Printer anyone?

When I used the inkjet printers as raw model for my first-sale entrapment post, I didn't think of this: don't buy new expensive cartridges, just buy a new printer!

At the shop, I found that the kind of cartridge I need costs €60. A few metres away from the cartridge rack they were selling new printers, and I ended up seriously considering not buying a cartridge, but a new Epson printer for only €45 (that is including a set of ink cartridges which cost €47 if bought separately).

Next to it they were selling a cheapo Lexmark printer at €30. I checked the price of its printer cartridge — €35. I was so perplexed that I left the shop without an ink cartridge and without a printer.

So next time you need an ink cartridge, don't buy one. Get a new printer instead. I know this generates an unnecessary amount of garbage, but as long as you can buy printers at prices below those of ink cartridges, it makes no sense to buy cartridges. [via Too Much News]

I have done this before with an electric tooth brush, the tool with three new brushes came cheaper than buying a new set of brushes alone. There are probably many other examples of this kind of teasers around. The consumption society is getting crazier and crazier...

4 Comments

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Well, I realize why (http://padawan.info/weblog/when_comment_spam_is_good_for_your_traffic.html) you're asking this here. But, besides giving you my personal feeling on your pics ;-), I'm sure there are better places than this blog to seek for such advice.

Think about any ink cartridge, for example, HP ink cartridge that has a warranty. Bad ink cartridge, color bad, light ink which appears watery, what-ever, they give you another one. That's the way a warranty works. You buy a recycled ink cartridge, with no HP warranty. It may work momentarily, but then you get these same messages, remove cartridge. Why should my printer shut down after purchasing a recycled ink cartridge? But then if you buy an HP ink cartridge, your printer is up and running again. Or until that time HP thinks you have printed long enough, even if you have plenty of ink. HP forces you, according to HP predetermined usage, in order for your printer to work, to buy their ink cartridges, or HP will shut your printer down.

But HP said the [HP initiated lawsuits] aren't a change in HP's policy that customers have a right to refill legally purchased cartridges or buy refilled cartridges. "We still believe it's the customer's choice," said spokeswoman Monica Sarkar, adding that HP believes its products have better quality and reliability.

HP printing executive Pradeep Jotwani said in a 2003 interview, "We consciously make sure that our cartridges are reusable and refillable," [He's talking about cartridges returned to HP for recycling] The company does put some limits on the practice, such as adding software that makes some of its cartridges unusable after a certain expiration date--either four-and-a-half years after its manufacture or two-and-a-half years after its installation.

Can Mr. Potwani tell the world, under what specific technical conditions, and reason, has determined that the ink cartridge has failed.....before the expiration date, or after purchasing a recycled ink cartridge, making my printer inoperable? And can he tell the world, a consumer would like to know exactly what is the meaning of legally purchased cartridges or legally refilled cartridges. An answer would be crucial to HP's credibility on the issue.

Don't focus on the ink cartridge, focus on the fact HP, and other printer manufacturers, stop your printer from working, because of some silly game they are playing of cheating customers before the ink runs out, or wrong ink standards, or what-ever. I say, go ahead send these stupid messages, but don't stop my printer from working. This is anti-competitive, and in violation of anti-trust laws.

To be perfectly clear

Hewlett Packard recycles their ink cartridges by promoting that HP cartridges be returned for recycling, using a self addressed, stamped envelope. Allowing HP, through their “refurbishing and reselling�? effort to conserve resources, using the various recycling facilities of manufacturers around the world contracted by HP. Thus, the mere fact that there also are other recyclers available to refurbish, and recycle ink cartridges, but except for lower cost, and the free choice of the consumer, HP has restricted the consumer the full use, and the operation of HP printers.

Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, ninth edition. West Publishing. Chapter 43; ANTITRUST.
“Characterizing a type of restraint as per se illegal therefore has a significant effect on the prosecution of an antitrust suit. In such a case, the plaintiff need only show that the type of restraint occurred, she does not need to prove that the restraint limited competition.....Tying arrangements. A tying arrangement occurs when the seller of a product, service, or intangible (the "tying" product) conditions its sale on the buyers purchasing a second product, service, or intangible (the "tied" product) from the seller....Because tying arrangements limit buyers' freedom of choice and may exclude competitors, the law closely scrutinizes such agreements.�?

Hewlett Packard has, unbeknownst to customers who purchased HP printers (tying product), tied as a condition, the purchase of new HP ink cartridges (tied product), or HP recycled ink cartridges, through the use illegal anti-competitive consumer practices.

After all, what are we talking about, it's a ball point pen refill morphed into a printer ink cartridge. It’s a recycled auto part! Again, I say Hewlett Packard, and the rest of the conspirators, play your silly games by cheating consumers on ink cost, and supplies. I say go ahead! But don’t stop me from the use of my printer.

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