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HP unlocks printer regionalisation

Better late than never
Fri May 14 2010, 16:44

FLOGGER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP will help one of its users who found that moving countries fell afoul of the firm's divide and conquer strategy.

Earlier this week, The INQUIRER reported that Michelle Sullivan wasn't able to use her HP Photosmart C7180 printer after moving from Australia to Malta. After Ms Sullivan's failed attempts to purchase a print cartridge for the six-month old printer failed, she then turned to HP's support, but was told by the firm's representatives that its print cartridges are regionalised and those on sale in Malta simply would not work with her printer.

After that advice, first from HP's main dealer in Malta and a botched attempt at receiving support from an HP online support contact, which the firm is now accurately describing as "bad", Ms Sullivan was left wondering what to do with a printer that had become effectively useless.

To HP's credit, after reading our report and the stack of readers' comments, the company will be getting in touch with Ms Sullivan to arrange for her printer to be reset to work in Malta.

The firm said that any other user who crosses its printer cartridge border can have their device reset to the required locale by simply calling their local customer support centre where a representative will detail the process.

HP said that the process of regionalising cartridges started in 2004 and that "the printers and cartridges are designed to work together in the region in which the products were designated for sale and use." Given that the process seems fairly painless and can be done over the telephone, we're unsure what advantages there are for the consumer with its decision to regionalise printers and cartridges.

It seems the expensive printer ink company is perfectly willing to reset the printer's region, if you manage to find a representative who wants to help you.

Thanks to The INQUIRER and its readers, Ms Sullivan won't have to throw away her HP printer just yet. µ


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