HP Sends Out Another Annoying Printer Firmware Upgrade Public Media Accuse HP of Profiteering

Public Media Accuse HP of Profiteering

Public Media Accuse HP of Profiteering

Anna Tims from The Guardian has responded to frustrated consumers in the UK who are angry that third-party cartridges are being rejected by their HP printers.

“I bought my usual recycled toner cartridge for my HP LaserJet printer. When I installed it I got a message telling me that printing was blocked as it was not an HP cartridge.,” said PW, Argyll & Bute

HP Sends Out Another Annoying Printer Firmware UpgradeThe Guardian, a renowned news service based in the United Kingdom, is known for its strong editorial independence, progressive stance, and commitment to investigative journalism. It has won numerous awards including Pulitzer Prizes and British Press Awards.

When asked what is going on, Tims replies, “I think I can answer that in a single word: profiteering. That’s not how HP describes it. Altruism is the excuse it prefers. It tells me the practice it calls ‘dynamic security’ is ‘to enhance the overall printing experience for our customers’.”

According to HP, “banning cartridges made by any other manufacturer increases printing quality and security protection.” Tims also notes HP’s customer support page states, “The purpose of dynamic security feature is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property.”

GOS of Boothby Pagnall, Lincolnshire, reports his HP printer is suddenly rejecting HP cartridges that are deemed out of date. “I never even realised there was such a thing as a ‘best before’ date on inks,” he writes.

Tims reports HP has quietly expanded the practice after agreeing to an out-of-court €1.35m compensation package for customers in four European countries who were left out of pocket after their cartridges were blocked without warning.

She also cites the case in 2020, where HP paid $1.5m after US customers brought a class action lawsuit claiming it had abused its security update system to disadvantage them. “Also in 2020, the Italian Competition and Markets Authority fined it €10m for introducing the restrictions without telling customers.”

According to Tims, consumers face three choices:

  • they can dig deep and pay higher prices for HP cartridges; or
  • refuse the firmware updates which may disable their stash of cartridges and risk leaving their printers vulnerable to malware; or
  • they could switch to another manufacturer.

Tims also cites The UK Competitions and Markets Authority which instructs manufacturers to make it clear, upfront, whether a printer is restricted to certain brands and that any claims about incompatibility are not misleading.

You can read Tims’ full article here.



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