/ Technology

Has a printer update rendered your cartridges redundant?

Printer software update

You fire up your PC, turn on your printer and send a file to print and then… ‘cartridge not recognised’. The printer won’t print. So what’s changed since yesterday? You may be the latest victim of a printer update.

Third-party ink cartridges are generally a fraction of the price of printer-branded inks, but we’ve heard reports of printer updates rendering these cartridges unusable.

We asked Which? members to share their printing problems and a number of them sounded like they related to software updates. However, with some printers set to automatically update, it can be hard to pin a specific problem to a specific update. Ian C told us:

‘I bought compatible inks. After a few weeks they suddenly stopped working, with a message saying they were incompatible. Replaced them with new ones but had the same problem.’

Tony G had a similar experience:

‘Lo and behold, my printer has started rejecting – that is, not printing when I use third-party cartridges – but when I then replace them with printer-branded ones it seems to work fine.’

We tried updating the firmware on three second-hand printers in our lab and the printers worked just as well with third-party ink before updating as they did afterwards. So updates won’t always stop your cartridges from being recognised.

HP printers rejecting ink cartridges

However, there have been some very recent victims. Just last week we heard a number of reports from members whose HP printers have stopped working with the third-party inks.

Mr White’s printer ink cartridges have been affected by the latest update:

‘I own an HP 3055A printer which uses the popular 301 cartridge, today I changed the cartridges and find that the printer will no longer print as it detects that a non-HP cartridge has been installed. A printer update was reported as being available from HP when I turned the printer on – on the 7 March – and I updated prior to installing the new cartridges. After installing the new cartridge the information screen on the printer showed the message “incompatible cartridge detected”.’

Rob Stone has also suffered at the hands of a recent update to his HP Officejet 6600 and said:

‘I’ve been using third-party inks with no issues for several months. It was when I accidentally ran an HP update from my PC that the problem occurred. The error message said “There is a problem with the printer ink or system. Turn printer off, then on. If problem persists, contact HP”. It prevents me from moving to any other menu on the printer.’

Your right to use third-party printer inks

As iPhone 6 users suffering at the hands of the ‘Error 53’ message know only too well, update issues aren’t only a problem for printers. But, fortunately for affected phone users, Apple released a fix.

It may not be quite so simple to roll back a printer update. We’ve previously spoken to printer manufacturers about software updates, with Brother, Canon and Epson telling us that reverting to a previous firmware version wasn’t usually possible at all. HP stood out from the crowd by saying that you could roll ball its updates, but it’s not an obvious or simple process.

In light of this latest glut of update issues, we’ve approached HP to find out what’s causing the problem and whether it’ll be possible for those affected to get their printers working with their inks again.

You absolutely should be able to choose to use third-party ink in your printer. The big consumer printer brands have all signed up to a voluntary agreement which includes a provision around not preventing third-party ink from being used in their printers.

If you’ve suffered a ‘printerruption’ as result of a printer software update – or which you suspect is as a result of a recent update – we want to hear about it.

Comments
Guest
Disenchanted says:
6 August 2017

When trying to rectify this problem, please do not fail to address also the fact that the printer manufactures are deliberately mis-stating the facts when they say that the ink is about to run out – as they do. This leads to perfectly usable cartridges being scrapped.

Guest
Pat Doody says:
19 August 2017

Epson XP 710. Up until today third party cartridges worked fine. Having installed two replacements cannot get anything to print. Tried everything including diabling print monitor. No joy… Feed up with Epson

Guest
ISITme? says:
26 August 2017

I have had 4 printers in 2 years all suffered from buying compatible cartridges. Somehow EPSON has got in the game and don,t know how but it is like they are BIG BROTHER looking over your shoulder, interrupting printing, saying not EPSON Inks taking over my pc and printer

Guest
Bob Nicholls says:
1 September 2017

Have used compatible cartridges from purchase of Epson printer, today replaced an empty for new and get a message ‘unrecognised cartridge’ – put an old empty ‘original’ cartridge in and got the message ‘low ink replace cartridge’ Not best pleased with this and the only explanation I can think has caused this is was an automatic printer firmware update from about a week ago.

