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Why we stopped buying HP printers and you should too

November 2, 2022 Gabriel

Forget about the never-ending connectivity problems we have or the fact that you have to install HP’s own printer software to use the thing; HP printers are terrible. They suck.

Sure, they’re cheap and come with all the bells and whistles you’re looking for but I’ve had enough of their issues and today was the final straw.

The Costco-sized package of HP XL ink cartridges seemed like a great idea. They’re expensive but buying them in bulk is the best deal you’ll find. Unless they all become useless.

Our printer auto-updated it’s firmware which is something I wouldn’t normally object to. It stands to reason that the newer firmware will correct known bugs, fix printer issues and maybe even fix the wired AND wireless connectivity issues that seem to plague every HP printer.

Well, shame on me. This latest firmware update was not designed to improve the printer’s functionality but rather to narrow the ink cartridges that will work with the printer.

I understand why many printers including my own HP printer demand “genuine” HP-brand ink cartridges or the printer won’t work. I don’t like it, but I get it. It’s HP’s way of forcing us to buy their ink. The printer rejects anything that is generic.

I came to terms with this requirement some time ago and that’s why I got the Costco-pack of genuine HP ink. I matched the replacement ink cartridge number with the number on my printer and it’s been working fine.

Until today.

The printer was reporting that it was out of black ink. No problem, I thought to myself. I’ve got a collection of fresh genuine HP cartridges. I took out the empty cartridge and popped in the new one.

That’s where my troubles began.

The indicated cartridge is an older generation cartridge that does not work in your printer. It can still be used with some older printer models.

But wait, it gets even better!

Installed cartridge: HP 902XL
Support cartridges: 902XL, 902

This is the exact same ink that was working fine and is now no longer compatible.

Surely there’s a fix for this. HP wouldn’t do this on purpose, would they?

A quick Google search showed many other people with the same issue and a clear solution: downgrade the printer’s firmware back to the previous version.

And now it gets even better!

The website providing downgrade instructions updated with a message stating that HP attorneys demanded that they take down the older versions of the HP firmware so it’s no longer available.

Wow.

Throw out the unused ink cartridges that were designed specifically for this printer and go buy the same thing again? No thanks.

Our land-fills have been overflowing for many years and I’d rather not throw this thing out but today was my last straw. I’ve spent hours trying to figure out why the laptop won’t print to this printer and why the iMac can’t find it on the network. Why the iPad can only Airprint every once in awhile and why it keeps disconnecting from our WiFi network. I’ve had it.

I’ll never buy another HP product as long as I live.

We have a Brother color laser printer that has been fantastic. I recommend it and I’m going to continue buying Brother printer products.

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