14 Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee

UPDATE: 9 More Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee

A former Hewlett-Packard worker could barely wait for their non-disclosure-agreement to end so they could spill 14 company secrets to The Consumerist.

1: Many HP Printers, like their laser printers, have a built-in page-count after which they won’t work. This resides in the a transpart sometimes called image or drum kit. Rather than get the printer fixed, it’s often cheaper to buy a new printer, OR you can do a NV ram reset. It resets everything in the printer, including all the page counts, but it’s not without risks.

2: To get past the voice prompt system, repeatedly say “Agent.” It will take two or three repetitions, but it will get you to a human.

3: If a set of cartridges cost more than the printer, don’t buy the printer. It’s considered a “throwaway” printer. HP service techs are told to spend no more than 30 minutes working on these because at that point, you are costing HP money.

[Photo: forester401]


4: HP cartridges have a warranty separate from their printer. The printer might be out of warranty, but the cartridges might not be. Cartridge goes plooey, call in.

5: Any HP printer that has been on the market for 6 months has its tech support outsourced. This means you might wind up talking to India, Canada or Costa Rica. Of the three, Canada at least speaks a variant of American.

6: If you have been told that you will receive a part by a certain date, follow up immediately. HP Parts Store was recently moved to Central America. HP Parts Store isn’t talking to HP Tech Support because the Tech Support CSR can see what is in the HP PS inventory and knows when they’re bullshitting. Every other part of HP hates HP Parts Store because of lost inventory, improper procedures, missed shipments, etc.

7: Using non-HP cartridges in your printer will void your warranty, and sometimes makes stuff blow up real good. The tech support will hang up on you if it is proven that the damage was caused by non-HP cartridges.

8: Just because the sales people say that your HP printer can use 120lbs paper doesn’t mean it actually can. You want the straight dope on a printer? Call up HP tech support or check the website.

9: If your printer is just out of warranty and you have a problem with it, call tech support anyway. You will first likely be directed to a “warranty agent.” Tell them firmly that you have an “extended warranty” and they will forward you on to tech support under “customer claims warranty.” The Tech Agent MUST give you support as per HP policy.

10: Don’t yell at the Tech Support CSRs. Most of them make just over minimum wage and just want to get the call over. If you have a problem, firmly request a supervisor.

11: If you threaten a lawsuit, HP CSRs are told to stop the call immediately and hang up.

12: Many HP CSRs are cross-trained into other departments. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they know about the product or problem if you get misrouted.

13. HP’s Beta Software website is at: http://www.hp.com/pond/ljbeta/. Only beta because it hasn’t been put on the distribution cds yet. A lot of drivers here will do stuff that the installation cds won’t. Also has fixes. HP maintains similar unadvertised websites throughout their system…

14. http://www.hp.com/pond/pnp Point and print = a new hp toy.

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. medalian1 says:

    These insider tip thingies are definately my favorite part of consumerist.

    Failed to add new comment, please try again later! (DATABASE)

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    That built in page counter thing is crazy. Is that legal, to have that, and not inform customers? Can you ask, “I have XXXXX model, how many pages is it good for?”

  3. That page count thing is mindblowing.

  4. Falconfire says:

    Many HP Printers, like their laser printers, have a built-in page-count after which they won’t work. This resides in the a transpart sometimes called image or drum kit. Rather than get the printer fixed, it’s often cheaper to buy a new printer, OR you can do a NV ram reset. It resets everything in the printer, including all the page counts, but it’s not without risks.

    If this is true, this spells the biggest lawsuit in the history of tech up till this point. I have no reason to not suspect it either, my district uses HP printers solely at this point, and routinely see printers that should be working great just give up the ghost with no reason.

  5. shoegazer says:

    Argh, the imaging drum kit is NOT some heavy duty secret. It’s the rated capacity of the part and WILL need to be replaced after 20000 pages or so or else it could damage your printer. This is like the bulb in those plasma sets; you could continue to use them, but why risk your machine?

    It’s only cheaper not to replace them if you have an el cheapo model printer. Otherwise they can be had from several HP service centers. I had one replaced on an old laserjet and it worked just fine.

    Why stick to the facts when you can have conjecture?

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    shoegazer

    In the case of an item like an LCD/DLP projector, the bulb life is specified by the manufacturer. I know if I buy product A, I get 3,000 hours of use…product B, 2,5000 hours.

