Lawsuit against HP says Printer Cartridges run out too quickly

By Derek Sooman on February 23, 2005, 6:04 PM
A lawsuit filed in Santa Clara Superior Court in northern California last Thursday by a Georgia woman has sued Hewlett-Packard Co., claiming the ink cartridges for their printers are deliberately set to fail on a certain date. In some cases, it is alleged that the cartridges run out before they are even placed into a printer.

[The lawsuit] seeks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased an HP inkjet printer since February 2001. HP is the world's No. 1 computer printer maker.

HP were a little on the quiet side, to say the least. They were not available to comment on claims that the smart chip technology used in the ink cartridges is dually engineered to prematurely register ink depletion and to render a cartridge unusable through the use of a built-in expiration date that is not revealed to the consumer. The lawsuit seeks restitution, damages and other compensation.

User Comments: 8

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Electrick Gypsy said:
Nothing would surprise me.And I hope they get sued for millions.Working out the cost of replacing your cartridges with the genuine items also reaps the printer manufacturers millions of dollars. I've never been able to justify the cost of a new cartridge. A few ml's of ink and a mass produced housing.I read an article some time back about a guy that only buys the cheapest printers. When it runs out of ink he bins it and buys another printer. According to the article he was saving money.Go figure.
---agissi--- said:
Thats so bad... whats worst is its wasting ink. Waste of tiem, waste of space, waste of our earths resources..
Mictlantecuhtli said:
About a week ago, I was buying a color inkjet printer. Fortunately I didn't buy one then. One salesman I chatted with said HP used to have 40ml cartridges, but now they're 8 or 10 ml. I asked about Canon and he said they last even shorter amount of time.Surely, the technology has advanced during the last decade?So, I figured I'll continue printing with my old HP Laserjet 5L, even though it has only a parallel port and paper feeder doesn't work.Looks like my next printer will be a color laser one. More expensive than inkjet at first, but maybe the TCO will be lower.
tedster said:
I've always used Canon printers. (And I refill my own ink.) HP's ink tanks cost more than the printers themelves. (Plus they're a mess to try and refill.)One can ignore the software warnings the the tanks are running out and continue to use them until bone dry, but you run the risk of burning out the print head.
haiki said:
Think about any ink cartridge, for example, HP ink cartridge that has a warranty. Bad ink cartridge, color bad, light ink which appears watery, what-ever, they give you another one. That's the way a warranty works. You buy a recycled ink cartridge, with no HP warranty. It may work momentarily, but then you get these same messages, remove cartridge. Why should my printer shut down after purchasing a recycled ink cartridge? But then if you buy an HP ink cartridge, your printer is up and running again. Or until that time HP thinks you have printed long enough, even if you have plenty of ink. HP forces you, according to HP predetermined usage, in order for your printer to work, to buy their ink cartridges, or HP will shut your printer down. Don't focus on the ink cartridge, focus on the fact HP, and other printer manufacturers, stop your printer from working, because of some silly game they are playing of cheating customers before the ink runs out, or wrong ink standards, or what-ever. I say, go ahead send these stupid messages, but don't stop my printer from working. This is anti-competitive, and in violation of anti-trust laws.To be perfectly clearHewlett Packard recycles their ink cartridges by promoting that HP cartridges be returned for recycling, using a self addressed, stamped envelope. Allowing HP, through their “refurbishing and reselling” effort to conserve resources, using the various recycling facilities of manufacturers around the world contracted by HP. Thus, the mere fact that there also are other recyclers available to refurbish, and recycle ink cartridges, but except for lower cost, and the free choice of the consumer, HP has restricted the consumer the full use, and the operation of HP printers.Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, ninth edition. West Publishing. Chapter 43; ANTITRUST. “Characterizing a type of restraint as per se illegal therefore has a significant effect on the prosecution of an antitrust suit. In such a case, the plaintiff need only show that the type of restraint occurred, she does not need to prove that the restraint limited competition.....Tying arrangements. A tying arrangement occurs when the seller of a product, service, or intangible (the "tying" product) conditions its sale on the buyers purchasing a second product, service, or intangible (the "tied" product) from the seller....Because tying arrangements limit buyers' freedom of choice and may exclude competitors, the law closely scrutinizes such agreements.”Hewlett Packard has, unbeknownst to customers who purchased HP printers (tying product), tied as a condition, the purchase of new HP ink cartridges (tied product), or HP recycled ink cartridges, through the use illegal anti-competitive consumer practices.After all, what are we talking about, it's a ball point pen refill morphed into a printer ink cartridge. It’s a recycled auto part! Again, I say Hewlett Packard, and the rest of the conspirators, play your silly games by cheating consumers on ink cost, and supplies. I say go ahead! But don’t stop me from the use of my printer.
DragonMaster said:
[quote][The lawsuit] seeks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased an HP inkjet printer since February 2001. HP is the world's No. 1 computer printer maker.[/quote]I have a psc2175 (Which copies around 2-3 pages a day) since 2003 and the ONLY thing it does is telling that the ink level is low. Even when the cart is empty nothing is disabled. (And nothing broke! It was $300 tho)What I know is that my EPSON Stylus Color 777(Yeah right) did that... 90$ CAD for two cartridges, you do about 200 pages with them, and when they want it to be empty, you can't print anymore -- EVEN IF THE PRINTING WAS STILL LOOKING 100% FINE. 2 weeks after buying it's 5th black cartridge in 2 years (It printed what, 1000 pages?) It broke! + The heads were not even on the cartridge !I just printed the page count of the HP psc2175 : exactly 2600 pages and it's currently only at it's 4th black cart and 2nd color cart. Plus, they're only around $30 each. Kinda economic compared to the Epson!The good side next to Canon is that the heads are in the cart. so you can't really burn the heads. Carts are $10 more tho.Probably the models that are cheaper than the cart are doing this. Lesson : Don't buy the cheapest printer!
flyingakatana said:
Alhtough I did not purchase the cheapest printer. HP used to be a fairly nice quality printer. However, the fact that the ink cartridges are running out is so true. I was complaining to my sister yesterday that my ink cartridges were running out much more quickly than they used to. She informed me at that time of the lawsuit. I just purchased an ink cartridge yesterday, and it is already out! I want in on that lawsuit. I have purchased five ink cartridges in just the past month.
kjkircher said:
The problem goes beyond just having the chip on the cartridge preset to a certain date ande force you to doscard a perfectly good cartridge. It is what the Printer does with this information that is even worse. Many times the owner is punished by the printer firmware for attempting to use an outdated cartridge. The firmware will lockout the use of ANY cartridge of the offending color until the firmware is reset. THis usually involves removing the battery on the motherboard of the printer or resetting the firmware with a special key sequence. For instance, of you hold down the #and6 keys on the fromt panel of a photosmart 7200 series while plugging the power into the back power plug, the firmware will reset and cure the problem. Otherwise they will tell you it is impossible to fix. All so they can sell you dramatically overpriced ink.
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