HP has triggered the ire of its customers once again, essentially disabling countless printers in an effort to block third-party ink cartridges.
Few printer companies have tried as hard as HP to stop customers from using less expensive third-party ink cartridges. The company has already been successfully sued in multiple jurisdictions, but that hasn’t stopped it from continuing its anti-consumer behavior.
According to The Telegraph, in its latest round, HP sent a “firmware” update that disabled any printer using third-party ink cartridges. This is a significant escalation from previous behavior when a printer would simply warn that the installed cartridge was not an official one.
HP’s website says the company takes such measures to combat malware risks, saying, “third-party cartridges that use non-HP chips or circuitry can pose risks to the hardware performance, print quality, and security.” However, as The Telegraph points out, HP’s website also says the measures are designed to “maintain the integrity of our printing systems, and protect our intellectual property.”
HP ink cartridges are generally more expensive than rivals, making replacement cartridges a major source of income for the company. Some users have had enough, however, opting to switch brands rather than being forced to pay HP’s prices.
Others, such as yours truly, simply use older printers that still work perfectly well and don’t have the software and technology necessary for HP to disable them. Looks like my Photosmart 6520 is slated for years more use.