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HP Must Defend Half-Empty "Economy" Ink Cartridges

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the false-economy-that-is dept.

The Almighty Buck 625

An Anonymous Coward excerpts this short Detroit News story, which begins "PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Hewlett-Packard Co. must defend the sale of half-full ink cartridges with its printers after a Minnesota appellate court reinstated a lawsuit against the world's largest maker of printers. Three Minnesota women claim that the company doesn't reveal that the 'economy cartridges' installed on new printers are only half full of ink." The cost of refills is why I've given up on inkjet printers entirely (for now) -- guess which division of HP made more money than the other four combined?

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First Post. (-1)

L0rdkariya (562469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602448)

I love the clit.
Clit is best.
FIRST POST FUCKERS!

Re:First Post. (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602461)

Fuck the CLIT. Can't you see that we're all trolls here? We're all trolling for basically the same reasons. I claim your fp in the name of AC's everywhere. Trolls unite.

Re:First Post. (-1)

L0rdkariya (562469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602510)

Your anti-clit post saddens and angers me. Please reconsider and join me in my hatred of the despised AC.
Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic FIRST POST and said, "By the power of C.L.I.T. !!"

CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD (-1)

RecipeTroll (572375) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602616)

ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
1/2 package wonton skins, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 1/2 ounces thin rice-stick noodles (mai fun)
8 cups sliced iceberg lettuce
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 6 1/2-ounce package Japanese fish cake, cut into strips (optional)
1/2 cup drained cucumbers from cucumber kimchi, sliiced (optional)
5 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with foil. Place chicken on sheet. Combine teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, 3 tablespoons sesame oil and dry mustard in large bowl. Brush chicken with some of dressing. Add rice vinegar to remaining dressing; set aside. Bake chicken until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Pour vegetable oil and remaining 3 tablespoons sesame oil into heavy large skillet and heat to 375F. Fry wonton strips in batches until crisp and golden, about 45 seconds. Drain wonton strips on paper towels. Fry rice-stick noodles in batches until noodles are puffed, turning once, about 15 seconds. Drain rice sticks on paper towels.

Combine iceberg lettuce, cilantro, fish cake, cucumbers and green onions in large bowl. Shred chicken and add to bowl. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Mix in wonton strips and rice sticks just before serving. Pass remaining dressing separately.

Serves 8.

It is explained in the small print. (0)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602457)

Who is at fault for not reading the details?

Re:It is explained in the small print. (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602508)

Come on, be fair. Deceptive packaging is just that - packaging designed to give a false impression. People who bought based on this false impression have been defrauded. The cartridges are not "economy", as they are falsely represented.

Companies have been doing this with laser printers too - the first toner cartridge is less than half full, always.

Mind you, this reminds me of the ongoing fight I'm having with a coffee maker who sold me 2 12-cup coffee makers that make only 6 8-ounce cups. Nothing in the fine print, nothing in the packaging, nothing in the manual.

We'll see who blinks first - or whether I'm going to have to take them to small claims court.

Why do people bother with inkjets? (4, Insightful)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602458)

99% of the stuff you're printing is going to be black and white anyway, so why not fork out the extra $100 or so and get a budget laserprinter? Considering ink cartridges cost, what, about $50 these days anyway, you'll find the laser option more affordable in the long run.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (1)

s.a.m (92412) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602483)

Well it still remains that there is a bit of a need for colour prints. I have a hp693c inkjet and while yes I do print a lot of black and white stuff I also would like to print colour stuff as well.

It's called choice

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602502)

50rry, l4z0r is teh suxest!

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602504)

alterslash rox dude.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (5, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602531)

Actually, about 60% of the stuff I print is in color, i.e. my digital photos. Altered, of course, to show my fabulous vacation with Heidi Klum. You can see my need for full vibrant colors.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (2)

perlyking (198166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602589)

Me too, digital camera and colour printer and you can go from taking the picture to an A4 size photo in 5-10 minutes. Killer app.

