WF-4820 after Firmware update SH31M6--No Long can use 3rd Party Compatible Ink

Jul 12, 2022
I bought the WF-4820 in 11/21. After the initial ink ran out, I started using 3rd party ink with no problem. Then, this week the SH31M6 firmware update was installed on my printer and the printer will no longer recognize the 3rd party ink--thus my printer became inoperable unless I go buy the more expensive Epson ink. I contacted Epson for the method to let me revert back to previous firmware build. They told me this cannot be done. I pointed out that there is a "firmware recovery tool" on their website and I asked why can't I use that? I pointed out that when I got to step 5 I was prevented from going any further because it would not let select my printer (basically grayed out) to complete the firmware recovery. The supervisor (Leslie) with who I spoke kept parroting the company line that you should put in Epson's ink when faced with my questions (cop out). I also pointed out to her their literature says they “recommend” using Epson ink cartridges as a replacement not that that if you enter a firmware change, you are then “required” to only use the significantly more expensive Epson ink cartridges. This has the feel of a “bait-and-switch” situation to change the machine from a “recommended” type of ink cartridge printer to an “Epson-only” ink cartridge printer. This is without the ability to back out the firmware change that caused this.

A while back, there were court proceedings (Supreme Court: Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.) that resulted in printer manufacturers not being able to prevent third parties from making replacement ink cartridges that would work with their printers and manufacturers could not engineer the machines not to accept them and operate properly. So, it appears the manufacturer, in the case of Epson at least, work-around this issue is to embed in firmware updates code to accomplish what could not be legally done when the machines are purchased. Evidence of this is what happened to me and why I’ve been asking for redress of the issue.

As I said, I purchased my printer in November 2021 and now I’m at the point of having to get a new printer from another manufacturer or keep paying the inflated Epson ink prices. I also hope with others this bait-and-switch issue can be addressed—it looks like only through the court system.


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