A Canon USA customer is seeking US$5 million in awards, in a class action suit filed last week in New York. The legal complaint alleges at least six violations of New York business and other trade laws in the US. In brief, David Leacraft, the customer, bought a Pixma MG2522 All-in-One (also called an AiO or MFP) printer from Canon but was annoyed that he had to maintain a certain level of ink in the machine, not just for printing but for scanning and/or faxing documents too.
You can read the full class action complaint document here, via Bleeping Computer. Please note that the class action is yet to be approved by the court, but if it is, you could be eligible for receiving compensation in the future (US resident Canon MFP users).
The legal document as filed describes the way Canon MFPs refuse to scan or fax when ink is low as a 'design issue'. Clearly, no ink is needed for scanning or sending a fax, as per the available discrete office machines. However, it is claimed that Canon doesn't make consumers aware of this 'design issue' in its promotional materials. It is argued that "As a result, consumers are forced to incur unexpected and unnecessary burden and expense," to use these devices as advertised.
Moreover, the legal document says that Canon knowingly uses false or misleading representations and advertisements to sell its 'print, copy, scan, fax' MFPs. Perhaps the problem is encapsulated by the plaintiff saying that is he had known about the 'design issue' limitations, he wouldn't have paid so much for the Canon Pixma, or would have chosen another brand.
The summary of alleged violations by Canon is as follows:
- The New York General Business Law § 349
- The New York General Business Law § 350
- Breach of express warranties
- Unjust enrichment
- Failure to disclose material information
Sadly, we all know what the game is here, with many having had experience of buying a printer and finding that the ink is both astronomically priced and sold in tiny packages. Furthermore, printer makers have designed-in various technological barriers to refilling these cartridges with similar/identical inks that are otherwise cheap to buy (commonly using a chip embedded on the cartridge).
Pixma MFP users have commented on this problem previously, above is an official Canon admin reply.
I have an older Canon Pixma MFP at home, which I made sure it was easy to buy clone cartridges for, cheap at multiple outlets, before buying it. It might have been made before the scan-block technology became a thing, or the scan-block tech might not be worldwide.
It will be interesting to see any progress in this class action suit. However, it is still at an early stage, and we don't have any official statements from Canon USA about this new class action suit as yet.