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Upgraded firmware issue and aftermarket cartridges

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Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

I have owned multiple  HP computers for over 20 years and many, many HP printers. I have always felt HP was an excellent company, with good values and a solid history of philanthropy. Unfortunately, I am being forced to change my opinion. My 6958 printer recently auto installed the new firmware. This "helpful" update, now has got me quite agitated about your values and financial models. I recently needed some ink for my printer- I am not sure if it was really out of ink or the new firmware rendered it "empty"  In any event, I wanted to purchase new 902 cartridges for the printer. As you well know, the pricing on these cartridges is over $100. This has been pointed out to be  more expensive per ounce than fine champagne. I decided to go  with an aftermarket cartridge manufactured by Smartink. This was at 1/5 the cost of HP ink. As you probably know, I did get reinstall error messages as my own printer tried to lock me out, but with some determination and some help from the folks at smartink, I was able to revert to an earlier,"friendlier" firmware version, and my printer now works. I would have been cool with , let's say a $40 HP cartridge set , knowing it to be of high quality- but $100? You have to be kidding. I understand that if my printer was under warranty, and I wished to use aftermarket cartridges, I would void that, and couldn't count on you guys for support--but after that warranty is expired-it really should be my choice if I want to use cheap ink. Imagine having a Ford car under warranty, and when its software is upgraded it forces me to use Ford tires , gas or parts! What's next- only HP paper? Electricity generated in power plants with HP computers?   I understand your business model- you basically give this lovely , complex printer away  for very little money, and then you get the annuity of ink sales forever. Perhaps you should sell 2 models- one cheap but must use HP ink, and one more expensive that can use anyone's ink.  Additionally, I don't appreciate the Trojan horse method of auto updates(which you  euphemistically call something like  Dynamic Web Connectivity) and have now  disabled that. I think you guys need to think this through more carefully- you are pissing off many long term HP customers, who will likely look elsewhere.  Finally, in a pandemic, when many folks are working from home, and making less money, overcharging them for ink doesn't seem the best strategy for reputation building.. Can you say class action lawsuit?

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