Guest

Your right Bob update caused it. – Warning to all Epson and other make owners — on installation – block any updates , on Windows block any printer updates . As there s an “arrangement” with MS+ printer manufacturers many updates now say – “security updates ” and are forced on Windows 10 Home.

Guest
Simon says:
3 September 2017

HP have messed my printer up totally with forced updates… any ideas what printer to use instead… i dont want to be foced to use their ink.

Guest

Simon as of October last year the EFF -electronic frontier foundation contacted HP CEO to rescind their devious “update ” disguised as a “security update ” to date he has refused giving all sorts of excuses . Your best bet is an ink tank machine where you fill it yourself but they are expensive could be £200+ 8000 people have signed a petition to remove the blocking –so far no joy

Guest
Bill Matthews says:
4 September 2017

Your article says “you absolutely should be able to use compatible ink – manufacturers have signed up to a voluntary agreement”
Are you doing enough to hold them to account?

Guest

“Should be able to” doesn’t imply– guaranteed to Bill but I am sympathetic to your point . Typically companies “speak with forked tongue ” they have reigned on their “promises ” in the face of Profit. It makes trusting companies advertising comments look foolish. Just like– the English Health Service is “safe ” in our hands while slyly privatising it ( in stages ).

Guest
Ron Ibbotson says:
3 October 2017

I had this problem recently with an Epson WF-2510. Solution? I uninstalled the software, deleted every trace of Epson on the PC by going to the bottom left of screen , clicking start and typing “Epson” in search program and files. I deleted everything with that word in by using the right click menu. I then reinstalled the disc and un-ticked the initial box that wants you to connect to the Epson site.
Works fine now with 3rd party inks. I won’t be doing updates.

Guest

Ron you are living proof all my posts about removing all traces and not ticking connect to Epson works but I have to say the latest ones are built into the firmware so re-installation wont work in their case

Guest
B DiBell says:
6 October 2017

My HP recently refused to use the third-party ink that has been working fine. It keeps saying to remove and check one cartridge or the other – or both. That makes no difference. I’m not about to buy HP ink in case it’s the printer itself that is the problem. I will be buying another printer, and it won’t be HP.

Guest
Nikki says:
20 October 2017

After an update 2 days ago my HP C4480 has just decided that my cartridges are incompatible, despite quite happily printing with them for a week or so after being changed. I had always previously used the HP own brand but couldn’t afford them currently as my new job pays less that my previous. Really disgusted with HP for pulling a stunt like this, as when I was trying to find out why this had happened, I discovered that they are marking the cartridges in some way to not be recognised if not their own brand. Have tried all the fixes that I can find, unable to find the firmware that was released on Oct 12 2016 on the HP website that is supposed to remedy the problem. Anyone one know where I can find it, and do I have any way to get my printer working again as I’m stony broke and cannot afford a new printer (obs never again HP or any other company that pulls such a low down trick) or cartridges. Thanks

Guest

Very sorry to say Nikki , I posted previously that HP have TWICE said that they would rescind this –and lied . Due to shareholder pressure -guess what ? they went back on their word TWICE . For those who think I am quoting from OLD news , listen up-Thursday -September 14 -2017 -that’s TWO -O-ONE-SEVEN .What they have done is force HP,s Dynamic Security Feature to block cartridges .BUT Nikki -there is hope (well you can try it ) go to HP.s support page and search for a firmware update to your printer that DISABLES it and install the NEW firmware . IF the update is the same as the one installed and it doesn’t work get back. Support page- : https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05308850 Nikki PLEASE -for the sake of other posters let me know if this works –or not.

Guest

It would be interesting to know whether providing printer updates that prevent a printer working with third party cartridges constitutes criminal damage.

