HP Backtracks On Controversial Update

HP Apologises

For anyone following technology news lately it will come as no surprise that HP Inc has been making waves for all the wrong reasons. A firmware update that was issued to HP printers was found recently to cause the printers to reject third party cartridges if they did not include a specific security chip made by HP.

Even worse, this update feature only appeared in September, despite the update itself being issued in March. As expected, consumers were not happy that their printers were suddenly rejecting cartridges that had been accepted only weeks before.

HP Inc has finally responded with a blog post that apologises for not communicating with its customers about the new authentication procedure. The post confirms that they updated their cartridge authentication procedure, though only in certain models of the HP office printers.

They also confirm that they understand that “although a small number of customers have been affected, one customer who has a poor experience is one too many”. It would seem that the backlash over this update has become severe enough that HP felt it had no choice but to respond.

HP To Issue Optional Update

To placate customers, HP will be issuing a remedy in the form of an optional firmware update. This will remove the security feature from the affected HP printers, allowing customers to continue using their third party ink cartridges. An estimated time for the update is within two weeks and details will be provided at this link.

What is interesting to note in this apology is that HP neither apologies for implementing the security feature, nor do they make the new update mandatory for all the affected HP printers. Instead it is purely a choice, which may lead many consumers who are till unaware of what has happened to not update further.

Why Did The Update Happen?

While it is understandable that people are angry over their printers no longer recognising third party cartridges that do not have the security chip made by HP, it is also understandable why the company would issue an update such as this.

Cartridges that are manufactured by HP themselves, or include a security chip, are guaranteed to provide the best security, reliability and quality to a customer. An unofficial cartridge could have the potential to damage the printer to the point it is unable to print, or will provide incredibly poor printing.

An article we wrote on counterfeit cartridges outlines why a counterfeit cartridge should never be bought, and instances like the HP security update are ways the brands themselves try to prevent unofficial or counterfeit cartridges being used.

As such, Jon Flaxman, the Chief Operating Officer of HP Inc, stated in the blog article, “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.”

Read the full blog article below:


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Sarah Jubb

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