I got a notice in my e-mail today about a class action lawsuit against Hewlett Packard. It seems the law had to get involved in the problem of print cartridges.


All sorts of HP ink


HP did this horrible, terrible, very bad thing. They tricked people about ink cartridges. They told people their ink was getting low. AND sometimes, they used color ink to print black.

I have been a devoted HP printer person since after I bought my first and last Lexmark. My first and last Lexmark printer did not have a decent draft option. You either printed on normal or excellent and used up lots and lots of ink. Draft was unreadable.

I had been used to using HP printers which also had normal and excellent settings. But their draft version was actually readable. It used less ink and wasn’t great, but it was usable. Lexmark’s draft version was very economical. It used so little ink, you couldn’t read anything that was printed. Quite frankly, that didn’t help at all.

I had been used to printing most things on draft. Résumés would be printed on normal. Pictures were printed on the highest setting. My Lexmark printer went through ink cartridges like a really fat person at a buffet.

I know they have gotten better because we have both a laser printer and an ink jet printer at work. The laser doesn’t do color. The ink jet does, and it is a Lexmark. The ink cartridges last a reasonable amount of time.

Even so, when we bought a new printer this past weekend, we only looked at HP. We did walk past the Lexmark and the Brother printers to get to the HP section. It is what I wanted. HP has been very, very good to me. I bought a new HP printer. This time it is wireless and it also prints on both sides of the paper. And it was on sale, about one-third off the list price.

Then today, I got a letter that I can join a class action lawsuit against HP. Because of their ink cartridges. It seems they say they are getting low when there is still ink in the cartridge. I always thought the little message was to give me enough time to get out to the store and buy the next ink cartridge. I have never swapped out any ink until the print quality became lined or messy or unreadable.

What I have liked least about the newer HP printers is that when you run out of black and haven’t managed to get TO the store yet or bought yet again another color cartridge instead of black, you are screwed. You can’t print using the color ink to mix together to print out the recipe you need in the kitchen. Okay, that’s usually when I run out of ink. All my recipes are on my computer so I don’t get my cookbooks dirty. And I would want to print, and there would be no black ink left.

Being smarter than the inanimate objects, I would highlight all, change the print to dark blue, and print it out and then have to get to the store. This may account for why I had two color cartridges and no black ink for the printer we just got rid of.

Apparently this is an egregiously horrible, almost terrifying thing – this usage of color ink to print black. It is a sin against man and it is cause for a lawsuit. And it is why my newer printers are dumber than they need to be.

From the legal notice I received today: “If you are eligible, the Proposed Settlement may provide an e-credit for future purchases of printers and printer supplies offered at www.shopping.hp.com. Any e-credits received as part of the settlement can only be used at www.shopping.hp.com.”

I may be eligible for something. I might get some credits to go shopping for something online. That’s going to be really freaking handy. The only thing I’m sure my e-credits would get would be a small portion of an ink cartridge. Apparently they are only supposed to tell me I’m running out of ink when I have less than ten pages to print, and then I’m supposed to send away for some ink and wait for it to arrive.

As always, the people who are benefiting from this class action suit are the lawyers who filed it. The people who may or may not have suffered undue hardships will get maybe a quarter of an ink cartridge, if they care to order far enough in advance to make sure the ink arrives before the printer runs dry.

The lawyers, those out to protect the public and do good service, will receive a boatload of money. HP and their customer base lose.

I really hate class action suits.