Hewlett Packard wants me to feel bad about myself

HP Deskjet 5550

I’ve had the color-inkjet printer shown above for just under six years, and if six human years are equal to 42 dog years, then 42 dog years are equal to 750 computer-technology years … which means, technologically speaking, my printer is … hmmm … times seven, carry the two … um … a billion years old. (I always sucked at math.)

Zan recently needed to bring to school a picture of his family, so I printed one out for him. Here’s what it looked like:

Freaky Fenway Family

Turns out I had pretty much run out of ink, so I ordered some replacement cartridges online, and, in an effort to save a few bucks, I purchased refurbished cartridges rather than new cartridges … because I’m very poor conscientious about my family’s finances.

So the refurbished cartridges arrived, and I installed them in the printer, and then I opened the Print Utility application on my computer so that I could check the ink-level indictor to make sure that I, in fact, had received full cartridges. Unfortunately, when I clicked on the “Supply Levels” tab, I was greeted with a message that said “Go fuck yourself.”

Well, I still remember a time when the “Supply Levels” tab had far better manners, and would instead reveal a lovely color indicator that showed me a heartwarming visual representation of just how much ink was left, and I very much wanted those days to return, so I shuffled on over to Hewlett Packard’s website to see if their “Support” area might be able to enlighten me.

The closest thing I could conjure up from the depths of the “Support” search engine was the following little nugget, and based on the solution offered, I’m pretty sure that when Hewlett Packard uses the word “Support,” they mean “moral support” rather than “technical support”:

After installing a new HP Inkjet print cartridge, the ink level indicator remains at the previous level.

Continue to print and ignore the ink level indicator. The print cartridge is full of ink, it just is not being measured accurately.

Really? No, seriously: really?

That’s some damn fine, highly insightful information right there. So insightful, in fact, that I’ve decided to also apply it to the following dilemmas:

  • an illuminated “you’re almost out of gas” indicator on my dash
  • an almost-empty gauge on my home-heating-oil tank
  • a near-zero balance on my checking account

As pleased as I was to have had Hewlett Packard resolve all of those annoying problems for me, I still kinda wanted to know where my “Supply Levels” info had run off to, so I sniffed around the HP site a bit more, which led me to the following similarly helpful bit of HP “Support”:

We are sorry to inform you that there will be no Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) support available for your HP product.

Well, that sucks. But they didn’t just leave it at that, did they? No, they didn’t.

A small set of HP Inkjet printers beyond 5 years old are not supported with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

“A small set” … in other words, “There are a few losers out there who still are using one of our ancient relics.” So now you’re calling me a loser, HP? Oh, don’t act all innocent; I can read between the lines, assholes.

And as if insulting me and my old printer wasn’t enough, HP then had the balls to throw this at me:

Please consider upgrading to a newer HP product that is supported on Mac OS X 10.6.

OK, tell you what, HP … I’ll consider using this month’s food money to replace my near-mint-condition printer with another one of your products that presumably will be obsolete in five years if you’ll consider GO SUCK IT.

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  1. Posted October 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Money grubbin’ HP!

    So sorry fella.

  2. Posted October 3, 2009 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I have been to that HP support area or a laptop issue and i’m jeoulice that you got any results. Plus in this disposialbe socity we live in my hat is off to you that is has lasted that long. Most of that stuff seems to break in half that time.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..Chop Sticks or Chomp Sticks =-.

  3. Posted October 3, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    And this is why I, too, hate printers. HATE THEM.
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..Lemon Rosemary Palmiers =-.

  4. Posted October 3, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    The same thing happened to us when we switched from PC to Mac, our dell printer would no longer work. EFF YOU DELL.
    .-= Lauren From Texas´s last blog ..Blog Swap. =-.

  5. Posted October 3, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    I’d probably be ok if my pictures printed like that – it’s the pictures I take that are absolutely awful. I suck!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Assorted Pumpkin Mini Breads. =-.

  6. Posted October 4, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    love, love, LOVE the green hue!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Happy Birthday, Mom! We’ve Prepared Something Extra Special For You! =-.

  7. Posted October 4, 2009 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    –>I thought you were still supporting the elections in Iran with the green hue.

    .-= WebSavyMom´s last blog ..Flashback Friday (part 33) – Troy Laughing =-.

  8. Posted October 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Which is why when I purchased a new printer, it was a Canon. Good Luck with HP man!
    .-= Sonia´s last blog ..Country Music =-.

  9. Posted October 4, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I have an HP printer and it is the finickiest thing ever. Never unplug it from the wall and the pc has to reinstall it..wtf.
    The twitchiest things ever.

    Good luck
    .-= Vodka Logic´s last blog ..Why Do Woman Change? Part 2 =-.

