I’m happy we live in a prevalent digital age. Things are pretty instant now to the point that you don’t need to move a muscle just to have a specific task done. Need to sweep the floor? There’s the Roomba. Need breakfast ready when you wake up? There are self-timer kitchen appliances. So, how come despite these improvements in technology, printers still manage to jam? It’s 2021 and things shouldn’t be like this! Or should they?

YouTube video

In an eye-opening video by Austin McConnell, he detailed just how scammy inkjet printers can be. To be specific, he talked about how these ancient noise machines work in tandem with their plastic refills to deliver the worst possible customer experience ever; all in the hopes of selling you more of the same stuff.

printer scam

For instance, while printers themselves are sold relatively cheap, the ink they use is so crazy expensive that buying a couple of cartridges already offsets the cost of the printer.

There are no high-end materials used in production. In fact, Austin found out the cost of making a single inkjet printer cartridge doesn’t even add up to a single US quarter. This is just a ploy by printer companies and ink manufacturers to get you to pay for the ability to use your printer.

printer scam

And once you have that ink in your printer, there’s no telling what and when problems might occur. The printer might not print properly anytime; requiring you to use that precious ink you just bought to print several pages just to find out what’s wrong. By the time you’ve fixed the error, your printer might already be low on ink and require yet another cartridge.

printer scam

Here’s where it gets even worse. Ink cartridges are designed with chips inside them. According to Austin, these do nothing to make printing easier or more efficient. What these sneaky chips do is tell your printer that a specific ink color is low when it actually isn’t. This will obviously prompt your printer to stop printing.

If you’ve ever wondered why printers won’t print even if you aren’t using that ‘low-level’ color, there’s your answer. Unless all the colors are refilled to reach the acceptable level mandated by the printer, it won’t start working.

printer scam

“I’ll just use the black ink, then,” you said. But would it work? Possibly not.

As it turns out, certain printers are designed to mix in some colors of ink (usually cyan) with your blank ink documents. They do this under the guise of telling you the color comes out better, but it’s just a ploy to get you to spend more on colored ink which you rarely use. (I don’t even recall the last time I printed something in color!)

To add to all this, printer and ink manufacturers constantly update their hardware so it won’t work on the older models. Did you buy a printer back in 2010? Chances are you’ll be hard-pressed to find cartridges that still fit it. Your only option then would be to buy a new printer that complements the current market cartridges (which might also become obsolete in a few years’ time). What happens after that? It starts all over again.

It’s a never-ending cycle.

The entire video is definitely worth watching, especially that most of us own a printer or two at home. And in case you find yourself doubting it, feel free to give your old printer a test and wait till it goes loco for no apparent reasons.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.