Canon Sued for Disabling All-in-One Printer When Ink Runs Out

A customer fed up with the tyranny of home printers is suing Canon for disabling multiple functions on an all-in-one printer when it runs out of ink.

Consumer printer makers have long used the razor blade business model—so named after companies who sell razor handles for cheap, but the compatible replacement blades at much higher prices.

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The advent of devices like smartphones and even social media have made sharing photos digitally much easier, which means consumers are printing photos less and less. That has had an effect on the profitability of home printers

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Leacraft, who is named as the plaintiff in a class-action complaint against Canon filed in a U.S. federal court in New York last week, found that their Canon Pixma MG6320 all-in-one printer would no longer scan or fax documents when it was out of ink, despite neither of those functions requiring any printing at all. According to Bleeping Computer, it’s an issue that dates back to at least 2016 when other customers reported the same problem to Canon through the company’s online forums, and were told by the company’s support people that all the ink cartridges must be installed and contain ink to use all of the printer’s features.

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The complaint points out that Canon promotes its all-in-one printers as having multiple distinct features, including printing, copying, scanning, and sometimes even faxing, but without any warnings that those features are dependent on sufficient levels of ink being available.

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Source: Canon Sued for Disabling All-in-One Printer When Ink Runs Out

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