HP has provided downloads that will reverse the effect of the software update for those who are aware that this exists but why are HP still producing firmware updates that prevent use of third party cartridges?

Please can we have legal advice from Which?

Guest
Teresa Walker says:
23 October 2017

I have an Epson XP-530 and tried everything to get it to accept the compatible ink cartridges I have purchased and still saying not recognised, help please.

Guest

Teresa- the problem with many “fixes ” for Epson is like HP they upgraded your firmware and its -non-violate . In other words its into the processor and wont be affected by unplugging/re-installing/old drivers etc .This type of update for your XP Expression series is an OPTION , so you must have chosen that option . That’s no help for you but for other Epson users beware of this. BUT if its just the driver that is blocking third party inks then RE-install your printer from scratch using the installation disc or original download and it will work . Making SURE you DON’T allow updates . An American tech. company can overcome it BUT it costs as much as a new printer.

Guest
Teresa Walker says:
24 October 2017

Thank you I will try the re install, is there any printer out there that will work with compatibles without costing me a fortune please

Guest

I am looking Teresa, unfortunately they are few and far between . Have you considered an ink-tank printer you buy refills to top therm up. Problem is they are much dearer . Also dearer to buy but long term cheaper to run are laser printers , no heads to clog up but they aren’t cheap. I will keep looking.

Guest
Teresa Walker says:
26 October 2017

Thank you Duncan.

Guest
Teresa Walker says:
30 October 2017

Unless someone out there cracks the cartridge chip or Epsom let us use compatibles we’re done I think so laser printer it is for me and the XP-530 goes in mothballs as they say.

Guest

My next printer will be a laser one Teresa . Dear but long term page costs are very low . There is a US company that can reprogramme firmware but it costs as much as a new printer.

Guest
Kevin Ratcliffe says:
1 November 2017

Having the same issue with this printer. Figured a way around it?

Guest

Kevin I don’t know the printer you are using but what is happening is that manufacturers are imposing a form of DRM ( digital Rights Management ) this is a big issue in the USA where most of the popular browsers that you use will be including it , if not already . The latest Firefox is only allowing apps from its own store and removing “old apps ” that it doesnt like as its introducing DRM , Google Chrome will be the same. I have tried fighting this along with US organisations but its being introduced by Congress as it brings profit to big business USA . What you need is a programme that will remove DRM I personally dont have that . Its possible to obtain it at a price from US tech companies but as I said above its dear. This isn’t the old -change the chip in the ink container story that some websites have a way of overcoming , this is into the basic CPU operation . For those now wanting away from DRM get the latest PaleMoon browser downloaded – freeware / open source no DRM etc etc otherwise you are going to be blocked from downloading many photos/videos etc.

Guest

Hi Duncan, thanks for the link, unfortunately my printer is not one of those listed on that page – they all appear to be office jet printers whereas mine is a typical home printing photosmart (C4480), so none of their ‘released’ patches work. When I looked on the HP website there were no firmware patches under my printer type. It’s even more annoying as I had set all updates to request permission before being downloaded apart from Microsoft security ones so I guess it must have come in on one of those.

Guest

Bang on Nikki, shrewd thinking . MS/Windows 10 has an “agreement ” with big US printer companies to download printer “updates ” as “security updates ” which bypass your printer manual programming . Funnily enough it was a high tech,US website I got that info from . You have to specially BLOCK those updates something that a Win 10 HOME user cant normally do. Even the Professional version will still (after a while ) bypass your instructions . Only an Enterprise version of Windows can block all updates—tricky – but money counts .Their excuse ? much needed security updates must be applied to “safeguard the win 10 system . See you don’t own Win 10 -Redmond /WA do and by implication your own computer thats why I have Linux.

Guest

Wavechange -take note of Nikki,s reply only CERTAIN printers can be unblocked –a very sly advertising “initiative ” .

Guest

@ldeitz Hi Lauren – This Convo is 18 months old. Please could you let us know if Which? is still looking at this problem? As I mentioned above, it would be interesting to know whether providing printer updates that stop a printer working with third party cartridges constitutes criminal damage.