    The point is, customers should be informed at point of purchase how many pages they can get out of the printer before having to do scheduled part replacement.

  7. shoegazer says:

    Get your rage on… apparently they’re ALL DOING IT!

    Canon: 21,000 pages
    Epson: Holy christ, 8500 pages? This IS the biggest lawsuit in the history of tech.

    This sounds like a re hash of that old class action about the cartridges having a builtin expiry. And God, why am I apologizing for this bloodsucking leech of an industry anyway?

    Carry on.

  8. Sean says:

    That first one is freaking me out, too. We need some more information about that page count secret.

    My all-in-one is an HP, and if that first secret is true, this is the last HP product I’m ever buying.

  9. shoegazer says:

    @AlteredBeast: I totally agree, however, the parts life (the term is “duty cycle”) IS specified by the manufacturer, and is freely available information. Offices use this info all the time when leasing heavy duty printers (the kind that can, you know, photocopy your body and send your clone out to do overtime).

    What irks me is everyone suddenly getting their inner lawyer on assuming this is a conspiracy. Consumers just never considered this a major factor in their decision to buy a printer, so the manufacturers never popularized these specs.

    I assume you all know your tire mileages by heart, but do you know the rated safe lifetime of your microwave? No? Then it must be the biggest lawsuit in the history of kitchens. Etc.

    cheers.

  10. yalej says:

    There are no bulbs in a plasma tv. HP used to make great laser printers. Remember the LaserJet 4/5? Those things would go forever.

    PC Load Letter!

  11. homerjay says:

    Maybe I’m wrong but aren’t the imaging drums of laser printers rated for X number of pages?
    I mean, its right here in the first bullet point:

    http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StaplesPr

  12. lore says:

    Imagine a world where it is known and specified that your v6 transmission will only work for 100,000 miles and the car will simply stop working after that!

    But shoegazer’s point is well taken. Those imaging drum kits do need to be replaced, but I wonder if those machines have an error message indicating that the drum kit is defective (kind of like when toner is low.)

  13. helio9000 says:

    Drum kits are rated for a number pages but what I think he is referring to is the “kill switch” that most consumer printers have, after which, whether they are in good condition or not, they simply won’t print.

    It sounds unbelievable at first but witness mp3 players with non user-replaceable batteries! People seem to be growing comfortable disposable electronics.

    I found out about the kill switch (on inkjets it is called the “waste ink” counter) when my Canon i9100 just stopped printing. Between these two sites:

    http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/
    http://inkjetprinterhelp.us/

    I found the instructions to reset the waste ink counter and it prints fine. (You have to clean a pad on the head and then press a bunch of buttons.)

  14. dohtem says:

    Regarding the built-in page counter, I found this site via digg that covers one consumers experience with HP Printers.

    Now I’m sitting here the day before Xmas, needing to print a black document, and the printer won’t print because the color cartridge (which is FULL of ink) is expired.

  15. MeOhMy says:

    Don’t yell at the Tech Support CSRs. Most of them make just over minimum wage and just want to get the call over.”

    I’m understanding about the minimum wage part, but the just wanting to get the call over is what gets you yelled at. The focus is on number of calls handled and not number of issues SUCCESSFULLY RESOLVED. I try to be as patient as possible, but as soon as I get the impression that someone is not trying to solve my problem, but just trying to get me off the phone or get the ticket closed, my blood gets to the boiling part far faster than it does when I think you’re at least trying to help even if it’s not successful.

    Call center managers: If you want happier CSRs (and customers), stop obsessing over THROUGHput and start obsessing over OUTput.

    I assume you all know your tire mileages by heart, but do you know the rated safe lifetime of your microwave? No? Then it must be the biggest lawsuit in the history of kitchens. Etc.

    There’s a diffrence between a life expectancy and a “shut down” timer. My tires don’t stop working after 80k miles. My 21 year old microwave might be killing my sperm, but it still operates. Your car doesn’t just stop running if you don’t replace the timing belt at 80k miles.

    It’s fine if HP wants to display a message or a nag light if the printer needs some sort of scheduled maintenance. It’s not fine if HP has a mechanism that causes the printer to fail on a schedule.

  16. mathew says:

    I’ve got an HP secret: their printers jumped the shark during the 1990s. These days they’re cheap plastic crap and the drivers are 15MB+ of bloat. Epson and Canon are better for inkjets, Konica Minolta are better for lasers. HP printers basically sell because (a) they coast on their old reputation, based on the classic LaserJets of the 80s that are still going strong; and (b) if you walk into a place like OfficeMax HP is about all they stock.

