Canon sued for $5 million for disabling scanner when printers run out of ink

Nintenboy01

Posts: 89   +71
The cheap HP printers I bought years ago never lasted long either. The mechanisms would stop working or the drivers would become a complete mess
 

Geralt

Posts: 826   +1,249
Your comment is completely worthless. There are obviously some models this applies to. Canon cited the requirement in the support response and the class action is going ahead precisely from the issue. What exactly is your contribution here?
Laser printer Canon I-sensys MF635Cx. Maybe now my post is more meaningful.
 

Geralt

Posts: 826   +1,249
Honestly I think most inkjet printers are not only scam but also #1 in the e-waste contributor.

in my life I've been through at least 5 different printers (some of them are freebies) and the reason is simple, it's became too expensive to operate the machine. all-in-one printer costs few dollars more than standalone inkjet printer so most people will buy aio printer. and when the printer fails, there it goes into the trash, nobody is saving it for the scanner because the new one is cheaper and that's why I'm not surprised it has taken this long before someone took a class action suit.

personally I've went with aio brother which has refillable ink tanks 7 years ago, to replace my lexmark inkjet printer which went out of business in 2013. the brother printer was worse in every way: print quality, speed, software, wifi control panel etc, but the refillable ink tank means I've only needed about $20 worth of ink for 7 years worth of home printing (over 3000pages). I took care of the printer by always using best print quality which means more inks are used and print speed is significantly slower - these are easier on the printhead.

I'm actually surprised that people still buy cartridge type printers in 2021. people should stop buying it so manufacturers do not produce these kind of money-hogging printers anymore.
I moved to laser printers a few years ago because I was fed up with inkjet printers (especially with having to recalibrate the heads and to clean them by using ink over and over again). Since then I never looked back. Now yes, to change the toner in my laser printer I need to drop around 300 dollars for the original one! So, it's not precisely economic.
 
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crocography

Posts: 34   +30
That happened to me a while back and we just threw out the Cannon printer. Yes it was a waste of money buying it, but we asked them the same question, because we still wanted to use the 'ink' non-dependent technology, they told us we couldn't. I bitched for about 1 hour with them with no solution. I even mentioned that they should say this on their box and advertise this fact upfront... never again! (much less I told many others not to buy Cannon as well and told my story... 2 people who were just about to put their money down on a Cannon printer.) I know it's not much but they missed 2 sales at least. KISMET
 

Axil00

Posts: 82   +96
Its pathetic that printer companies have gotten away with this for decades while the US Justice and Regulatory systems spend billions unwinding patent law and shaking a magic 8 ball to decide
if mergers can go through
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,731   +644
Now yes, to change the toner in my laser printer I need to drop around 300 dollars for the original one! So, it's not precisely economic.
Nominally laser feels more expensive (especially color laser) but as an extreme example your standard yield 045 black cartridge has something like 7 times the yield of the average standard yield canon inkjet black cartridge in a 2 cartridge systems, but costs half as much for the same number of printed pages. In Canon's 4+ cartridge printheads, price is almost parity (due to the cartridges being chipped tanks without printheads, canon actually has okay print yields). But what you also save is time and print quality, so I think you made the better choice ha ha.

High Yield cartridges and toner are both better options economically than standard yield, and if anything helps the argument of going laser, especially if you print fairly often.

ANYWAYS yes, printers that lock all functions behind having available ink is awful and printer manufacturers should feel bad.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
I have an Epson and it doesn’t have this particular issue. But whilst we are all here bitching about printers I just want to mention how appalling the drivers on the Epson are, flashing pop ups in my face, asking for permission for another tiny meaningless driver update constantly or just telling me that everything is ok. Or that I’m low on ink when I’m not.

Honestly Epson drivers are worse than Radeon drivers..
 

Geralt

Posts: 826   +1,249
I have an Epson and it doesn’t have this particular issue. But whilst we are all here bitching about printers I just want to mention how appalling the drivers on the Epson are, flashing pop ups in my face, asking for permission for another tiny meaningless driver update constantly or just telling me that everything is ok. Or that I’m low on ink when I’m not.

