I came across this interesting article over at the Wired web site this week. Seems like HP does not like customers who buy their printers to use non-HP ink cartridges. HP has modified the firmware in their OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X printers to reject any ink cartridge that is not theirs. Essentially they have DRM’d these printers.
It is one thing to know this going in when you bought the printer; but to lock down the device after you purchase it, is evil. For example, if I walked in, say a BestBuy, and was interested in buying a new printer, and the sales guy says, “Remember, if you buy this HP printer, you can only use genuine HP printer cartridges.” Knowing this in advance, I can make an informed decision if I am OK with this “limitation.” If not, I buy something else.
This is not what happened here.
Some marketing/finance genius in HP decided if they lock down the millions of ‘existing’ printers, all of the owners who use after-market or refilled ink cartridges must come back to us for ink. This is not only disingenuous, it is ridiculously stupid from a customer loyalty and marketing perspective. Essentially, HP has become that small used car dealer on the corner lot downtown. They will do whatever they have to to reach in your wallet and take our as much of your cash as they can. Your interests, customer loyalty, and yes – even your freedom be damned. You get the idea.
I am not caught up in this situation because I gave up on HP printers long ago. The bloat-ware that is forced on you when you install the printer software, the buggy wireless drivers, and the ridiculously high cost of HP replacement ink, made me switch to Canon printers. I owned an HP Laserjet printer for years. When I first bought it, a replacement toner cartridge was $69 at Staples. After 5 years of use, the replacement cartridge now costs $127 at Staples. Huh? That printer went to the electronic recyclers, even though it worked perfectly.
This situation reminds me of the recent behavior of Microsoft and their stalking of users of Windows 7 and earlier OS’s, and forcing them to Windows 10. I was so outraged by this behavior, that I have abandoned Windows altogether and switched all of my computers to Ubuntu Linux.
Many people may not find this type of behavior a big deal. It IS a big deal. The greed and indifference of these corporate giants needs to be reigned in. How does one do that? First, send a quick Email to HP letting them know you are not happy with this hijacking of your right to choose. Second – drop your HP printer off at the local recycling facility. Purchase a replacement from a company that appreciates your business and want you as a loyal customer for years to come.
Shame on you HP. This move will cost you big time in the long run.