  17. Fuzz says:

    I can attest to HP Parts Store sucking ass. I had to get install CD’s because apparently they are to expensive to include with a computer these days. Package tracking eventually showed they had been successfully delivered to the other side of the country, and were waiting for pickup. Thanks. The second set took weeks, and when they finally showed up, were the wrong ones. Oh, and they came on 14 CDs. Yes, 14. For a Windows restore. Thanks, HP. Ever heard of a DVD? I ended up going to the store and buying a retail copy of XP. Wonderfull service, there.

  18. Datarock says:

    Hey If the person who wrote to HP is still on here what should I do in this situation. I purchased a Compaq notebook V2405us in Dec of 2005. I sent the Notebook in for repair in November-December of 2006 under the one year warranty. I needed a Keyboard Replacement and a Battery Replacement. Working for computer repair myself I knew that these are easily fixed just replace them. The need for my notebook to be turned on would not even be needed. So I told the man who handled the phone call that If you are going to need in any way to format my hard drive tell me now and I will not send it in. He assured me that I was right and formating the hard drive would not be needed in a repair that does not include the operating system. So I got the notebook back, The keyboard had been repaired to my satisfaction, I turned it on and I noticed that My background was different. My hard drive had been formatted. Secondly I had the same battery. They did not replace my battery. At first I was very upset that My wishes had not been followed I even sent a note with the notebook not to format it. But I have reinstalled all my programs and Now I just want my new battery. I chatted with a technichian about getting my battery and they told me they could not help me since I was now out of warranty. So I am writting this complaint because my original problem while I still was in my warranty period was not handled correctly, I should be given my new battery.

  19. chimmike says:

    1: Many HP Printers, like their laser printers, have a built-in page-count after which they won’t work. This resides in the a transpart sometimes called image or drum kit. Rather than get the printer fixed, it’s often cheaper to buy a new printer, OR you can do a NV ram reset. It resets everything in the printer, including all the page counts, but it’s not without risks.

    —-So how do I do this NV ram reset procedure?

  20. stephen5 says:

    I am in charge of 6 printers here at work.
    http://www.fixyourownprinter.com is a godsend. Consumerist should feature that site in it’s own story.

    I’ve spent hours (days) on the phone with Canon, Xerox, HP and Epson.

    The Canon machine is $26,000 so it’s under warranty/service agreement, they once flew a tech out from NYC to check out a “bad smell” coming from the fuser.

    Xerox is OK but want to charge extra for the really good phone service. I haven’t had to call them in a long time so your mileage may vary. Ours is a $3000 machine and is rated at about 10 times our actual monthly output.

    HP & Epson are pointless to call. “Is it plugged in?”, “Is it connected to your computer?”, “I am reading from a book and have never seen a printer in my life.”

    The “kill switch” on an Ink Jet is probably a law suit thing. When the pad becomes saturated it will leak ink, most printer stands, rugs or carpeting cost more than a printer. Also the tolerances on all moving parts in a printer are pretty high, if you have reached the kill number chances are your print quality is suffering too.

    On a laser printer (as said be others) it is a drum life or other disposable part counter, our Xerox machine is telling me I have to change out the drum in 10 days, it’s real smart.

  21. straddy says:

    Holy hell, that pisses me off. My dad got me a printer for my birthday, as I really needed one with all the articles to read for college. The idea that one day it will just ‘shut off’ really pisses me off.
    Argh!
    Screw HP! I hope they read this.

  22. davidfbecker says:

    I have my HP Deskjet 5800 hardwired to my network. Said printer also has an online config page. At said page I can actually SEE the page count. I’m at like 1500 pages. It doesn’t get a lot of heavy use, but I remember when I first saw that I thought that it was very peculiar. Makes my think twice about printing out the 261 page PDF repair and maintainence manual for my HP zv6000 notebook.

    Separate HP story:
    On previously mentioned zv6000 notebook, I ordered the 3 year accidental damage warranty. Once I was able to get in contact with the corporate case handlers I was coasting. With legitimate problems with my notebook they actually replaced it after it was in for service twice. No hassels. The new one(the zv6000) was better than the original that I bought(zv5000). I’ve got about 6 months left on the warranty, so I’m crossing my fingers for one more replacement. I want me some dual core action!

