‘We are committed to transparency in all of our communications and when we fall short we call ourselves out’
HP Inc has admitted it was at fault for a software update to its printers that prevented customers using cheaper third party printer cartridges, as reported on ChannelBiz earlier this month.
Jon Flaxman, chief operating officer at HP Inc, said: “There is confusion in the market regarding a printer firmware update – here are the facts:
“We updated a cartridge authentication procedure in select models of HP office inkjet printers, to ensure the best consumer experience and protect them from counterfeit and third-party ink cartridges that do not contain an original HP security chip and that infringe on our IP.
“HP printers and original HP ink products deliver the best quality, security and reliability. When ink cartridges are cloned or counterfeited, the customer is exposed to quality and potential security risks, compromising the printing experience.
“As is standard in the printing business, we have a process for authenticating supplies. The most recent firmware update included a dynamic security feature that prevented some untested third-party cartridges that use cloned security chips from working, even if they had previously functioned.
“We should have done a better job of communicating about the authentication procedure to customers, and we apologise. Although only a small number of customers have been affected, one customer who has a poor experience is one too many.
“It is important to understand that all third party cartridges with original HP security chips continue to function properly.
“As a remedy for the small number of affected customers, we will issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature. We expect the update to be ready within two weeks.”
So that’s potentially another long wait before customers can use the third party print cartridges they choose to use on their machines. When the problems first arose, one Dutch provider reported it had received 1,000 reports of its cartridges not working on HP printers.
Flaxman added: “We will continue to use security features to protect the quality of our customer experience, maintain the integrity of our printing systems, and protect our IP, including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working.
“However, we commit to improving our communication so that customers understand our concerns about cloned and counterfeit supplies. Again, to our loyal customers who were affected, we apologise.”
HP printer customers will be wondering whether that means they will face further problems in the future though.