Thanks Duncan. I forgot to mention that I have an HP OfficeJet 7510 and that is not listed. I have no intention of installing updates.

Guest
Amy Sung says:
23 October 2017

I am a designer and used to print heavily on full color and on photo paper, owning 2-3 “prosumer” level 13×19 printers at all times. For past 15 years, I manage to not feel not completely victimized by printer manufacturer’s extortion practice by using 3rd party ink 50% of the time to balance out my overall ink cost. I have come to realize that Epson, HP, Brothers – they are all the same in their ink practice. I have no problem paying high price for a printer, but I do have a huge issue with nuisance when it is manufactured and intended to hook users for more ink. Now, I am so fed up with these printers that I have switched to complete digital work flow, gotten rid of the 2 printers at home, reclaimed precious desktop space, and enjoying cleaner air at my workstation. When I do need a print done occasionally, I make a PDF, go to my neighborhood library or print shop downstairs and pay for a print. That also helps me stay active by getting a 10 minute walk. At the end of the day, we are printers manufacturers’ victims because we choose to be. We could render their business obsolete by changing the way we work, going as digital as possible. Printer manufacturers should take a page off Apple – I pay premium for their products (and have multiple devices) because they work, they don’t give me a hassle just so that they could make an extra buck in “less obvious ways”.

Guest
bishbut says:
25 October 2017

Do these printers work using their own brand refilled inks?

Guest

I know what you are getting at Bishbut , refill using some type of syringe in the original containers or you could by an ink-tank printer.

Guest
janet Abrahams says:
10 November 2017

Yet another victim of epson updates. I had no idea that this would prevent my using compatible ink cartridges, i believed that the update was necessary for the printer to continue to work properly. now it will not accept the cartridges that it previously accepted without a problem. I can’t get help from their online techs because all they say is the non genuine ink may have damaged the printer! i am not about to spend about £30 on a set of genuine cartridges, on the off chance they will work. may as well buy a new printer for very little more and start again. it won’t be an epson though.

Guest

I wish I could give you a positive reply Janet but Epson are pretty set in their dogma and are not about to be accommodating. Its in the firmware, the next printer you install, DO NOT let it set up automatically but block “updates” manually which might be worded as “security ” by both the company AND Windows .

Guest
John Tait says:
6 December 2017

made the mistake of going to Brother website and some how after that my refilled ink cartridges all stopped being recognised
Coincidence, well that is possible, but its also possible I updated the printer by mistake or indeed just connecting to brother allowed the update
A set of Manufacturers original ink cartridges cost more than I paid for the printer that can’t be fair pricing
Best plan is buy it dont update it ever and if it goes wrong buy another one

Guest

John – its possible if you login to the Brother website it will communicate with your printer and automatically update , not so likely if you just visit it. You should have blocked updates when you installed it and made sure Windows 10 doesn’t do it automatically under the pretense of a “security update ” .

Guest
John Tait says:
7 December 2017

thanks Duncan I would have logged in to the website — I’ll know better in future

Guest
Orlando Ferrand says:
16 December 2017

Epson WorkForce WF – 7610 on macOS High Sierra 10.13.1. When Epson updated their firmware to make their printers compatible with the new upgrade of the operating system from Apple, they removed the option of deactivating the printer status monitor. You cannot manually control this feature anymore. So, obviously, Epson no longer honors the agreement allowing the use of third-party ink cartridges.

Guest

If its in the firmware Orlando there is not a lot you can do all the reset tricks wont work . Have you tried downloading the status monitor its available for download , you never know it might install working.

Guest

I updated to High Sierra yesterday and was concerned to read Orlando’s post, but both my HP printers seem to be working fine using third party ink cartridges.

I do hope that Epson owners put pressure on the company to sort out the problem.