  23. Amy Alkon says:

    I’m copying in the review I put on Amazon, on the HP 450 ci portable printer, in 2005:

    I bought their customer care package for three years of “hassle-free” service. Hah. I’ve spent hours and hours on the phone — one rude guy named Walter was particularly horrible…I believe he was the one who hung up on me the first time! Then told me, the second time — after I went through HP Corporate — that he’d hang up on me if I spoke sarcastically (ie, “Oh, this has been a fantastic experience.”) Passive-aggressive doesn’t even get to the half of it. Then, I got passed to some chick who was nice — after being put on endless hold by Walter — an HP experience I’m very familiar with…customer “care” is a joke. Then this nice woman named Kathy told me my printer would work if it printed tests — no need to take the time to hook it up to the computer. Really, kathy? No, it turns out kathy was wrong. It seems it needed an Ink Service Spittoon — and they said in Europe that HP doesn’t make these (supposedly replaceable) items anymore. They are available in the USA — but hard to find. I really like this printer; I just wish it were made by Apple or somebody who knows how to treat customers. Have Applecare — have had it for years on all my Apple computers…what a dream.

    Thanks to HP, I ended up being stuck, on deadline, in Paris, with a non-working printer. My very sweet boyfriend was coming for part of the month I was there, but the spittoon from a US parts dealer (Euro ones didn’t have it) didn’t arrive in time, so he ended up buying a SECOND 450ci (because of its portability, and because it had worked up til the ink fill up/spittoon gotcha) and bringing it with him. (It was a Staples floor model, but I resent that he paid well over $100 due to HP’s crappy “you don’t get what you pay for” tech support.

    FYI to any other poor schmucks who need a spittoon — I got mine from Ambry International.

  24. TechnoDestructo says:

    “1: Many HP Printers, like their laser printers, have a built-in page-count after which they won’t work. “

    I lost faith in HP when the pack-in-software with their scanners, Deskscan was replaced with some nannying piece of shit. They only went downhill from there.

    The only HP product I still had any respect for was their printers.

    No longer.

  25. MattyMatt says:

    What is this “point and print” thing? I’m on a Mac so I can’t download it. What a fun toy.

  26. bluegus32 says:

    How appropriate that today’s woot is an HP fax/phone/copier.

  27. exkon says:

    I can see an HP rep trying to get Consumerists to take this down…

  28. Drezio says:

    That kill switch is no secret, and i can’t see a lawsuit when it’s clearly not a secret:
    The lab i used to work in had HP laser printer which is a network printer. Going to it’s admin settings page it’s clearly there the number of prints left before replacement is needed, and a nice info link. In that link it’s clearly stated what shoegazer said, it’ll lock the printer pending replacement to avoid damage to the printer.

    I can also attest to what happens if you ignore it by resetting that counter, a big melted drum kit and a very heavy repair bill. Learned about it the hard way, too, so i really advice not to mess with it!

  29. adamondi says:

    lore says:

    Imagine a world where it is known and specified that your v6 transmission will only work for 100,000 miles and the car will simply stop working after that!

    First of all, what is this “v6 transmission” of which you speak? A V6 is a type of engine. Anyway, it is never known for sure how long any piece of equipment will last. Manufacturers can get a pretty good idea by doing some endurance testing on prototypes, but that is never a guarantee. After all, there are some people driving Chevys with 250,000 miles on them with no problems, while other people’s Chevys broke down at 110,000.

    Secondly, it is well known in the gearhead community that there are many cars that have what is referred to as “engineered obsolescence.” That is, they are engineered to last for a certain amount of time, and then many parts will reach the end of their life and fail in rapid succession. So people can either get everything fixed when it breaks, or they can trade in their car and buy a new one.

    This is not a new thing. As more goods become disposable, fewer manufacturers put in the effort to make goods that will last for decades. This doesn’t mean this should be the case in printers, but it looks like it is.

  30. Flynn says:

    I do have to love the fact that this “kill switch” is being touted to “prevent damage to the printer,” and yet, what’s the solution suggested? Buy a new printer. So, if the printer worth so little as to be not worth repairing, then why is it worth shutting down to avoid said damage?

    Hmm…so, why can’t I just get the option to risk the damage myself? It’s not like these printers will explode in a spray of schrapnel. Display a message like the low toner message on the display and let the user beware. Anything else seems like a way to sneakily sell more printers.

