How to Return a Defective HP Cartridge

By David Weedmark

Include a sample page from your printer when returning a cartridge.
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All HP printer cartridges are covered by a manufacturer's warranty so should you find your cartridge is defective, you can return it for a replacement. While HP doesn't normally accept replacements from consumers, it does have a system in place with its retailers to make the process as hassle-free as possible. After you determine that the cartridge is covered by the warranty, simply take the cartridge back to the place you purchased it from, along with the required information form and a sample of a print job using the defective cartridge.

Returning a Cartridge

Each HP printer cartridge comes with a service information form enclosed in its packaging. Before returning a defective printer, first make sure the cartridge is covered by the HP warranty, and then fill in the information form. If you no longer have the information form, you can write down a description of the problem as well as your name, address, phone number and where you purchased the cartridge. Print a sample page using the defective cartridge in your printer and include this along with the information form. Bring these two papers, the cartridge and your receipt to the place of purchase for a replacement cartridge. You can also call 1-800-HPINVENT for additional information about replacing a cartridge.

Warranty Coverage

HP ink cartridges and printheads are covered by a manufacturer's warranty to be free of any defects in material or workmanship during a specified coverage period. The warranty only covers HP ink cartridges when they are used in the appropriate HP printer or another authorized printing device. To make sure your cartridge was used in a designated printer -- and that you didn't mistakenly use the wrong cartridge model -- check the printer's product manual. The manual lists the appropriate cartridges that can be used with it.

Warranty Coverage Period

Each HP printer cartridge has a date printed on a label. The location varies for different cartridge models, but you can easily find it by examining the cartridge for a year and a month in the "YYYY/MM" format or a year, month and date in the "YYYY/MM/DD" format. This date represents the end of the warranty coverage period. Of course, the warranty coverage period also ends as soon as the cartridge is out of ink, regardless of the date on the label.

Warranty Exclusions

HP's warranty does not cover print cartridges that have been tampered with, including refurbished or refilled cartridges. Cartridges are not covered for defects or problems resulting from ordinary use. Cartridges are not covered by warranty if they have been stored or used in conditions outside of the printer's operating environment, published in the printer's data sheet. For example, a typical HP printer should be used in temperatures between 50 and 90.5 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity between 10 to 80 percent. Printers (and thus their cartridges) should only be stored in temperatures between -4 and 104 degrees with humidity not exceeding 95 percent.