A warning to owners of Lexmark printers who choose to use after-market cartridges. The Office of Fair Trading and the Trading Standards Institute are currently investigating complaints that Lexmark has issued upgrades to the firmware (the software that sits on the printer) that prevent the printer being run on third-party cartridges, such as remanufactured cartridges.
The “upgrade” in question purports to “improve” the printer, but in fact locks the owner into using only original Lexmark cartridges. Users are reporting that the upgrade is irreversible and applies to all cartridges in use in the machine. Concerns are being voiced that this is anti-competive and a restrictive trade practice.
The problem affects the following Lexmark printers (and their Dell and IBM equivalents):
Lexmark E360, E460, E462, T650, T652, T654, X463, X651, X654
Dell 2230, 3330, 3333, 3335, 5230, 5530, 5535
IBM 1811, 1812, 1852, 1860, 1870, 1872, 1930
Users are being advised to avoid firmware upgrades on these printers if they wish to continue to use after-market cartridges.