and other bloat I couldn't uninstall without serious faffing about. I was not pleased.

        1. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: HP Printers are a Virus

          It gets worse; that crap is also part of the windows 10 enterprise edition, which pretty much requires the company paying a pallet of money to microsoft every year.

          We don't need the Xbox live services on our company's laptops. But we can't remove them because they are somehow baked deep into the OS, and are therefore non-removable. About hte best we can do is disable the services entirely.

          Thankfully, we were able to use a Group Policy to shut off a lot of the other annoyances with windows 10.

          1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

            Re: HP Printers are a Virus

            From my understanding, dism can remove most things. There's also 3rd party software that can remove stuff as well.

  2. swm Silver badge

    I hope HP loses this one.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      I hope HP loses this one

      The lawsuit is not a "loss" (against HP) if HP settles out of court.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Why the EFF settled? Just because they got enough money?

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          HP used weasel words to imply they were going to change their behaviour, then didn't. And the EFF maybe didn't spot that, maybe couldn't afford to continue and felt they had to take whatever they could get, or maybe hoped HP would learn a lesson from the whole thing.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "And the EFF maybe didn't spot that, maybe couldn't afford to continue and felt they had to take whatever they could get, or maybe hoped HP would learn a lesson from the whole thing."

            The EFF can definitely afford to continue and I'm surprised that this wasn't brought back to their attention as a breach of their settlement (contempt of court hearings can be entertaining when it's corporate C-levels in the dock and facing a judge's grilling)

            The best overall solution is: "Don't buy HP" - and I use these ink lockouts as a prime example of why they're best avoided.

            It's not just printers either.

            We caught HP (not HPe) dropping very low spec SSDs in high end desktops (Elitedesk800s), charging us for higher grade drives, then moving from attempting to gaslight us on speeds (which failed when I generated benchmarks exactly per their requirements showing the drives were crap $45 Hynic BC501a devices instead of the $150 Samsung 970s we'd paid for) to then attempting to gaslight us by claiming that was what we ordered all along - to which we showed the purchase orders for the items showing the itemised price of the drives purchased vs the "value" drives they claimed we'd ordered.

            Annoying buying groups who spend several tens of millions dollars each year and then gaslighting the complainants and denying everything to the buying group coordinator - who had possession of the chain of correspondance on his desk at the time the denials were made - makes for a spectacularly egrarious own goal.

            1. Roopee
              Headmaster

              The best overall solution is: "Don't buy HP"

              Couldn't agree more, where printers are concerned. This has been my mantra and heartfelt advice to all clients who ask my advice for longer than I can remember.

              It's not just the cartridges; HP printer driver software accounts for more troubleshooting time than all the rest put together.

              Such a pity that the printer division isn't like the laptop division - I have more HP laptops than all my others put together, because I actually like them.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            If entities like the EFF settles and run away with the money, instead of getting a ruling if those behaviours are legal or not, companies like HP will just rinse and repeat.

            'Didn't spot that'? 'Learn a lesson'? I can't believe they would be so naïve, c'mon.

            1. Rol Silver badge

              It wouldn't be a surprise to find the other big names in the printer world were having confidential chats with HP, to ensure, that if HP's gravy train was to derail, it did it on a quiet provincial line and not the main line, where they would all get a stop signal. Hence the out of court settlement, and potentially an explanation for some strange, non-competitive tenders.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Probably because they added a stick to the carrot: if the case went through, HP likely threatened to make it a total war: to take it all the way to the SCOTUS if necessary, and recall what happened at the time: Big-Business-Friendly Republicans took over the whole works in Washington. EFF was looking at a HUGE risk: that SCOTUS could rule in HP's favor, set a new precedent, and make it open season throughout the US such that anyone who didn't play HP's game would get bought out or swamped out of existence.

          As the late Kenny Rogers once sang, "You have to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."

          1. Matthew 25

            Know when to walk away,

            Know when to (take the money and) run

    2. simonlb
      FAIL

      I hope they lose and have punitive damages levelled against them too.

      To use the car analogy here, the fact a car manufacturer recommends that you use a certain brand of engine oil to lubricate the engine, you don't have to use that brand. It is irrelevant how much they spend on R+D every day to develop their engines, the brand of oil you use after YOU have bought the car is entirely your own choice.

      The argument about the quality of non-genuine inks might have had some validity 20 years ago, but not now - I've had a number of Canon printers and currently run an Epson printer and they have all worked quite happily using non-genuine ink cartridges and I have been unable to notice a reduction in printer performance or print quality.

      Seeing as how the printer manufacturers make their inks on an industrial scale I find it hard to believe that a couple of tablespoons of ink costs £25 when a non-genuine ink costs the equivalent of £4, so the only explanation for the extortionate prices they charge you is pure greed. Perhaps if they spent a few quid extra improving the build quality of their printers and priced the ink as the consumable it is rather than as a luxury item then people might be more inclined to buy genuine ink cartridges in preference to non-genuine. Not going to hold my breath on that though.

      1. LOL123

        It's the Gillette model though where the printer hw is sold at a loss - the price of the ink itself is not the point.

        Perhaps there should be two price tiers - the fully costed purchase that accepts third party inks and the gillette model one where the printer is sold at loss but only takes the manufacturer cartridges.

        It will be interesting to see how this goes - there was no advertised assurance that other catridges would work from the printer manufacturer. The purchaser took on that risk here.

        The terms of sale he assumed were from the third party catridge manufacturer. If anything the third party cartridge manufacturer should be sued, they are the ones who, as part of the sale, told him their catridges would work in lieu of manufacturer catridges, it wasn't HP.

        If you used the thrid party engine oil, and the car stopped working, who would you sue?

        1. ExampleOne

          Perhaps there should be two price tiers - the fully costed purchase that accepts third party inks and the gillette model one where the printer is sold at loss but only takes the manufacturer cartridges.

          Epson already have this (their CIS EcoTank models), Canon and Brother (AIUI) also have CIS models. Interestingly the CIS models were something like £100-£150 more expensive than the equivalent cartridge models when I was last buying a printer a couple of years ago.

          The only problem is HP appear to have moved the other way towards "subscription" ink.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "The only problem is HP appear to have moved the other way towards "subscription" ink."

            Yes, and IIRC at least one lawsuit fell over because the printer had been purchased with a subscription model that the buyer didn't activate. HP argued for that instance that they were effectively renting the printer to the buyer and use of third party ink constituted a breach of T&C

            Previously to this, one of the favourite methods from the printer makers was to detect "non-genuine" cartridges and deliberately waste inordinate amounts of ink on unnecessary cleaning cycles.

            It's not even as if the printers in question are very good. HP print quality is mediocre at best.

            1. Happy Lemming

              "HP print quality is mediocre at best."

              Using knockoff cartridges, are we?

              1. heyrick Silver badge

                "Using knockoff cartridges, are we?"

                Nope. I am with HP's Instant Ink (pretty inexpensive and can print whatever you want within the page limits and they'll roll over some of the unused pages).

                The print quality on best to coated photo paper is pretty good for a cheap'n'cheerful printer.

                The print quality on normal to plain A4 is, on the other hand, barely better than my ancient DJ500 from the '90s. Plenty of visible streaks due to uneven ink dispersion, misalignments (even after being aligned) and generally like something that belongs in the last century. Millions spent on ink technology? Great. How about dropping some cash on print head technology? Or failing that, just beg Brother for their secret method, as none of my recent printers (a Canon and the HP) could hold a candle to my old Brother 165C. Now that is a printer that made good results on a piece of plain paper.

                1. heyrick Silver badge

                  "How about dropping some cash on print head technology?"

                  I suspect a major factor in the behaviour of printers is one of built in print head versus print head in the cartridge. The cartridge one is easily replaceable and doing so effectively gives you "a new printer" (and if you trash it with bad ink, just get a new cartridge).

                  On the other hand, they're cheaper, simpler, and generally naffer.

                  It seems to me that the (replaceable) HP heads can only create two sizes of ink drop (normal colour and light colour) whereas my older Brother with its built in head could create various sizes of drop for a far better looking result.

        2. pogul

          > If you used the thrid party engine oil, and the car stopped working, who would you sue?

          If the car manufacturer issued a software update (and cars do of course have many many microcontrollers in them these days) and that stopped the third party oil from being allowed (perhaps the car refuses to start) and that had worked fine before, then I would be absolutely livid and sue the car manufacturer.

        3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          "

          If you used the thrid party engine oil, and the car stopped working, who would you sue?

          "

          Depends why the car stopped working. If it was due to some inherent difference between the recommended oil and the 3rd party oil used, then maybe you could sue the 3rd party oil manufacturer (if they made false claims regarding their product), or maybe there would be no cause for action.

