EFF: Epson tricking customers with fake software update to reject third-party ink

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mood, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    EFF: Epson tricking customers with fake software update to reject third-party ink
    October 11, 2018
    https://www.fastcompany.com/9024981...ake-software-update-to-reject-third-party-ink
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yeah, Epson are among the worst :(
     
  3. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    Epson should be heavily fined for such disgustingly deceptive behavior and made to roll back the updates as well. Hope that happens. A good ol boycott might be good justice but the problem with that is all the printer companies to one degree or another have been known for such sneaky behavior and planned obsolescence is just another one.
     
  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    I never received those updates for my Artisan 810.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I don't buy the planned obsolescence claim but certainly the issue about 3rd party ink is real.

    I have mixed feelings about 3rd party ink due to years of experience with many personal examples of problems with 3rd party inks - and not just with Epson, but HP and Brother printing devices as well.

    The problem is, ink technologies are very sophisticated and advanced high tech. It takes a great deal of research, development, testing etc. to get the perfect ink. Color is just but one small part. The size of the tiny droplets that are sprayed, how those drops spread then bleed when they hit the paper, the speed in which it dries (but not dry in the cartridges), how the prime colors mix to make other colors, how it resists smudging, then how it wears and maintains proper color over time are but a few issues.

    The big problem for 3rd party ink makers is ensuring those (and other) factors stay consistent batch after batch year after year. In reality, only the OEM makers can guarantee and maintain that precise consistency batch after batch especially since the formulas are company secrets, guarded like the Coca-Cola recipe.

    If those formulas are off just a tiny bit, it can literally gum up the works, clogging the jets and print heads. So the problem is, all the 3rd party ink makers have to reverse engineer the ink, then make the aftermarket products. Some 3rd party makers do that better than others but also, some are better at consistency between batches over time, better than others too.

    Another problem is the retailers of aftermarket ink (or the components to make the ink) do not always buy from the same source. And/or the source of the raw products does not do a good job supplying consistent products. This means, even if you buy aftermarket ink from the same 3rd party supplier, there is a good chance the ink month after month will be inconsistent in its formula and performance. :( This is particularly true if you buy aftermarket ink from Walmart this month but next month you buy from Office Depot and the next month from some on-line supplier.

    What then happens is buyers seek warranty repairs for problems caused by using aftermarket inks.

    So buying OEM ink ensures you consistently get the best ink for your printer. This is really an issue where color consistency is especially important - say for professional photographers and graphics designers.

    TL-DR: To the point, as a technician over the years, I have seen where aftermarket ink gummed up the jets and print heads - but who gets blamed? The printer makers. And I have seen where printout quality issues were cleared just by replacing inferior, poorly manufactured aftermarket ink with genuine OEM ink. I have seen this more than once with my own HP printers, as well as with several client printers from HP and other makers.

    The problem of course, is genuine ink is just too darn expensive. I don't know what the solution is, but intentionally sneaking out code disguised as a software update that is designed to disable the printing device if aftermarket ink is detected is totally despicable, unacceptable, and I hope determined to be illegal.
     
  6. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Where I agree with Bill that I have also seen 3rd party ink ruin an otherwise working printer, this situation would not exist if the price of ink was not beyond insane. I have an Epson printer I have not used in almost 2 years because I don't want to spend the $90 to buy ink. If it were $40 or less I would probably keep it running. I remember seeing an article that pointed out that per volume inkjet ink costs over $10,000 per gallon. We have had color lasers at work that cost $1,200 to fill with toner. That would only printer 200-300 pages from that. What did they think was going to happen? People will buy generics or just stop printing when possible.
     
  7. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    I managed to obtain a service manual for my now unusable canon printer. I can't remember the exact wording. I still have the document somewhere. It does say words to the effect that it's life was 5 years. That in my mind is planned obsolescence.
    Yes totally agree though about sneaky tactics. Also, as you say the price is just too expensive. There's something not right when the price of ink is way higher than the printer itself. That's why people are going 3rd party. What did they expect? Instead of sucking people in with cheap printers and leave the shock til later to buy more ink, it would be better to have the real price upfront.
     
  8. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    It's disgusting that just about all printer makers continue to get away with this stuff. I don't really trust my Brother printer, they are programmed to lie about the amount of ink left and third party ink doesn't work.
     
  9. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Te guy that sells me printers admitted they are all junk now. Designed to get through the warranty period. They want to make all of the money on ink. I want a good quality printer for a fair price (I said fair, not cheap) and ink for a fair price (which nobody is capable of doing). I don't know what it is going to take to make people care about what they are manufacturing and selling anymore.
     
  10. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    Yes there's that too and it's been going on a long time. At least my canon had individual clear ink carts so you could see the level of the ink.
     
  11. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    My HP B&W laser printer works just fine with 3rd party toner. It's been going for over 5 years now. Am I just lucky, or what?

    For whenever my HP printer poops out, is there ANY brand of home-user-quality laser printer that doesn't practice these dirty tricks?
     
  12. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    I'd like to know if there's a printer that doesn't always require you to use it or lose it.
     
  13. __Nikopol

    __Nikopol Registered Member

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    I can give a source of information from someone who used to work with numbers in one of the big companys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHX6tHdQGiQ
    TL: DW basically you're getting scammed by all of them. No ****.
     
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