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Printer Makers Are Crippling Cheap Ink Cartridges Via Bogus 'Security Updates'



Printer maker Epson is under fire this month from activist groups after a software update prevented customers from using cheaper, third party ink cartridges. It’s just the latest salvo in a decades-long effort by printer manufacturers to block consumer choice, often by disguising printer downgrades as essential product improvements.

For several decades now printer manufacturers have lured consumers into an arguably-terrible deal: shell out a modest sum for a mediocre printer, then pay an arm and a leg for replacement printer cartridges that cost relatively-little to actually produce.

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation .... says it recently learned that in late 2016 or early 2017, Epson issued a “poison pill” software update that effectively downgraded user printers to block third party cartridges, but disguised the software update as a meaningful improvement.
(VICE)​
 

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Epson is a sad joke. It long ago disabled its own cartridges from refilling without buzzing the circuits inside the cartridge. Those big "cartridge recycling" bins you see in Staples? Its an industry initiative designed to get empty cartridges out of the market so they can't be refilled.
 

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We use Epson printers, but they are commercial wide format and we only use Epson inks. I have not followed ink prices for home printers but I know when I did have one I would just replace the printer when the ink ran out as the prices for ink were insanely high.
 

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Luckily most people don't know how or do firmware updates.

I sure won't now for sure, thanks for the heads up.

My Epson Artisan 1430 is going strong and it definitely does not have Epson original ink in it. :heybaby:
 

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Luckily most people don't know how or do firmware updates.

I sure won't now for sure, thanks for the heads up.

My Epson Artisan 1430 is going strong and it definitely does not have Epson original ink in it. :heybaby:
There's still a big market for Epson C88 printers, which predate the non-refillable ink cartridge scam. At one point, Epson sent out push notifications on firmware and drivers, but I haven't seen one for some time.
 

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My Epson Artisan 1430 is going strong and it definitely does not have Epson original ink in it. :heybaby:
Same here, my Epson WF-7520 has been running with 3rd party cartridges for years that cost less than $1.50 each.
The biggest problem I have in that regard is that the 3rd party cartridges contain quite a bit more ink than the Epson ones.
How is that a problem you ask.....
Well, when the Epson ink usage shows the cartridge as being empty, my 3rd party cartridge is still about 1/3 full so I hate to throw it out.
But if I take it out of the printer and put it back in - the software chip on it essentially tells the printer it's a new cartridge, so it shows as being full to the printer and the printer works fine, but then the ink runs out (since it was only 1/3 full) and by the time I notice that it becomes an issue trying to clean the print head.
 

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Well to make things interesting - Epson is switching all new printers to tetra pack inks..
just another stab in the back to 3rd party choices. but i do love our epson workforce pro c 5790
 

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We've been using Epson printers for the photography business since 2005. Not large scale, but always a couple photo quality printers around that would handle 11" & 13" paper, plus a 4800 that we used mostly 16" & 24" rolls on.

We've also always used Epson ink cartridges. Quite frankly, the cost of paper + ink is such a small part of our overhead that I've never felt compelled to fix something that wasn't broken, save to deal with local vendors that would give us a professional courtesy discount (20%) or purchase online while on sale.

As an example, when you're dealing with, say, a $60 print and the paper + ink cost is well under 2 bucks, in the big picture dropping the ink cost by another two bits doesn't change much. Even with hundreds of prints in a year. We do sell less expensive action photos, the cheapest at $25, but the comparatively higher ink expense is more than offset by far less editing time.

I wish Epson would give a deposit for used cartridges. I've noted before, I have several boxes of used cartridges (now numbering well over 600) setting in a storage cupboard.
 

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We've been using Epson printers for the photography business since 2005. Not large scale, but always a couple photo quality printers around that would handle 11" & 13" paper, plus a 4800 that we used mostly 16" & 24" rolls on.

