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posted by hubie on Wednesday December 06, @06:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the HP-was-enshittifying-WAY-before-it-was-cool dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

HP is squeezing more margin out of print customers, the result of a multi-year strategy to convert unprofitable business into something more lucrative, and says its subscription model is "locking" in people.

[...] "We absolutely see when you move a customer from that pure transactional model ... whether it's Instant Ink, plus adding on that paper, we sort of see a 20 percent uplift on the value of that customer because you're locking that person, committing to a longer-term relationship."

[...] By pre-pandemic 2019, HP had grown weary of third-party cartridge makers stealing its supplies business. It pledged to charge more upfront for certain printer hardware ("rebalance the system profitability, capturing more profit upfront").

HP also set in motion new subscriptions, and launched Smart Tank hardware filled with a pre-defined amount of ink/toner. These now account for 60 percent of total shipments.

Myers told the UBS Conference she was "really proud" that HP could "raise the range on our print margins" based on "bold moves and shifting models."

[...] An old industry factoid from 2003 was that HP ink cost seven times more than a bottle of 1985 Dom Perignon. HP isn't alone in these sorts of comparisons – Epson was called out by Which? a couple years back.

Something tells us that Myers' audience at the UBS gig might not view the cost of printing the same way as the rest of us.


Original Submission

Related Stories

HP Wants You to Pay Up to $36/Month to Rent a Printer That It Monitors 56 comments

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/02/hp-wants-you-to-pay-up-to-36-month-to-rent-a-printer-that-it-monitors/

HP launched a subscription service today that rents people a printer, allots them a specific amount of printed pages, and sends them ink for a monthly fee. HP is framing its service as a way to simplify printing for families and small businesses, but the deal also comes with monitoring and a years-long commitment.

Prices range from $6.99 per month for a plan that includes an HP Envy printer (the current model is the 6020e) and 20 printed pages. The priciest plan includes an HP OfficeJet Pro rental and 700 printed pages for $35.99 per month.
[...]
HP calls this an All-In-Plan; if you subscribe, the tech company will be all in on your printing activities.

One of the most perturbing aspects of the subscription plan is that it requires subscribers to keep their printers connected to the Internet. In general, some users avoid connecting their printer to the Internet because it's the type of device that functions fine without web access.

A web connection can also concern users about security or HP-issued firmware updates that make printers stop functioning with non-HP ink.

But HP enforces an Internet connection by having its TOS also state that HP may disrupt the service—and continue to charge you for it—if your printer's not online.
[...]
The All-In-Plan privacy policy also says that HP may "transfer information about you to advertising partners" so that they can "recognize your devices," perform targeted advertising, and, potentially, "combine information about you with information from other companies in data sharing cooperatives" that HP participates in. The policy says that users can opt out of sharing personal data.

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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by turgid on Wednesday December 06, @08:08AM (5 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @08:08AM (#1335333) Journal

    This is symptomatic of a company which has run out of innovation. Innovation is a bit risky and therefore expensive. It's much easier to sweat assets, cut costs and milk a captive audience. Why would a customer want to be beholden to such a supplier? Shareholders, on the other hand will be delighted. The company produces a steady stream of predictable profit. That can be increased on demand by milking the captive customer base harder as needed. Are they even customers or are they prisoners?

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by martyb on Wednesday December 06, @10:47AM (2 children)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @10:47AM (#1335342) Journal

      Oh Brother!

      Seriously! I bought a genuine HP printer ~25 years (30?) ago. (I bought into the marketing.) It was reliable and never gave me a problem(*). The price of toner OTOH, was steep.

      Then I heard a co-worker sing their praises of brother printers. The printers, he said, were more reasonably priced; and the price of toner (consumables) were much more reasonable! Or so he said. I was skeptical, but curious. Years passed.

      Then I was walking through the printer display and saw a brother laser printer for $50!? It also printed 30 ppm A bit wiser, now, I checked the price of consumables and found that those were more reasonable. (ala: give away the razor and make your money *I* am a fan!

      Now I have both a rother laser printer *and* a brother copier. Highly recommended!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Freeman on Wednesday December 06, @03:58PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday December 06, @03:58PM (#1335377) Journal

        I've found as far as Laser Printers go, an "Expensive" HP Laser Printer will last a very long time. None of the HP Laser Printers I've used had vendor lock-in due to the fact that we were always buying off-brand toner. We've also purchased Brother brand equipment and have got good use out of them. So long as I'm not vendor locked by some stupid chip designed to make me use their hugely over-priced ink, they're both good. Also, Laser Printers are Much cheaper in the long run (even the fairly short run), if you plan on printing quite a bit. Also, Toner is already dry and won't kill your printer, because you left it sitting for 6 months. Some ink-jet printers aren't killed by letting them sit, but you're at best going to end up needing to replace the already over-priced ink.

