HP disables customers’ printers if they use ink cartridges from cheaper rivals

Hewlett-Packard, or HP, has sparked fury after issuing a recent “firmware” update which blocks customers from using cheaper, non-HP ink cartridges in its printers.

Customers’ devices were remotely updated in line with new terms which mean their printers will not work unless they are fitted with approved ink cartridges.

It prevents customers from using any cartridges other than those fitted with an HP chip, which are often more expensive. If the customer tries to use a non-HP ink cartridge, the printer will refuse to print.

HP printers used to display a warning when a “third-party” ink cartridge was inserted, but now printers will simply refuse to print altogether.


This is not the first time HP has angered its customers by blocking the use of other ink cartridges.

The firm has been forced to pay out millions in compensation to customers in America, Australia and across Europe since it first introduced dynamic security measures back in 2016.

Just last year the company paid $1.35m (£1m) to consumers in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal who had bought printers not knowing they were equipped with the cartridge-blocking feature.

Last year consumer advocates called on the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate whether branded ink costs and “dynamic security” measures were fair to consumers, after finding that lesser-known brands of ink cartridges offered better value for money than major names.

The consumer group Which? said manufacturers were “actively blocking customers from exerting their right to choose the cheapest ink and therefore get a better deal”.


Source: HP disables customers’ printers if they use ink cartridges from cheaper rivals

That’s because the printer is not what they are selling you, it’s the stupidly overpriced ink. So no, you don’t own what you bought, they are saying.

Robin Edgar

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