I have an HP printer, I try to refill cartridges (buy, refill once) but it gets to the stage where you wonder if its not better to spend £30 than hours pissing around with syringes and priming the cartridges etc..

::Email honeypot:: [mailto]

Careful with that (2)

donutello (88309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602640)

Heidi Klum might sue Slashdot forcing them to guarantee that you won't mention fake pictures of your vacation with her.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (3, Interesting)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602540)

When I bought my computer it came with a free inkjet printer. Now I feel locked in to the technology. Plus it's the only way for the home user to get color printing. I do appreciate the new Epson with individual color tanks. That at least is a step in the right direction.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602564)

Epson made that step in the right direction like 5 years ago. They've been selling (some) printers for like 5 years with individual color cartridges.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (5, Insightful)

eyeball (17206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602557)

99% of the stuff you're printing is going to be black and white anyway, so why not...

Wow, how did you know exactly how much I print on black and white and how much I print in color? Wait, are you spying on me? Oh, I know, you must be Bill Gates, since Windows must be monitoring how much color data gets sent to my printer port so they can sell that marketing data to vendors like HP.

Seriously, I always said "Oh, I'll never print anything out in color," then I actually got an inkjet printer, and now at least 50% of the pages I print are in color. They aren't just pages with color I could turn off and do without, either. I print things like maps, signs, photos (granted not archival quality, but good enough to send pics of my cats to family members), etc..

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (1)

linderdm (127168) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602569)

People bother with color inkjets because some people actually do print things in color (brochures, cd labels, photos, etc.) and color laser printers cost a couple thousand dollars. Color laser printers typically cost about $1 a page for toner, B/W or Color. If the typical inkjet cartridge costs $50, then it would be cost effective (consumables only) if your inkjet could only print under 50 pages per cartridge. I don't know about your inkjet, but mine prints a helluva lot more than that per cartridge. Add the difference in hardware cost, and it really makes no sense. The only reason to get a color laser printer is if you need the MUCH better quality prints. And most everyday people don't need that.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (1)

mikeplokta (223052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602593)

You've overestimated the price of colour toner quite substantially. It's more like 15-30 cents per page for all consumable costs (toner, drums, fusers etc.), for 5% coverage. And B&W only is much cheaper, close to mono laser printer costs. It's a lot cheaper than inkjet for large quantities.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (3, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602601)

In addition, the quality fo a laserprinter, even a cheap one, is much better than even a good inkjet. The wet ink thing just doesn't look professional at all. After it dries, ti can smear, bunch up the paper, etc. And the resolution still isn't nearly as good as a laser. I got an Okidata 400e LED printer (similar technology to laser printers) years ago, and I love it. Toner also goes a hell of a lot further than ink for the same price.

Re:Why do people bother with inkjets? (3, Informative)

austad (22163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602633)

Actually, you can pick up a Samsung laser printer for around $170 (less on sale). Samsung has linux support for them also, and they print pretty decent quality also. Awhile back, Amazon.com had it for $150 with free shipping, and there was a mail in coupon for a free extra toner.

As far as color goes, I had a big dye sublimation printer that I picked up for $60. Printed photo quality on 8.5x11 paper. If you do some looking on ebay, you can find one of those for next to nothing. Although, I'm not sure how much the refills cost since mine came with 3 rolls. Even getting an inkjet for doing color might not be so bad since most people rarely print color.

But printing black and white on an inkjet is definitely not cheap.

Nothing new (5, Funny)

delphin42 (556929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602459)

I've been buying half empty bags of chips for years. All they need is a label stating that the cartridges are packaged by weight, not volume!

Re:KOffice.... (2)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602484)

All they need is a label stating that the cartridges are packaged by weight, not volume!

Volume would work too. I.e., one-half the volume of this ink cartridge.

