HP Remotely Disables a Customer's Printer Until He Joins Company's Monthly Subscription Service

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mood, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    HP Remotely Disables a Customer's Printer Until He Joins Company's Monthly Subscription Service
     
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    USA still the best. But getting worse!
    Sickening.
     
  3. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I agree but I think some more background information is needed. I've had several HP printing devices, including the HP Photosmart 7525 I have now. And while I have been prompted to join that subscription ink service, I have always opted out because I don't go through ink that often. I have never been blocked (or harassed) for not using the service.

    If this was commonplace, pretty sure the ambulance chasing shysters would be all over this with class-action law suits. So something else happened and triggered that event.

    We need more information.
     
  4. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    "8 Things You Should Know About HP® Instant Ink® Before Signing Up

    From comments section:

    ...If you cancel the service, you cannot use the ink cartridge that may be left because it is designed for instant ink. The HP support position is that you are paying for a service not a print cartridge so even though you have paid enough of the service to cover a print cartridge, you cannot use it after you are no longer enrolled..."

    https://www.ldproducts.com/blog/the...ld-know-before-signing-up-for-hp-instant-ink/

    "How to Disable HP Instant Ink Program...

    HP Instant Ink cartridges do not work after the end of your current billing period, and you are required to return them to HP. To continue printing after your billing cycle ends, make sure you have standard replacement ink cartridges ready to use in your printer..."

    https://inkjet411.com/?p=6652
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Yeah, that seems odd. I feel like you can't finish reading the Sunday paper if cancel your subscription before you get to the Funny Pages - even though the paper has already been delivered. I wonder what happens if you block internet access to the printer?
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I bet that the cartridge would stop working. I mean, the default's gotta be "inactivated".
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I just can't imagine this would be the standard practice. I think this would be all over the IT news sources. I am seeing lots of reports, but they are all just rehashes of the same, initial and single Twitter report.
     
  8. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    @Bill_Bright

    Many reports in the comments to this article:

    https://www.ldproducts.com/blog/the...ld-know-before-signing-up-for-hp-instant-ink/

    Also, I edited my post #4 to add this article after you had read the post and at the same time you were posting a comment so I believe you did not see it. Seems pretty definitive:

    "HP Instant Ink cartridges do not work after the end of your current billing period, and you are required to return them to HP. To continue printing after your billing cycle ends, make sure you have standard replacement ink cartridges ready to use in your printer."

    https://inkjet411.com/?p=6652
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  9. subhrobhandari

    subhrobhandari Registered Member

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    Quoted from a comment in hacker news.
    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22083121

    So, it's like DRM. From the comments in there, it seems this subscription based printing model is not that uncommon.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Thanks for that. Still I feel if this was a real "scam", 1000s and 1000s of HP users (especially small businesses and individuals) would be reporting this at multiple sites. And it would be receiving wide-spread attention at the major IT press outlets.

    These people signed up for this instant ink program. They were not enrolled automatically or without their consent.

    In reading through some of those LDProducts comments, I think Charlie (on March 22, 2019) sums it up pretty well,
     
  11. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    @Bill_Bright

    I'm confused about what your point is :)

    Are you saying you don't believe that HP Instant Ink cartridges do not work after the end of the billing period during which someone cancels ;or

    Are you saying it's not a scam because HP did not force anyone to enter the program and if they had read the TOS they would have known what they were getting into? ( I am assuming the terms were clear if you take the time to read them.)
     
  12. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I am saying I think we don't have all the information. I bet you're right and it is all in the fine print which no one reads. And for sure, there should be no such thing as fine print. But that's another issue.

    IF these ink cartridges are bought and paid for by the consumer, then IMO, for sure, they should be allowed to use them until the ink runs out (or dries out due to too much time passing), regardless when they terminate the program. That is, I do not believe HP or any printer maker should send signals to our printers that tell the cartridges to stop working - regardless when the billing period ends.

    But I don't know how these contract agreements are worded. Is it like software licenses where we don't own the software, we just own a license and agree to the terms of the license agreement? That is, do these users really own the ink inside? I don't know.

    I do know printer makers are in a real jam when it comes to printer ink. That ink really is some serious high-tech stuff. The size of the droplets, the precise colors, the viscosity, how fast it dries and much more are all contingent on the formulas - AND the raw materials to make that ink. And how that ink behaves in the ink jets of the printers is all part of it too. So is consistency from batch to batch, year after year, all part of the logistics and expense - and that is all essential to ensure consistent print quality over time as well.

