Wednesday, 21 September 2016

HP printers reject remanufactured ink cartridges


Investigation by an online printer ink retailer shows that HP has programmed a date in its printer firmware on which unofficial non-HP cartridges would fail. Thousands of HP printers around the world started to show error messages on the same day, the 13th of September 2016.

On that date HP printers with non-HP cartridges started to show the error message, "One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace them with new cartridges". On HP's support forums numerous complaints were posted and Dutch online retailer 123inkt also received a large amount of complaints on that day and decided to investigate the issue.

After an investigation on their test printers they found a large scale issue with their private label brand cartridges with several HP printers. When they emailed their customers asking them if they wanted to check if their printer also had issues, they received replies from more than 1,000 customers confirming the issue.

Further investigation with many printer models showed the issue resided in the firmware of the printers and 123inkt.nl contacted HP about the issue. HP stated it wasn’t aware of the issue. Consumers who complained to HP were told the error was caused by using  non-HP cartridges. A day later HP withdrew that statement and explained the issues were a side effect of an firmware update.

However, the company didn’t release a firmware update at any date near the 13th of September. The printers with issues received a firmware update in March 2016 for the last time, and that firmware was developed in 2015. Also printers with firmware released before March 2016 suffered from the issue and even worse, also printers without any internet access started to reject non-HP cartridges.

Therefore it’s very unlikely that a firmware update caused the issues and the only other logical explanation is that HP programmed a date in its firmware on which non-HP cartridges would no longer be accepted.