Guest
AnthonyPortner says:
20 December 2017

I have always struggled with compatible cartridges for my HP Officejet 6500 which is now six years old.Suddenly I have been receiving a message ‘Ink system failure switch printer off and then on’ I have followed the more straightforward suggestions without any success. As It seems I shall have to purchase a new printer does anyone know which make comfortably accepts compatibles?

Guest

It’s worth checking that the chips are securely in place on the cartridges, Anthony. I had a problem and found that one chip was in the packet. On my Mac, both my HP printers work fine with cartridges from Internet Ink (no connection other than as a user). I have not updated either printer or even needed to install software from the disc.

Guest
Jim McLaughlin says:
21 December 2017

Bought an Espon WorkForce Pro 4720 WFD. It worked fine with the own brand inks. Initially, it also worked fine with 3rd Party inks. Then, after a firmware update, it started to reject even the installed ink cartridges that were previously working.

Epson tell me that it would be illegal for them to implant code that would prevent the use of 3rd Party inks. However, that is what I believe is happening.

Which? would do us all a great service if they tested machines with a range of 3rd Party inks as well as OEM inks. Would make a great test and set of articles. Would also make great headlines if the printer companies refused independent inspection of their source code to ensure nothing untoward was happening. How about it Which?

Guest

I agree that it would be useful to do the tests you suggest but unfortunately this does not ensure that there might not be problems in future. What I would like most is assurance from all manufacturer that they will not use software or firmware updates to stop third party cartridges and for legal action to be taken against any that do. It would be good to have input from the Competition and Markets Authority about these problems.

Guest

Wavechange I think I have said this before but the small print from Epson I read on their US website states that -quote the use of third party inks can cause problems with our printers leading to damage of them and so to safeguard the customer do not allow “inferior ” ink to be installed or used on our machines . —the ink we use is of the highest quality “vigorously ” tested and approved by us —-in the event of a fault appearing on our printers our test labs will scrutinise the ink used down to the finest detail if our recommended inks have not been used and a claim is made under guarantee it will not hold up and the printer will not be repaired under our guarantee . Epson have labs including high power spectographs and other expensive testing equipment to back this up. Reading the legal document carefully – would it be wise of Which to challenge this legally ? I accept that morally Which would be in the right but as Which pays careful attention to its legal department it would need to be careful of the heading in the convo.

Guest

You may well have, Duncan. That is a different issue from manufacturers deliberately preventing consumers using third party inks, which Jim thinks may have happened thanks to a firmware update, which you have warned against many times. I cannot remember if Which? has involved the Competition and Markets Authority, which seems to be the obvious way to stop this anti-competitive behaviour.

Thinking about the possibility of damage to printers caused by third party inks, it’s worth looking at this from both sides. I don’t think it is fair to expect a company to pay for a blocked print head caused by use of unsuitable ink. Equally it is unfair for a company to say it has no liability for faults not associated with use of the ‘wrong’ ink. There is no doubt that companies have legal protection and I expect that use of an unsuitable ink could be classed as misuse or abuse. However, if thousands of others are using the same ink without problem then maybe the fault lies with the printer. It would be interesting to know the outcome of a case that went to court.

Guest

I can understand a manufacturer, who designs a print head for use with their ink, not accepting responsibility for any damage a third party’s ink might have caused. I have not looked to see if one exists, but the way round this would be to develop an international standard for ink jet inks so that all printers must be designed to accept those that comply.

Guest

Wise thought malcolm.

Guest

It would be nice. Going further, we could standardise on different sizes of ink cartridges, much in the same way that we have some common sizes of batteries: AAA, AA, C and D The problem is that the manufacturers use different formulations of ink. Remember that some printers use three colours and others four, five or six. Here is a brief summary of the factors that must be considered in ink formulation: https://www.chemarc.com/content/formulations-of-inks-for-inkjet-printing/58a6b53ad9715e7d14a968e3

Maybe it would be possible to devise standards and then say that all new printers manufactured after a certain date must use the standard ink and cartridge sizes.

