Canon sued for disabling scanning, fax if printers exhaust ink
A consumer has filed a class-action suit against Canon Inc. in the US for not allowing certain printers to use the scanner and fax functions if the printer runs out of ink. Reports of this problem began to surface in 2016 and Canon appears unfazed. The lawsuit alleges deceptive marketing and unjust enrichment by the printer maker. Here are more details.
Caught unawares, customers discover scanning, fax won't work sans ink
David Leacraft filed the class action suit on Tuesday when he was surprised to discover that his Canon Pixma MG6320 "all-in-one" printer refused to scan or fax documents if there was no ink. The suit argues that since ink is not required to scan or fax documents, the printer's features should continue to work even without ink.
Why purchase an all-in-one that does nothing without ink?
The complaint continued that "Plaintiff Leacraft would not have purchased the device or would not have paid as much for it had he known that he would have to maintain ink in the device in order to scan documents." Also, other customers who reached out to Canon since 2016 were told that ink cartridges must be installed and filled to use all the features.
Ink for all colors required even if you're printing grayscale
Leacraft's model isn't the only one affected. The complaint also contains images of the outer box of Pixma MG2522, advertised as an all-in-one printer. There is no mention or warning stating ink is mandatory for using features that don't consume ink. BleepingComputer discovered Canon also told customers that the printer should contain ink for all colors even if you want to print in grayscale.
Customers forced to purchase ink, even if they don't print
The lawsuit emphasized that customers have been tricked into buying products designed to unethically introduce bottlenecks tied to ink levels. According to the suit, Canon's singular motive for doing so is to increase sales and hence profits of replacement ink cartridges. Note that printer ink dries up in around three years, whether it is used or not.
Leacraft has sued canon for $5 million, excluding fees, expenditures
Leacraft has filed this suit in the District Court for the Eastern District of New York and demands at least $5,000,000 excluding interest, fees, and litigation costs. Canon refused to comment on the matter and the court is yet to approve of the filing. It might be early days to say anything, but we believe Leacraft does have a strong case.