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Epson, we don't have a problem

Dutch withdraw boycott call

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The Dutch Consumer Association Consumentenbond has admitted a cock-up in calling on its 650,000 members to stop buying Epson inkjet printers.

It has withdrawn this advice, issued last week, after conceding that the "deceptive smart chip" used in Epson inkjet cartridges was not deceptive after all.

The chip indicates a change of cartridge is required, even though there is enough ink left to print another 50 pages or so. The consumer group now concedes that this residual ink is necessary to run the printer properly, and that punters are not short-changed by the technology.

In a statement released on Friday, Consumentenbond said it regretted making the mistake, but is rather less gracious elsewhere:

"Epson has managed to convince us of the fact that they're not acting deceptively, or playing any tricks," Ewald van Kouwen, a spokesman for the organisation said, AP reports.

According to the newswire, Epson last week conducted an "advertising onslaught" in the Dutch press, arguing its case. We guess that Consumentenbond's humiliating public climbdown will be enough to stave off a lawsuit.

Next stop for Epson could be an offensive in the UK, where the Consumer Association's Which? Magazine this month questioned also the value of Epson Intellidge-powered cartridges.

As we reported at the time:

But, after bypassing this system a Which? researcher was able to print many more pages at accepted quality before the ink ran dry. In one instance the researcher printed 38 per cent more pages during the tests. The least amount of extra pages he was able to print of on an Epson printer was 17 per cent.

We haven't seen any UK press releases or ads contradicting this yet. Have you? ®

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