We've also always used Epson ink cartridges. Quite frankly, the cost of paper + ink is such a small part of our overhead that I've never felt compelled to fix something that wasn't broken, save to deal with local vendors that would give us a professional courtesy discount (20%) or purchase online while on sale.

As an example, when you're dealing with, say, a $60 print and the paper + ink cost is well under 2 bucks, in the big picture dropping the ink cost by another two bits doesn't change much. Even with hundreds of prints in a year. We do sell less expensive action photos, the cheapest at $25, but the comparatively higher ink expense is more than offset by far less editing time.

I wish Epson would give a deposit for used cartridges. I've noted before, I have several boxes of used cartridges (now numbering well over 600) setting in a storage cupboard.
i recycle mine.. i place them in the blue bin and off they go..
never had an issue.
 

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i recycle mine.. i place them in the blue bin and off they go..
never had an issue.

I have no idea why this place would say this so specifically and I have seen it elsewhere as well, including Canada and the US:
NOTE: Epson Ink Cartridges
Epson ink cartridges are essentially plastic-containers for your ink, and can simply be recycled in Plastic Recycling boxes. Epson cartridges should not go through this scheme, thanks!
https://www.stinkyinkshop.co.uk/pages/recycling-empty-cartridges

Bold mine…




- Patrick
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i recycle mine.. i place them in the blue bin and off they go..
never had an issue.
I'm looking for cold, hard, cash... ;)

Otherwise, they'll hit the trash. I could care less about recycling.
 

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I wouldn't agree that
Epson ink cartridges are essentially plastic-containers for your ink, and can simply be recycled in Plastic Recycling boxes
These are not just empty plastic containers - for one each Epson cartridge has a little chip inside and a few gold-plated contacts on the outside.
And then there is about 1/3 of the cartridge still filled with ink when the printer declares the cartridge is empty and needs to be replaced.
 

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I think they want to keep anyone from refilling the cartridges,

I've read and heard that's one of the main reasons that the big box stores have the big ink cartridge recycle boxes, and a pretense to recycling and "saving the landfill".




- Patrick
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These are not just empty plastic containers - for one each Epson cartridge has a little chip inside and a few gold-plated contacts on the outside.

Believe it or not, quite a few people make a fairly decent amount of money just collecting all those little bits of gold from ink cartridges and other surplus computer related things.



- Patrick
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Believe it or not, quite a few people make a fairly decent amount of money just collecting all those little bits of gold from ink cartridges and other surplus computer related things.
Exactly.

Any gold collectors on these boards? I have over 700 (freshly counted) Epson branded ink cartridges that came from Epson R800, R1800 & R2000 photo printers.

A buck apiece, FOB Lethbridge, AB. PM me.
 

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Exactly.

Any gold collectors on these boards? I have over 700 (freshly counted) Epson branded ink cartridges that came from Epson R800, R1800 & R2000 photo printers.

A buck apiece, FOB Lethbridge, AB. PM me.


LOL!!!

Anyway, you might be able to do something and maybe even get a tax Credit receipt by dealing with some of these folks or their foundations:
https://www.castleink.com/category/715/Recycle-Ink-Cartridges.html

I don't think any inkjet printer manufacturer offers any rebate or credit program in Canada any longer:
https://everycartridge.com/canada/





- Patrick
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why are you quoting a UK site for canadian standards?


Because they had a nice summary for most brands outlining what most of them do worldwide, and besides, Canada doesn't seem to have any such "Canadian standards" regarding spent inkjet or laserJet cartridge recycling.

By all means post any site that you consider to be better or qualifies.
Better yet, a Canadian source that would buyback or issue a credit.

I was sure that HP or Canon had a mail in empty cartridge Credit type plan several years ago but it seems to have dried-up and no longer in existence.




- Patrick
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I was sure that HP or Canon had a mail in empty cartridge Credit type plan several years ago but it seems to have dried-up and no longer in existence.
I seem to recall Epson having something similar 10 or 12 years ago, too. Although I thought they paid a deposit for the MT cartridges.
 
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