  10. Danielle
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I totally feel your pain.

    In our pre-Mac years (i.e. the Dark Ages), we had a Dell laptop which, for some moronic reason, was equipped with Windows Millenium (What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? Well, there’s a reason for THAT, my friend.) and refused to play nice with ANYTHING we tried to install, including our HP printer (in truth, we eventually did get it to work). Down the road, when my husband did a total overhaul of the stupid computer, we lost our printer drivers and called HP for help. Seems we had to dish out an additional $60 to receive a new copy of the instructions (which my husband had erroneously chucked the previous year), in order to get the thing to work.

    $60? For a 4-year-old printer? The damn thing wasn’t even WORTH that much.

    Death to printers!

  11. Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Can I just say how much I hate home-printers? I can’t tell you how many I’ve gone through. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I spend or what brand they are – none of them seem to work after the first year. So kudos to yours for making it this long!

  12. Lopez
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I suppose he could tell everyone that its a new “Shrek” option on Photoshop.
    I would love to turn on the computer and see “go Fuck yourself” imprinted on my screen…that’s a fantastic Mac feature!!!

  13. Lahainagal
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I have the same printer. Also had the same problem with false empty reading after installing refilled cartridges. I was given instructions with the cartridges from Ink-Jet on how to reset this on my printer. It worked for my printer, perhaps it will for you too.

    I found similar instructions on line if you would like to try them.

  14. Lahainagal
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    OOOPs, my error. I re-read your blog. Actually not exactly the same problem. However, my ink level indicator has also disappeared. It seems this happens with generic cartridges according to HP. I wonder if it will return with new HP cartridges. (At 1/2 the cost I will stick with generic.)

    “NOTE: If a refilled or re-manufactured print cartridge, or a cartridge that has been used in another product, is installed the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.”

    Make sure that the product is turned on and connected to the computer.
    Click Start and click Control Panel .
    Double-click the Printer and Faxes folder.
    Right-click the icon for the product and click Preferences .
    Click the Services tab, and then click Service this Device .
    The printer Toolbox opens. Click the Estimated Ink Level tab.
    A graphic showing the estimated ink levels appears. The graphic shows both the color and black ink cartridge with the ink level indicated by the fill inside the cartridge diagram.

  15. Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Hate hate hate hate hate anything not Mac-friendly or Mac-related. Time to throw your printer out the window!

  16. Roseanne
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    We had the same problem with our HP Printer and it’s because they don’t want you to use refilled cartridges! If we used a new HP cartridge it worked fine, but never with a refill.

  17. Posted October 6, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Hello back again to give you an award…come visit my blog to collect
    .-= Vodka Logic´s last blog ..Blog Awards Part 3…I think =-.

  18. Posted October 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    My HP printer lasted forever — in fact, my old one is experiencing a new life printing photos of my mother-in-law’s nutty dog.
    .-= The Football Wife´s last blog ..Toddler on the Loose =-.

  19. Gail K.
    Posted October 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I hear ya!! I think it works (forgive the pun) like this: HP puts out a fantabulous new printer! Joe/Josephine Schmuck purchases said printer. As soon as that first printer is sold, bam! (to borrow a phrase from Emeril) HP no longer supports it and is on to its new fantabulous printer.

    I have had the same ink level problems with anything but an HP refill. Ihave also had the green people, the color washed striped people, and the screw-you-if -you-think-we-are-going-to-print-your-picture-now problems with the printer. Ahhh, the joys.

  20. Posted October 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Ha! ok…firstly, I’m a somewhat new follower…love your writing! Secondly, dude – you have the brand new OS X Snow Leopard but a 6 year old printer??? I gave up on inkjets years ago…every time I wanted to print, the cartridges were either dry or out of alignment or had some other crap-tastic issue that would take me hours to sort out. I guess it’s good that HP at least acknowledges their old products… Adobe stops supporting their products as soon as they release a newer version – learned that the hard way when I ended up upgrading to CS4 from CS2…they even act as if CS3 never existed! Anyway – good luck!
    P.S. My 2 year old won’t leave the house without wearing her CROCS (she’s already had about 6 pairs in her lifetime) … they look cute on little feet, ugly on adults! They are the jelly shoes of the this generation. 🙂

  21. Posted October 8, 2009 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Personally, I like the picture of you and the family.

    Just add the caption, “Shouldn’t have eaten the halibut!!” underneath it and all is good.
    .-= Jen & The Amazing Trips´s last blog ..the king has spoken =-.

  22. Jessica
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    So true, so true…our iMac, perfectly working thing that it is after 5 years, but the HP printer is has long since bit the dust. And the new MacBook Pro meant trying for another printer so the next HP came and I hate it already-it hasn’t worked well once yet!!! Hate it! Why can’t technology all just work like Mac does? Does everyone else just enjoy the headache.

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