Honestly Epson drivers are worse than Radeon drivers..
I suffered Epson so much in the past with their inkjet printers!
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,767   +5,213
I moved to laser printers a few years ago because I was fed up with inkjet printers (especially with having to recalibrate the heads and to clean them by using ink over and over again). Since then I never looked back. Now yes, to change the toner in my laser printer I need to drop around 300 dollars for the original one! So, it's not precisely economic.
I've been using lasers pretty much ever since I started using printers. One of my conditions for buying a new laser printer, and I have had a few laser printers over the years, is that the toner cartridges have to be inexpensive. For me, this meant Brother, however, the last time, I bought a Canon Multifunction B&W. The cartridges last for about 9,200 sheets and they cost about $175. It is probably partly so expensive because each new cartridge includes a drum. I might go back to Brother the next time I buy.

That said, I also have a Xerox Color Laser. I bought it from B&H several years ago simply because it was very inexpensive at the time - Likely because they were selling it at a loss expecting to make up for their loss in toner sales. It is coming close to running out of the color toners, and I have decided that when that happens, I'll look for another color laser - because the color toner cartridges are unreasonably expensive, and I have done some research in the past few years and found that there are color lasers out there that have inexpensive toner cartridges, and it will cost less to buy a new color laser than it will to buy new color toner cartridges for the Xerox color laser.

The long and short of it is that I will never buy anything other than a laser printer; however, if researched carefully before purchasing, it is possible to find laser printers that have inexpensive replacement toner cartridges, and there is little fuss in operating them - I.e., no ink heads to clog.

Its pathetic that printer companies have gotten away with this for decades while the US Justice and Regulatory systems spend billions unwinding patent law and shaking a magic 8 ball to decide
if mergers can go through
I used to work for a company that made a RIP for Wide-format inkjets and copiers. The copiers, at the time, required specialized hardware to use as a PC printer. I will always remember my boss at the time telling me that companies would literally give away wide-format inkjets - yes, the big professional ones capable of printing 48" or wider, because those companies make their money selling "supplies" I.e., ink. So, I do not doubt the validity of this article. Companies will sell printers at a loss because they think that they will hook you on the supplies. As I see it, however, it is relatively easy to do some research upfront and find a reputable brand that sells supplies, ink, toner, etc., at a reasonable cost.
 
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Axil00

Posts: 82   +96
So, I do not doubt the validity of this article. Companies will sell printers at a loss because they think that they will hook you on the supplies. As I see it, however, it is relatively easy to do some research upfront and find a reputable brand that sells supplies, ink, toner, etc., at a reasonable cost.
Yes and no. I used to just buy a new $40 printer and throw it out when it threw an error message.

It was cheaper than a refill comparable to maintenance and supplies on a 'reputable' one. Then I ran a HP with flashed unofficial bios for years.

I don't need a printer now but I don't doubt there is still a way to game the system as a consumer.

My point is that a business practice that makes money by exploiting consumer ignorance isn't doing the market any good. I'd much prefer to have bought a printer at a reasonable price than having to research which current scam the printer industry is running.

If you want to turn a blind eye and let the market regulate itself, go for it. But then let's stop paying for the SEC to develop and enforce a bunch of regulations for other far less obviously harmful things.
 

BadThad

Posts: 750   +847
I haven't had an ink printer for 20+ years. Just far to expensive to operate and if you don't use it for a few months, you'll spend aa hour cleaning before you can even print....if you can print. Laser makes more sense on so many levels it's not even close! I had a KM laser than lasted for 5 years on the original toner cart and it printed EVERY time I needed it. They finally killed it a few years later by not making a driver for Windows 10 - I tried all kinds of hax to get to work, no dice. A great printer with no driver sitting my basement now. I hate to give it up but I lost to the "driver game".....which is just as ridiculous as expiring ink carts!
 

BadThad

Posts: 750   +847
I moved to laser printers a few years ago because I was fed up with inkjet printers (especially with having to recalibrate the heads and to clean them by using ink over and over again). Since then I never looked back. Now yes, to change the toner in my laser printer I need to drop around 300 dollars for the original one! So, it's not precisely economic.

