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 user 2005-05-25 at 12:31:00 pm Views: 45
  • #9711
    HP Smart Chips Are Just Dumb

    HP is not the only
    printer manufacturer that employs “smart” chips in its devices to get
    its customers to buy more of its consumables LEXMARK After all, is the
    real champ in that regard. But when it comes to the passion with which
    its customers denounce the practice, HP is way ahead of the field.

    “I have a huge boat anchor called an HP Office Jet D155xi,” a reader recently
    wrote. “I purchased it three years ago as a complete ‘office solution’ — color
    copier, color fax, card reader, printer with networking capabilities — for
    $1,100 Canadian. Now, it’s dead as spam.”

    The reader’s problems began when the printer stopped working shortly after
    its warranty expired. “I assumed — incorrectly as it turned out — that the
    problem was the ink cartridges, so I bought a new set for $75,” the reader
    wrote. “When that failed to fix the problem, I took it in to the local HP
    service center, who said the problem was actually the printheads. Thanks for the
    obscure error message, HP. I had to replace three of the four printheads, for
    which I paid $135 apiece. This took three weeks, as the printheads had to be
    special ordered by the HP service center.”

    While that was annoying, worse was to come. “Once the new printheads were
    installed, these new ink cartridges which has sat idle in the machine for those
    three weeks immediately said they were empty,” the reader wrote. “They were well
    within their ‘use-by’ date, but they had mysteriously expired. The service guy
    told me they had ‘probably congealed’ and that the smart chip wouldn’t let them
    work. So, another $75 for new ink. Two months later, the final printhead

    Rather than continue with this cycle of buying new printheads and ink
    cartridges only to have them expire, the reader finally gave up. “Enough is
    enough,” he wrote. “I blame the smart chips in these printers for all of my
    problems including the unforgivably high cost of new printheads and ink. I used
    to have an older HP inkjet. If a printhead clogged, you carefully used isopropyl
    alcohol and a swab to clean the head, and it worked again. Ink didn’t run out
    until the little cartridges were really empty. Now, thanks to these chips, ink
    has a use-by date and supposed smarts. If anything seems out of sorts, the
    cartridge simply quits and demands you purchase a new one.”

    The reader says he will never buy or recommend another HP product. “This may
    not sound like much, but during my career as a software developer and consultant
    since 1980, I’ve been in a position to recommend or purchase IT products for
    clients ranging from small businesses to huge corporations,” he wrote. “Now when
    they call to ask my opinion, I tell them to avoid HP inkjet technology forever.
    Those smart chips inside the printheads and ink cartridges were sure a smart
    idea, weren’t they?”