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HP Won’t Let You Use Third-Party Ink

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Printing Help

Face it, printer ink can be incredibly expensive.  Black ink for an inkjet printer can run close to $20 while color ink could cost you closer to $40.


One way to save money is to buy what’s called  third-party cartridges that fit your printer. These are sold at a what is usually a substantial discount.

For example, Meijer offers this ink cartridge at a full $10 less per cartridge than the printer manufacturer’s list price.


HP is hoping to put an end to that practice when buying replacement ink for their machines.  The company says it’s to protect their Ink sales are very important for printer makers. They offer home printers at a low price and make up the cash on the ink. And with  the home and business printer business in decline, they need to make up the money where they can.

After a recent firmware update, owners of many HP printer models are finding that their printers won’t recognize those third-party cartridges. Instead, users get an error saying that the cartridge is damaged.

An ink cartridge is a little more sophisticated than the typewriter ribbons of old. Each cartridge has a special security chip that tells the printer just what kind of cartridge it is.  Your cartridge will need that chip or your HP printer won’t work with it now.

If you’re using refurbished or refilled cartridges that have that chip, they should still work.

After a huge backlash, the company says it will now offer an optional update that will allow you to use third-party ink again. Click here to read more about when that will be available.

~ Cynthia


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18 Responses to “HP Won’t Let You Use Third-Party Ink”

  1. Joyce says:

    Customer’s are really getting fed up with these type of monopoliistic practices. Our economy is now run by one monopoly after another. It’s reduced free market competition and our freedom of choice. Sad!

  2. Giuseppe says:

    If printer companies want to stay in business, they should sell printers at the right price, not count on the sale of cartridges to level loss of money on the machine. Unacceptable, fortunately they changed their mind, otherwise I bet HP would lose a lot of sales, as Joyce wrote consumers are fed up with these dirty practices. And HP printers are not alone in the market

  3. Hughlan Holeman says:

    I think that ink for computer printers is way to expensive.
    Companies spent thousands of dollars yearly for ink. The last purchase I made for ink was over $100 dollars.I bought HP ink. I’m just a home computer user,I don’t use much ink. This is way more to spend than should.The amount of ink that comes with a new printer does not go far.I think the cost for ink is way out of line.

  4. Geoff says:

    I have two comments. First, customers are not stupid. When it comes to replacing their printer (which might be sooner rather than later if ink is prohibitive) they will avoid HP printers, and maybe all other HP products. Second, if this becomes widespread practice, the makers of compatible cartridges will soon learn to copy the chips too!

  5. Doreen F. says:

    It HP doesn’t change this idiotic policy they’re going to be lose millions of customers at super sonic speed! IF they insist on installing chips to prevent non OEM ink they should drastically lower the prices for brand cartridges. It’s like buying a car and learning after the deal’s done you can only use a certain brand of fuel or the vehicle will be undrivable!

  6. Darlene Black says:

    In my case replacement ink costs $79. I can buy a new printer, ink included for $40. That kinda puts HP on the outs with me! It would be less costly just to buy a new printer every time!

    • cynthia says:

      The one problem with that idea is that generally the ink cartridges that come with printers are not always fully filled cartridges. For some brands they are, for others you get starter or set-up cartridges.

  7. George says:

    Unfortunately HP quality has gone downhill over the last few years. My First printer was an HP model that lasted almost 10 years. I finally wore it out and could no longer get parts to repair it. After that most HP printers would do well to last two years. I finally bought a Cannon and have better quality printing than HP. As For MFG
    ink only printer, mfg. better think about lowering prices to keep customers. If Cheaper ink works I will purchase it!

  8. LYN BUERGER says:

    If an off market brand can make a profit selling ink at $5 a cartridge then HP could do the same and keep their customers happy. And like another person stated the HP brand is just not what it once was. There was a time I would not buy anything except HP but product decline along with customer service decline did cure me of that.
    I do not buy a printer that controls the ink I use. Most of the time you can override the printer by holding down the reset button for 10 seconds or so. Anc I love the continuous flow ink systems; Buy ink every year or two and never have to refill. Unfortunately there is not one of these system available on all printers.

  9. Gerald says:

    Geoff has it nailed. HP is firing the bridges and it’s going to bite them severly. When the time comes I will certainly not look for a HP printer or HP anything due to their greediness. Do they expect us to just follow like sheep while they shear us with astronomical cartridge prices.
    NO WAY….boycott them and hit ’em in the pocket book.

  10. Richard Brewer says:

    Third party ink cartridges destroyed one of my HP printers when it leaked and so I had to buy a new printer after trying to save a few dollars.
    Third party ink is a bad idea.

  11. John says:

    Typical of a money grubbing American company

  12. John says:

    Why moderate it? it’s the truth. It’s common knowledge amongst the rest of the civilised world that American companies are nothing but money grubbers. Show some guts for once and display the truth.

  13. John says:

    Well doesn’t that just go to show everybody, that yourselves at Worldstart are just a bunch of gutless wonders. nothing will be moderated and i know this will not be shown as you are to gutless to show the truth.

  14. cynthia says:

    John: The reason why we moderate comments is that we receive hundreds, sometimes over a thousand spam comments with links to potentially malicious sites every single day. If those comments were to post, it would expose users to malware and also make it very difficult to navigate the comments to read. Sometimes the spam comments are paragraphs long and nearly fill up an entire page. So, we do take the time to go through and moderate comments.

  15. cynthia says:

    John. I’m not sure why you’re upset with us.

  16. Steve says:

    First they tried voiding the warranty if you used non-branded ink. Now this. HP is no better than Heather Bresch and Martin Shkreli as business operators–it all gets back to greed. I have two words for HP: Canon, Brother.

  17. Roger says:

    This is exactly why I will never buy anything HP again. I suppose if you refilled HP cartridges yourself or at Cartridge World you would save some money, but HP has lost my business forever because of practices like this and not updating their drivers for new operating systems. My latest printer is an Epson eco tank and it is great.

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