HP and Corporate Plunder

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HP and Corporate Plunder

Post by editor » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:45 am

Keywords: Hewlett Packard, hp, computer, printer, inkjet, officejet, deskjet, cartridge, expire, expired, expiration, 14, 15, printhead, battery, fix, solution

Okay, this isn't really a letter to the editor. It's an "Editor's rant." Maybe someday we'll have a separate technical section, but until we do, I had to have somewhere to put this.

I am hopping mad at Hewlett Packard, and I want to be sure a lot of people know it (especially Carly Fiorina, HP CEO). But more importantly, I've found a way to save myself a bunch of money on consumables, and I want to be sure you know about that.

Do I rant first, or go straight to the fix? Hmmmm. Rant wins.

Here's a letter I just sent to Carly yesterday. It tells a lot of the reason for this segment:

Dear Carly:

I own four HP Officejets. Two are 1150C, one is PSC500, and the last is d125xi. This comment is regarding the d125xi.

I've used HP printers for years. I've made recommendations that have sold hundreds of your machines. If you don't implement my suggestion (you probably won't), I'll never buy another. Here's why:

I run a small home business. Beginning years ago, with my first 1150C, I've been refilling cartridges because of the huge savings over buying new ones. I could refill the 1150C's cartridges about 8x on average, before replacing, which I could live with.

I was initially very happy with the ease of filling d125xi cartridges. Even willing to buy an occasional printhead when I let it go too long. Until I learned you put an expire date on them.

Now I'm sitting here the day before Xmas, needing to print a black document, and the printer won't print because the color cartridge (which is FULL of ink) is expired.

You money-grubbing S.O.B.s aren't going to get any more of my $ than I can possibly avoid, ever again--

Unless you wake up and stop trying to squeeze every last cent out of your customers. Assume that most people won't refill, but accommodate those who will. It won't kill you.

You made a good move when you released your drivers for open source development (I'm a Linux user). But you're beginning to make dumb moves.

Another example is an HP Pavillion computer my in-laws bought last year. Decided they wanted Linux, which turned out to be impossible to install on your cheaply made hardware. I've steered at least 30 small companies away from HP computers since that experience.

Merry Christmas.

I had a lot more to say; the letter was short, due to length restrictions.

The really strange thing is that I got a phone call from HP just a couple hours after sending this. The public relations rep. wanted to assure me that he understood my frustration, and would be sure to forward my complaint to senior management.


In the meantime, I had been surfing the web, researching my problem. Isn't the web wonderful? Chances are you're doing the same thing, and that's why you're reading this now.

I found a lot of people with my very same complaint. I also found out it's not just HP, but that Epson, Lexmark, and perhaps others are doing the same thing. They're putting smart chips in their cartridges. This makes it harder for users to refill the cartridges. It also assures that even refilled cartridges will have to be replaced much sooner than they actually wear out.

The bottom line is something which has been known in the past as planned obsolescence, but is much more "in your face" than anything I've ever seen in the past. This isn't just an example of making something poorly, so it wears out quicker. These people are telling their products exactly when to stop working, for no other reason than that they want to sell another one.

In my opinion, this is theft, plain and simple.

Corporations, and countries, act just like people. That's because they are run by real people. Some are smart; others aren't. If you've been looking around at all lately, you've seen a rash of foreclosures, and credit crunches, among people who ought to know better.

These people aren't stupid, but they do stupid things. They shoot themselves in the foot. That's what I believe HP, as a company, is doing. As with individuals who can't stop charging stuff on their credit cards, HP is squandering their most important capital: consumer confidence. And just as with individuals, the cause is obvious: short-term thinking.

Forcing customers to throw away money on otherwise perfectly good, but expired consumables will increase HP's revenues in the short run. But it causes resentment. Deep resentment. Customers will switch to alternatives, as soon as possible. Later, even if the people running HP realize their mistake, and change their ways, people will not trust them. Customers, once gone, will not return.

In the meantime, there's a lot of us stuck with printers that are pre-programmed to suck money out of our wallets. What do we do?