I am not optimistic this will happen but if we are ever to move towards sustainable manufacturing we must look at using common components. One of my priorities would be to standardise on sizes and capacities of lithium rechargeable batteries used in countless electrical products.

Guest

Jim there are quite a few visual instructions on how to get third party cartridges to work on Epson Printers on youtube.com.

Guest
Vittoria D'Alessio says:
9 January 2018

I have totally been blocked from using my HP printer when I try to insert third-party ink. And there appears to be no way to override this. I have an HP Deskjet 3520

Guest

Check that each cartridge has its chip fitted correctly. I thought I had a problem but found that one of the chips had fallen off a new third-party cartridge. If there is still a problem, I suggest you ask the supplier for a refund.

Guest

Or try asking the seller to help you get them to work before demanding a refund.

Guest

Oh yes. Being polite and respectful is often a good way of sorting out problems.

Guest
Guest

Vittoria if the above answers dont solve it , can you tel me what error code or wording is being displayed ?

Guest
Greg Eisenbach says:
13 January 2018

Just updated firmware on Epson 640-XP and now my 3rd party cartridges won’t work. Ugh.

Guest
Ben Pierce says:
14 January 2018

Just today accepted the the firmware update on a Epson XP-610. (410 cartridges) As I had successfully done so a few times in the past year or so, I didn’t suspect it would be a problem. WRONG! It will no longer will accept a non-Epson cartridge. It has always done so in the past after a couple of nags each time a cartridge was replaced. I have to print, so they have won round one, but believe me I will be looking at alternative brands. If anyone has any ideas I would appreciate hearing.

Guest

I suggest that you get in contact with Epson, Ben. You have nothing to lose.

Guest
Stan G Boy says:
20 January 2018

Epson has joined the pack banning third party in my XP630…severely interrupting my business operation with no notice and rendering hundreds of dollars of third party cartridges useless. I will be buying a new printer that allows third party cartridges. Epson has lost a customer because I occasionally buy Epson brand products – but this is purely offensive and supremely disappointing.

Guest
Toni Danza says:
28 January 2018

I just used refilled ink on an HP Photosmart 5510. Until yesterday, it was working just fine but I had a big print job so I decided to refill the ink before I started. All of a sudden, it stopped working immediately. It makes the sound of printing and pulls paper in but the pages are blank. I called tech support and they told me the printer needs to be replaced even after I explained that yesterday it was working just fine. They told me buying new cartridges might make it work but if it does not, the only solution might be buying a new one.

Guest
Mark O'Neill says:
28 January 2018

I bought a brand new Epson 345 printer scanner, used the supplied inks and bought compatibles to replace, worked fine for a week then the dreaded firmware update stopped the printer working, would not even allow to print reinstalling old original inks, once it is indicated that only one ink needs replacing then that’s it, the printer is unusable. I replaced with a Canon MX535, now even though ink levels are not recognized the printer is still perfectly functional by pressing the cancel button for a few seconds and the printer will continue printing, it must be illegal for a company to not allow you to use after market non OEM parts, i will not be buying any Epson products again…..

Guest

In relation to Mark,s post I gave said many times when installing a printer and particularly Epson – do it MANUALLY – block automatic updates which can be slyly worded . Also BLOCK MS from installing them as they have an agreement to install them under -SECURITY updates Epson legalese says any third party inks can damage their printers leaving you without a guarantee , they are- quote- protecting their equipment’s reputation and reliability. If you want to fight that you will need a Philadelphia lawyer.

Guest
Elizabeth Clarke says:
29 January 2018

Having the same problems as everyone else!! Since I replaced two cartridges in my Epson XP422 my machine will no longer print either. Used alternative cartridges throughout the life of my machine so know they are not a problem, until now, after a recent update. How can we overcome this, I feel it is a scamming tactic.

