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HP to pay $100,000 to office printer customers

Thursday, 03 May 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

HP Officejet Pro 6230.

HP customers who bought ten different models of HP office printers without being informed non-HP ink cartridges may not work in them are eligible for compensation, says the ACCC.

HP has given the corporate regulator a court-enforceable undertaking to compensate customers who were unable to use non-HP ink cartridges due to an undisclosed technology in their printers.

The technology, known as “Dynamic Security Feature” (DSF), was designed to prevent non-HP ink cartridges from being used in these HP printers.

HP has sold approximately 220,000 of these printers in Australia and a large number of them had DSF installed either before the time of purchase or subsequently when a firmware update made available by HP was downloaded by customers.

In September 2016, some owners of HP OfficeJet inkjet printers who were using non-HP ink cartridges had those ink cartridges rejected, and in many cases, received an error message which indicated that the cartridge was damaged, when this was not the case.

‘Very concerned’: ACCC Deputy Chair Michael Schaper.

“Consumers were not made aware of the restriction on using non-HP ink cartridges when buying the printer or downloading the firmware update, and were denied the choice to accept or reject it,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Michael Schaper. “The ACCC was also very concerned that HP used technology to change these printers’ functionality after purchase, without alerting consumers to the restriction on the use of non-HP ink cartridges which was being installed.”

“Businesses must disclose all important information about their products, including if there are any restrictions on the use of non-genuine parts or refills,” Schaper said.

HP admitted that by not disclosing to consumers that these printers and the firmware update included technology preventing the use of non-HP ink cartridges, it was likely to have breached the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in false, misleading or deceptive conduct.

The company has undertaken to compensate consumers $50 if they were prevented from using a non-HP cartridge. More than 2000 customers who used non-HP cartridges are likely to have been affected by the conduct, making total compensation for consumers over $100,000.

HP has since made available an automatic firmware update for download which removes the DSF from certain inkjet printer models and allows customers to use non-HP cartridges.

Details of how to claim compensation are available here on the HP website.

The ten HP inkjet printer models affected are:

HP OfficeJet Pro 6230;
HP OfficeJet 6820;
HP OfficeJet Pro 6830;
HP OfficeJet Pro 8610;
HP OfficeJet Pro 8620;
HP OfficeJet Pro 8630;
HP OfficeJet Pro X551dw;
HP OfficeJet Pro X476dw MFP;
HP OfficeJet Pro X576dw MFP; and
HP OfficeJet Pro X451dw.



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