If you look at the cost per page laser SMOKES any inkjet printer, not even close. Yes, toner carts are expensive at first, but the payout is HUGE compared to crappy ink printers.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,767   +5,213
My point is that a business practice that makes money by exploiting consumer ignorance isn't doing the market any good. I'd much prefer to have bought a printer at a reasonable price than having to research which current scam the printer industry is running.
I am not debating that. There are lots more businesses that are built on the model of exploiting consumer ignorance.
If you want to turn a blind eye and let the market regulate itself, go for it. But then let's stop paying for the SEC to develop and enforce a bunch of regulations for other far less obviously harmful things.
I'm confused, here. The SEC is not tasked with being a watch dog of the printer industry. It is only tasked with being a watchdog for securities, that is, stocks, bonds, etc.

If we really want things to change at this level, in the US, at least, the place to complain first, perhaps, would be the FTC. If that does not work, then members of congress would need to be lobbied to enact a law that prevents, somehow, a business model like this from existing. However, I doubt the printer industry is the only industry that employs such models. As I see it, the only true protection that any consumer has is to research what is available and use their best BS detector to find what is truly the best deal.

If you want to call that enabling the business model, that's your prerogative; however, I think it is next to impossible to legislate complete honesty in trade and thus, the consumer has to fall back on being informed. Buyer beware, unfortunately, has a place in the world. If everyone were honest and not just interested in making a buck or getting consumers hooked on their products, the world would be a better place. In an ideal world, lawsuits like this one against Canon would not exist and have no need to exist.

Even if this lawsuit is won by the plaintiffs, it does not guarantee that Canon will not keep on doing it.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,294   +962
I am not debating that. There are lots more businesses that are built on the model of exploiting consumer ignorance.

I'm confused, here. The SEC is not tasked with being a watch dog of the printer industry. It is only tasked with being a watchdog for securities, that is, stocks, bonds, etc.

If we really want things to change at this level, in the US, at least, the place to complain first, perhaps, would be the FTC. If that does not work, then members of congress would need to be lobbied to enact a law that prevents, somehow, a business model like this from existing. However, I doubt the printer industry is the only industry that employs such models. As I see it, the only true protection that any consumer has is to research what is available and use their best BS detector to find what is truly the best deal.

If you want to call that enabling the business model, that's your prerogative; however, I think it is next to impossible to legislate complete honesty in trade and thus, the consumer has to fall back on being informed. Buyer beware, unfortunately, has a place in the world. If everyone were honest and not just interested in making a buck or getting consumers hooked on their products, the world would be a better place. In an ideal world, lawsuits like this one against Canon would not exist and have no need to exist.

Even if this lawsuit is won by the plaintiffs, it does not guarantee that Canon will not keep on doing it.

I hope these printer companies get their hands tied with regards to ink costs and get slapped with price controls.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,731   +644
It is probably partly so expensive because each new cartridge includes a drum. I might go back to Brother the next time I buy.
It might be more expensive, but I kind of like that the drum is considered part of the consumable. It allows one less possible avenue of failure since it's replaced when the toner cartridge is empty. I do know that at least the Brother monochrome laser printers have replaceable drum units which also act as a sled for the toner cartridge.

The biggest issue I've had over the years have been fusers. Especially HP color laser printers. They are considered non-serviceable parts, surrounded by a dozen screws and two dozen easily broken clips, and are hard to come by, to the point that it's basically not worth trying to fix. Brother fusers are even harder to come by, but those printers are pretty cheap in comparison.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,767   +5,213
It might be more expensive, but I kind of like that the drum is considered part of the consumable. It allows one less possible avenue of failure since it's replaced when the toner cartridge is empty. I do know that at least the Brother monochrome laser printers have replaceable drum units which also act as a sled for the toner cartridge.
I agree. It makes it even easier, IMO, to keep the printer in top shape, and less parts to concern one's self with replacing.
The biggest issue I've had over the years have been fusers. Especially HP color laser printers. They are considered non-serviceable parts, surrounded by a dozen screws and two dozen easily broken clips, and are hard to come by, to the point that it's basically not worth trying to fix. Brother fusers are even harder to come by, but those printers are pretty cheap in comparison.
Personally, I have never had a problem with a fuser. Perhaps because I replace my lasers before fuser problems develop. It sounds like the fusers are not easy to replace, so it is probably cheaper and less labor intensive to just replace the printer. The one thing about replacing relatively often, perhaps every five or ten years, is that the printer you buy as a replacement is probably better anyway due to the rate at which technology is advancing.

