Canon is being sued for disabling non-printing functions when its multi-function devices run out of ink.
Multi-function devices are popular in many homes and small businesses, providing print, scanner and fax capabilities. In addition to the sale of the device, manufacturers have an ongoing revenue stream selling printer cartridges.
Despite the scanner and fax functions not requiring ink, Canon is disabling devices’ non-printing functions when they run out, according to TechSpot. In response, David Leacraft has filed a class action lawsuit for $5,000,000 dollars, alleging deceptive marketing and unjust enrichment. More than 100 individuals have signed on to the suit.
Canon does not represent or warn consumers that ink is a necessary component in order to scan or fax documents. As a result, consumers are forced to incur unexpected and unnecessary burden and expense in the form of ink purchases or in the alternative be unable to scan or fax documents using the so-called all-in-one device.
The suit also details how many printer manufacturers sell the devices at or below cost, meaning they rely on consumable ink cartridges to be profitable. That business model explains why Canon would want to disable all functionality, in an effort to force people to purchase a new cartridge as soon as possible. Unfortunately for consumers, Canon does not disclose or advertise this limitation.
Should the lawsuit be successful, it could have major implications for the industry.