Wednesday, November 17, 2010

HP admits in lawsuit settlement: they lie about ink levels

Hewlett-Packard is as storied a name as Ford or GE: the archetypal two guys in a garage.

Yet in recent years, not so storied. Carly Fiorina damn near ruined the company with the Compaq merger. And Mark Hurd brought scandal.

So today it was no surprise that HP sent me a note offering to settle for 6 bucks or so for ripping me off on ink levels. You see, HP makes one third of its revenue on ink.

That's right. This dynamic vendor of laptops, desktops, servers, and services makes 1/3 of its money on ink.

And they make a substantial chunk of change by lying about whether your printer is out of ink.

They even tell the printer to stop printing black if the printer is out of blue. Allegedly.

We will see if the lawsuit hues the company more to Hewlett and Packard, two decent guys in a garage, or more to Fiorina and Hurd, decidedly less decent folks.