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Title    HP Wants You to Pay Up to $36/Month to Rent a Printer That It Monitors
Date    Monday March 04, @04:03AM
Author    hubie
from the big-brother-meet-big-printer dept.

Freeman writes:

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.

HP will charge subscribers who cancel their subscription before its end date up to $270 plus taxes (the amount decreases to as little as $60, depending on the printer rented and the length of the subscription). After two years, users won't see a cancellation fee if they return the rental printer and ink cartridges within 10 days after canceling their subscription. With these tactics, HP is creating the same type of subscription reliance that has made companies like phone carriers rich while limiting customer options.
In the blog post announcing the subscription, Diana Sroka, head of product for consumer services at HP, boasted about how people could "never own a printer again," "say goodbye to your tech troubles," and enjoy "hassle-free printing." The problem is that tech troubles and hassle-filled printing aren't the products of merely owning a printer; they're connected to disruptive and anti-consumer practices from printer vendors.
In addition to some HP printers suddenly not printing with third-party ink, other nuisances that more quickly come to mind include some HP printers not scanning when carrying third-party ink, HP region-locking printers, disputable environmental certifications, and HP inconveniencing customers under the guise of security.

HP is hoping to convince people that the answer to torturous printer experiences is to "never own a printer again." But considering the above frustrations, some might just never own an HP printer again.

In case you didn't already have problems with printing/copying/etc.

Obligatory "Office Space" scene of the crime (semi-nsfw, depending on workplace language guidelines):

Previously on SoylentNews:
Vendor Lock-In Is A Good Thing? HP's CFO Thinks So - 20231206
Judge Denies HP's Request To Dismiss Printer Lockdown Suit - 20230812
HP Continues to Pay for Abruptly Blocking Third-Party Ink from its Printers - 20220916

Original Submission


  1. "Freeman" -
  2. "service" -
  3. "privacy policy" -
  4. "blog post" -
  5. "not scanning" -
  6. "region-locking printers" -
  7. "disputable environmental certifications" -
  8. "guise of security" -
  9. "torturous printer experiences" -
  10. "never own an HP printer" -
  11. ""Office Space" scene of the crime" -
  12. "Vendor Lock-In Is A Good Thing? HP's CFO Thinks So" -
  13. "Judge Denies HP's Request To Dismiss Printer Lockdown Suit" -
  14. "HP Continues to Pay for Abruptly Blocking Third-Party Ink from its Printers" -
  15. "Original Submission" -

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printed from SoylentNews, HP Wants You to Pay Up to $36/Month to Rent a Printer That It Monitors on 2024-04-18 10:03:17