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by RedGreen on Thursday December 07, @12:22AM

        by RedGreen (888) on Thursday December 07, @12:22AM (#1335450)

        "Now I have both a Brother laser printer . Highly recommended!

        Don't know how many years I have had mine now after ditching the scumbags at HP. Still on the starter cartridge that came with it and have the unopened replacement sitting there wasting space until it dies. I second that recommendation for the great printers they make.

        --
        "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Wednesday December 06, @02:11PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday December 06, @02:11PM (#1335357) Homepage Journal

      This is symptomatic of a company which has run out of innovation.

      Almost, it's symptomatic of a corporation. Any corporation, any time, anywhere, any board or CEO. The only benefits any CFO sees are benefits to the business, not the customer or society. As far as they're concerned, people can all go fuck themselves. People don't matter, only profits matter.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday December 06, @03:52PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday December 06, @03:52PM (#1335376) Journal

      These are the same basic ideas that fueled Cost Plus contracts for NASA. Also, the fact that there was no competition to rock the boat helped a lot.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by stratified cake on Wednesday December 06, @08:39AM (2 children)

    by stratified cake (35052) on Wednesday December 06, @08:39AM (#1335336)

    Crack dealers think, that crack is good for you

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Wednesday December 06, @09:14AM (4 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Wednesday December 06, @09:14AM (#1335339) Journal

    Just like Dom Perignon, it's simply another way of social stratification mechanics. And under Capitalism, with no mercy.

    If you really need to closely watch the price of HP laser toner (or even, ehm, ink), then your business surely has a much bigger problem...

    Maybe this is worth a Slashdot poll: How many pages do you print yearly?

    See, after all those decades passed, there is no FOSS/FOSH libre printer design anywhere out there. Anthills definitely have their limits...

    --
    Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
    • (Score: 2) by turgid on Wednesday December 06, @10:27AM (1 child)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06, @10:27AM (#1335341) Journal

      That reminds me, I once had an idea for a portable printer you could keep in your pocket. Remember turtle graphics?

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Wednesday December 06, @01:33PM

        by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Wednesday December 06, @01:33PM (#1335353) Journal

        I like toys too, but in day to day operations, by law I must print (and sign) real paper documents for every single one of my tenants, like water consumption or heating consumption protocols provided by licensed measuring service. Same with elevator service. Same with trash collection service. Same with cleaning service, ... while none of these money flowing through say me/my family a master. Only rental does.
        Not a small pile of papers. And for me, this data is only input to final accounting...
        So, I personally consume a full box of laser quality paper each year, that's three packages by 500 pages each, total 1500 pages. And relevant volume of toner, buying by multipacks.

        BTW, Maix Amigo RISC-V/64 surely is robust pocket enough and it can do turtle graphics OOB in micropython. I like it. That does not solve real 2nd world problems though.

        --
        Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
    • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Wednesday December 06, @01:26PM

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Wednesday December 06, @01:26PM (#1335350)

      Going paperless is better than going pauper. Paper printing is becoming obsolete and if printer manufacturers try to maintain profits by such bullshit means then they merely accelerate this process.

    • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Wednesday December 06, @10:16PM

      by istartedi (123) on Wednesday December 06, @10:16PM (#1335441) Journal

      I may not have printed for years. I used to print my tax returns at the local copy center and keep them in my files. That was out of habit, since paper returns on file had been a thing as long as I was an adult. A few years ago, those all became PDFs in a secure cloud storage. The submission to the IRS and state tax is all electronic.

      --
      Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by pTamok on Wednesday December 06, @12:01PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday December 06, @12:01PM (#1335344)

    For all the people recommending Brother printers, beware, as it looks like they are getting on the OEM-only bandwagon.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/printers/comments/s9b2eg/brother_mfc_firmware_update_nongenuine_toner_now/ [reddit.com]

    I guess someone in Brother thinks they will gain more by taking the OEM-only route than they lose from all the people who specifically chose Brother because they didn't do that.

    This is a shame, because I use a reliable monochrome Brother laser printer (HL L2370DN), and I would have been happy to keep recommending them. As it happens, I use original Brother toner in it, but I value the option to not be forced to.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday December 06, @12:22PM (7 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday December 06, @12:22PM (#1335345) Journal

    I endlessly push to keep things paperless, but office drones can be so weird about it. Signatures are a particular problem. So much of the paperwork can be contract stuff. Affirmations that people read the manuals, sign here. Promises that people won't do A, B, or C abuses of the system, sign here and here and here. Attestations that people trained, sign here. They ask that too many things be signed.