Aspirins and Cotton (2)

Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602486)

They should just put a big wad of cotton at the top of the ink cartridge -- works for aspirin and now the package is "full".

Re:Aspirins and Cotton (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602534)

FYI: The wad of cotton (actually, it's not cotton) is there to keep the pills from rattling around during shipping, and getting chipped.

Would you want to see a bunch of pill dust in the bottom of your bottle of pills? Wouldn't it make you worry about the company's quality control?

Re:Aspirins and Cotton (1)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602541)

They should. The cotton would absorb a good deal of the ink. So now not only is the ink cartridge 'full' but now the consumer must buy a new cartridge even sooner.

...

Damnit, don't give them ideas!

-----

Re:Nothing new (1)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602576)

"Contents may settle during transport"

First post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602462)

Sarah - knob Gizmo for me!

Price comparison (5, Funny)

kpansky (577361) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602463)

Cost of new black ink cartridge for my printer: $40

Cost of laser printer with toner on eBay: $50

Maybe they should just sell disposable printers instead.

Re:Price comparison (3, Funny)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602496)

Shipping cost of laser printer with toner on eBay: $75

Re:Price comparison (-1, Troll)

Antonio Banderas (566250) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602511)

this is not funny, mod it down you dickhole

Re:Price comparison (2, Funny)

Merry_B.Buck (539837) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602530)

Maybe they should just sell disposable printers instead.
No, I think the next step will be free printers and ink cartridges, but a large Doubleclick ad is printed in the middle of each document.

Re:Price comparison (1)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602603)

No, I think the next step will be free printers and ink cartridges, but a large Doubleclick ad is printed in the middle of each document.

Yeah, but that makes punching the monkey too easy...I want my $20!

Marketing Innovation... Wow.. (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602473)

Ok, so this means I can sue all the dealerships who've sold me cars over the years because the gas tank wasn't full when I bought them? Cool!

I did wonder why I could never find that HP cartridge number when I went to replace it the first time, just different cart which would replace it. Seems to me, we all got what we paid for, even if we think we should have got full cartridges. I see no deceit, to be honest, even if I think it smells like the fresh dead skunk on Highway 17 this morning.

Re:Marketing Innovation... Wow.. (2, Funny)

huckda (398277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602561)

The last 3 cars I've bought were all filled with gas when I bought them...

You must have haggled quite a bit to piss them off so much that they wouldn't even fill your gas tank :0

Re:Marketing Innovation... Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602584)

not even... your car has a gas guage that tells you how much gas your car has. HP doesn't tell you that your getting a 1/2 full ink cart.

Re:Marketing Innovation... Wow.. (1)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602638)

Actually, the cartridges have the ink volume printed on the side ("28ml", "17ml", etc) and printers mention on the box that they are "starter" cartridges. For the record, most HP starter cartridges are 2/3 full. And of course the salesperson mentions this. It's so they can upsell and get the customer to buy a few more ink cartridges in the store.

Yes, I'm working retail right now.

As the philosopher says... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602641)

"Is the inkjet cartridge half-full or half-empty?"

Save the fucking trees. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602475)

Whatever you need printed, you can just write, or draw on your ass with a blue pen.... what about the trees people?

Re:Save the fucking trees. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602580)

Fuck the trees. They are there for dogs to piss on, and for us to cut down.

Inkjet broke my habit (2)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602476)

When I used to have a laser I would print out like a maniac. Whenever I wanted to read something. But ever since Ink Jets began to cost so much I have kicked the habit of printing. These I usually read everything on the computer and only print when absolutely necessary.

So the good part of this message is less dead trees. Of course now my hard disks are the mess (oodles and oodles of files)

THAT WAS A LOVELY STORY. IT MOVED ME.TELL IT AGAIN (-1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602551)

n/m

Cost Of Refils (2)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602480)

Becuase refilts are so much cheaper it always made me think the cost was in the catridge ... not the ink.

Which gives the question : How must did they actually save from each printer ?

