Since September 13th of this year, many HP printers have started rejecting cartridges that are not made by Hewlett Packard, and that is causing a little frustration for users who cannot figure out the reason.

It seems as if HP implemented a preprogrammed scheduled update to its printers earlier in the spring, which automatically detects when an aftermarket printer cartridge is installed.

If HP does not support the cartridge, then users are unable to print out their documents receiving error messages.

According to a report by the BBC, in one day, Dutch-based 123inkt received more than 1,000 complaints from disgruntled customers about faulty ink sets.

Some users took to Hewlett Packard’s online forum to report on the issue. One user which goes by Harris1001,

How  about not trying to sell additional product and not screwing with folks that have bought an HP printer?

Quality with HP has sharply declined over the years, and attempting to get someone on a subscription plan

is a rather boorish thing to do, don’t you think?


Harris1001 is clearly upset with the HP Instant Ink replacement service which I use regularly. It detects when your ink levels are low and sends out replacement cartridges before you run out. You need to be on a monthly subscription plan to use this feature.

hp cartridge firmware update

From a business standpoint, this change makes sense. Having all of your customers wrapped into your ecosystem helps to boost long-term profits. HP says it is merely protecting its innovation and intellectual property.

But from a consumer’s point of view, it is just not fair. Countless ink cartridge stores refill and sell aftermarket units for a fraction of the price than the original. Now, buyers are forced to pay more for ink, and the only reason for that is because of the big brand name.

HP told the BBC that as long as the remanufactured cartridges come with an original HP security chip, they should work with the printer. If you have an HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X printers, you may be or soon to be affected by the latest firmware update.

For some, this is the last straw to break the camels back. Fed up with HP, some users are choosing to jump ship and take their chances with a different manufacturer.

Companies are trying to make more and consumers are seeking to spend less to save. Maybe 123inkt might come up with a cartridge solution that can bypass HP’s security feature.

Have you been affected by the latest firmware upgrade?

Matthew Barnes
Loves all things tech. He's a writer and founder of Techmalak. His personal blog is all about copywriting and helping small businesses get the most out of their websites.