Tech

Canon printers refuse to scan when out of ink – lawsuit

Canon USA has been accused of forcing customers to buy ink cartridges when they only want to scan and fax documents using the manufacturer’s so-called All-In-One multi-function printers.

David Leacraft bought a Canon PIXMA MG2522 All-in-One Printer from Walmart in March, and was appalled when his device was incapable of scanning or a faxing documents if it ran low, or out, of ink. Unlike printing, scanning and faxing documents do not ordinarily require ink.

He wouldn’t have spent the 100 bucks on Canon’s printer if he had known this, his legal team noted. Feeling cheated, Leacraft fired a lawsuit at Canon USA, seeking class-action status on behalf of other disgruntled customers.

“There is no legitimate purpose for selling the All-In-One Printers with scanning or faxing functionality that is directly tied to existence or level of ink contained in the devices,” Leacraft’s complaint [PDF], filed last week in a New York federal court, stated.

”Ink is not needed for scanning or faxing functionality. Ink does not improve scanning or faxing performance. Tying the scan or fax capabilities of the All-In-One Printers to ink contained in the devices offers no benefit, and only serves to disadvantage and financially harm consumers.”

Canon is accused of deceiving folks with false advertising. It’s All-In-One printer series are marketed as being “multi-functional”; they can perform tasks like faxing and scanning as well as printing. But Canon didn’t fairly warn customers its devices would not work at all if they contained little or no ink, the lawsuit argued.

Leacraft wants Canon to pay damages, stop its “misleading advertising and marketing campaign,” and make it clear to consumers that its printers don’t fax or scan documents without ink. The biz could be forced to cough up at least $5m to disgruntled customers because there are more than 100 class members who have been affected by the issue, according to the lawsuit.

The Register has asked Canon for comment. ®


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