    Doing digital signatures is pain nearly as bad as maintaining a printer. One little typo in a signed document, one line of a form skipped that shouldn't have been skipped, and the document has to be corrected and digitally signed again. Can't just initial such things. Kinda hard if the signer isn't available. If you instead use e-signatures created by typing in a font that looks handwritten, the recipient might decide that's not good enough, not a valid signature, and reject the document. This is especially likely in offices where the people who go through such paperwork are low level workers themselves who have been given a script to follow, and who don't understand digital or e-signatures at all. Yes, it's true that an e-signature is ridiculously easy to forge. But where they err is in supposing that digital signatures don't also have massive holes in their authenticity. Self signed? LOL. Signed by baking in the signing authority's email address, as if others couldn't have used that? More LOL. But all that matters is if the software green lights the signature. If it won't then they reject the contract. And so, what too often happens is people saying the heck with it, print it out, sign it the old fashioned way, with a pen, then scan it. They'll print out every page of multi-page contracts, though only the last page needs signing, and scan the whole mess. Even worse is when they don't scan it, and instead mail the signed paperwork. But that's how you get past software that checks for digital signature validity-- don't give it a digital signature to check. The business world's reliance on signatures is farcical. A long standing and accepted method of faking the signature is the old rubber stamp of the boss's signature. An e-signature can be a simple scan of that, and that variety of e-signature enjoys much more success than the handwritten font variety, despite being just as stupidly easy to fake.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @01:43PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, @01:43PM (#1335354)
      Paper is not that bad if it's from renewal sources - it's locking up carbon... 😉
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by pTamok on Wednesday December 06, @02:29PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday December 06, @02:29PM (#1335367)

        But toner is microplastic [sciencedirect.com].

        Perhaps we should go back to handwritten documentation. Armies of clerks and secretaries. Or typewritten (chain printers - yay!), or dot-matrix (SQeeeEEEEeeeEEE-SqueeEeeeEEEEEeeEE), or inkjet (it's clogged again).

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Spamalope on Wednesday December 06, @04:34PM

      by Spamalope (5233) on Wednesday December 06, @04:34PM (#1335385) Homepage

      Printing/scanning entire document: I see you've not run into corps that'll have a different version of the earlier pages to present when it comes time to enforce agreements. You need to have a copy of the document as it was at time of signing, or you've got the paper equivalents of 'subject to terms at this webpage link, may be changed at any time without notice, you agree to be bound by the new terms' type of 'pray we don't alter it further' contract. It's so easy to swap between 'shall' and 'shall not', for example.
      I don't like it mind you, but I do want a fixed, date stamped copy of the entire document in my possession.
      You other points about digital signatures being mostly rent seeking theater are valid. Or worse, they enable a new type of corporate contract fraud with the veneer of 'digital security' and experts declaring 'blockchain uncheatable' to a non-technical judge.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Wednesday December 06, @06:10PM (3 children)

      by sjames (2882) on Wednesday December 06, @06:10PM (#1335398) Journal

      And the crazy part is that for some reason, people trust a scribble on paper. That scribble means next to nothing unless you're willing to spend tens of thousands to have an expert authenticate the signature. In many cases, the person demanding my scribble on a slab of dead tree has never before seen "my" signature. The only time a signature has anything like value for authentication is when it's part of a ritual involving a notary. Even there, the ritual symbolizing acceptance of a document means more then the scribble itself.

      Even sillier, those things where you scrawl something that might resemble your signature using an awkward stylus on a slippery touch sensitive surface.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pTamok on Wednesday December 06, @08:06PM

        by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday December 06, @08:06PM (#1335421)

        We could adopt East Asian seals [wikipedia.org].

        They have a long history of use.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by deimtee on Wednesday December 06, @08:59PM (1 child)

        by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday December 06, @08:59PM (#1335431) Journal

        And the crazy part is that for some reason, people trust a scribble on paper. That scribble means next to nothing unless you're willing to spend tens of thousands to have an expert authenticate the signature.

        The real reason people trust those is that there is a long legal history of locking people up for fraud when they fake a signature. You can tell all the lies you want, but signing your name to them makes most people think it's the equivalent of swearing an oath in court, and it comes with serious consequences for faking it.

        --
        If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday December 07, @01:15AM

          by sjames (2882) on Thursday December 07, @01:15AM (#1335457) Journal

          Sure, but the attestation need not take the form of ritually scribbling on a dead tree.

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