  31. plus.medic says:

    Canadians at least speak a variant of “American”? What the hell is that supposed to mean? First off, what in the fuck is “American”? It’s called English you ignorant pricks and your country didn’t come up with it either.

    Unless you’re speaking with someone from Newfoundland (which you won’t be), you’re not going to have any problem whatsoever understanding a Canadian.

  32. stephen5 says:

    Unless you’re speaking with someone from Newfoundland (which you won’t be), you’re not going to have any problem whatsoever understanding a Canadian.

    Or Quebec.

  33. LAGirl says:

    we had an HP All-In-One printer that worked just fine for about 2 years. then suddenly, the copy function stopped working. when i tried to copy, i would get an error message that said ‘scannner failure’. i found this odd, since i was not using the scanner. i went to the HP website and followed all the trouble-shooting steps. still wouldn’t work.

    i called HP tech support. they talked me through the usual stupid b.s. trouble-shooting: ‘is the printer turned on?’, ‘is it plugged in?’ i kept telling them that i had already done all of that. i went through a few of these calls until i got guy who asked if the scanner light was lit. i checked and sure enough, it was out. he said if the scanner light goes out, the printer will stop working correctly. i assumed this was an easy fix. we were out of warranty, but it’s just a lightbulb. a cheap part, something i could replace myself. no big deal, right? wrong!

    turns out, it was more complicated than that. having it repaired would cost the same as buying a new printer. i had no idea how to do it myself, so i ended up buying a new CANON printer.

    i will never buy another HP product, EVER.

  34. roastedbeans says:

    A few of these 14 “secrets” are laughable, ie. using 3rd party inks/toners does NOT void your warranty, but if that cheap-ass aftermarket consumable does cause damage, as you would expect, HP is not going to cover that specific issue.

    The “if your warranty is out, call anyway” routine is not going to fly either. 1 year warranty is standard on all HP print products. If outside that period and you did not care to extend to the 3 year Carepack, you will, my friends be required to pay for the call or buy a Post-Warranty Carepack. There is low profit for HP in the hardware, it is really in the lightbulbs you are putting in the sockets.

    And as others have stated, there is a finite lifecycle on any part. HP pours over a $1B annually into R&D for new products which does include HOURS of product lab testing for rating the myriad parts. Also, the prices of a laser printer today pale compared to a slower model/higher cost per page of 10 years ago…what do you expect?

  35. MeOhMy says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if “Consumerist” should not be renamed to “Hypersensitivist.”

  36. Plasmafire says:

    This makes me even happier that I just bought a Canon PIXMA MP830 to replace my HP PSC950. Have you noticed that HP has massively shrunk the size of its ink cartridges over the past 2 years?

  37. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    That’s pretty sleazy to build in a firmware routine to disable the printer once the drum reaches a certain page count. Granted, most drums have a rated life span, but imagine if you hit 100,000 miles on your car and it just stopped working??

    “Oh, sorry, your car is only rated for 100,000 miles. You need to buy a new one.”

    Oh geez, I probably just gave the big three a new idea.

  38. someguy12222 says:

    I have some bad news for you hp haters/canon lovers: they both share alot of the same technology. all canon laser printers employ the same “engine” as the hp, save a few different cosmetic changes. Compare the supplies of a Canon Image class d320 vs. a Hp 1200 laserjet. Boy, those cartridges look awfully similar, don’t they?

  39. North of 49 says:

    From the HP warranty from HP.com: “However, if printer failure or damage is attributable to the use of a non-HP or refilled ink cartridge, HP will charge its standard time and materials charges to service the printer for the particular failure or damage.”

    So it sounds like the warranty doesn’t void but you sure aren’t covered.

  40. grant0 says:

    Re: print counts. I have a friend who used to work for a refrigeration company. Apparently they are set to fail about a half year after the warranty goes out. (i.e. if the warranty is for five years, they design the parts to last 5.5 years).

  41. x23 says:

    First off, what in the fuck is “American”? It’s called English you ignorant pricks and your country didn’t come up with it either.


    thanks for the history lesson.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_english

  42. Kalik says:

    I have an HP all-in-one at home that I haven’t used for about three years. It ran out of ink and the first time I bought new cartridges at 3,000 yen (roughly USD30) + each. The second time, I thought it was stupid and started sending documents to work to print out. Now I only use it to scan documents – and I rarely even do that.

