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 Watch out for counterfeit printing supplies

To actively protect customers, HP is fighting back counterfeiting and fraudulent marketing with the dedicated HP anti-counterfeiting programme.

In the printing supplies market, an increasing number of illegitimate businesses dealing in objectionable LaserJet and inkjet print cartridges have developed around the world over the past years. In various fraudulent ways used, refilled or remanufactured* print cartridges are represented to be original HP products or authorised by HP, when this is not accurate.

Users may experience a variety of problems with these fake products, e.g. substandard print quality and printer downtime due to damage by inferior counterfeit supplies.

Often, unauthorised goods are dealt in by telemarketers, who represent themselves misleadingly as an HP person or as having some sort of an association with HP or its products or services. In some cases, fraudulent dealers use anonymous internet areas to sell fake products with fraudulent intent to directly pass them off as genuine HP products or even manage to infiltrate unsuspecting resellers and retail shops.

With the extensive HP anti-counterfeiting programme, HP vigorously defends the quality and reliability of its printing supplies and its trademarks and actively protects customers from being cheated by illegal scheming. To that end, HP customers are urged to report any suspicious cases using the reporting processes of the programme.

Counterfeits expose customers to various risks

The better part of counterfeit printing supplies originates in Asia and increasingly in Eastern Europe from where the fakes are distributed all over the world before they are sold to customers. When it comes to printing supplies for HP printing systems, users should be aware that they, in fact, run several risks with counterfeit LaserJet and inkjet print cartridges: while genuine HP print cartridges offer superior printing quality and extremely low failure rates, users may experience a variety of problems with counterfeit supplies, ranging from substandard print quality, printer downtime due to damage by inferior counterfeit supplies, to bearing the costs of repairing the printer damaged by such counterfeit supplies.

In addition, customers may end up paying the same price for an inferior office supply, because they don't notice it's counterfeit. In contrast to various other fake products which are indeed offered at significantly lower sales prices compared to originals on the market, counterfeit printing supplies are mostly dealt in at similar prices as the genuine products.

When customers should become suspicious

For customers, it is important to recognise counterfeit print cartridges and fraudulent marketing in order to protect themselves and others by informing HP about their suspicions. There are some typical indicators for counterfeiting and fraudulent marketing which occur quite frequently:

    Indicators for counterfeit print cartridges:
  • Poor and/or inconsistent print quality
  • Noticeably increased print failure rates
  • Packaging is not original, appears to have been used before or tampered with.
  • Missing or fake HP security label on boxes of HP LaserJet and/or HP inkjet print cartridges
  • Toner or ink is found inside the print cartridge box, print cartridges are covered with toner dust or ink or leak inside the printer, respectively.
  • Pull tabs of LaserJet print cartridges are different to those found on original HP products.
  • The price seems too good to be true compared with usual HP print cartridge pricing in the market.
    Indicators for fraudulent marketing:
  • As HP does not sell supplies directly to consumers through telemarketing, watch out if a telemarketer contacts you, even though he might represent himself as an .HP. person or as having some sort of an association with HP or its products or services.
  • Free offers are made followed by a requirement to pay for extras like processing fees or shipping and handling charges.
  • Any insistence on ordering now to beat the price increase, grab a special offer about to expire or reserve the last few remaining in stock.
  • Any telemarketing offers to send someone over to pick up payment or insistence on cash-on-delivery shipment
  • Unwillingness displayed by a telemarketer to provide bank or customer reference numbers
  • Internet or e-mail offers that incorporate any of these indicators

How to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent activity

HP customers should watch out for the indicators set out above. Also, the following guidelines should be kept in mind so as to avoid buying counterfeit LaserJet or inkjet print cartridges:

    Do
  • Do business only with companies you already know or that have been recommended to you from a trusted source (if necessary, seek prior references).
  • If you suspect you have purchased counterfeit or other unauthorised products, contact HP immediately without telling the trader you got the goods from about your suspicions or trying to return the products to them. (see reporting channels below)
  • Check products and product packaging features against the most common indicators for counterfeiting on HP's special anti-counterfeiting web site.
    Don't
  • Don't be too quick in giving out information on your office equipment.
  • Don't assume a caller is representing a legitimate business simply because of apparent familiarity with your background or firm.
  • Don't let the offer of an immediate prize or give-away influence your sound business judgment.

How to report to the HP anti-counterfeiting programme

For effective action against counterfeiting and fraudulent marketing incidents, direct information from HP customers is very important. HP will investigate the reported leads of alleged counterfeit products and fraudulent marketing activities and take appropriate follow-up rights enforcement action.

Customers who come across a suspected case of counterfeit or otherwise illegitimate LaserJet or inkjet print cartridges or have been contacted by dubious sales persons or telemarketers are urged to contact HP by telephone hotline or e-mail:

For further information, please see the HP anti-counterfeiting web site at www.hp.com/go/anticounterfeit.

After a suspicious case is reported, HP will action an investigation if this is the appropriate thing to do. This is so HP can ultimately decide what legal steps (criminal or civil) need to be taken against the suspect. As this process must be coordinated with anti-fraud consultants and as many aspects have to be kept confidential, the person who reported the suspicious case is unlikely to get feedback until the whole case is finished. That said, HP will address all appropriate suspicious cases of counterfeiting and fraudulent marketing that are reported.



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