          But if the failure was due to the car manufacturer deliberately and unnecessarily modifying the car after you had bought it so that it disabled the car when a non-recommended oil brand was detected, and the car manufacturer had not informed you that this was a possibility when you bought the car, then I should think there is indeed a case for suing the car manufacturer.

          Same thing applies if your washing machine refuses to work unless you use its recommended laundry detergent.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "But if the failure was due to the car manufacturer deliberately and unnecessarily modifying the car after you had bought it so that it disabled the car when a non-recommended oil brand was detected,"

            Not quite this, but Glade modified their AirWick range so they ONLY work with "glade" refill cans - which they then jacked the price up on to make the difference between "theirs" and the generics more stark.

            The "detection method" relies on seeing a couple of ID stripes on the spray nozzle. This is easily bypassed by swapping nozzles from the old can or with a couple of suitable stripes from a black marker pen.

          2. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

            If the car spit out the offending oil and then seized due to lack of lubrication - sue the car manufacturer.

            If the engine seized due to inflated claims of 3rd party oil manufacturer - sue the oil company.

            If you put 50weight oil in an engine that specifically requests 0-20W - well that's an own goal and you should quit your whining.

          3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            If it was due to some inherent difference between the recommended oil and the 3rd party oil used, then maybe you could sue the 3rd party oil manufacturer (if they made false claims regarding their product), or maybe there would be no cause for action.

            And we have standards for engine oil. Oil manufacturers claim what standards their product meets, and auto manufacturers say which ones your oil should meet.

            It's a completely irrelevant analogy for the printer-and-ink business.

        4. Stork Silver badge

          If the oil was of the required specification, yes.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "It's the Gillette model [...]

          Basically introduce a new incompatible razor holder - and discontinue blades for the previous model(s).

          I have three razors from Gillette and Wilkinson. Uniquely compatible blades were bought at a discount when the models were discontinued. Barbers have commented that my beard is unusually tough - but each of those old blades give me a decent shave even after several months' use.

          It appears to be unwarranted change for the sake of marketer's wanting to proclaim "new". Any "closer, smoother" shave is on an asymptotic scale viz unnoticeable in practice.

      2. tip pc Silver badge

        "To use the car analogy here, the fact a car manufacturer recommends that you use a certain brand of engine oil to lubricate the engine, you don't have to use that brand. It is irrelevant how much they spend on R+D every day to develop their engines, the brand of oil you use after YOU have bought the car is entirely your own choice."

        Now days you need to ensure the oil adhere's to the specification as determined by the manufacturer, especially in diesels with DPF's and those newer ones with Ad-Blue. DPF's need low ash oils, putting normal oil in will coat the DPF and result in hefty repair bills, especially when the service person will spend ages diagnosing the issue as they won't initially know its just because the wrong oil spec was used.

        https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/221.0_en.html

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      So do I. Quite frankly, it's a dick move by HP.

  3. WolfFan Silver badge

    HP printers

    I used to buy HP laser printers for all office work, going back over 30 years. Please note the past tense. I haven’t bought a new HP printer in years. Because the old ones were so good and lasted so long, I still have a lot of them around the office. As they die, they are being replaced by Brothers. I have found that Brother lasers are almost as good as HP used to be, cost less, and Brother doesn’t pull DRM bullshit. I used to use mainly Epson inkjets. They are being replaced by Brothers as well. Brother inkjets aren’t as good as Epson inkjets, but again are cheaper and don’t do DRM crap the way Epson does. I personally have a Brother laser and a (getting elderly now) Epson inkjet at home; both will be replaced by a Brother colour inkjet when the Epson finally breaks. There is a firmware update for the Epson which I have not applied; unlike HP, Epson didn’t sneak it onto the machine (possibly because it’s not connected to the Internet...) and did warn in the Read Me (in small print, near the end) that the update might cause 3rd party cartridges to not work, including cartridges already in the printer. Allegedly the update fixes a ‘security issue’. I fixed the ‘security issue’ by not letting the printer onto the Internet.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: HP printers

      ... fixed the ‘security issue’ by not letting the printer onto the Internet.

      Exactly!

      +100

      Have a beer! --------->

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        ... fixed the ‘security issue’ by not letting the printer onto the Internet

        There is an option to disable printer downloading updates automatically.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          There might be, but if I had a printer, I wouldn't trust it. I'd figure that that option would be similar to the "don't collect my location" option for Google Mobile Services (where there are several switches in different places without documentation and only one combination actually results in the requested behavior). Alternatively, it could be one that flips itself back when power fails or the cartridge is changed. It only takes one firmware update from demonstrably untrustworthy manufacturers to render a stock of cartridges useless. If I had to put it online, I'd have a Raspberry Pi attached to do that part, with the printer's own network isolated. Manufacturers, this is what your untrustworthiness does to us. Cut it out.

        2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: There is an option to...

          Can you be 100000000% sure that said printer will actually obey that setting?

          No, you can't.

          Pulling the plug or at least stopping the things from phoning home with appropriate firewall rules is the way forward.

          The HP of today is a poor imitation of its former self. It it time they stopped insulting its founders and change its name to something like "RipOff Computers and Printers" or "FAKE" (Fail And Kill Everything)

          1. aj69

            Re: There is an option to...

            It it time they stopped insulting its founders and change its name

            It's a long way from the beauty of the HP41CV to the spamware-bloated crap they sell today.

        3. Def Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          There is an option to disable printer downloading updates automatically.

          Not on my HP printer there isn't.

          (Or if there is, it's so well hidden I can't find it. I haven't checked in the old basement lavatories yet though.)

          1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            I haven't checked in the old basement lavatories yet

            Well if you do, beware of the leopard.

      2. commonsense

        Re: HP printers

        ... fixed the ‘security issue’ by not letting the printer onto the Internet.

        All bets are that they'll just stick something in the driver to foist the update onto the printer through your PC instead.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          What's wrong with generic postscript?

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: HP printers

            "

            What's wrong with generic postscript?

            "

            OK for most laser printers, but it won't work with most inkjet printers. You could probably get away with sending ASCII text documents directly to the printer without installing any drivers.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: HP printers

              Yeah, I partly meant “why don’t all printers support it” as much as “what’s wrong with it from a usability” view.

              1. Down not across Silver badge

                Re: HP printers

                Historically at least, that was somewhat due to CPU and especially memory requirements. For many vendors PS support was an optional extra, and often required memory upgrade.

                In this day and age, I have to agree. Every printer should support PS.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: HP printers

                  "For many vendors PS support was an optional extra, and often required memory upgrade."

                  It's worth watching out for "PS capable" printers. We've been burned by that within the last 5 years (Canon!) - the "capable" bit meaning "only if you plug this $80 daughterboard in" - which went off the market before the $500 printers that hosted them did.

                  Nobody bought the daughterboards and you can buy them on Ebay for $12 - but I wouldn't bother as Canon's PS implementation is every bit as bad as the HP implementation that was based on it as well as being hellaciously slow and prone to crashing if it sees PS headers it doesn't understand/exceed 1024 characters (the standard allows for 4096. Formatting and explicit mode setting can push the boat past 1024 trivially)

                  OTOH Kyocera printers work better, are cheaper to run and slightly cheaper to purchase. Overall TOC is lower too.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: HP printers

      I got fed up with ink cartridges altogether, always drying out, head cleaning drains an entire one, etc. I have gone for one of Epson’s tank printers which works well. Pretty difficult to DRM that.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        Yup have an Ecotank here to see if it is better in the long run.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        This is why I moved to a colour laser. faster, better print quality than a cheap inkjet (no "striping"), comparably priced consumables, but they last a lot longer. Arguably cleaner (although loose toner can be messier than ink), no inks to run if they get damp, and less susceptibility to loss of colour-fastness as inks degrade over time / exposure to UV light.

        1. KLane

          Re: HP printers

          I've been happy so far with a Xerox DocuCentre 6027 color laser. I have used third-party toner for some time now, and all it does is say 'Non-Genuine Toner' when I turn the power on, and then continues to start normally. BTW, print quality is very good.

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: HP printers

      I've had the same experience as you. As printers die they're replaced by Brother printers. Works for me. HP needs to spend its R&D effort on making better printers, not coming up with new ways to degrade their functionality.

      In the US HP has pushed a sort of monthly lease model where you pay a fixed rate per month that allows you to print up to a certain number of pages (with relatively punitive charges for overage). As a sales wheeze its very slightly ahead of our time, the idea that you don't really own anything you buy, you just keep up the lease payments. (I'm expecting 5G to explode the number of common household objects that we have to pay monthly service fees forr but I'm also going to be spearheading the consumer resistance to this.)