Re:Cost Of Refils (2)

zsmooth (12005) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602517)

Answer: They saved almost no money. Except they're forcing you to buy a new cartridge faster, which means more $$$ for them.

Re:Cost Of Refils (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602545)

Refill kits are definately the way to go. You save far too much money that route.

Re:Cost Of Refils (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602558)

No - think about it, the new printer goes home and is used, you figure a coupla weeks before you exhaust the supply and so order the refilled cartridge later, and in half the time you would expect, later is now and down to the HP vendor you go as a stop gap solution.

Made more money? (4, Funny)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602481)

guess which division of HP made more money than the other four combined?

Compaq?

Re:Made more money? (1, Funny)

jubes (202667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602572)

No.... It is definately DEC.

Some Do... (1)

nairnr (314138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602485)

It is interesting, on some of the printers I have seen it says it includes a starter cartridge to be replaced by a full one.

So they have starter cartridges with a few drops, and standard ones which are only 50% full...

I worked retail for a little while, and I was floored by the number of people who were replacing their printers, because they didn't want to shell out for ink cartridges. The fact that you didn't get full cartridges didn't seem to phase them...

You Get What Ya Pay For (0, Redundant)

ScumBiker (64143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602487)

Subject pertty much sums it up, but I'll add more. You pay $89 (or less) for an inkjet printer. You get a litle bit of ink to get you started. Oooh, I've printed, whatv 500 pages of text. I need to get a new cartridge. Why do you think HP is in business? To give stuff away for free? They are good enough to include a cartridge with the printer and they really don't have to. There's no law that says "HP will include cartridges with each and every new inkjet printer they sell". I see no rip off here other than the three women and their lawyers.

I will wager... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602544)

There's no law that says "HP will include cartridges with each and every new inkjet printer they sell". I see no rip off here other than the three women and their lawyers.

I will wager a large sum that these broads also think their husband's paychecks belong to them for life, married or not.

I will wager the same sum that their lawyers will agree with them on that point too.

Razor blades. (1)

jpaz (512242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602489)

It's just like the razor blade industry. Except that you can't sell a half empty razor blade.

Re:Razor blades. (2, Informative)

freeefalln (541648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602630)

yea i think someone recently said that gillette practically gives away the Mach3 razors, but charge and arm and leg for the blades. its where they make their money. i've had the same razor since 1998.

I recall a Dilbert strip... (1)

Maran (151221) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602490)

... that I can't be bothered to find a link for.

Wally suggests saving money by watering down the ink in the photocopiers. Of course, this will result in lighter copys, so to solve the problem, they increase the darkness setting on the copier...

Maran

Pessimists (5, Funny)

finny (107762) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602493)

See, some people only see the negative. I see the ink cartritge as half full.

Re:Pessimists (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602513)

See, some people only see the negative. I see the ink cartritge as half full.

Hmmm, nearly. The story says half-full, so your quip should have said 'half-empty'.

Re:Pessimists (1)

stupidNewbie (537989) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602521)

no... the post actually says "half-full" not half empty... good joke... but bad timing

Realist (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602559)

I see the cartridge as too dang big.

Re:Realist (2)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602596)

Get off my neural frequency :)

Re:Pessimists (5, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602570)

Others, pragmatists such as myself, would say the cartridge is too big.

The content is on the package (3, Insightful)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602497)

If you look at the cart. it lists the amount of ink.. in Canada it is marked in ml. If you have one of the Office class printers the black cartrige costs about $50 and contain about 40ml of ink If you hav one of the cheap sub $100 printers it still costs about $50 for the cart but it only contains about 20ml of ink.. Its clearly marked on the cart and on the box.. I ALWAYS check how much ink is in the cart before deciding on wich printer I get. By the way the Canon BCI-21 Black contains only about 5 - 10 ml of ink.

