We all know how expensive proprietary ink cartridges can be and it’s good to have the choice of also using budget, compatible cartridges instead. Some HP printer owners however have had that choice taken from them as they discovered that their printers stopped recognising unofficial cartridges back on September 13th!
Frustration and Anger.
As an IT Support Company in Hertfordshire we’ve had our fair share of frustration with various printers over the years. For HP owners however who have just discovered that their printer cartridge costs are about to go up through the roof and that they no longer having the choice between official and unofficial cartridges it’s been a time to seek answers from the company and vent their anger online.
HP have said that some of its printers already had the cut-off instructions built-in, whereas other printers received the instruction to accept only official cartridges via the latest firmware update.
HP is reported to have given the reason for the change as a move to protect its innovations and intellectual property.
Which Printers Are Affected?
According to the latest reports the printer models affected by the chance are the HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printers. These were the printers that were originally sold at a lower price the official ink sold by HP.
HP is also reported to have said that chipped cartridges i.e. those refilled or remanufactured cartridges with an original HP security chip but filled with alternative ink would still work.
Error Messages - Discovering The Problem.
As an IT Support Company we know how frustrating error messages can be for users of software and hardware, particularly when you have an urgent task to perform.
For many HP printer owners, the first thing they knew about the change was when they started to get error messages on their printers. These messages are reported to have included things like "cartridge problem", "one or more cartridges are missing or damaged" and "older generation cartridge".
Even though the word from HP has been that a recent firmware update was responsible for the reaction in some computers, some printing and cartridge companies have been publicly sceptical of the claim. Dutch printing company 123inkt, for example, have been reported as saying that change had been pre-programmed to roll out this month because it believed that a firmware update hadn’t been issued since March 2016.
Frustrating, But Not New.
Some tech commentators have pointed out that a similar situation arose with Lexmark printers and cartridges back in 2003.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
The action taken by HP has caused a backlash from customers and which has led to some very bad publicity, may well have lost loyal customers and could cost the HP printer brand dearly in the longer term.
For businesses, this is an example of how being seen to move the goalposts on the original offer without adequate communication or offers of alternatives can end up having a detrimental affect on the business.
As consumers, in an age where we have smart devices and are moving more into ‘as a service’ territory, this is also an example of how software updates which are out of our control can have fast and far-reaching effects on our lives and businesses.