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        @martinusher

        The pay per print model is as old as Xerox (and others) copier deals, the leasing deals I was asked to sell when I took a six month stint as a copier salesman in the '80s was already old then.

        In those days the top commission was paid on some of the crappiest models if you could get some poor sod to sign a 5yr lease with a monthly cap on copy numbers and a toner/paper/ maintenance deal. The print quality would drop steadily well within the leasing period, the copying requirements would go up and any changes to the terms or upgrades and extra maintenance would cost an arm and a leg.

        The printer manufacturers now are only extensions of the old copier industry.

        Trying to sell that crap to people made it difficult to sleep at night, I moved on as soon as I found an alternative.

        1. Jolyon Ralph

          Re: HP printers

          Tried a Brother printer and the Mac drivers were awful. I'm sure it's fine for PC people.

          Epson printer working fine here with both Mac and el cheapo cartridges.

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: HP printers

            What’s the problem? It’s mostly Macs around here, no probs with Brother drivers here.

          2. Juan Inamillion

            Re: HP printers

            That's weird, I've been replacing my Mac clients' Epsons and HP's with Brothers for several years and everyone has been happy. Especially at being able to use 3rd party ink/toner.

            Never had a problem with 'drivers', plug them in and it's all good.

          3. katrinab Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: HP printers

            Get a printer that supports AirPrint, then you won’t need drivers. It will just work.

            Microsoft / Google, please licence this for Windows and Android.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: HP printers

              There is already the Mopria standard for that which is not controlled by Apple.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: HP printers

                Morpria is included in Windows 10 from build 1809 (October 2018 Update) - 8 years after Apple launched Airprint....

                Suspect many people don't know it is there because they updated a pre-existing Windows system which had OEM print drivers installed.

                Just goes to show just how much energy MS has been devoting to non-essential stuff such as one version of Windows for all platforms, TIFKAM etc., rather than on stuff that would actually help people better use of their laptops, tablets and MS Surfaces...

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: HP printers

                Mopria is also included as standard in Android 8.0 Oreo, where it is called: Default Print Service.

                In my experience so far (HP, Canon, Brother), if the printer supports Airprint and/or the manufacturers own WiFi print application then Mopria will be able to access it.

          4. TimTheEngineer

            Re: HP printers

            Awful how ? I've used brother laser printers with Macs at home for... well over 10 years, it must be. I've not had any problems with them at all....

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          "The pay per print model is as old as Xerox "

          It's still around on the high end devices. The difference is that once you factor in all the other costs it's usually not a bad deal (one of the primary reasons outfits like Kyocera still push it is due to the number of disasters they had with people maintaining the big Taskalfas and suchlike themselves.)

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        "I'm expecting 5G to explode the number of common household objects that we have to pay monthly service fees for"

        I'm not, for the simple reason I wouldn't buy one.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          IoT really should be called IoV (the V stands for Vulnerabilities)

        2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          I'm not, for the simple reason I wouldn't buy one.

          Of course you won't buy one as that will be impossible, you will only be able to lease those.

      3. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        I worked for a small firm that had one floor standing copier/scanner/fax/colour printer that was using pay per print. Interestingly though the thing had been bought not leased. The deal was that the maintenance and the toner were included in the cost per page. So one day the printer is totally buggered by a mechanical fault it still scans but printing is out. We called the firm who dispatched an engineer and who duly turned up at 5:00pm. He can't fix it though as it needs a part he hasn't got. So he says he'll be back next day once he's collected it from their spares department. Next day he turns up minus the part and says it's on order, he'll just be doing a service today. MD was very unhappy and says we need a printer working today and compensation for the downtime. So the engineer fetches us a mono printer and by 2pm you can print again. Next day the part turns up and by close of business we're fully back up and running. The engineer said we were probably their least profitable customer as we used so many toner cartridges for so few pages printed. Also the part that had broken was very expensive. We did get a £50 credit on the bill because the MD was a very demanding little so and so.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: HP printers

          We had a 'industrial' grade coffee machine on similar terms. Our MD had got a very good deal. They did not anticipate the insatiable need for good coffee (and it was - roasted frequently and ground to order) by R&D staff, not to mention regular visits by the engineers in an attached factory. The maintenance engineer was there on a bi-weekly basis (the MD did know how to negotiate a tight SLA).

          I left a couple of years later, but I wonder what the renegotiations looked like when they came!

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          "So one day the printer is totally buggered by a mechanical fault it still scans but printing is out. "

          We've had consistent problems with users who should know better putting all kinds of crap through printers instead of the normal paper.

          Metallised christmas wrapping paper does not work well in a desk-sized laser printer

          Nor does putting inkjet transparencies through a laser (the fuser will destroy the transparency, which will in turn destroy the fuser....)

          The solution was paper locks - not to stop people stealing paper FROM the printer, but to protect the printer from people putting mindbogglingly stupid things INTO it.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: HP printers

            What happened when not if the printer's broken again and you find you vaunted paper lock had been forced off or even picked. Put a camera in the printer room and hope someone doesn't bring a can of spray paint?

          2. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: HP printers

            In Ye Olden Daze(™), the company I was working for had a big, beautiful, tabloid size (11 x 17) Tektronix crayonjet. The sales bumf said that it would print on anything from tissue paper to cardboard. We once had to use a sheet from a kitchen paper towel roll; it printed. We used thin cardboard stock on several occasions; it printed. It never jammed, not even once. And, yes, it would print on transparencies. Then Xerox bought Tektronix, and new printers were possibly the most useless paperweights I have ever seen.

            1. Wellyboot Silver badge

              Re: HP printers

              Tektronix transparency prints were unbeatable quality :)

              I have one of their freebee logo t-shirts that you could get simply by sending off the card included with the printer, (it was black, now a mucky dark green) and it still fits!

    4. Roger Greenwood

      Re: HP printers

      Thanks for the tip WolfFan **

      (** Orders another 2 Brother printers...)

    5. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: HP printers

      Ditto that. I stopped buying HP inkjets long ago due to this ink scam. Now I happily use Brother printers.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        DON'T BUY INKJETS - fullstop, unless you have a specific use case for them (such as photo printing)

        Lasers are much cheaper per page and can sit for months between pages without clogging up

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: HP printers

          Which was advice I gave to Sylvester McCoy when he found out I was a IT guy at the hotel bar in Seattle.

          Tech support to The Doctor & a Wizard.

    6. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: HP printers

      This post has got me weighing up the cost of continuing to run my HP printer until it dies (probably not going to happen for a long time as I don't print much at home) or buying a Brother now.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        Run it until it dies.

        You might find it never does, because you never actually use it

    7. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: HP printers

      I picked up (literally - off the porch of a local law office) a Laserjet 5 a few years ago, after reading a posting offering it to anyone who wanted it. It sat in my basement until just recently, when I started working from home.

      Having nothing to lose, and being fed up with the "need to use the printer, go buy another pricey set of ink cartridges" game, I powered it up and tried to print a test page. It made grinding noises and jammed with a partially printed sheet inside the machine.

      Being a handy sort of guy (and needing a working printer), I dove into it, and, after a bit of Googling, discovered that the gears that drove the fuser unit were missing a few teeth. Ordered a rebuilt fuser unit (because why not) for $120 and a replacement drive gear for $20. And, while I was at it, a full load of RAM for $40 and a network card for $20. After a few hours of watching videos and more Googling, I summoned up the courage to pretty much take the thing to pieces and replace the drive gears, fuser, etc. Vacuumed out some toner and a whole lot of dust bunnies along the way. A fresh (third party) toner cartridge for $40 and it's on my home network, printing like new.

      Now, here's the thing: according to the test page, this printer was built around 1996, which makes it about 24 years old. The test page says it's printed 333k sheets. It is eminently repairable with pliers and screwdriver, and the replacement parts are not only easily available, but refreshingly low-priced. The gentleman who sold me the replacement gears mentioned that these HP printers have been known to go 1 million pages.

      Sure, I spent close to $200 getting this "free" printer working again, but that's pretty much the price of the new Brother laser printer I was thinking of buying. And I like this one better...and I just found a "genuine HP" spare toner cartridge on Goodwill for $14!

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        The old laserjets were rock solid. IIRC, they were limited t around 300ppi, but to be honest, you're unlikely to notice resolutions higher than that in a printed document.

