Today I tried to install replacement non-HP toner cartridges into our colour Laser Jet Pro MFP, only to receive a message that included:
“the indicated cartridges have been blocked by the printer firmware because they contain a non-HP chip”
It wasn’t obvious from the firmware updates what the consequences of this update will be, especially when users are encouraged to have automatic updates.
I went onto the HP website to see what information they had about this ‘feature’ for toner cartridges; there was nothing in the general help. I had to find the specific firmware update for my printer and it was in the description. Eventually the trail of breadcrumbs lead here on HP support, which explains more fully what is going on. There is no indication of any way to remove the firmware update.
The four after market toner cartridges purchased for our Laser Jet Pro MFP are worth hundreds of dollars, and are now money down the drain.
So are they breaching ACL once again by inveigling the feature through by firmware update?
If the toner cartridges were sold to be compatible with or for your particular printer model and the firmware update occurred before you made the purchase, you should have the right under the Australia Consumer Law to ask for a refund for the unused cartridges. In such case the information from the seller was misleading and you would not have purchased the cartridges if you had known that the cartridge use would be blocked due to non-HP chips.
They could be particularly if the HP printer when sold could use non-OEM/compatible, and they changed this feature through a sneaky firmware update.
You could try a update (actually a downgrade) via computer to the HP Laser-jet by using the USB cable connection and removing the network cable while doing so. As well, the auto update feature will need to be disabled to stop any future auto updates of the firmware to install the non genuine feature. You will need to download an older version of the firmware that does not have the unwanted feature in it, then run the firmware upgrade process to copy the firmware from the file on your computer to the HP LJ.
See the following about the process and you may be lucky enough to have one of the LJ’s mentioned that have linked firmware
Or you may find the older firmware at this site
HP removed access to the older firmware as of 2022 to stop this process occurring, you will have to either have the old file on your computer or find it elsewhere (hopefully one of the links may have it).
I have contacted the toner suppliers and they have offered to refund or replace the toners with newer versions that they insist will work with the firmware checks. I have opted for the replacements and will try them to see if it works as I am unwilling to pay multiples of the cost to buy ‘genuine’ HP toner.
I have now come to the same conclusion as several of you have, and will never buy a HP peripheral again.
I don’t see any point in compaining to the ACCC, as there was that obscure notification in the firmware download description.
I will let you know how I go with the replacement toner cartridges.
Depends. Might still be worthwhile to complain. There are limits as to what obscurity is acceptable.
Might be worthwhile complaining to your local MP as well, to see whether the government can be made interested in knocking this sort of behaviour on the head once and for all.
I actually like HP printers … because they actually work well in my operating environment. However that doesn’t detract from the general anti-competitive point being made here. There are some “green” considerations too.
With the understanding that downloading firmware from some random web site does carry with it a security risk.
Does the Wayback Machine cover the HP web site in order to get old firmware that has been removed subsequently? That is still a “random web site” but may be more acceptable than a complete unknown web site.
Surely this behavior contravenes the consumer rights laws?? How is it different from a car manufacturer dictating the use of a particular brand of petrol, or Parker pens demanding you use their refills?
While you are technically correct, enforcement resembles the wild west with lots of lawless cowboys and a sheriff who takes lots of naps between visits to the pub and is rarely seen to be out and about sheriffing without ‘input’ and often not even then.
That isn’t correct. Non-OEM parts can be used, and if quality parts are used they won’t affect the standard new car’s warranty. Choice has covered this:
If non-OEM parts are used, they won’t he covered by the manufacturer’s warranty but the warranty of the non-OEM part manufacturer/supplier.
However, if one choses to take out an extended warranty in addition to the standard manufacturer warranty, these extended warranties can have conditions where it is more likely OEM parts will be used. An example being Mitsubishi where a condition of an extended warranty is servicing needs to be carried out by an authorised service centre/dealership, to maintain the extended warranty. One could expect, but not necessarily guarantee, OEM parts and consumables would be used by a Mitsubishi authorised service centre/dealership.
The same applies for using non-OEM toners. The toners won’t void the manufacturer’s warranty. The challenge a consumer may face is if there is a problem with the printer, determining who is responsible for seeking resolution under the Australian Consumer Law.
This is getting off topic about printers but interesting nonetheless. If there is more it would best be taken to a new and focused topic.
That reminded me of how it can go from this older topic. There is a bit of ‘I said they said’ but it does raise questions about ‘parts and responsibility’. The salient issue is about claimed non-confirming lubricants.
Thank you for posting this. I quickly blocked updates and - I had decided already, to get a different printer, once the spare cartridges are used up. The Choice review and the data about ink costs are quite helpful.
On a different note, - I find it incomprehensible that authorities fight Apple for using a proprietary cable on their devices that you can buy at any petrol station, yet they overlook huge and actual rip-offs, like the printer/toner one pointed out, here. ???
This has been an interesting conversation and a good “heads up” about HP. My own experience with inkjets rather than lasers is that whatever cartridge one buys, they either run out too quickly or dry up. I have thrown away a number of printers because of this.
My solution has been to buy the Epson series that come with a refillable tank. The machine cannot stop you using generic ink and the tanks hold enough ink to last for ages. No more need to find cheap cartridges. A tip I would also offer is to print a test page once a week so as to ensure that the heads don’t dry out. A third tip for those times when the heads do dry out is to determine which nozzle isn’t working properly and print a large block of just that colour. Do it a few times rather than using the inbuilt nozzle cleaning software because that option simply floods the internal pad and eventually clogs it. If you create a document with blocks of colour and just print the affected colour, then you keep the ink outside the machine rather than pumping it inside.
My point is that only a court of law has the authority to make a determination that the law has been contravened. Not you. Not me. Not Choice. Not the ACCC. Not the government. …
So it has to get to court - and for that to happen someone has to complain.
So I’m going to go the full Schrodinger on you and say that, no, an act is neither a crime nor not a crime if no one complains.
Quite apart from sophistry … this kind of question can be quite complex, and it needs proper ventilation in a court of law (or, alternatively, for the government to preempt that and simply legislate to ban it).