Guest
Peter says:
29 January 2018

Printer stopped working today – EPSON XP 212. INK CARTRIDGES NOT RECOGNIZED

Guest

Elizabeth/Peter as this is an update in the firmware you can do nothing about it . A US firm will do it but it will cost $50. Next printer you get BLOCK ALL updates both on the installation and also Windows updates relating to it

Guest
Greg Houston says:
30 January 2018

yes, this just happened to me. Epson XP-640, did a firmware update and it immediately told me that my cartridges weren’t recognized when it rebooted. can’t find a way to downgrade back to last version, and don’t have any Epson cartridges.

Guest

Greg-there were some ways of downgrading your printer on websites but Epson got wise to them and updated its firmware download.. Professionals can do it but it costs as much as your printer. Manually install your next one and block Windows from so called “printer security updates “.

Guest

Duncan – Do you know if there are any printer brands that can be relied on to carry on working with third party cartridges if updates are applied, either intentionally or otherwise?

Guest

Wavechange-Most of the top brands like Epson /HP/etc do have policies on it,HP has changed its mind several times . Some models of a range can be used but it requires visiting each website and running down a list of blocked/not blocked models . This keeps changing so I dont want to say with 100% certainty which will be able to take third party inks as it calls for money being potentially lost.

Guest

Thanks Duncan. I did not know this information was available. I cannot find anything related to my printer: http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/printers/product-detail.html?oid=7127211 I don’t need to know because the message about not allowing updates has registered with me, thanks to your warnings.

Guest

A few years ago, Kodak released more realistically priced printers, together with a promise that their OEM ink refills would be more realistically priced.

I guess that didn’t work out… 🙁

With consumers supporting a “race to the bottom” for printer prices it is not really surprising that printer manufacturers want to force you to use their own ink refills.

I have a now unused 10-year-old Epson, where a set of OEM refills cost more than a new printer. My other printer, a Canon MP750 has always accepted 3rd party ink and is so old that it is unlikely to be threatened by updates.

Which? reports that “The big consumer printer brands have all signed up to a voluntary agreement which includes a provision around not preventing third-party ink from being used in their printers.” I guess this is about as reliable as the promise from Currys that they’ll end point of sale upselling, with this “voluntary” agreement being ignored each time new firmware is rolled out.

Guest

I well remember the news that Kodak was to launch printers with sensibly priced consumables. I’m not sure what happened after that.

I would prefer to buy a printer at a higher price if I could be assured that the manufacturer’s consumables would be available at a sensible price, but we must play silly games to suit manufacturers’ business models while perfectly serviceable printers land up on the scrap heap.

We have many cases where Which? alerts us to problems contacts the relevant organisations and little or nothing happens. If I had an affected printer I would be pushing Which? to either take further action or to have the courtesy to say that this matter is not going to be pursued for the time being.

Guest

3rd party inks are cheap compared to OEM’s and many are adequate and widely available. So buy a (very good value) printer and use them when the initial pack runs out. Maybe when Which? tests printers they should also look at performance with a selection of their recommended 3rd party inks and check the manufacturer does not block their use.

If, like many I suspect, you look on line for replacement ink – Amazon probably – you are given a whole range of compatible inks, often not prioritising the OEM. We do not have to follow the manufacturers business model if we choose not to.

Guest
Kim Letkeman says:
16 February 2018

I have a superb Epson XP 530 small-in-one and it worked perfectly fine for months on aftermarket inks from Amazon. And I took a printer update naively, which had the obvious effect of wiping out the ink the next day. I researched it, and apparently Epson does this a lot. It’s a thing with them. I wrote a Blog post declaring my intent to throw away the printer rather than buying their outrageously expensive ink, $160 for the Excel set. That’s more than triple the cost of the printer on sale. I then bought a nice HP Officejet 480 bucks, but it died in three weeks with a hardware fault. When it rains, apparently it pours. The HP went back for a refund, and I’m using an older Canon that A friend gave me, which has Soldier Don without any of this BS. EPS on is on my crap list, and I’m going to wait 6 months until I can reliably buy compatible ink cartridges a game.