        IIRC, they (or a similar model) were susceptible to paper mis-feeds due to wearing on the rubber rollers that fed the sheets. The solution, if that happens to you, is to open up the bit where the rollers are, and rotate the rubber bushes through 20 degrees or so. You'll get another 16 goes after that before you need to replace them!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: HP printers

          "The solution, if that happens to you, is to open up the bit where the rollers are, and rotate the rubber bushes through 20 degrees or so"

          There are two pickup rollers on the older HP laserjets, one in the paper tray itself (this feeds the paper) and one set into the top of the drawer slot (this spins backwards and fires any extra sheets picked up back into the tray) If they're bald/shiny, they need replacing - and for the older units you'll pay peanuts, so why bother playing with trying to eke out every last bit of use out of them?

          https://jhlprinterspares.co.uk/74-hp-4100-paper-feed-repair-kit.html - a compleat kit - £19 (these kits should be good for at least 15,000 pages, usually closer to 50,000)

          A word of advice: You won't appreciate how badly worn most older printer rubber parts are until you compare them against new ones

        2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: HP printers

          Thanks for that tip.

          I got sent a set of new feed rollers with the gears. Apparently, they fail around the same time, so the feed rollers come in the same kit.

          There appears to be a huge body of maintenance knowledge around these printers, to go along with the plentiful spare parts. Another reason why I thought repairing it was worth the effort.

          And it appears you can still get a refurbished one for well under $1k. They cost about $1700 new, I believe.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        As I've posted on these hallowed pages before, you can pry my LJ 4 and 5 out of my dead cold hands.

        In fact given the reliability of the old, properly built HP printers, quite a few years ago I got a 4700 to print in colour (on the rare occasion I need to) and not have to sufffer the dried/gunked up ink/heads and constant banding. Ok cartridges for 4700 are not cheap but the amount I need to print (especially in colour) probably last lifetime of the printer.

        Repair/maintenance manuals are out there easily available, spares are plenty.

        @PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY = "Happy Days"

      3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: HP printers

        I used to buy Colour lasers on special…. Usually because they would last for years on the starter cartridges, once I even had a replacement still boxed because it was being sold at a ludicrous price.

        The day came the printers swapped out & the Brother sat there neglected in the basement, with its mono little Brothers (Pun intended)… & it came to pass as its replacement was looking to be retired, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency threw out their Brother MFC (which was the bigger bigger brother), which fell into my lap at the slaughter house I was working at.

        All the lightly used (800 pages) parts like fuser, transfer belt etc were transferred across & with rebranded toners for about $60 a set its been purring along for 5 years. :D

        I have lots of New HP rollers if I ever find a LJ4000 going cheap.

      4. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        I've seen these old Laserjets hit 2m pages with little more than changing the wear parts and some cleaning, personal experience says you can go up to the HP4100 series with the same confidence.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP printers

      Another upvote for Brother printers. We keep buying them at the office and they just keep working, so I'm over grieving for the HP of days past. And these stupid companies seem to forget how hard it is to win back those they've screwed until one day they wake up and even their most loyal customers are gone. Here's looking at you HP. You're so large it will take time, but your day is coming.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: HP printers

        I first bought a brother laser printer about 15 years ago. It lasted about 12 years, drivers were simple, included in windows (even 10) and I only replaced it when so many parts were worn out that it was cheaper to buy a new printer than to repair all the drums and rollers and cogs and so on. I replaced it with a new Brother laser printer, of course. I also bought genuine toner from Brother because there was no point in buying cheaper copies as the price wasn't that different and frankly, I'd rather "reward" Brother with continued purchases than have them go down the horror of the HP route.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP printers

      Yes... used to buy HP LaserJets for work back in the 90's as well, and they were absolutely fantastic. I've got to admit to using an old LaserJet Pro at home. Just checked the firmware date, and it's from 2011 - happy days :)

    10. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: HP printers

      The auto-download of firmware updates over the internet is only part of the problem, the issue as we have seen with Microsoft Windows updates is knowing what is in those updates.

      A big question has to be whether HP made it explicit that this specific firmware update contained significantly changed functionality with respect to third-party ink cartridges and gave the user the option to rollback to an earlier release etc.

      Remember this update from HP is equivalent to Microsoft updating Windows 10 to only permit the usage of Microsoft Office, Defender, Edge etc.

    11. Fluffy Cactus

      Re: HP printers

      Exactly right! HP Series II ruled from about 1987 to 2001. The someone came on board to say: Down with quality, up with printer cartridge cost. Really a dumb move on HP's part, because they lost lots of long term customers that way. Since then, for any business that still needs to print out documents and and have them signed in blue ink (lawyers, accountants, tax and real estate offices, banks, mortgage companies, etc) if you want a good balance in black and white laser printer cost and quality, Brother Laser printers are the way to go. You don't have to pay me anything to say that.

      I am not using Ink jets, for the same reason I don't like liquid detergent: You pay for water or fluid you don't need. Toner is more economical. I must be a real cheap skate.

      To HP I say: You guys lost your minds, your common sense and your printer customers all at once. If you had the idea of "good quality at a good price" even as just a 2nd priority, you wouldn't do what you are doing.

      I am just guessing what's going on in HP corporate meetings: "Corporate USA types at their best: Let's make our customer mad with bad quality and high prices, they'll never figure it out, man, and yeah, more Whisky please..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Florida man...

    I expected a different kind of news...

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Florida man...

      The hero of our times...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Florida man...

        He's the hero we deserve, but not the one we need right now.

    2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Florida man...

      I thought this 'Florida Man' thing was funny too, until I listened to a Citations Needed podcast on the subject. They explained that Florida has the worst provision for mental health in the USA, and that most of the reports fail to mention that invariably the Man in question has mental / alcohol / controlled drug issues. It seems to me that every society has to have a group of people to laugh at. I suppose it makes people feel better about themselves, knowing that others are worse off than them.

      Pass my anorak please, it's the one with Grumpy Old Fart on the back.

      1. DemeterLast

        Re: Florida man...

        From what I understand, "Florida man" is a result of Florida's "sunshine law" that gives free public access to all government records--which includes arrest records.

        So if you're a professional scribe with a looming deadline and either A) writer's block, or B) a hangover, you rifle through Florida's records until you find something wacky. It works really well year round too, because in Florida it's warm enough to sleep outside in the winter, so there's no weather related downtime to the hijinks and tomfoolery.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I thought this 'Florida Man' thing was funny too

        Too bad about the mental health issue but I guess that this is not the only reason. For more information, please read Dave Barry's columns -- several of his Florida-based weird stories are related to politics and common people (and drugs and hurricanes).

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Well, HP has argued it spends a billion dollars a year on “ink research and development,” and that the ink “must be formulated to withstand heating to 300 degrees, vaporization, and being squirted at 30 miles per hour, at a rate of 36,000 drops per second, through a nozzle one third the size of a human hair. After all that it must dry almost instantly on the paper.”

    Like the money Gillette spends on 'research' for it's razors up in Reading and Boston USA, shouldn't they know most of the basics by now ? [ going past a 5-blade seems redundant... ]. How much billion dollar research is further needed ?

    And disregarding that what all those words mean is that it is a computer printer ink: one expects an ink to do all that. The mechanics don't matter to users.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Indeed. It's all a self fulfilling circle jerk of having to keep up the revenue to keep funding the advertising to keep trying to kid consumers into believing that these tedious and long established products are still exciting and relevant and not really just a smoke screen to cover up the fact that all these companies really do is produce razors and printer ink. I can't see that the world would be any worse off without either Gillette or HP around. They are both in markets where there are well established competitors and alternatives - and that scares them both shitless.

      So... y'all gotta keep up that advertising now!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wll HP's total R&D budget in 2019 was $1.5 billion. It's perhaps no wonder that their printers and computers are a bit flimsy - what with 2/3rds of the budget going on ink.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          That nearly cost me a keyboard. Have an upvote.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        "So... y'all gotta keep up that advertising now!!!!"

        Or like how every new iteration of soap powder washes whiter than the last one or, maybe more appropriately for here, each new TV screen or monitor has better blacks than the previous one.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      "Research" is done entirely in the marketing department methinks.

      1. Legionary13

        That would make them like the pharmaceutical industry, where marketing budgets typically exceed R&D. They of course have to bribe not only legislators but doctors and that costs. Not formally called bribes, I should add.

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      I've gone back to using a safety razor.

      £2 for 20 blades, and one blade lasts around 5-10 shaves, especially if I shave after a shower when the whiskers are a lot softer.

      That's a minimum cost of £2 for 100 shaves! (I hope I got my maths right there)

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Make it a maximum and you got your maths right.

      2. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
        Flame

        Did the same several years ago. I'm fortunate in that I don't need to shave daily, I can get by with 1 or two shaves/week but paying 20quid for four blades really was taking the p155.

        They were a favourite of the drug crazed shop lifters because they were small, easily concealed and had quite a good resale value and a ready market....

