HP Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Disabled Scanners on Multifunction Printers
Hewlett-Packard (HP) Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit that alleges the company intentionally disables scanning and faxing functions on its inkjet printers when a single ink cartridge runs low. The lawsuit claims that HP designs its "all-in-one" printers to prevent scanning and faxing without ink, but fails to disclose this information to consumers. This legal action suggests that HP may prioritize profits from expensive ink cartridge sales over providing full functionality to its customers.
The lawsuit accuses HP of deliberately withholding information about the printer’s limitations to boost profits. Color printers typically require four ink cartridges, including a black cartridge and a set of three color cartridges. Some printers will even refuse to print if one of the color cartridges is low, even when printing in black-and-white mode. This practice can be frustrating for consumers who may find themselves unable to complete scanning or faxing tasks when they have plenty of ink remaining in other cartridges.
HP has made efforts to dismiss the lawsuit on legal grounds, but a federal judge has ruled that the case can proceed. The judge stated that it is well-documented that ink is not required for scanning or faxing, and HP could manufacture printers that allow these functions even when the device is out of ink. The plaintiffs argue that HP intentionally designs its printers to disable scanning and faxing to encourage consumers to purchase more ink cartridges.
This class-action lawsuit is not an isolated incident. In a similar case, plaintiffs sued the U.S. unit of Canon Inc. in 2021 for disabling functions on its all-in-one printers without disclosure. The parties settled the case in late 2022. These legal actions highlight the frustration of consumers who expect their printers to provide full functionality regardless of ink levels.
All-in-one inkjet printers are popular due to their affordability and convenience. They offer scanning, copying, and faxing functions in a single device, making them a cost-effective choice for many consumers. However, the cost of printer ink can quickly add up. Consumer Reports warns that printer ink is expensive, with annual ink costs easily exceeding $70. Moreover, a significant amount of printer ink is wasted on maintenance cycles, reducing the amount available for actual printing. Consumer Reports found that many inkjet printers deliver less than half of their ink to printed documents, with some models using as little as 20% to 30%.
HP has not provided a comment on the lawsuit, citing the ongoing litigation. However, this legal action brings attention to the issue of printer functionality and the transparency of ink cartridge limitations. As the case moves forward, it may prompt HP and other printer manufacturers to reevaluate their practices and consider providing full functionality to consumers, regardless of ink levels.
In conclusion, the class-action lawsuit against HP highlights the claim that the company disables scanning and faxing functions on its inkjet printers when ink cartridges are low. This lawsuit alleges that HP withholds this information from consumers to increase sales of expensive ink cartridges. The case will proceed, and it raises important questions about printer functionality and transparency in the printer industry.
- HP is facing a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of disabling scanning and faxing functions on inkjet printers when ink cartridges are low.
- The lawsuit claims that HP intentionally designs its printers to encourage consumers to purchase more ink cartridges.
- This legal action follows a similar case against Canon Inc., which settled in 2022.
- All-in-one inkjet printers offer affordability and convenience but can be costly in terms of ink usage.
- Consumer Reports warns that printer ink is expensive, and much of it is wasted on maintenance cycles.