As someone who manages customer technical support for a very large international technology firm, I would opine that I don’t believe FL is doing anything wrong or even inappropriate. They have to protect their product support costs. Warranty burden can make or break a product’s profit margin.
But. Individual users tend to view the universe through a very narrow “lens” that’s only pointed at themselves. The “I know what I’m doing, I paid you for this product so it’s mine, so you have no right to keep me from doing what I want” argument seems like it might be valid, but it’s not. It’s specious. It doesn’t take into account that there are many other users out there who don’t know what they’re doing, who’ll screw the printer up because they think they know what they’re doing, who will then demand FL fix their printer for free in spite of the problem being due to operator error.
I’m a “car guy”. I own few modified (very) high performance vehicles (Averaged out across them all I’m at around 500HP). The first time I put a wrench to one of my cars I know I’m risking the warranty. Typically, I will buy new and drive completely stock for the first 2 years before I start modifying things in order to give warrantable items a chance to break and be replaced by the manufacturer, without my having to argue that the things I did to the car have nothing to do with the failure. But you don’t have to modify the car to invalidate the warranty, you only have to use it in a way the manufacturer does not authorize. Standard rule for “Track Days” and autocross events is, if you break your car on the track, drag it to the nearest shopping mall parking lot before calling the Dealer for a tow. Automobile manufacturer’s warranties are voided when you use your car in competition even if the extent of your modifications is nothing more significant than a bumper sticker.
I’d argue the car example is a metaphor for FL’s “user management” philosophy. They have to enable the features for all to use if any are to be allowed to use the feature. The few highly experienced users take advantage of the access with great success and they either don’t have problems or they fix the problems they cause with their experimentation for themselves. The 98% of the rest of the user base that doesn’t really know what they’re doing try some things out and suddenly FL has a huge influx of customer support requests and in some cases, irate users demanding FL fix the printer because their experiment messed it up somehow.
What FL could do is add an option to enable all these various things (like reusing a cartridge as many times as you dare, or enabling heat and wiper in Open mode) via a screen on the printer that says “The user understands they are invalidating their warranty if they proceed”. If the user accepts the restriction, they can do whatever the heck they want except submit a warranty claim if their printer subsequently develops a problem. The user is happy (maybe, in the short term anyway) because they can do the things they want even though FL has advised against it, and FL won’t have to worry about warranty costs incurred by operator error, the printer will have recorded the user acknowledging the warranty was voided when the features were enabled and any user claims can be dismissed on that basis.
Of course, whether or not people would still want to try these features if they knew doing so would invalidate their warranty is questionable. I would guess that many would opt not to try if they believed they’d have to pay for any mistakes they made. Which is probably what FL thinks (because it’s what I’d think if I were managing their technical support organization), which is why they haven’t bothered to add this kind of feature.