        Before going back to the safety razor I tried the disposable BICs and also imported some blades from China to fit my Gillette handle. I'd thrown better blades out - had a face like chopped ham :-(

        Icon is the nearest to skin colour.

        Got to use Erasmic shaving sticks though, the stuff in cans is for wimps :-)

        1. Kernel

          "Before going back to the safety razor I tried the disposable BICs and also imported some blades from China to fit my Gillette handle. I'd thrown better blades out - had a face like chopped ham :-("

          Check on-line for blades from reputable brands like Astra, Derby or Merkur - here in NZ I can buy a 100 pack of Astra blades for $NZ25.00, and I generally get a month of (daily) shaves per blade.

  6. J27 Bronze badge

    Hmm, all I did was throw out my HP printer and buy a Canon Megatank printer. No way to lock down to only Canon ink cartidges... because it doesn't use ink cartridges you just squirt the ink in the top. And admittedly, the Canon ink is pretty cheap and I havn't had to actually buy any because the full set of ink that came with the printer (HP would never do that either) has lasted for ages.

    1. JakeMS

      I can't comment on the canon tank printers (I've never used a canon one)..

      But their run-of-the-mill inkjet printers are okay until you simply can't buy ink for it any more.&nbsp;&nbsp;I've had around 4-5 canon printers, with one still in use in our shop for printing online invoices and barcodes/prices (well, before lockdown).

      I've had to replace them almost every time simply because I can't find the inks anymore, not in-store, not online - not anywhere (not even third party inks).

      The problem with inkjet printers, without ink, they don't print (big shock!). That and sometimes I felt print quality was lacking a little, but they made up for it by working perfectly with CUPS on Linux and being fairly cheap, so I was happy enough.

      But in the end I bought a HP Inkjet, with subscription - they just send me cartridges every time it runs out. I don't like being on a subscription, but it's mostly business usage and with a bit of math it seemed viable enough based on frequency of ink purchases and monthly costs.

      With all this said, I hope this guy wins his court case - It shouldn't matter what ink is in the printer, so long as it can be used!

      1. I am the liquor Bronze badge

        Canon inkjets on Linux

        The slightly lacking print quality you mentioned might be down to the drivers. It's great that Canon provide Linux drivers at all, but they don't give you all the same print quality options that they put in their Windows drivers.

        If I just want to print a document I'll do it direct from my Linux machine, but if I want best quality for graphics I tend to print to PDF and then print the PDF from a Windows box.

        Does anyone know if there are any other printer manufacturers that support Linux 100%, with fully-featured drivers?

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: fully-featured drivers?

          Brother drivers seem OK for their laser printers, ink MFP and laser MFP/C on Linux.

          Canon also do linux drivers, but the scanner part for an inkjct MFP seemed a bit flaky with Xsane/GIMP combo.

        2. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: Canon inkjets on Linux

          What are these "drivers" that you speak of? This is Unix/Linux-land. A printer is just a file.

      2. hoola Bronze badge

        How about the Canon printers that refuse to print because the "tank is full"?

        The Canon printers that when used with 3rd party cartridges then have bunged up heads?

        The Canon printers that in spite of trying numerous 3rd party refills and cartridges don't print as well as the original.

        HP is not alone in the ink problem. Preventing 3rd party cartridges without warning is a bit below the belt BUT, lets assume that he was signed up to instant ink. At that point it makes sense as you are buying a service.

        I gave up on Canon after all the trouble of refills, 3rd party tanks and so on. It was just not worth the effort for the amount we print.

        Right or wrong I pay for HP Instant ink:

        The printer works, does not get bunged up and the quality is good. No whinging from kids and wife when it goes wrong yet again because it just works. The printer has outlasted several other models including an HP in printing reliability by about 2 years now.

        The real win on Instant Ink is the cartridges are huge, they last for 100s of pages and replacements always turn up in time. I had one cartridge not work and it took about 2 minutes of chat on the HP website for a replacement to be dispatched that arrived in 48 hours. We were still able to print as I had an Instant Ink spare.

        Many will knock Instant Ink but for convenience you cannot beat it & it is cheaper than regular HP cartridges. It is not cheaper that 3rd party but in based on what I have tried they are rarely comparable.

        This is my experience and will probably not be shared by many.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      HP used to do it but realised people were simply buying the printers as they often costed 1/3 the price of a full set of cartridges (I admit this was like 12 years ago)

      1. xyz

        Astonished...

        People still print stuff? Oh my!

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Astonished...

          Surprised by how many downvotes but yes admit I don't print as much as I used to, but still print out bits and bobs.

  7. stick box
    Mushroom

    Even HP Cartridges don't work in HP printers

    Even HP Cartridges don't work in HP printers - they're region locked. So if you take your US printer to another global region, you can buy HP cartridges in the shop that are for your printer model and identical to the US ones, but they will not work in your HP printer due to the region lock. Probably even made in the same factory.

    The "official" solution is to give a HP representative remote control of a computer in your business/home that is connected to the printer so they can update the firmware manually!

    There is a reason I never apply HP recommended updates and will never buy HP again.

    1. jdoe.700101

      Re: Even HP Cartridges don't work in HP printers

      Canon also region locks their cartridges. I've just inherited a laser printer which I'll use till it dies, and go to the print shop when I need something in colour.

    2. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: Even HP Cartridges don't work in HP printers

      I suspect that some older HP cartridges wouldn't have worked either if they've update the communications protocol as the article states. Even if they updated the cartridge tech a few years ago, there will still be some floating out there.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Even HP Cartridges don't work in HP printers

        HP carts also have an expiry date and, depending on the printer and/or driver, won't work beyond that date.

  8. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    HP never appears on my list of printers for exactly that kind of shenanigans

    1. Saruman the White

      I have just replaced my printer at home (which I also use for business purposes) which had basically worn out after 10 years. HP was never even on my list of acceptable replacements. I settled on nice big Epson printer, and am more than happy with it.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    And yet...

    I just had to replace the toner cartridge for my ancient Brother monochrome laser printer. Cost me all of a tenner... remind me again why I'd want an inkjet?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: And yet...

      remind me again why I'd want an inkjet?

      I have an inkjet because it was by far the cheapest way of buying a scanner with an automatic document feeder. Sometimes inkonomics works in your favour.

      1. dak

        Re: And yet...

        The Brother 8690LCDW sitting next to me is a 4-colour laser with a scanner and ADF (and fax, but well...).

        Bought last year for £104 after cashback, and 3rd-party laser cartridges are £15/pop.

        1. The BigYin

          Re: And yet...

          That Brother 8690LCDW is currently just shy of £500.

          Far too pricey to risk being locked into expensive refills.

          1. dak

            Re: And yet...

            Just checked - £350 on eBay - I did get a good deal, didn't I?

            But cartridges are less than I thought - £10.50 for high-capacity blank.

            Oh, and Brother's Linux drivers are very good.

            1. Down not across Silver badge

              Re: And yet...

              Eons ago I had a Brother mono laser and was happily printing from SunOS/Ultrix via ghostscript thanks to it supporting PS (well they called it BrotherScript but same thing).

      2. JulieM Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: And yet...

        But it probably won't even scan documents unless it has manufacturer-approved ink cartridges fitted, and with some ink remaining in them; this functionality being enforced through proprietary drivers and computationally-expensive protocols to prevent the development of alternative, Open Source drivers.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: And yet...

        I have an inkjet because it was by far the cheapest way of buying a scanner with an automatic "document feeder. Sometimes inkonomics works in your favour."

        Does the scanner work when one or more ink carts are empty? If not, how much ink is wasted by cleaning, even though you may never use it as a printer. There are some models which fail completely when the ink runs out, but most commonly, printers that won't print monochrome even when the black is full but any one or more of the colours are low/empty.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: And yet...

          "Does the scanner work when one or more ink carts are empty? "

          Ah, you ran into that too huh? Thanks HP.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: And yet...

      Colour prints from a machine thats small, small colour laserjets are still to large and the smaller ones tend to take forever to wake up (Waves fist at reception machine which wasted 5 minutes changing a toner only to want another colour!!!) and have the worst toners ever (I think the smallest HP we had to get only lasted 2k pages!).

      For mono prints though, its hard to recommend an inkjet.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And they have also totally destroyed Samsung printers

    My Samsung multi-function colour laser has done about 7,000 pages out of it's expected service life of at least 100,000.

    It looks like I'm going to have to replace it after HP purchased Samsung. It no longer prints properly under Catalina on the Mac - most features are ok, but Airprint support for duplex printing doesn't work. No problem, I though, check for firmware updates and drivers.

    There is a firmware update. It fails to install with a message along the lines of "invalid firmware".

