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Lawsuit alleges major ink cartridge scam

Wednesday, 04 October 2017
By Print21

A French environmental group has filed a lawsuit against four major printer manufacturers – Brother, Canon, Seiko Epson and HP – alleging that ink cartridges are being designed to stop working when there is still ink remaining.

Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée (Stop Planned Obsolescence) claims that the companies deliberately engineered their printers in order to reduce their useful lifespan so that customers will purchase replacements.

France’s Le Figaro Economie reports the association filed the lawsuit in France’s Court of the Republic of Nanterre, in accordance with new legislation introduced to ensure that household appliances are more durable and long-lasting.

The association alleges that “elements of printers, such as the ink-absorbing pad” are wrongly indicated as being at the end of their life, and that the “the blocking of prints on the pretext that the cartridges ink would be empty while there is still ink left.” It asserts in particular that with Epson printers, the printers indicate that ink cartridges are empty when actually 20 percent of ink remains.

‘Alerted by numerous people’: HOP founder Laetitia Vasseur.

Laetitia Vasseur, founder of Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmée, said: “The association was alerted by numerous people scandalised by the short lifespan of printers and ink cartridges. We have reason to believe there is truly a problem.”

Under France’s Energy Transition Act of 2015, scheduled obsolescence carries a sentence of up to two year’s imprisonment. The amount of the fine can be as high as five percent of the average annual turnover of the offending manufacturer.

Epson France declined to comment but Canon France said it would cooperate with authorities. A spokesperson for HP France said it was “continuously working to improve the durability and quality of its products.”

The association has a Go Fund Me page – called Stop the Irreparable Printers.




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