  43. WTF33 says:

    OK mythbusters

    Non-HP supplies absolutely don’t void your warranty…they are sometimes just junk that HP is never under any obligation to replace or troubleshoot…they can’t demand you use HP supplies but you can’t demand service if they cause a problem…give me a valid argument why they should

    Expired ink cartidges…set the date on your pc back far enough and presto…they work again…but don’t expect HP to tell you that because they aren’t allowed to

    “Is your printer plugged in?” and other dumb questions the tech support people ask you…remember that call centers have one of the highest turnover rates of any industry and you just talked to someone who may not have much, if any experience at their job and might be as clueless as you are about what the problem is…or they are too timid to stray from some scripted troubleshooting document until they have a grasp of what is wrong or until they have more job experience…if you don’t like it then hang up and call back until you get a support person who has half a brain or some tenure on the job

    Call centers are a haven for newly landed immigrants and those whose grasp of the English language doesn’t come close to yours…as for the obviously touchy Canadian’s comments earlier…what do you expect from Americans anyway?…many Americans haven’t got a clue that you are any different than they are because they probably haven’t travelled out of the USA in their lives and they are merely happy that you sound somewhat like them and can understand their patterns of speech…your annoyance is worthless and futile

    I can also confirm as fact that Canon makes a lot of the parts inside HP printers…many other company’s parts are in there too…do you think GM or Toyota made all the parts in your car…not on your life

    HP, like most other companies, has moved a lot of their tech support offshore for one reason…warranty parts and service is a revenue drain and if they can get more bang for their buck by moving it offshore then they will continue to do it (because their competitors are doing the same thing)…if Wal-Mart didn’t have most of their products made in China you would cry bloody murder at their exhorbitant prices and be shopping at a smaller, locally owned store…just as you would complain if it cost you $500 for that $100 printer you just bought

    HP isn’t going to remain at #11 on the Fortune 500 by making their products in America…American lust for low prices overshadows any loyalty they have for buying American made products…do any of us even check where things are made anymore?

    Finally…if you don’t like the phone support you get…LOOK ELSEWHERE!!!…lots of products have email and chat support…look online for answers as well –hint– fixyourownprinter.com is a good site and if you haven’t heard of a Google search yet then wake up already…and just keep telling yourself that you would have paid far more for the product in the first place if it was made by Americans and technically supported by Americans

    Now reply with your Taiwanese made pc…yell at the Costa Rican tech support agent through your Mexican made phone…then jump in your Japanese made car and drive off an American cliff…they will surely bury you in a Brazilian made coffin

  44. FLConsumer says:

    Matthew: Cross Epson off the list of inkjets to buy, they don’t make ‘em like they used to. I’ve had 4-5 Epson inkjets die recently, while the ancient Epson 740s still crank away every day. Canon by-far makes the best inkjets today. Just printed 1,000 pages with mine tonight and it’s not begging for ink like the Epson or HP would be.

    As far as HP’s laserjets go, their consumer-grade stuff sucks. Their commercial-grade lasers still hold their own. They’re not the 1 million+ page workhorses of the 80’s, but they’ll still do a reasonable amount. Konica-Minolta…really?!? I’ve had nothing but trouble from these, esp. when it comes to “dealer service” and drivers.

  45. Eugene says:

    The description here isn’t very accurate. The Laser printers do not have a “kill switch”. They have a page counter and every so many pages depending on model will give a “maintenance required” message. The maintenance kit is a fuser and a few rollers (Hp printers the drum is replaced with the toner cart). There are a few third party companies selling their own maintenance kits and I used to be able to replace them for under $100 in parts by buying from one of those which isn’t bad for a printer that cost $2-$3k with all the options and only needs done every 10,000 pages.
    Its no different than your small car which needs a timing belt replaced every 60,000 miles, you do the maintenance and keep using it.
    The spitters (Inkjet) do track wasted ink, part of the cleaning cycle they wipe the heads and spit into the spittoon and if it does get too full then it can overflow and make a mess, that ink is hard to clean up when something does spill. If you really want to you can disassemble the printer and take the spittoon out and wash it and replace the sponge and reset the waste ink counter, again its a messy job. My 1995 Deskjet 600 I gave to my uncle in 2000 when I bought a photosmart printer is still printing fine, it hasn’t reached the waste full level yet, same as my photosmart bought in 2000 or the deskjet 350 bought used on ebay somewhere in the late 90’s. How many other pieces of hardware do you have that is 10 years old still in use today?
    but my point is its not as simple as this wrter makes it seem, its not a simple counter that stops the printer from ever working again at x number of pages.