So... (0, Redundant)

DragonPup (302885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602500)

Would you say the cartridge ships half empty? Or half full? Pessimists :P

-Henry

Economical on Slashdot too (5, Funny)

Skevin (16048) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602506)

HP Must Defend Half-Empty "Economy" Ink Cartidges

Apparently. These "cartidges" also seem to have half as many R's.

Throw-away printers? (2, Interesting)

Wiseazz (267052) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602507)

I saw a new Lexmark printer on sale the other day for just over 50 bucks. With some ink refills running in the $30 range, it almost seems feasable to eventually have use-once, throw-away (recycle!) printers... much like those cardboard cameras.

Re:Throw-away printers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602614)

Screw recycling them. Too much hassle. Just pitch it in the trash, and let your grandchildren deal with the mess.

HP's defense (1, Redundant)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602509)

"Their not half-empty, their half-full."

Re:HP's defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602528)

whoops that should be "they're"

Re:HP's defense (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602562)

Jesus christ, how hard is it?

"Their not half-empty, their half-full."

Hmmm, nearly. The story says half-full, so your quip should have said 'half-empty'.

Re:HP's defense (USE THE WORDS PROPERLY!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602579)

OH FOR PETE'S SAKE! You used the plural (as in more than one) posessive (indicating ownership) "their" instead of the contraction "they're" meaning THEY ARE.

Once again, for those of you who missed it:

THEY'RE == "they are"

THEIR == "owned by them, as in "Their English isn't so good."

Let's do try to get it straight. Don't make me launch into a tirade against "its" vs. "it's".

Re:HP's defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602622)

>"Their not empty, their half full"

Are you from fucking china?

Why would you say "their not empty" when every 3-year-old retard knows the word is "they're" ??

It's short for THEY ARE. "Their" is a posessive pronoun. Does the fact that they simply sound alike confuse you so much that you dont know what they mean? You probably put "apostrophe's" at the "end's" of every "word's" that "end's" in the letter 's.

Fuck. I'm embarassed to speak English some times. I know foreigners instantly think I'm stupid because of fucks like you.

Emerill Lagasse - dead at 38! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602512)

I just read the news at FoodTV [foodtv.com] -- celebrity chef Emerill Lagasse died this morning, apparently of a heart attack (who knew pork fat isn't good for you?). I'm sure we'll all miss him. Even if you didn't eat a mediocre meal at one of his overpriced restaurants, you probably didn't wath his NBC flop. Truly a culinary icon.

Re:Emerill Lagasse - Public Domain Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602625)

Will they open-source his recipes and allow all us to enhance them?

Stop this kind of suits, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602518)

In my opinion, this is just another try for getting a huge amount of money for doing nothing, taking advantage from a not very realistic application of the laws. Who, honestly, thinks there is a point in this suit, apart from the "I sent HP to court" attraction?
I might believe that an important customer, which could really suffer from the extra reloads needed by the inkjets, wants some compensation from HP, but this case does not look as it.

Office Max (1)

coryboehne (244614) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602519)

I used to work for Office Max, and I made it my personal habit to always let a customer know this, not only because I did'nt want to suprise them about it later, and so that they would'nt freak out when it ran out in half the time I told them a new cartridge would last, but also because I knew they would most likely buy replacements right away, and the name of the game is average ticket. So obviously this is HP's idea, sell 3 products (4 if you count the needed cable, but that makes sense since some users need USB and others need parallel) instead of only 1, not bad business, smart business.

Re:Office Max (1)

misterklaw (26739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602626)

When I worked for Office Max in high school I always made it my personal habit to steal ink cartridges whenever possible.

Arm twisting? (2)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602520)

Geez, vote with your dollars! If you don't like the fact that you get a crappy product (in this case half empty ink cartridges) then go buy something else.

oh, I know, let's go sue Bic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602525)

The cost of the razors are half that of the blades... but guess what? The blades are the only things I go buy.

Who can fault HP for selling things for what the market will bear?