    There are drivers. They also fail to install as HP have not digitally signed the components, meaning the OS does not allow the installer or the installed executables to run. You can work round this by temporarily disabling kernel mode security (they really think that's acceptable?), but even that doesn't help as the driver just reports "filter error" when you try to print anything.

    The "generic" Samsung driver is also no help. It supports double-sided printing, but does not allow B&W only!

    Looks like my replacement will by Kyocera or Brother!

    1. ChrisC

      Re: And they have also totally destroyed Samsung printers

      Having been a happy owner of two genuine Samsung lasers over the past decade and a half, when our last one started misfeeding paper after getting on for 7 years of sterling service (and having been fed with third party toner ever since the starter toner ran out), I naturally started looking at the current equivalents expecting to see the same highly rated reviews from users. Having not been aware of the HP takeover in the meantime, I was therefore taken by surprise to see so many poor reviews, and on digging further into the details was when I then noted comments about "it's just a rebadged HP", "no support since HP took over" etc...

      As a result, I've now got a rather nice Brother mono laser sat in its place - a little more expensive but with almost entirely glowing reviews from users and with readily available third party toner, and a few nice extra features to make the price justifiable - auto duplexing and a proper internal paper tray being the two main ones for me. Only time will tell if it withstands the next 6-7 years of use as well as the Samsungs did, but so far it's been all good, and I can see why the reviews have been so good.

  11. IsJustabloke
    Stop

    I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

    consumers only have themselves to blame for this situation. If they were more willing to pay the true cost of a printer then ink would be commensurately cheaper. It really is that simple.

    Does "Florida man" or indeed anyone else really believe that the printer cost 35 quid?

    I carry no torch for HP or their behaviour but they can't give away a printer and then giveaway the ink it's just not feasible and while I do agree that to deliberately break something a consumer has paid for is utterly wrong, I understand why they would try.

    I have two canon printers, one was several hundred pounds, the other just 200 , the ink costs for both are pretty reasonable by that standard.

    sorry but that's the truth of it.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

      If they put a lebel on it "will only work with HP inks" - in big bright letters, then I would agree. But they don't sell it that way so I do have sympathy with the ordinary punter. A friend bought an HP printer and I was roped in to help set it up. Disabling 'talk back' and automatic updates were amngst the first things I did.....

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

      Eh? Explain this to me again as I'm not sure I understand your logic... "they can't give away a printer and then giveaway the ink it's just not feasible." But that is exactly what they have done - as part of their corporate business model.

      So how then is it that "consumers only have themselves to blame for this situation"?

      I would say its got nothing to do with the consumer, and everything to do with HP trying to maximise and prop-up continually falling profits that via marketing, keeps the wool pulled firmly over the fact that all they do is shill a boring technology that they haven't themselves advanced in the best part of 10 years.

      1. IsJustabloke
        Facepalm

        Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

        @Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

        I guess you do think a printer *really* costs 35 quid.

        Printers are sold at a loss because consumers won't pay 100's for them. If they then buy the ink at the actual cost how is that company supposed to make money and survive?

        I don't understand why *you* find that such a difficult concept to understand.

        When you buy a printer at something approaching the true cost of the printer then inks are much more reasonable in price. It really is that simple.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

          I have to strongly disagree with your statement:

          When you buy a printer at something approaching the true cost of the printer then inks are much more reasonable in price.

          I don't believe that if printers' price reflected their true cost, the price of ink would be reasonable I believe, if printers were more expensive (re. true cost), the price of ink cartridges would STILL be as high. No business would give up extra profit. It's just that they went the route of "cheap printers", because they decided it gives them more leverage over customers, because people perceive hardware as valuable, despite its low price, thus willing to bleed money on ink cartridges again and again.

          1. ExampleOne

            Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

            Except that for plenty of companies, Ink is a lot more reasonable priced once the printer is paid for up front.

            I can specifically reference Epson EcoTank where the Epson inks are comparable in price with third party inks on Amazon. I have never checked the Canon MegaTank or Brother equivalents as I don't have them, but assume they are similar.

            Interestingly, as alluded in the post you are disagreeing with, the price for cartridge ink per sheet drops dramatically once you move out of the cheap consumer inkjet market. Highend canon photo printers ink cartridge prices aren't ridiculously high, but you are looking at a £500+ printer. This is not a system designed for bulk printing, and is a market that is far more aware of TCO calculations than the regular consumer.

          2. NightFox

            Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

            @AC "I don't believe that if printers' price reflected their true cost, the price of ink would be reasonable I believe, if printers were more expensive (re. true cost), the price of ink cartridges would STILL be as high"

            For a "true up-front cost" Epson EcoTank consumer printer:

            Genuine Epson T6641 70ml black ink - £8.65

            For a subsidized cartridge-based Epson consumer printer:

            Genuine Epson T0711 7.4ml black ink - £10.49

            I'm afraid the evidence somewhat contradicts your beliefs! (and yes, that is 70ml v 7.4ml)

          3. IsJustabloke
            Stop

            Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

            "I don't believe that if printers' price reflected their true cost"

            Then you're wrong because I have two canon printers that are exactly that.

            I paid a proper price for them and the inks are reasonably priced.

        2. JulieM Silver badge

          Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

          The entire business model of selling a product for less than it cost to manufacture, then recouping the loss and eventually making a profit on necessary consumables by artificially excluding third parties from supplying pattern parts should be illegal.

          Of course, properly enforcing the second part would make the first part redundant anyway .....

    3. NightFox

      Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

      I agree with you on the cause, but not who's to blame. The printer industry brought this on itself with its model of subsidizing the cost of the printer with the assumed revenue from subsequent cartridge sales - you could argue that the consumer was equally to blame for buying into it, but "back then" there wasn't really an alternative (for consumer-level inkjets). Only in the last few years have any of the main manufacturers taken the brave step of selling refillable ink tank-based printers at a "true" cost. Whilst they still seem to be offering them, that new model doesn't really seem to have taken off, presumably as the average buyer won't understand why he should spend £300 on a printer when he can get an "identical one" for £50. However, take that step and swallow the up-front cost and suddenly you you find yourself liberated. Not only do the 2 x 70ml bottles of each colour ink that came included with my Epson printer amount to the equivalent of about 10-15 full cartridge sets, but the printer conveniently seems less inclined to have to waste copious amounts of it with self-cleaning etc.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

        "that new model doesn't really seem to have taken off, presumably as the average buyer won't understand why he should spend £300 on a printer when he can get an "identical one" for £50."

        Actually most consumers look at a £300 inkjet and realise they can get a pretty decent laser printer for slightly more than that with less hassle all around.

        OK, it doesn't do photos but how many people actually PRINT photos anymore? And besides to do it properly you need special paper, etc - at which point it's easier to just go to a print shop.

    4. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: I expect I'll get a ton of downvotes BUT

      This is victim-blaming.

      Yes, some people who fall for scams are just greedy and don't attract a great deal of sympathy for their plight. But many innocent people also fall for scams. Naïvety is not something that should be reprehensible.

      Years ago, this sort of practice was deemed unacceptable. Vehicle manufacturers cannot legally require you to use only their approved spare parts -- to the extent that certain features are specifically excluded from copyright or registered design protection, for the protection of third-party vendors' ability to make pattern parts. For some reason, common sense seems to have gone out of the window as soon as computers became involved.

      HP's actions amount to nothing short of deception, criminal damage and extortion.

  12. DrXym Silver badge

    It shouldn't be left to individuals

    Governments and the likes of EU should be regulating consumer electronics so they cannot prevent a person from reasonably servicing their own device and to prolong the life of that device. That would reduce consumer waste, planned obsolescence and lock in. For ink jet printers, that should include the right to use cartridges, refills or refilling solutions of their own choice.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It shouldn't be left to individuals

      Except the likes of HP will pump huge lobbying funds into the counter argument that using "cheap and nasty" 3rd party inks causes more clogs and damage thus reducing the printer life and causing more waste.

    2. N2 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It shouldn't be left to individuals

      That involves the EU 'doing something useful' so I won't hold my breath

  13. MisterHappy

    Used to buy Lexmark

    Back in the day I used to buy Lexmark inkjet printers, cost of printer with a black and a colour cartridge was £19.99. The ink cartridges that came with it were 1/2 filled. Cost of replacement ink cartridges - £55. The guy in the shop asked me why I was buying a new printer every couple of months & was shocked when I explained that it was cheaper to do that than get new ink.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Used to buy Lexmark

      Agreed with that. I've just had to replace a printer (old, rarely used, so gunked up - yes I dismantled it and cleaned it first which had limited success. Note to self, don't do that again in clothes or hands you care about).

