March 24, 2021
In December 2020, the Italian Competition and Market Authority (ICMA) concluded that HP had introduced significant limitations in many inkjet and laser printers sold to consumers. The limitations impacted the use of non-genuine ink/ toner cartridges and had been happening for some years.
According to ICMA, HP had failed to adequately inform consumers – at the time of purchase – about the presence of this relevant and significant limitation. The limitation led consumers to believe that they needed to replace non-original ink/ toner cartridges due to shortages or defects and use only original HP cartridges.
HP was fined €10 million. The ICMA ordered that within 60 days of notification of the action, HP must submit a report on the steps taken to comply with the warning. Within 120 days, it must modify the printers’ sales packages to clearly indicate the restrictions on the use of non-original ink/ toner cartridges, depending on the firmware installed.
The translated notice:
COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE CONSUMER
COMPANIES HP INC. AND HP ITALY S.R.L (CONGUINTELY HP)
- have induced consumers and micro-enterprises to purchase HP branded printers and to update the firmware installed on them, failing to inform them of the limitations therein regarding the use of non-original ink / toner cartridges and providing omissive and misleading information regarding quality of non-original ink refills, such as to lead one to believe that non-original cartridges cannot be used or have to be replaced due to deficiencies or defects in the latter, rather than due to the limitations introduced by specific instructions contained in the printer firmware ;
- have given, through the firmware and without the knowledge of their customers, instructions according to which the printers record operating data – relating to the cartridges used, original or not – and send them to an archive that HP uses for the formulation of their business strategies and, for HP printers that have used non-genuine cartridges, have denied the warranty and refused to certify the causal link between the malfunction of the printer and the use of the legal guarantee of conformity by the vendors.
Practice No. 1 was deemed incorrect pursuant to art. 20, 21 and 22 of the Consumer Code and practice no. 2 was deemed incorrect pursuant to art. 20, 24 and 25 of the Consumer Code.
The Authority has ordered the publication of this amending declaration pursuant to Article 27, paragraph 8, of the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree. No. 206/2005).
(provision adopted at the meeting of 17.11.2020 and available on the website www.agcm.it)
You can visit the HP website here.
Categories : World Focus