FLOGGER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP seems to have figured out a novel way of extracting the maximum amount of money from punters who have been unfortunate enough to buy one of its printers.
Not content with overcharging for ink, the printer manufacturer apparently regionalises its print cartridges, as one user found out. The unfortunate soul in question, Michelle Sullivan, bought an HP Photosmart C7180 printer Down Under but found that when she moved to Malta she was unable to purchase compatible print cartridges.
The problem wasn't due to anything as innocent as regional unavailability, but rather it was down to HP's decision to create specific cartridges for different regions for the same printer.
The surprised and shocked Ms Sullivan went to great lengths to find out whether this apparent HP policy was actually true. After questioning the main dealer for HP in Malta, who told her that ink cartridges were regionalised, Sullivan then had a chat with an HP online support agent.
Unsurprisingly the response she received was less than helpful, with the agent suggesting that Sullivan try Bestbuy or Walmart, not realising that neither of these retailers has stores in Malta.
HP has in the past put some rather money-grubbing restrictions on its printing products. A number of its toner cartridges had page count chips that would stop the printer after a certain number of pages had been printed, regardless of whether there was still toner left in the cartridge. For the benefit of punters' wallets and the environment, a cottage industry flogging 'blank' page counting chips successfully grew out of HP's corporate greed.
This sorry saga has left Ms Sullivan with a six-month old printer that is effectively useless simply because she decided to move. If you've had similar issues with HP's cartridge restrictions we'd love to hear them.
At press time HP has yet to respond to our questions on this matter. µ
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