HP has always made the money on the refill (2)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602529)

Back in the day of the Laserjet II, we had a joke around my job that HP was just a toner company, with very fancy toner delivery packaging - printers.

It's just a heck of a lot more noticable now, you're paying $60 and $40 instead of $3000 and $200 (plus $ungodly when you need to replace the other parts). With the inkjet, you get a new head every time, and that's the part that gums up and goes bad.

Perhaps somebody has some price-per-page figures, that I'd like to see. I suspect that even with the exorbitant replacement cost of the heads, it should still come out really cheap per page.

Re:HP has always made the money on the refill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602621)

Sounds like a pretty funny joke - you don't date much, do you?

Re:HP has always made the money on the refill (3, Funny)

jkr0605 (210289) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602639)

This study [cockeyed.com] is a pretty amusing look into exactly how much each page of inkjet-ed printing costs you.

not really a new idea. (2)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602542)

This idea is, or was at one point, common in the food industry as well. They maintain the same size of packaging, yet futz with the amount of food inside it (usually reducing it some small amount) so you're essentially paying the same price for less.

Of course they never label it as "economy", they would just sneak it in without telling anyone.

It ends up being a backhanded way of raising prices. In HP's situation it seems more like a way to motivate people into buying the real profit makers sooner, but it all borrows from the same mode of thinking. Wish the story or court case was further along, be interesting to see what the eventual conclusion is because I doubt the finding would apply to only HP.

Why are the cartridges so expensive anyway? (1)

jedie (546466) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602543)

no really? is it the ink? or the technology in the cartridges? cos they really don't look that hard to make or anything.

But then again we're talking about a company that sells "premium photo paper" at over 1 euro a piece.

razors (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602547)

razors are also packaged with what, one or two blades? you are then out in a week or so and need to pony up for new ones.

im wondering whos learning from who here because theyre both making their money in keeping the machine runing.

it also reminds me of how the XBOX was supposed to overcome its cost to M$ through game sales.

This is hardly surprising. (1)

!ramirez (106823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602548)

This is hardly surprising. This is the same comepany, after all, that has told people for years that throwing away perfectly good printheads (such as those conveniently attached to the ink cartridges) gives you 'higher quality' at a lower price. I used to work at CompUSA 4-5 years ago, and I remember even then how hard HP had to try to convince me and my fellow sales goons that this was 'good for the consumer'. Of course, then again, what with their extended warranties, CompUSA hasn't exactly been a shining paragon of sales morality.

Hmm. HP makes a ton of money off of those ink carts; I wonder how much CompUSA/Best Buy/Wiz/etc make off of each cart they sell. The guys pushing these disposable printers on people should get a fair share of the finger-pointing as well.

Women & Ink Jets are a bad combo... (3, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602550)

Every month I end up having to head over to Staples and plop down nearly 100 bucks for a black & white and color cartridges. My fiancé goes through them fast on our HP 970cse ($299 when I bought it) making stupid cards for her friends. Of course she has to use high quality mode so the ink is thick on the paper. We have had our ink jet now for about two years and in that time, I probably could have bought one of HP's nice Color LaserJet printer for the price of those cartridges.

The whole ink jet printer industry reminds me of the razor/blade industry. They sell you the printer cheap, then screw you hard for the inks making sure you run out fast on the first set of cartridges just like the razor folks only give you one or two "starter" blades. But then again, Carly didn't put a gun to my head and forced me to buy the printer. It works well but is expensive to operate in the long run.

Re:Women & Ink Jets are a bad combo... (2)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602637)

Every month I end up having to head over to Staples and plop down nearly 100 bucks for a black & white and color cartridges. My fiancée goes through them fast on our HP 970cse ($299 when I bought it) making stupid cards for her friends.

May I suggest asking *her* to buy the next batch of paper and ink, since she's apparently using far more of it than you are?

