At first regulating labels for printers sold in the United States may not seem like an important issue, but according to a recent study, Americans overspend up to $6 billion dollars buying ink cartridges because the proper information is not disclosed. There have been several class action lawsuits filed because consumers are getting more and more upset with the underhanded tactics printer manufacturers have been doing for decades.
Customers can not judge the cost of printing based on the volume of the cartridge alone because each manufacturer uses different processes which increases or decreases printing efficiencies.
As the NY Times reported, printer ink remains one of the most expensive liquids on the planet — more valuable than expensive perfumes.
HP has been sued, Epson has been sued, Kodak has been sued, and Lexmark, Canon, Dell, and Brother have all been accused of the same practices. In many cases printer manufacturers are knowingly forcing customers to purchase more ink than they need by artificially preventing the device to print when it has been proven that more pages could be printed. Expiration dates, and firmware updates preventing third party cartridges from being utilized is another method.
It is time the FTC investigated this issue that is costing Americans billions of dollars a year. The FTC needs to mandate that printer manufacturers label how many pages can be printed. The mandate needs ensure that independent 3rd party laboratories corroborate these claims and consider that the calculation for black and white printers will be different for color printers that use multiple cartridges to print a single color page.
Based on the collective loss involved, and the amount of civil lawsuits against printer manufacturers for this issue I believe that investigating and regulating the way printers are marketed and sold in the United States is far overdue.
Edith Rameriz, Julie Brill, Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Joshua D. Wright are the current FTC comissioners and I hope this petition will help bring the issue to their attention.