Wednesday, May 9

"HP" short for "hurl printer?"

My HP PSC-2210 inkjet multifunction blew a power-supply the other day. On the phone, a nice Indian lady apparently speaking via a transpacific water pipe from Putmionholdajab tried to convince me that HP couldn't service it because it was out of warranty.

I patronisingly assumed she knew about as much about HP Australia's service policies as she does about Victoria Bitter, and started ringing around to find an after-market service centre who could source the parts and perform the repairs.

But I was wrong, and Indira was correct. Not only will HP not repair any inkjet device once its out of warranty, but it won't supply spare parts for them to third-party service companies.

So, for want of a $10 spare power supply, my $500 multifunction, including literally hundreds of finely-manufactured electronic and mechanical parts, must now be recycled.

No worries, I told myself: I'm sure HP Australia is a good corporate citizen and offers a recycling service. Well, guess what? Wrong again. HP only offers toner cartridge recycling for consumer customers. Hardware recycling - for PCs and printers - is the exclusive domain of its corporate customers.

This appears to be because HP insists on popping around to collect it from you, and so it'll only pick up equipment in amounts of a pallet load, or greater. Puh-LEASE! Tell me where the nearest frickin' recycling centre is, and I'll take it there myself!

Meanwhile, everyone I complain to assures me that the prices of printers have come down so much in the intervening time that I can probably buy a new one for $200. Well, yes, that's true, but how is that possible? By HP making short-term lower-price-focused decisions in its manufacturing and service systems, that's how.

There's a digital photography revolution underway right now generating huge revenue for printer manufacturers, but just watch the landfill debt grow as our council tips are gradually filled with cheap, disposable colour printers that can't or won't be repaired or recycled by the manufacturer.

It all makes a sick joke of HP's public policy on recycling, clipped below.

I'm off to see if I can find a more expensive printer manufacturer that sells a product that can be serviced for the lifetime of the parts within it. And if I pass an HP office on my way there, I may well toss this massive waste of energy and resources through their front door, with a colour, duplexed, resized and cropped angry scrawl taped to the top of it!
clipped from

Q.  Why does HP offer this service?

A.  HP is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. The HP Planet Partners Programme is one way to reduce the environmental impact of HP products, e.g. by reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfill. It is an opportunity for our customers to join HP's recycling efforts.
Because our customers want it, our communities expect it, and our employees value it, HP maintains a strong commitment to environmentally sound business practices. We want our customers to feel assured that they can buy HP products and know that they can recycle them when the units have reached their end of life. This programme is part of HP's total customer experience in offering a complete life-cycle solution to our customers.
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