      The printer I selected was an HP. It was £100. It came with 2 years of free "instant ink" (basically HP just send you ink when you run out) and a rebate offer of £50 which just paid out.

      So a printer and 2 years worth of ink for £50. I have no doubt I'll sadly (for the planet) be buying a new printer in 2 years time.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Used to buy Lexmark

        Either that printer was dirt cheap to make and therefore of the sort of quality you'd expect at that price, or the "free" 2 years of Instant Ink has some caveats not usually applied to someone paying normally for it. I can't imagine HP thinking they will make a profit out of this in the short term, especially if the printer barely lasts 2 years of use.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Used to buy Lexmark

          Of course they don't think they'll make a short-term profit, that's my point. They think I'll either increase my ink subscription (it's "200 pages per month") or at the very least start to pay for it in 2 years and for enough people, that may be true - and overall I'm sure they'll make a profit on that printer/offer.

          Equally, I'm sure they knew the risk of this lawsuit (given it's their third) and have calculated it's still more profitable to do what they're doing.

      2. stiine Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Used to buy Lexmark

        If you ditch the printer or get a different brand, remember to cancel your ink subscription. Also, make sure you change your shipping address and get them to acknoledge the change if you move house.

        Shipping $0.10 worth of ink to you for a printer you don't have and billing you $2.15/month forever is a great money maker.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Used to buy Lexmark

          They don't have any payment details, it's not a subscription, it's a credit note for the ink. When that runs out, they stop sending me ink (and I suspect my cartridges stop working...)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges,”

    shame if something were to happen to your printer if you apply our "quality improvement firmware update", eh?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Printing Cartel in action

    If it looks like one, smells like and prints like one it must be a cartel which I thought was illegal.

    1. dak

      Re: Printing Cartel in action

      It's only a cartel if there is more than one company involved.

      Applying a restriction after sale is (right-pond) a "post-contractual obligation", which is illegal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Printing Cartel in action

        But they'll counter the obligation was actually PRE-contractual. You just didn't read the contract, you dummy!

  16. Alan Sharkey

    I have a 7740. I've turned off remote updates. Simple.

  17. Aquilus

    Don't buy HP. Or Oracle. Or Microsoft. Or Cisco, Google, Amazon, Facebook or Intel. Or use Goldman Sachs. Or Bank of America. In fact, pretty much every large American corporation is evil and corrupt.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      And the most evil and most corrupt is that corporation called government.

  18. gskr

    Yes - very simple. Dont buy HP (or any of the other manufacturers that DRM the print cartridges)

    The headline price might be cheaper, but the long term price most certainly is not!

    I have a cheap compact Dell colour laser printer (C1760nw) that has been running fine for the last 4 years. A full set of compatible toners is about £20.

    In the 4 years I've had to replace the colour toner cartridges once, and the black ones twice. Black cartridges do ~2000 pages (and colour ~1400)

    Unfortunately Dell no longer make printers. However there are other manufacturers that also don't pull this crap. Brother is probably the top current recommendation!

    Never going back to an inkjet (DRM or not) - I really dont miss ceased print heads endless cleaning, and short lasting cartridges. If I need a photo quality print I'll just order an online print, but for everything else the laser is more than up to the task.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      FTR, Dell laser printers were just rebadged Lexmarks, so you now know where to look for your replacements.

  19. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Shitty inkjet printers

    I hope he wins and at least gets enough money to toss both his HP inkjets and get a couple of color laser printers, preferably from Canon, Brother, anyone but HP. Not that HP's lasers aren't decent, but their practices left a sour aftertaste a long time back for me. Additionally he should sue for the bloated, useless multimedia suite that came with his printers sucking his machine's resources and giving no value in return.

    The last HP inkjet I had before buying a laser printer I threw in the trash so hard it bounced.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Shitty inkjet printers

      Um, there IS one reason I keep a color inkjet on hand (and a portable one at that): photos.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shitty inkjet printers

        I use a photo service for that. Pixum sends them back quickly. A Canon Selphy is more expensive per photo.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Shitty inkjet printers

          Where I go, a photo service may not be available. Plus the demands tend to be for the photos yesterday because I won't be there for long.

          PS. I use a HP PhotoSmart for the job. At least it doesn't complain about aftermarket cartridges (which are actually pretty inexpensive compared to other aftermarket cartridges out there).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shitty inkjet printers

      Had a Canon laserprinter didn't like that at all. Stripy crap. Kyocera is a lot better.

  20. Andy Non Silver badge
    FAIL

    As business models go

    screwing your existing customers for as much money as you can will only last so long before the customers wise up and switch to different brand printers when their HP printers die. I used to swear by HP printers both for business and private use; but for the last few years I've switched to Brother printers and they work just fine without me being forced to use HP's extortionately priced ink. I see no reason to ever buy a HP printer again.

    Back in the day I also used to swear by HP computers and their excellent technical support. They fell over themselves to immediately help you, but that dwindled into a tardy email from what was left of their customer services a week later more or less saying, meh, we can't be bothered. The once mighty company has fallen to being little better than a third rate manufacturer with dodgy business practices. It is just living off its once respectable brand name.

    1. VTAMguy

      Re: As business models go

      +1. The brand name of HP was revered for superior engineering in a number of different fields. They were all engineers and they cared about engineering high-quality products. Now it's all frat boys with spreadsheets ferreting out how to scrape the last few dollars from the carcass, and then at some point it'll either go under completely or it'll get rebranded with a stupid Silicon Valley name we can mock.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple fix

    Don't give your printer Internet access. I mean, why would you?

    Even if you have some crazy need to print from on the road, this is why VPNs exist.

  22. Spanners Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Bizzarre!

    Why on earth is anyone still using an inkjet? Why do so many people "need" colour at home?

    I have a mono laser printer. When it is nor printing or copying, it does not use toner. Being mono, it does not use colour when I tell it to print black.

    My daughter "needed" to be able to print colour for her homework prior to her GCSEs in 2006. When she was off to Uni a few years later, I got rid of it and got a laser/scanner/copier and that's another cut in the expenses! No more having to use more money on cleaning the print heads than I just spent on lunch! No more neing aware how the cyan toner level is going down even though I have set the thing to mono.

    I am sure that there are valid reasons for having colour inkjets but I am also sure that most people who have them don't need to!

    1. ChrisC

      Re: Bizzarre!

      "I am sure that there are valid reasons for having colour inkjets"

      Yes.

      Like being able to quickly print off some new passport photos (which, despite the dire warnings from HMPO that photos printed at home are unlikely to meet their requirements, have never once failed to be accepted by them in the 12+ years I've been doing it) to avoid the need to drag myself, the wife or the kids off to the nearest photo booth or store that offers passport photo services and pay whatever stupid premium they charge for the privilege of getting a handful of tiny photos in return.

      Or being able to print off photo-quality copies of family photos at just the right size to fit the new photo frames your OH bought on a whim and now wants to put on the wall.

      Or to do any other colour printing where achieving photo quality output is important, and where you don't want to have to waste time and money travelling to a print shop/kiosk, or even more time waiting for an online print service to return something.

      And whilst ink carts certainly do require more TLC than a laser toner if not used regularly, I've never needed to throw away any of the genuine Canon carts I've bought just because they'd been left partly used in the printer for too long. At worst I've had to run the deep clean cycle a couple of times to free up all the nozzles if it's been more than a month or two since the last bit of colour printing, but more often than not all that's required is either a basic nozzle clean or even just adding a bit of extra stuff at the top of the first sheet to be printed off (e.g. when printing new passport photos I'll simply copy-paste a couple of extra rows, so that by the time the printout reaches the 3rd row any of the partly clogged nozzles will have cleared themselves whilst trying to print the first 2 rows).

    2. Androgynous Cow Herd

      Re: Bizzarre!

      Epson Inkjet for real photographic work. The commercial ones are very reliable and the cost of Genuine Ink is acceptable for the quality.

      But inkjet is ruinously expensive and far too slow for simple print work.

      A Brother colour laser printer handes that. On my 2nd in 12 years. The first was a Dell badged but made by Brother job that was just an absolute indestructable tank for high volume print work. I replaced it with the most similar Brother model I could find when the print head died for the second time 10 years in (after I don't even know how many pages printed).

      Per volume HP Ink (and toner) is more expensive than Dom Perignon. It doesn't taste as good but Dom Perignon just doesn't have the resolution.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Bizzarre!

        Morgan computers usually have free printers. The catch is you have to buy 4 or more sets of 3rd party refills to go with them so the "deal" is you are buying their refills and they thrown in the printer for "free". Their 3rd party refills aren't all that cheap, but it's probably a good deal for the right printer and the right person. I see they even have Brother listed now. They were all Dell branded stuff the last time a looked a few years ago.