You could do it politely, explaining you're short on cash without directly mentioning the reason why. Or just explain that it's "her turn" to buy the replacables. Then ask her to stop using high-quality mode, whenever it's at all possible.

Do what I do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602552)

Citizen 200GX dot matrix printer. Came with my Amiga 500. Still goes. Never breaks down. Works with Linux. Cheep ink refills. So there.

Little reason for inkjets (1)

bridges (101722) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602554)

Inkjet printers *are* useful for certain tasks - printing color pictures, for example. That is only, however, because color laser printers are relatively expensive. These days you can get a postscript black and white laser print *new* for $399 from either Lexmark or HP.

My wife and I use and love our HP Laserjet 1200SE. It prints quickly, without the feeding snafus that always seemed to curse our old inkjet printer. It's also significantly cheaper per page. We keep a clunky, cheap lexmark inkjet in the closet just in case we ever need to print in color, but that's such a spectacularly rare occurence it's hardly worth mentioning.

We invested in a laserjet printer more than a year ago and have had no trouble whatsoever with it since then.

Beating the high prices of ink cartridges (2, Informative)

Fair Use Guy (556967) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602563)

Ever since Epson started shipping the first inkjet cartridge in the late 1980s, manufacturers have been gouging consumers by selling them low-quality, overpriced refill cartridges. One needs to look no further than HP's balance sheet to see that many printer models are actually subsidized by the company, in order to lure users to purchase their most expensive ink cartridges. As a matter of fact, the ink inside the average printer cartridge only costs the manufacturer about 7 (seven) cents! Here are a few suggestions for beating HP and friends at their own game, and refilling your ink cartridge for significantly less than it costs to buy a refill:
  • Refill kits. Many vendors offer kits that will allow you to add more ink to an empty cartridge several times over. With the proper use of plugs and caution, this may save you hundreds of dollars a year.
  • Buy from Pricewatch. Pricewatch [pricewatch.com] allows you to find the cheapest vendors worldwide of most computer hardware, and you can usually find ink cartridges there for about 60% off retail prices.
  • Warranty service. Most cartridges are sold with a (n albeit poor) warranty. Use about half the cartridge, then apply a small quantity of glycerin or sugar water to the jets to clog them. Send the cartridge back to HP and wait a week to get your replacement.
  • Return it. When you've got a dead cartridge in your hand and you're trying to print out that last minute book report, don't despair. Head over to Best Buy and pick up a new cartridge. Then, spray a bottle of typewriter ink liberally all over the old cartridge and (optionally) your hands and arms. Head back to the store and accuse them of selling you a defective cartridge, which exploded (and thus drained all of its ink) when you installed it. Voila! You will have a new cartridge for free.
  • File a complaint with the BBB. The majority of inkjet cartridges clog irreparably between the time when the warranty expires, and the time when the ink runs out. Make the manufacturer accountable for selling you a shoddy product by complaining to the BBB, your Attorney General, and the IFCC.
In summary, there are things you can do about this situation. You don't need to be a sheep.

/fug

Lexmark did it with laser cartridges, too (1)

e40 (448424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602566)

The 312L (L for light in the toner) is (was?) a cheapo (and very nice) laser printer. It's just like the 312 w/o postscript and a full toner cartridge.

HP Print Cartridiges (1)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602573)

A buddy of mine was trying to install one these damn cartridges the other day. Fresh out of the box. The stupid printer kept coming back saying that the cartridge was too old to be used. IT WAS A BRAND NEW CARTRIDGE!!! Out of a HP box. The damn printer won't budge on it at all.

"Sell the printers at a loss, rip off the consumer in the long run..." - HP business model.

Sean D.

Inkjets have a hold on the consumer market (4, Interesting)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602577)

One problem with laser is that it spikes the hell out of your power supply, will kill a UPS, and if not on aseperate circuit can wreak havoc with your other equipment. Inkjets are much tamer, and while a pain in the ass and slower, are safer for beginning/home lUsers for this reason. Since they're also cheaper to make than lasers and better than dot-matrix, inkjet will probably have a lock on consumers for some time.

