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Ink Hub petitions ACCC over HP firmware updates

May 6, 2019

The Australian company has announced it has been speaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in regard to the latest HP firmware updates affecting third-party cartridges.

In April this year Ink Hub published online advice on combatting HP’s firmware updates by disabling them on your printer.

The company explained that HP seemed to have been issuing fresh firmware updates from “around 9 April”, with many consumers having the update “applied without them even knowing about it.”

Ink Hub goes on to advise that consumers needn’t bother with the upgrades even if they use genuine HP cartridges as the updates “won’t make any difference as to how your printer performs.”

Since the initial details of the exact firmware and warnings published by Ink Hub, 123ink.nl, Cartridge World, MAXIM-VERSAND Druckerpatronen and World of Inks, have all issued guidance for their customers.

Apart from self-help videos issued by several companies to disable the firmware update Ink initially declared that the sole purpose of the update “is to stop the end user from being able to use generic cartridges”, and then offers technical advice, using diagrams, demonstrating how to disable the updates.

Richard Pateman of World of Inks issued a warning of his own, explaining “printers that have the issues of firmware have automatically updated, if you print a test page, this will have the firmware version on, the firmware in question has 1910 at the end,” saying that HP has “been a little more clever” with this particular update.

In conversation with The Recycler, Pateman explained that “with the new firmware update, ink cartridges already in the printer will still work until they are empty” and that “most printers we are finding are sadly on automatic update”.

Ink Hub took to Social Media on 2 May 2019 to inform its customers that the company is “currently in talks with the ACCC over HP’s latest printer firmware updates. They are going to see if this latest firmware download breaches laws as did their last big update a couple of years ago.”

The tweet continued: “These big companies will take away all our rights if we let them.”

Only last week, Lexmark joined the firmware update list with Brother also appearing to have caused issues with third-party cartridges with its firmware update in March.

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