Tech firm HP, which dominates the print trade, is going through a category motion lawsuit for allegedly quietly pushing firmware updates on its printers to dam prospects from printing with non-HP ink throughout “the same time period” its ink elevated in worth.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Jan. 5, alleges that HP distributed firmware updates electronically to all registered prospects of its printers in 2022 and 2023.
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“Consumers do not have a choice to opt out of specific software or firmware updates,” learn the lawsuit. “If a printer is connected to the internet, the update downloads automatically. Typically, consumers do not know when updates occur.”
It claims that the updates put in a function that “disabled” printers if a buyer tried to interchange a cartridge of their printer with a non-HP one. If they tried to print with a non-HP cartridge, they obtained an error message.
“The indicated cartridges have been blocked by the printer firmware because they contain a non-HP chip. This printer is intended to work only with new or reused cartridges that have a new or reused HP chip,” learn the alleged error message which was pictured within the lawsuit.
The prospects within the lawsuit additionally declare that “there was no notification of any kind” that the firmware updates would have an effect on the printer’s performance. They additionally declare that they “suffered monetary losses” from the updates as a result of they allegedly needed to pay larger costs for HP-branded ink cartridges to be able to use their printers and wasted cash buying non-HP ink earlier than they knew that they would not have the ability to use it.
“HP used the software update to create a monopoly in the aftermarket for replacement cartridges, permitting it to raise prices without fear of being undercut by competitors,” learn the lawsuit.
Customers within the lawsuit are demanding a trial by jury and at the very least $5 million in financial damages. They are additionally pushing for HP to be required to take away the alleged function that bans using non-HP ink from its firmware updates.
It seems that HP has been quietly adjusting its costs for a few of its print merchandise over the previous few years.
In December 2021, HP despatched a letter to resellers saying that beginning January 2022, it could be “implementing a price adjustment across select Printing Systems Hardware and Supplies,” citing elevated demand, worth will increase and shortages, that are challenges the corporate stated that it anticipated to proceed to face all through 2022.
Using Amazon worth tracker Camelcamelcamel, you will discover that for a number of HP ink cartridges, it seems that costs had sharply elevated in late 2022 and continued to rise in late 2023.
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