National Consumer News

After customer outrage, HP is allowing non-HP printer ink again


Charis Rebecca Brown,

If you’re an HP printer owner, you’re likely not too happy with HP right now.

The software company upset its customers a couple of weeks ago by sending a firmware update that made third-party ink cartridges useless, so only official HP ink cartridges would function on HP printers. To make matters worse, the company did not disclose this information to its customers beforehand. 

HP printer owners upset over software update

After the update and people’s subsequent outrage, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent a formal letter to the CEO of HP, Dion Weisler, asking him to reverse the action.

Clark said on the show that most printer companies do not make money on the printers they sell — instead they make enormous amounts on ink cartridges.

Printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids anyone could buy. In fact, the Wall Street Journal did a comparison of printer ink, expensive wine, truffles and caviar and found that printer ink was most expensive than any of these delicacies! Consumer Reports has also had a lot to say about the lifetime cost of printer ink.

HP issued a new software update to correct the problem, but this update will not likely repair the damage to the software company’s tarnished reputation.

A solution to the high cost of printer ink

Clark’s recommendation when it comes to printers is to buy a printer with a low cost of ink over its life. One such printer is theEpson EcoTank printer that sells for about $270 at Costco.

With this printer, the upfront cost is more, but overall you’ll be saving since it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to buy another round of ink! And if you do, the ink bottles are much cheaper in comparison and last a very long time. The Epson Expression® ET-2550 EcoTank™ all-in-one printer comes with enough ink to print 8,000 black and white pages and 6,500 color pages.

Clark encouraged printer manufacturers not to rip people off on the price of ink. “You ought to do it right the first time, selling the ink at a reasonable price,” he said.

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