When you try to connect your scanner or printer to your computer, you may receive…
A proposed class action lawsuit filed this week claims that some HP all-in-one printers don’t work as advertised because their scan and fax features can’t be used when the ink level is too low.
According to the 32-page case, HP’s inkjet all-in-one printers are touted as multifunction devices capable of printing, copying, scanning and, with some models, even faxing documents. What HP fails to disclose in its marketing materials – and what consumers don’t find out until after they’ve purchased a printer – is that so-called all-in-one devices won’t scan or fax documents even if any of their ink cartridges are low or empty, the lawsuit alleges.
As the case points out, it is “well documented” that ink is not needed when scanning or faxing a document and “certainly possible” to make a printer that scans and faxes even when it is is out of ink.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that defendant HP, Inc. intentionally designed its all-in-one printers to shut off completely when ink was low in order to trick customers into buying more ink cartridges. ‘ink.
“HP’s intent is clear that their MFPs will revert to an unusable ‘error state’ so that a large subset of these MFP buyers will purchase extra ink cartridges that are unnecessary and out of service. fees in order to be able to scan and fax documents,” the complaint states. “The end goal is to increase sales of an HP [sic] the biggest profits, ink cartridges, by all means.”
Fail by design?
As the case shows, printer ink – which is allegedly more expensive per ounce than silver, caviar and champagne – is the bread and butter of the retail printing industry. Manufacturers like HP are even willing to sell their printers at a loss, knowing that such purchases will result in “billions of dollars in ink sales,” the lawsuit says.
It is for this reason, according to the complaint, that HP intentionally ties scanning and faxing capabilities – which, crucially, do not require ink – to a printer’s ink levels, so that the devices turn off when they run out of ink.
“There is no legitimate purpose in selling all-in-one printers with scanning or fax functionality directly related to the existence or level of ink contained in the devices,” the complaint states. “Ink is not required for scan or fax functionality and ink does not improve scan or fax performance. Tying the scanning or faxing capabilities of all-in-one printers to the ink in the devices offers no benefit, and serves only to disadvantage and financially harm consumers.”
While consumers are forced to buy replacement ink cartridges to use their printers’ advertised features, HP cashes in on the profits, according to the case, noting that every ink cartridge for all-in-one printers of the company costs around 30 dollars.
It’s important to note that, according to the case, HP never discloses the “intentional design flaw” of the printers to consumers. Indeed, the lawsuit alleges that consumers are buying the so-called all-in-one devices based on HP’s representations that they will be able to use the printers to also scan and fax documents. It is only after purchasing the machines that the buyers find out that they must make “additional and superfluous ink purchases” or cannot use the printers as advertised, the lawsuit states.
Altogether, the lawsuit claims that HP’s all-in-one printers “do not perform as guaranteed, labeled and advertised” and that consumers would not have purchased the devices or paid less for them if they had known that they would be needed. to maintain ink levels for scanning and faxing documents.
Which HP printers are mentioned in the lawsuit?
The lawsuit claims that the following HP printers are subject to false advertising:
I have one of these printers. Am I covered?
The lawsuit appears to represent anyone who purchased any of the HP all-in-one printers mentioned on this page in the United States for personal/home use at any time within the applicable statute of limitations.
How can I join the lawsuit?
There’s usually nothing you need to do to join or be considered part of a class action lawsuit when it’s first filed. The time to act would be if and when the matter is settled. At this point, the people who are the subject of the lawsuit, i.e. the class members, should receive a notice of settlement with instructions on how to file a claim for their part.
In the meantime, and the class action process can take a long time, one of the best things you can do is stay informed.
If you want to stay up to date with class action news and settlement information, sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter. here.