Printer cartridges are a necessary but often expensive purchase and budget cartridges are therefore popular. Many HP printer owners however are angrily discovering that their printers stopped recognising unofficial cartridges back on September 13th!
Frustrated HP printer owners who have now discovered that their printer cartridge costs are about to go up through no longer having the choice between official and unofficial cartridges have sought answers from the company.
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.
Why The Change?
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.
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 in this case has caused a backlash from customers, 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.