I waded through many web pages last night. People discussing performing surgery on the cartridges; replacing the chips. Or setting your computer's system clock back to a year earlier (as though the only reason for a system clock is to inform your printer. None of these suggestions seemed like a reasonable fix.

I'd almost given up, when I found an obscure mention of a small battery in these printers, that keeps a CMOS memory chip alive. Hmmm.

I opened the clam-like cartridge access to my printer (d125xi), and looked for a battery. At first I didn't see it, but I was determined. Finally, I saw it. On the left inside, near the front of the machine, was a small button-type battery, held in place by a spring clip.

First, I disconnected the power and the printer cable, just to be sure. Then, I reached inside and carefully removed the battery. I waited for about an hour, and then reinserted the battery and plugged everything back in. Viola! I was able to make a copy. Tried printing-- that worked too.

I'm certain now that if I'd known this trick a few months ago, I could have saved the money I had to spend on a printhead too.

Here are a few photos which will help you find the battery on a d125xi. Other models may or may not have a battery, and its location may be different. Your mileage may vary.

Actual view of battery.
Actual view of battery.
hpd125xi03.jpg (14.34 KiB) Viewed 6520 times
View looking toward left-inside. Red arrow points toward battery.
View looking toward left-inside. Red arrow points toward battery.
hpd125xi02.jpg (13.33 KiB) Viewed 6520 times
Red dot shows general location of battery, on left inside panel, near front of machine.
Red dot shows general location of battery, on left inside panel, near front of machine.
hpd125xi01.jpg (11.55 KiB) Viewed 6520 times
The battery is difficult to reach, and the spring clip is pretty strong-- it wasn't easy for me to remove it.

Notice the small white plug with the black/red wires coming out. It's reasonable to assume that one could cut the red wire, and install an on/off (SPST) switch in the front panel, to accomplish the same effect. If I have enough problems with this printer, that's just what I'll do.

Another good reason for installing the switch is that the printer has an "out of ink" indicator. This only works once with each cartridge. HP has provided a method to turn this feature off, but when you do you risk ruining the printhead if you let the cartride run out of ink after a refill. If you reset the printer by removing power from the battery after a refill, the printer will believe it has a new cartridge, and the "out of ink" indicator will work indefinitely.
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:12 pm

Re: HP and Corporate Plunder

Post by For2ndAmendFreedom » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:38 pm

I totally agree with your letter and post on this forum. I am the no longer proud owner of a HP Photosmart d7200 printer. I purchased it about two years ago, used it for several months and then put it away until now thinking I would use it for some photo printing later. Well, later has arrived and now the printer cartridges I used for that short time and I will assume (know) the additional cartridges I bought at that time are also "outdated". What a ripoff! This printer uses 5 color cartridges and the black cartridge. I tried to take the board out so I can remove the battery but can't even do that. I have almost destroyed the case just trying to get it off! They have clips that break when I try to push them and then it still doesn't give me access because the case still doesn't come off so no access to the board with the battery.
I can't find any screws accessible to pull the case apart, only the tabs which haven't accomplished anything but a twisted case. I am in the market for a combination print, scan, fax printer and won't even consider the HP products!! I will also be sure to check first on this "expired ink cartridge" feature on any printer I buy.
I thought about giving this printer to GoodWill but won't put someone else through this expired routine and frustration of accessing the inside of the case. I can't find anything on the internet on how to open the case. Maybe I should put a short video of me ripping the case apart trying to get into it. It will be difficult not to include the expletives in the video.
Thanks for a place to vent! Maybe it will save others from these obsolence built in products.
Thomas Jeffrey
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 7:47 pm

Re: HP and Corporate Plunder

Post by Thomas Jeffrey » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:36 pm

I have run into the same situation as you guys. Thanks for the work-around Gregory, and "Freedom", I would love to see your proposed video! :D

I refuse to but HP products, and any other product (if I have a choice) that spends so much time and effort to squeeze every last nickel out of their customers. It's complete greed and a rip-off. IMHO, Apple is the same way with Microsoft an extremely close second.

Many Blessings,
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