Look South

By Dave South

HP Officejet 6400.

HP Officejet Pro 6400 is a great printer, but HP ink policies are terrible.

Why I dumped my HP InkJet Printer

I own two printers — an HP 6400 in my home and a Brother MFC at my office. When I moved my office to my house, I put the Brother printer upstairs.

A while ago I bought a complete set of ink cartridges — 950XL black and 951XL color — from Amazon for the HP printer. We installed the cyan, yellow and black cartridges. Eventually, the black cartridge was empty again.

I ordered a new 950XL from Amazon. It didn’t work. I sent it back. Got another one from Staples. It didn’t work. I looked hard at the labels. They were the same 950XL cartridges, but in tiny letters, one said “Z10, for the United States, Canada, and Mexico,” and the other said, “Z20, for Russia, the Middle East …”.


An online search revealed that HP regionalized all printer cartridges in 2017. When I installed the Z20 carts, it regionalized my printer to the Middle East!

To fix the problem, I would have to buy a full set of Z10 cartridges for $145, call HP, find someone there who knows how to do this — because not everyone there does, and have them re-regionalize my printer to the U.S.


More importantly, you can order 950XL or 951XL cartridges from Amazon, but you cannot guarantee they are Z10s. None of the sellers make that distinction in their summaries.

Brother MFC.

The Brother MFC-J6920DW is a workhorse. It’s fast and cheap. It also prints and scans 11x17 paper.

I now own ONE printer. It’s a Brother MFC-J6920DW. It’s downstairs near my office. Its ink is cheaper, and the printer is faster than the HP. Plus it can print and scan 11x17 paper.

The HP printer is in the landfill.