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...: Marsh Chatter

HP OfficeJet PRO 8500 A909A = Lemon

A bit over two years ago I replaced a very aging Lexmark inkjet printer with a brand new HP Officejet PRO 8500 multi-function (printer/fax/scanner) for about $250 hard-earned dollars. I purchased this printer solely because of the HP name brand and the fact that I've used/owned HP II LaserJet's for more than 20 years.

imageFront Panel

I felt comfortable with the brand and given I was buying a "PRO" model - I expected this would be better than the cheap $50-100 category models (e.g. throw-aways). This printer appeared to be marketed to small business; from that I believed that HP was "saying" it was durable. Our household doesn't do a lot of printing - therefore I felt the printer would last a long time.

Early warning!

After setting up the unit - it worked as expected for a short time and then I received an error and the printer would not work. I contacted HP and after troubleshooting, they sent out replacement printheads. That cured the problem.

New Issue!

About 4-5 months ago (not long after the printer turned 2 years old) - I started getting this error on the small screen:

Missing or damaged ink cartridges... with codes for the cartridge.

OK - so let's see what the status screens say...

imagePrint heads OK? No Cartridges?

Yep - reporting no cartridges there - so at least the messages are 'in-sync'. But let's look further:

imageBarely 600 pages printed?

I said our household doesn't do a lot of printing - look at that... just about 600 pages printed in about 2 years. That's hardly a ream of paper. Is that all this printer is good for?

OK - so maybe it was a bad cartridge. Initially it was just a single one that it reported bad, over time it became more. So each time I dutifully bought and changed cartridges (no small cost involve there, eh?). Here is where I drew the line in the 'ink':

image4 sets of cartridges - tried...

Note - those are all HP cartridges - purchased brand new at the box stores. Not a one was 're-manufactured' (to my knowledge anyway) and I do not buy refilled units. So HP cannot use that argument. What you see in that picture is close to $200. Yep, nearly the cost of the printer - just trying to get it to work. What a frakkin waste of money!

Of course - all those cartridges also meant cleaning, re-cleaning - all to no avail. So time to hit the HP website for support. Unfortunately the printer only has a 1 year warranty and the added year from the credit card company was also long gone. So all I could do was hope that someone else had experienced the same issue and found a fix. Time for the 'forums':

imageCommon Problem!

End result... this printer is a LEMON! Not a nice fresh one useful for squeezing on my broiled whitefish... NO - it's an ugly mushed and rotted lemon, not worthy of composting.

imageThe HP 8500 series printers!

Rotten Lemon image
copyright: http://www.photoree.com/photos/permalink/10288552-lukeok
(MorgueFile - http://morguefile.com/license/full, free use)

In the 1970s - the automobile manufacturers took huge heat for "planned obsolescence" in their vehicles and it took them nearly 30 years to overcome that stigma.

Well now! From my experience with this printer, I think that HP (maybe other printer manufacturers) has done a pretty good job of assuming that STINK! The media and regulatory bodies should do something about this issue. Printers should not be a 'new purchase' every 1 or 2 years. The wear parts should be replaceable, just like the brakes & tires are on a car.

This expensive printer - PLUS the barely used/not used but tested ink cartridges are now just scrap. I will donate the cartridges and use the printer as a trade in. So... today becomes new printer shopping day.

Note to HP! [ Meg Whitman - are you listening? ]
I will not be buying an HP Printer - today.