This story will be informative for owners of INkjet and laser printers HP and those who plan to buy a new device. You will be able to see how far large manufacturers of printed office equipment can go in pursuit of potential users. All manufacturers of printers and MFPs receive the main percentage of profits from the sale of original consumables (cartridges for inkjet and laser devices) – this is a truth that does not require proof. Refilling cartridges is the most effective method of saving in the ratio of good quality – affordable price. We won’t be talking long about how manufacturers are fighting for customers. Just read this material.
HP – The Beginning
This story began back in 2013… At this time, HP had questions about the cost of ink for their printers. Users noticed that the new inkwells did not change in size but began to be consumed faster. The Guardian published this interesting photo:
Pictured on the left is the HP300 cartridge released in 2002. On the right is the same cartridge, but it went on sale in 2010. The volume of the structure is the same, but the sponge has become much smaller. The cost of consumables continued to rise, despite the reduction in the size of the inkwell. At that time, the chief marketer of HP was Tom Brown. When asked about the high cost of ink, he presented the following diagram:
It shows that HP ink is more expensive than vodka, penicillin, and human blood. Tom Brown said that ink is one of the most expensive liquids on the planet. The main argument was that companies spend more than $ 1 billion a year on research activities related to improving the chemical composition of the paint. In the same 2013, HP launched the Instant Ink program. The user was offered to choose one of the following tariffs:
- 1 “Random” – print up to 50 pages per month and pay $ 2.99, and if you print more, then for every 10 pages in excess of the plan you pay $ 1.
- 2 “Moderate” – up to 100 pages / month. for $4.99, for every 15 pages over the $1 plan.
- 3 “Frequent” – 300 pages/month. for $9.99, for every subsequent 20 pages for $1.
- 4 “Business” – up to 700 pages/month. for $19.99, for 20 pages $1.
There is also a free package designed for 15 pages per month. What does the user get in return? When the paint runs out, HP provides its supplies for FREE. What’s the catch? This scheme allows you to save only when printing color images. A page with two words printed and a sheet filled with pictures will have the same value. If you have selected the “Business” plan, but not a single page was printed for a month, $19.99 will still be charged from the account.
HP Firmware Locks Compatible Cartridges
In 2016, the company released updated firmware for Officejet 8610, 8615, 8620, 8625, 8630 printers. It was a ticking time bomb. Her name Digital Rights Management (DRM)is a technical means of copyright protection. For 6 months, users around the world updated the firmware and continued to use compatible consumables. Six months after the update, the timer went off, and the printer stopped perceiving old chips and chips from other manufacturers. To resume the work of the equipment, it was necessary to buy cartridges for the printer from the official manufacturer.
In 2019, the situation was repeated with several other devices. Below is a list of printers that have come under attack and firmware numbers with remote locking of compatible consumables:
- OJ Pro 8210, 8218 – digital value 1914A;
- OJ Pro 7720, 7730 – Update Code 1909B;
- OJ Pro 7740 – Update Name 1912A;
- OJ Pro 8730, 8740 – code 1912B;
- OJ Pro 8710, 8715, 8720, 8725 – firmware number 1910A.
On January 17, 2020, user Ryan Sullivan shared a post on Twitter(@ryandonsullivan)that confirms the possibility of remote printer locking. Ryan noticed that HP charged $5 a month from his account. Not understanding the reason for the charge, he canceled payments, after which his printer was blocked. As you might have guessed, Ryan Sullivan was signed to the HP Instant Ink program.
A few tips from the masters
1. How not get into the situation of Ryan Sullivan? Carefully read the messages that the printer gives. If you subscribe to the Instant Ink program, simply refuse to subscribe instead of blocking payment for services. This can be done at any convenient time on the website of the hpinstantink.com/users/signin – at least, so says the manufacturer himself.
2. How not to fall for the trick with the update? Do not update the firmware. If the printer gives an “incompatible cartridge” error, contact the service center for assistance. It is also recommended to disable the auto-update of the printers.
3. Disable the lock from HP. If the protection feature is enabled, you will not be able to use third-party cartridges. Connect the printer over the network, start the web interface, and enter the printer’s IP address in the line of the browser you are using. Next, follow the picture below:
We hope that this material was not only interesting but also useful. Buy cartridges only in reliable services, where they provide a guarantee of quality for the products sold. Monitor the status of your device and perform actions that will help extend the life of the printer. In 2019, HP promised to establish the production of printers that will not be blocked when working with compatible and re-fueled cartridges in the next couple of years. Such equipment will cost users much more expensive, and you will not have to count on warranty service. After HP acquired Samsung’s business and Xerox decided to buy HP, it’s hard to predict the further development of the printing business. As the saying applies: “wait and see.”