My HP Printer Makes Me Waste Ink, CSR Won't Help Me Stop

Tony is miffed about having to waste precious printer cartridge ink by printing an alignment sheet each time he replaces his cartridge. He couldn’t find a way to bypass the alignment sheet and hit up HP’s customer service, receiving little help.

He writes:

Whenever I buy a new ink cartridge for my HP printer/scanner/copier, I am prompted to print an “alignment sheet” that I am supposed to then place on the scanner so my ink cartridge can be properly aligned. Sure wouldn’t want to be out of alignment, right? Trouble is, this sheet uses a large amount of both black and color ink. So, I figure after the 3rd time I went along with these prompts, I’d just save the sheet from the time before and save on ink. How foolish of me. The printer WILL NOT allow me to simply scan the alignment page; you are forced to print this sheet EVERY time.

My attempts at gaining HP’s assistance in going “scan only” turned out as well as you might have guessed:

Tony: alignment page[An agent will be with you shortly.][You are now chatting with Aspen .]

Aspen : Welcome to HP Total Care Chat Support for All-in-One Printers, My name is Aspen. Please give me a minute while I review the problem description details.
Aspen : As I was reviewing your details, I came to know that you are using HP Photosmart C4480 All-in-One Printer and operating system as Windows XP. Am I correct?

Tony : yes

Aspen : Thank you for the confirmation.
Aspen : Could you please elaborate the issue bit more?

Tony : Yes. When I install a new color ink cartridge I get prompted by the printer software to print an “alignment page”.

Tony : It requests me to #1, print that page, then #2, scan that page.

Aspen : Yes, that’s correct.

Aspen : Scan the page by placing the printout on the scanner glass bed.

Tony : Have you ever seen an alignment page in person?

Aspen : How is your printer connected to the computer?

Tony : USB cable.

Tony : My question relates to printing that page. I have no problem getting it to print. In fact, I saved it the first time I bought a new ink cartridge.

Tony : My problem is that printing the page uses a large amount of color ink.

Tony : So, my question is, why won’t the printer allow me to simply scan the same page each time I install a new cartridge?

Aspen : Okay

Tony : It seems to force me into either printing with “less than optimal print cartridge alignment” or wasting color ink every time I buy a new cartridge.

Aspen : Just to confirm are you using HP Genuine cartridges or Refilled one?

Tony : HP genuine

Aspen : Please do not worry I am here to assist you with and I will take care the issue right away.

Aspen : Now please take out both cartridges from the printer.

Tony : Ok. Done.

Aspen : Then take out the power cord of the printer and press the power button repeatedly for 30 seconds and then reinsert the power cord to the printer.
Aspen : Close the cartridge door first.

Tony : ok. done.

Aspen : Please provide me the expiry date of the ink cartridges which is located on the cartridges itself.

Tony : I assure you that my printer is working fine. I am simply wondering why I cannot re-scan the alignment page each time I get new ink instead of wasting ink printing a new alignment page.
Tony : 9/15/2010

Tony : 3/8/2012

Aspen : After these troubleshooting steps I assure you that you will not face any issues.
Aspen : Thank you for providing me the necessary informatin.

Aspen : Now please shake the ink cartridges well and insert the cartridges to the printer.

Tony : ok. done.

Aspen : Now I am providing you a weblink that helps you to fix the issue.

Aspen : The link is:

Aspen : http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01369878&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=3418705

Aspen : Simply click on the above weblink to open it.

Aspen : Follow the steps mentioned in the given weblink.

Tony : This does not solve my problem.

Tony : I know how to print the alignment page.

Tony : I have an alignment page saved already.

Tony : My question, again, is why I cannot simply re-scan an alignment page I have already printed so that I am using ink more efficiently?

Aspen : Tony, I would like to inform you that we have to take out the Alignment sheet every time when we install new print cartridges.
Aspen : This is because every cartridges has different coding.

Aspen : And printer sensors detects it.

Tony : I have printed the alignment page 3 times in the past, and it seems to be the same page every time.

Tony : I buy the same replacement cartridge every time (HP #75)
Aspen : This issue occurs because there is possibility of low ink in another cartridge.

Aspen : Check the ink level of another cartridge.

Tony : I do not have low ink levels, although being required to print this page over and over again certainly contributes to my growing epidemic of low ink.

Tony : What would be the difference if I scanned alignment sheet from the prior cartridge (HP #75) after installing the new cartridge (also HP #75)?

Aspen : Tony, Please understand without the alignment sheet we are not able to align the New Print cartridges.

Aspen : It prints only one time at the time of installation of new ink cartridges to the printer.

Tony : Have you ever heard of Consumerist.com ?

Aspen : No
Tony : You will.

Kudos to Tony to the ending zinger.

Does anyone know how to help Tony out of his alignment hell?