        Disclaimer: I don't work for them. I've not even bought anything off them in at least the last 4 years.

  23. drewsup

    Deja Vu all over again

    I was thinking this was an old article at first, ten realised it was the third time HP has done this in the last decade! Fool me once....

    HP is a mere shadow of itself, even the basic B&W laser printers they make are onerous to work on now, what used to be held in by 2 latches now requires a major tear down to replace! Utter rubbish....

  24. AndrewD375

    It's not just manufacturer or region. HP's large format printers also stop working when the ink cartridge is out of date - that is to say, it may still be half-full and working perfectly, but suddenly one day you get a message saying "Ink cartridge MBK [or whatever] is out of date" - and that's it, no workee until you put in a new one, HP branded only only course.

    Given that inks for these big machines cost £00's this is beyond annoying, to put mildly.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      " HP's large format printers also stop working when the ink cartridge is out of date"

      They warn you about it. You can override and carry on to warnings only. (Z5400 here)

  25. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    WTF?

    You can bitch

    at HP, but I like 'em

    Ok given the fact I dont print that much that requires me to worry about ink prices, but 2 thing have made the 6400 all in one stand out.

    1 Linux driver for it. no faffing about... install.. print ... end of story.

    And 2nd more important thing...

    It aint a ****ing canon inkjet with a kiss of death counter.

    I spent a shed load on a canon 4300 inkjet for university.... expensive printer.... cheap'ish ink

    Until it went 13 beeps and refused to print... to which the information I had from the manual said nothing.. and the best other information said "your printer is fubar, send it to canon to fix or buy a new one"... and needing a university assignment printed out... bought cheap epslon that just about managed it and threw the canon in the backroom.... until curiosity got the better of me a few months later and took the canon to bits to see if anything was wrong.. no jammed gears, no broken wires/ribbons nothing.... search online until coming across this

    "13 beeps is the kiss of death counter.... actually its the head cleaning cycle counter so the printer knows when the ink catcher is ready to be changed, canon keep this in house because they can charge an arm and a leg for it. if you change the ink pad, you'll still need to reset the counter by pressing power on and feed att he same time waiting for 3 beeps and pressing on line, then power off"

    Checking my ink pad I could turn it through 180 and use it for another couple of years..... sadly due to the violence the printer was taken apart with, that was about the only bit that could be repaired

    So HP aint that evil.......... they'll all at it

    Incidentally have you heard about the m$ update dialog for windows 7 that installed windows 10 no matter which button you pressed on it......

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More expensive than vintage champagne

    Oh dear. That means we'll be seeing G Wagons with boot loads of HP ink in hip hop videos soon.

    On a serious note though, who still buys inkjet printers? Lasers are much cheaper than they used to be and are far cheaper to run, even if you buy the branded toner cartridges.

    Mind you, I've been running the same LaserJet 4050n since approx 1998 so what do I know?

    Absolute unit of a printer. Haven't had to replace a single part, I just need to clean it every now and then. It's been through a few house moves, been dropped and my kids climb on it.

    It has never jammed, never misprinted, never produced artifacts and never malfunctioned. It's a warrior.

    This printer will be used to print the invites to my funeral I'm sure. My great grandkids will print their homework on it.

    Given each toner cartridge does around 20,000 pages and I print around 200 pages a year and I've got 10 of them...I've got around 1,000 years worth of toner. My family is covered for generations.

    Absolute bargain. Picked up the toner about 10 years ago at an office clearance for £20 (all genuine) and the printer I got for free from a business that went bust...they hadn't even opened the box.

  27. Luiz Abdala Bronze badge
    Trollface

    I hope he prints the entirety of process if he wins...

    on an EPSON printer with ECOTANK,

    It has NO cartridge, just an ink reservoir.

    HP was abandoned in Brazil because of the 100 bucks cartridge that costs them 25 cents PER LITER.

    The only HP users are those that still have those LaserJets with "1 million miles repair kit." Those will survive the heat death of the universe, along with VW Beetles and NOKIA's 3100 beeping "low battery".

    Epson did a market research here: they launched 2 models of printers with DRM chipped cartridges, and one without. The one WITHOUT sold like hotcakes, just with mouth-to-mouth advertising. They ABANDONED cartridges and started selling printers with INK TANKS. Not to mention people were MODDING their printers with tanks, like, drilling HOLES on the cartridge and plugging them into IV units hanging from the printer, like it just had a car accident.

    And you can buy a PINT of black ink for 5 bucks on the grey market, pun intended.

  28. Drew Scriver Silver badge

    I used to buy HP gear until they refused to honor the warranty on my business laptop.

    It stopped working so I sent it in under the three year warranty, after obtaining an RMA. Got a message back to inform me that the motherboard had to be replaced because of a "liquid spill". Aside from being fastidious about keeping liquids away from my gear, this particular model featured a spill-proof keyboard, according to HP.

    I could have it fixed at my own expense, or pay $100 for them to ship it back to me.

    When I asked to see pictures of the alleged liquid spill they initially declined, but eventually I received photos that were so out-of-focus that no details were visible. At the time there were reports of HP-circuit boards that had issues with flux not having been being removed completely, which apparently lead to failures.

    HP was very slow to non-responsive to my requests. Only after I forwarded all the correspondence and the fuzzy pictures to the executives at headquarters did I receive a reply to re-open the case. Within hours of sending my e-mail.

    The laptop was promptly repaired and returned to me, but the whole business soured me on HP.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I used to buy HP gear until they refused to honor the warranty on my business laptop."

      HP (europe) tried to dodge a warranty claim on £14k worth of faulty LTO5 media at one point....

  29. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    I'm not sure the world is crossing their fingers....

    As this very site reported, the EU banned such shinanigans a while back: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/12/30/eu_tells_hp_et_al/

  30. Truthhurts

    What about non-HP Laser cartridges?

    Does HP allow non-HP laser printer cartridges? If so, why is that, aren’t they even more profitable?

    A: because mostly big pocket businesses use laser printers, and they’d sue for sure. HP needs business customers.

    Unlike inkjet individual home customers. They can be bullied and squeezed without scruples.

    1. AndyFl

      Re: What about non-HP Laser cartridges?

      @Truthhurts

      I've an old HP P2055DN laser which is close to indestructible and will probably outlive me. I feed it with no-name high capacity toner cartridges and never had a problem. Paid about 50 quid second hand and it does Ethernet, postscript and double sided. Printing from Windows and Linux simply works.

      I used to have a duplex HP laserjet 4 a long time ago but got rid of it because it was too big and heavy to move without two people. Again completely indestructible and would probably survive a nuclear explosion.

      I used a small HP colour laser printer on a project about 5 years ago and hated it, slow, kept wasting toner doing "something" and the HP only toner was in stupidly small cartridges which cost a fortune. If I go for a colour printer it won't be HP!

  31. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    FAIL

    "maintain the integrity of our printing systems"

    ...and I was thinking I'd own a printer after paying for it. Silly me!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disparity in in prices

    I have a Brother MFC-240C. Not sure when I bought it, but pretty sure it was new from a local office supply store at the time. (Original list of supported OS's only goes up to WinXP, so that's a clue.) It uses cartridges without a print head or electronics, just a magnetic float for level. Brother cartridges are in the $15 apiece range. Aftermarket cartridges from Amazon are $16 for 12 cartridges - $1.33 apiece. I've been using generic cartridges since the warranty ran out, and can't tell a quality difference, even when printing photos. Someday, when it dies, I'll be choosing the replacement off of ink costs; if the printer costs me an extra $100 for that, I'll make it up in the first couple years.

    HP can claim they did this to enforce quality all they like, but the fact is that they willfully decreased the capability of their printer with the intent of charging the customer a lot more than they were currently paying, without the customer's knowledge or permission. "HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP cartridges" means HP won't put forth effort to support them - it doesn't mean the same as "HP will actively prevent you from using non-HP cartridges".

  33. gfx

    not only 3rd party

    HP's own cartridges refuse to print after a certain date is expired and still "full" of ink. Basterds.

  34. magumba

    My solution

    As a home user and having quite often a need to print in colour and b & w i tend to buy discounted printers from those pesky auction sites,i normally budget between 70-100 pounds a year for this....at the end of the year i bin them,i read the reviews splattered copiously online once i have selected my sacrifice (avoiding those HP abominations) and occasionally buy a full set of compatible toners .i am presently using a samsung which cost 40 quid and 60 for a set of toners,it will last to the end of the year...then goodbye....admittedly this isn't a business model that would work for any genuine business not to mention weee regs....but i do find old laser printers burn exceedingly well leaving little in the way of scrap

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