Printer cartridge conspiracy

I’ve just uncovered a conspiracy by the United States. Actually it’s by HP, but that’s an American company, so we’ll just blame an entire nation for the deviousness of a cunning corporation – seems to be the usual approach.

And admittedly it’s not so much a conspiracy as a rip-off scam to get you to buy new stuff – printers in this case, specifically.

Okay, now that we’ve toned things down (geddit?) let’s lay into Hewlett-Packard for its clever ploy to make us spend more money than we really need too.

Here’s the story: I’ve owned an HP colour inkjet printer for several years now. It gets moderate usage but is often an essential tool to have at home and for work. It still works absolutely fine, with no real issues – except that it seems to be going through printer cartridges much quicker of late.

I concede I haven’t actually counted the number of pages I can print now, but experience tells me something is a bit off. Things get even more suspect when I go to buy a replacement cartridges.

Now I distinctly remember paying around AED40 for a HP901 colour catridge when I first got the printer, then I recall the price rising to a mildly concerning AED60+ and more recently a genuinely alarming AED87.

However the real shock was yet to come when I walked into Carrefour today and found it priced at AED95. Now THAT gives you pause for thought. So much so, that you notice the special deals on brand new HP printers that the store is promoting in a special display.

AED219 for a brand new printer that claims to be better and more efficient, capable of printing twice as many pages – plus it’s got a set of cartridges included in the box. Out of curiosity you check out the prices for those cartridges – in this case HP650. Turns out the black one is AED40 and the colour is just AED35!

The obvious solution then? Well for little more than the price of a couple of cartridges, you could have a brand new printer. No brainer, isn’t it?

NOW do you see what they’re doing?!

I propose that they’re deliberately under-filling the old cartridges and dramatically over-pricing them to force you into buying a new printer to increase their overall product sales and this is being done in cahoots with retailers. I don’t think there can be any doubt about it, the sheepish grin on a salesman’s face when I asked him about it, confirmed as much.

This discovery has of course left me apoplectic and outraged and appalled that we’re being taking advantage of in this way – just how gullible, shallow and fickle do they think we are? We’re being cleverly corralled into propping up the bottom line of a company that’s blatantly and deliberately under-delivering on its product and services.

Thus reviled and revulsed I must now contemplate what action I will take in the face of such unrestrained capitalistic anarchy.

And… And… Well… That new all-black printer, does look rather slick…

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