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HP Inc apologises and announces firmware reversal

September 29, 2016

The OEM has stated that it “should have done a better job of communicating” the update, and will “issue an optional firmware update” to remove the initial feature.hplogonew

The Recycler first reported on the firmware update two weeks ago, and reported further complaints from the industry and consumers, with the OEM’s EU helpdesk claiming that it was “working on a solution” last week. The OEM told The Recycler at the start of last week that the printers affected “will continue to work with refilled or remanufactured cartridges with an Original HP security chip”.

Other aftermarket companies have responded to the update by noting their products still work after the update, including Static Control, 3T Supplies’ Peach division, Armor, LD Products, Pelikan and Cartridge People.

The OEM has now published a letter on its website, entitled ‘Dedicated to the best printing experience’ and written by COO Jon Flaxman, in which he explains that the OEM “should have done a better job of communicating about the authentication procedure to customers, and we apologise”. He added that “although only a small number of customers have been affected, one customer who has a poor experience is one too many”.

Flaxman points out that “it is important to understand that all third-party cartridges with original HP security chips continue to function properly”, but “as a remedy for the small number of affected customers”, the OEM will “issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature”, which it expects will “be ready within two weeks”. A “dedicated support centre” has also been set up for customers to contact the OEM at, with the email print-hpi@hp.com.

HP Inc “engineers the best and most-secure printing systems in the world”, Flaxman comments, and “strive[s] to always provide the highest-quality experiences for our customers and partners”, and being a “new company, we are committed to transparency in all of our communications and when we fall short, we call ourselves out”. The letter aims to address “confusion in the market” after the update, and Flaxman outlined the reasons for the update.

These included that the authentication procedure “in select models” was supposed 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”. He pointed out that when cartridges “are cloned or counterfeited, the customer is exposed to quality and potential security risks, compromising the printing experience”.

Its process for authenticating supplies included a “dynamic security feature” in the update that “prevented some untested third-party cartridges that use cloned security chips from working, even if they had previously functioned”. HP Inc “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”.

In conclusion, Flaxman conceded again that “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”.

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