  46. canonman says:

    RE: Amy Alkon

    A quick search at HP.com:

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document….

    This doc shows how to replace the ink service module and reset the counter, but you could just as easily remove the spittoon and clean it and then after reinstalling it, use this document to rest the counter.

  47. screenhandle says:

    “Canada at least speaks a variant of American”

    I’ve noticed that many Americans speak a variant of “American.” WTF’s the deal with that?

    Do Canadians have to go to school to learn to speak “American?” Is it difficult to learn?

    (BTW, a prior poster’s referred to a Wikipedia article. He apparently didn’t notice the banner at the top of the article that stated, “This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards.”)

    While I appreciate this article and believe many of the points it made, that stupid “Canadian” comment doesn’t help the credibility of his message.

  48. I still have a working HP LaserJet 4.

    the thing will live longer than I will.

  49. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Someguy: It’s HP printers that use a Canon engine.
    HP buys them from Canon & builds their printer around it. Why buy from HP, when you can get it from the real manufacturer, Canon?
    My Canon S750 is going strong at almost 3 years old.
    I use cheap generic ink, no problems. The only problem was with Canon’s own T-shirt transfer paper.
    It jammed in the machine, I had to take off the cover & move the rollers by hand to re-align them. Works fine again.
    It even turns itself off!

  50. Canadagirl says:

    A varient of American?? That is to funny! I know a bunch of us Canuck’s that do technical support for American’s are getting a kick out of that one.

    P.S- I hope you understood my varient of American. I’d hate to have to try and speak a third language, like English.

  51. txnkorny says:

    Here is the final word on aftermarket cartridges voiding your warranty.

    Usage of a compatible does NOT void a warranty. If that cartridge damages the printer, then, of course, the warranty is voided.

    Think of it this way: if you put a cheapie air filter in your car, does that void your auto’s warranty? Of course not, unless it causes damage.

    All OEM mfrs, whether cars or printers, recommend OEM consumables for obvious reasons. Ink printers are militant in their insistence and even threaten to void your warranty because they essentially give away these printers and make their money on the cartridges.

    If I haven’t convinced you, look up the Moss-Magnusson warranty act. It’s the law!

  52. HappyHPChannelsPartner says:

    Sounds like a disgruntled former employee with spelling and grammar challenges. Probably got canned because he couldn’t hack it on the street as a tech. He’s probably working at some greasy fast food place saying “you want fries with that?”!!

  53. x23 says:

    (BTW, a prior poster’s referred to a Wikipedia article. He apparently didn’t notice the banner at the top of the article that stated, “This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards.”)

    i noticed it. i didn’t really care honestly.

    are you denying that American English differs in no way from (super extra cool british-born) English? i beg to differ.

    it seems pretty clear at this point in time that American English is its own language as much as Old English is. no one tries to use Old or Middle English these days to prove some weird superiority.

    as such… saying “English” is *better* than “American English” is just as asinine. using a basic Google-as-corpus… the former is considerably less significant than the latter. but i guess that is “bias”… right.

    i don’t see anyone dogging on the multitude of Pidgin-English languages. they would seem to be more open to criticism than American-English.

  54. Icon says:

    Not having read all posts, I will say if HP printers use a page counter, then stop working until a maintenance kit it installed so damage will not result, and if a kit costs more than a new printer, why use a page counter?
    Just let the printer print until it blows up. You might get a few thousand more pages than the 20,000 stated above.
    After all, if you throw the printer away after 20,000 pages, what does it matter if it prints over 20,000 and then dies?

  55. quillenely says:

    I bought a complete pc last march06
    It never received the internet. After 9 months of aol and hp technitions. nothing. hp took the computer and so-called fixed it. I just got it back. I tried earthlink .nothing.
    i tried comcast cable. I called Hp to tell them, I needed a new password. they told me the warranty was over. Hp would not help me after they has sent me a boggus computer in the first place. I paid 70.00 dollars for them to help me. I would not have gotten anything from HP if I had known all the bullshit.