Off Brand INK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602582)

I get off brand ink for my Epson color 860 on ebay... $2.50 per, for black or color.

I got my Lexmark Optra 2 years ago for 190 bucks on ebay...with new toner, still on the same toner, 3 cases of paper later:-) One more case and I'll have spent more on the paper than the printer;-)

Maybe a selling point of eBooks? (1)

CrazyJoel (146417) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602592)

If you want to read something on the run maybe downloading it to a portable hi-rez screen might be cheaper?

Open Source Cartridges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602594)

If HP would only see the light and make the cartridges open source then we could all enjoy affordable robust quality printing.

I wonder what Linus would say (the guy from Charlie Brown)?

Laser printers the same way (2)

BCoates (512464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602595)

A laser printer I bought several (8, I'd guess) years ago came with a toner cartridge that would only print 1/3 as many pages as a new replacement cartridge, this was explained deep in the manual somewhere...

I believe it was a Canon, but i'm not sure.

--
Benjamin Coates

Business Model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3602600)

That's their business model. Sell the printer cheap, and then make a mint on the cartidges. Think about it, over the live pof a printer most people get 10-15 cartridges, if there's $10 profit on a cartridge HP can price its printers $100 less then they cost to make. If they can price preinters at or near cost then every cartridge sold is gravy. If you factor in that the printer itself doesn't have fancy electronics, while most cartridges do; you'll see why InkJet cartidges are so god-damned expensive. Ink itself is cheap. Cartridges aren't because they also have electronic parts and the company making them has a monopoly.
Lexmark is much worse then HP. Their low-end printers are cheaper then one black cartidge and one color.

Oh stop whining (1)

Kushy (225928) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602609)

Most ppl here are in the systems depts in our companies. Don't tell me you haven't went out and got the same high end inkjets that the marketing dept has, just so you could gleem the ink carts from them.

I mean come on, the acct depts never ever question the amount of ink that the marketing dept uses... :)

My Experience (2)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602613)

My girlfriend bought a HP (900 or 1000 something) inkjet printer last year and it came with what the sales rep called "starter" cartridges that weren't completely full. This was at a Circuit City store and of course he really really wanted us to buy replacement cartridges with it anyways. We did buy them because I knew we'd need them shortly anyways.

In any case, when I got home I looked at the printer box and at the replacement cartridge box, and both stated the same milliliters (or whatever inkjet ink is measured in).

So did HP state the wrong thing on the box, or did the Circuit City salesman lie through his teeth in an attempt to get an extra $50 sale?

strong arming customers is an industry practice. (3, Informative)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602632)



I use alot of large format plotters. Right now regarding inkjet Encad and HP seem to be the favorites. Even bulk ink plotters like HP1050 series requires you to purchase an inktank instead of just pouring in more ink. Encad on the other hand sells jugs of milk that you can pour in on the fly even while printing.

I worked for a company making high end thermal printers and the trick to their sales were to force customers to use their inks and substrate. one by placing wierd punch patterns on the paper then patenting it. ofcourse this was played off as a superior punch pattern for accuracy. funny enough when the pattent ran out they left the patter behind. Secondly they constantly changed the firing patterns on the head of the printer so other films wouldn't work or last as long. When customers called up who used other products it was standard to blaim the non brand name film or substrate. It's no secrets companies strong arm customers into buying their peripherals and materials at a higher cost.

Not only are the included cartridges half full... (2, Informative)

semicolon (72059) | more than 12 years ago | (#3602635)

Not only are the OEM cartridges that come with the printers are half full. So are most of the refill cartridges people buy.

See this link [hp.com] for the 'refil' cartridge at 34 bucks.

See this link [hp.com] for the 'large' cartridge at a 'bargain' 55 bucks.

They're the same size.

-- rob
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