I find it interesting that you mention HP. Several posts to this thread have mentioned HP as being a troublesome brand. Personally, I've never owned an HP printer - laser or otherwise. (I have, however, owned a couple of their calculators.) As far as printers go, it sounds like HP is a brand to avoid. I honestly think that people buy HP because of that brand-name recognition. Brand name, though it might be great for some products, does not guarantee that all of the brand's products will be equally as good, IMO.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,731   +644
A fuser wearing out is usually an indication of significant, sustained usage. They are often rated at hundreds of thousands of pages, and in a business environment that can go pretty fast. Physical damage such as pulling paper from jams, dirty paper or -really- cheap labels that end up leaving residue behind, or running creased paper through (either accidentally or envelopes as an example) can also wear or scrape the fuser, and do it enough that it permanently damages it.

Other than their buggy network scanning software, HP printers are decent enough, generally I don't have a complaint about their usability and perform good enough.

Ironically, the physical printing technology at least at a consumer level has not really changed in 20 years. The performance of the printers themselves have largely stagnated, but what has changed is the software feature set of printers in general, with many of them having various modes of wifi/bluetooth printing, various e-print options, self discovery, etc.

Oh, and the propensity for manufacturers to rechip cartridges to new models and force people to buy new cartridges. I'm going to pick on HP, but they all do it. The HP M4xx series of laser printers have seen like 5 revisions with the same physical cartridge, but they've electronically chipped them in such a way that they cannot be used interchangeably. With Inkjet printers, HP has been using the same physical ink tanks for almost all of their officejet products, particularly their 8xxx and 9xxx printers, but they have not only chipped them but also physically keyed them so they cannot be used interchangeably. This behavior is my number 1 complaint against printer manufacturers, but it goes back to the concept that they are not selling printers to make a profit, but selling supplies to make their profits.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,454   +3,787
Yeah, lets put all legal work done on digital platforms that can easily be lost, wiped, encrypted, stolen, ece.

After the last few years of cyber attacks, hacks, ransomware, and sly attempts by many platforms to edit legal paperwork and ToS under people's noses, I am all for mandating paper copies of EVERYTHING. Paper is a lot harder to fully eliminate all trace of.
Whereas if you leave them on paper, a simple building fire (either by accident or on purpose) erases all trace of your files...
Paper is WAY easier to erase all trace of!! Ever heard of fire? Or a shredder?

Best part of digital is you can make infinite copies and backups... as for security - a previous poster has already stated (and I completely agree) that while digital isn't 100% secure, it's WAY more secure than physical copies of anything.

People can and have been forging/stealing physical documents for centuries (if not millennia)...

I'm lucky though - my father-in-law knows a guy who owns a scrap yard and he gets me free colour laser printers - with tons of free toner :)

But even if you have to pay for them - laser printers are vastly superior to inkjet in every way.
 

hwertz

Posts: 87   +37
Driver restriction? My parents have an MG7720, and at least in Linux (... which actually is using a driver downloaded from Canon rather than built-in cups support or something). It's prefectly happy to scan with a low ink cartridge; it's also perfectly happy to warn you when ink is low, but go along printing blank pages if you ignore it long enough.
 

HyperPete

Posts: 112   +57
I went to Brother years ago for that specific problem ... these companies seem to think somehow they gain when they piss off their customers. Used to be a loyal HP customer until they started failing to make software upgrades for their products in effort to get people to go out and buy a new printer. Needless to say I will never use, endorse, or tolerate ANY other HP product again ......
I did the same. I was also an HP only consumer (formerly). I wonter if there is a reset hack, such as the one for Brother toner cartridges?
 

docbill

Posts: 10   +5
Not to mention increased printer sales. When your printer stops accepting the brand new cartridges, you end-up needing to buy a brand new all in one, even though the scanner should continue to function for decades longer.