  56. Teacher says:

    A friend of mine is selling a 6 year old Hewlett Packard computer and I was just wondering how much it is really worth? I’ve never owned a computer so I can’t tell him what it is really worth? I would really appreciate any kind of assistance you could give! I know computers are a witty invention (Proverbs 28:20) only if they are used in the proper manner! Well I guess that’s about all the commentary I can give for right now, but I’ll look forward to much more commentary in the future! P.S. I just want to remind you all that Jesus loves each and everyone and will continue to bless those who are truly faithful! LOVE ALWAYS your friend in Christ!

  57. qcjustin says:

    I am willing to bet hardly any of you(with the exception of ShoeGazer) know a great deal about HP LaserJet printers, or printers in general. Did you guys know that EVERY HP laserjet printer puts a marking of somekind on every piece of paper printed on it? This marking, whether it be watermark, or yellow dots, correlate with the model and serial of the printer it was made on. NO LASERJET PRINTER HAS A PAGE COUNT THAT IT DIES AT… that is hogwash. Why would HP want to risk losing all that income from consumables by killing your printer after 100k pages? I have seen HP and Lexmark printers top 1,000,000 pages where i work, so kills your idea huh? Too bad this is so late in the argument… I just came across this..

  58. mrbiggelsworth says:

    To all those people out there that might be looking at Hewlett Packard as an employer, look again! I am an employee and have been for many years now. Seek a company that cares for its employees. A company that wants to help there FAMILY grow and helps them with an actual budget. At this point, Mark has cut so much of the talent from HP that the clients suffer and they do not even know it. Over the coarse of my employment, I have seen the company transform from a US & International company that is family focused and believes in Bill & Dave’s “HP WAY” to a primarily global company that outsources anyone possible at any cost to the client as long as it is not clear where the degradation is occurring. Going global is great for some things, however HP’s stand, directly from HR, is “GO GLOBAL & PUSH THE NA EMPLOYEE OUT ASAP TO LOWER COST”. Let me highlight five of the top reason to avoid Hewlett Packard!

    1. Once you are in the fold, expect that Hewlett Packard will short you as much as possible and in any way possible and even in ways that you never thought possible. (Ex no raise when it is years over due, no pension, loss of vacation accrual, ECT ECT)

    2. Once you are in the fold, there is a 90% chance that your functions will change and you will be expected to adapt without any formal training. This is a fun one because people inside HP are great and very smart people. We all sit there and wonder what idiot thought of this. It destroys client confidence and employee confidence all at once. 2 bird 1 stone.

    3. Once you are in the fold, if you would like to put in for an advancement or role change, expect it to be much more difficult inside Hewlett Packard than if you were some new person off the street. This may seem to be amazing, but it really is true.

    4. Once you are in the fold, if you are unfortunate enough to get any advancement do not expect a raise. Instead, expect a pay decrease because you were honored with this gift of more work and more responsibility. I kid you not!!!!! Another funny note on this one is, if your position is posted as an outside requisition and you as an internal person get the role, they will not give you a pay increase where someone from the outside of the company will get the correct pay! Incredible, but true.

    5. Once you are in the fold, expect that there will be a highly touted open door policy that will not be adhered to. (It is a trap) I do not care who you email or talk to, it will get back to you manager and if you have a good one they will understand that they could not fix the issue and just slap you silly.
    In summation, I would like to ask that if Mark were to every read this, I would hope that he would wake up and take control of the company that he is driving. Look at Google, it is a great company and treats its employees right. We do not need 5 cafeterias, we just want to be treated with respect. Good people are suffering in HP and everyone looks the other way for the sake of the mighty dollar. (“I can only do what they allow me to”) I wish that the investors would stand up and see that you Mark, are eroding the strength of HP by doing this type of cost reduction. Life is too short to step all over the people that make the engine run on a vehicle that you want to drive. If you really do want the industry’s best talent, wake up and stop pushing us out the door. Bill and Dave would be proud!

  59. 138webster says:

    I stopped dealing with Hewlett Packard company many years ago. Their products were mediocre and service is very shady. After many bad experiences, i decided it was time to just stay away and try alternative.
    ________________
    Air Force Ones, Jordans / Jordan Shoes, Jordan Release Dates and Nike SB Shoes.

  60. slrman says:

    All of this simply reinforces my opinion that HP products are total crap. I have never owned any HP product that wasn’t a royal PITA. Their tech support is no better than their products. I’ll never own anything by HP again.