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Consumers warned of HP firmware update

April 26, 2019

Netherlands-based company, 123inkt, along with Cartridge World in the US, have both been warning consumers of a new firmware update rolled out on various HP OfficeJet printer models, which is blocking non-OEM cartridges.

Following the Australian store Ink Hub’s warnings and advice about HP firmware earlier this month, 123inkt,, which made headlines recently when it won out in the Dutch Supreme Court against HP, has begun issuing warnings of its own. 123inkt revealed that over the “last few days” the company has been receiving reports from over two thousand consumers that its newly installed private label cartridges have been malfunctioning in “25 different models of HP OfficeJet printers.”

It appears that HP has “rolled out an automatic firmware update at specific printers”, the Netherlands-based webstore explains, “which means that new private label cartridges may no longer be accepted worldwide.”

When consumers try and install their private label cartridges they encounter a message on their printers which reads “Problem with cartridge. One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove the cartridges and replace them with new ones”. As 123inkt describes, there is no problem with the cartridges themselves; the issue lies in the firmware update which is blocking their usage.

The webstore writes, “Updates of this kind are deliberately rolled out by HP with the aim of excluding private label cartridges and making users believe that private label cartridges are of poorer quality. Hence the misleading error message that the cartridges appear to be damaged, while that is not the case. Thus, over the back of the consumer, the fight is started with sellers of private label cartridges, such as Consumers should never be the victim of this. 

HP claims to be allowed to perform these updates because HP printer packages will be provided with a sticker from December 2016. It says that “cartridges without an HP chip may not work and that cartridges that work today may not function in the future.”

However, believes that the printer is the property of the consumer who has purchased it. This consumer must be able to decide for himself which cartridges to put in his printer. A sticker does not change that situation. HP is no longer the owner of a printer sold by HP and HP does not have the right to disable someone’s printer because that person does not use HP cartridges!”

123inkt goes on to reveal that the company set up its own foundation (Stichting 123inkt private label customers) at the end of 2016 to help customers affected by HP’s “unfair practices”, explaining that 123inkt “takes on all legal expenses for this foundation, while all damages that HP might pay back to the duped members of the foundation.”

The Netherlands-based webstore is not the only company to be affected by HP’s firmware update. Bruce Barnett of Cartridge World Fredericksburg posted a message on social media recently warning Cartridge World customers of HP’s firmware update affecting printers using HP 952 ink cartridges.

Barnett wrote, “HP has updated or is in the process of updating the firmware for these printers which would make the Cartridge World branded 952 ink cartridges incompatible with your printer.”

He included a short video demonstrating “how to circumvent this happening”.

123inkt has also been offering advice to consumers, advising them “to disable printer updates if they are happy with how their printer operates at present.”

The company concludes, “Without these printer updates you are free to use the much cheaper compatible cartridges without issue.”

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