    Bad or incompatible ink can ruin print heads and that is why printer warranties can be voided if damage is attributed to 3rd party ink. And the problem with 3rd party ink is consistency - or a lack thereof. There is no consistency between BestBuy, LD, OfficeMax, and Wal-mart 3rd party ink. And sadly, there is no control over consistency between batches of those 3rd party inks. That's a problem for printer makers (not just HP).

    NO DOUBT genuine ink is WAY TOO expensive. But with consumers also demanding cheaper and cheaper printing devices, to make any profits, the printer makers are really in a bind. I mean really? $24 for a brand new HP wireless AiO? How can any company make a profit but with the consumables (ink)?
     
  13. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    It's clearly a service:

    "HP Instant Ink Terms of Service

    ATTENTION: BEFORE PURCHASING THE HP INSTANT INK SERVICE PLEASE CAREFULLY READ THESE “HP INSTANT INK TERMS OF SERVICE” (THE “AGREEMENT”) AND THE INSTANT INK SERVICES DESCRIPTION...

    5.d.iii

    As between You and HP, HP retains all ownership rights and interests in the Instant Ink Program Cartridges. HP provides the Instant Ink Program Cartridges to You solely to enable Your use of the Instant Ink Service....

    5.d.v.

    When Your Instant Ink Service is cancelled for any reason, HP will remotely disable the Instant Ink Program Cartridges and You will no longer be able to print with the Instant Ink Program Cartridges..."

    https://instantink.hpconnected.com/us/en/terms
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, there you go.
     
  15. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    HP Instant Ink will require a monthly fee to keep printers working
    November 8, 2020
    https://www.slashgear.com/hp-instan...onthly-fee-to-keep-printers-working-08646259/
    Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): Ink-Stained Wretches: The Battle for the Soul of Digital Freedom Taking Place Inside Your Printer
     
  16. kronckew

    kronckew Registered Member

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    It's cheaper to buy a new printer and use it till it runs out of ink and then buy another printer than it is to buy new cartridges for it.
     
  17. virion

    virion Registered Member

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    Every time I read a complaint about Instant Ink, it is obvious that the person has no idea how the program works. But they complain anyway.

    Look at the original quote, "Last month I canceled a random charge for $4.99 per month from HP called "InstantInk". Wasn't sure what it was for. I've had it for over a year but had no idea what it did."

    First of all, HP did not disable the guy's printer. They only disabled the ink cartridges. Why? Because the guy stopped paying the Instant Ink subscription. If the guy buys ink cartridges from a store the printer will work normally, just like any other printer.

    As far as I can tell, there is nothing sinister about the Instant Ink program. The way it works is spelled out pretty clearly.

    How Instant Ink works:
    https://www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/instant-ink.html

    Use the $4.99/month subscription as an example:

    1) Buy HP printer.
    2) Pay $4.99 per month for Instant Ink.
    3) Print up to 100 pages per month, even 100 8"x10" full-color photos if you wish. This is what you get for $4.99. You are not paying for ink.
    4) Never shop for ink, and never run out of ink. HP sends XXL-sized cartridges automatically.
    5) If you stop paying the monthly subscription price, HP will disable the Instant Ink cartridges. Just like your ISP will cut off your internet if you stop paying.

    -- OR --

    1) Buy Hp printer. Don't sign up for Instant Ink. In this case there will be no monthly fees.
    2) Use the starter ink cartridges.
    3) Buy new ink cartridges, as with any printer.

    The Instant Ink program is 100% optional. If the guy paid $4.99 per month for a year (without knowing why), whose fault is that? Either the guy signed himself up for Instant Ink, or the printer store did it. HP is not requiring a $0.99 monthly fee, or $4.99 monthly fee, or any monthly fee if a person buys their own ink cartridges.

    The most common complaint I've seen is people wailing, "I paid for all of this ink! Now HP says I can't use it!"

    Wrong. Other than the original starter cartridges, the person had not purchased any ink cartridges. The person was paying for the ability to print a certain number of pages per month. HP provided the ink as a part of the Instant Ink service. Obviously, if a person is paying $4.99 per month and then stops paying, why should HP let them continue to use the four super-jumbo sized ink cartridges?

    Before someone accuses me of being a VP of social media for HP, I have no connection of any kind with HP. I don't particularly like HP, but I also don't like false information.

    I use an Epson ET-2720. Before that, another Epson. Before that, a couple of Canons. I did own an HP for two days a couple of years ago. I didn't like it, so I returned it. But if I had kept the HP I would definitely be using Instant Ink.

    My pre-emptive response to anyone who replies to this and still insists that HP Instant Ink is a rip-off, and HP is charging a monthly fee to use a printer, and HP is disabling printers, and HP is selling ink cartridges and then disabling them... is the same thing I wrote at the beginning of this reply.

    -- Every time I read a complaint about Instant Ink, it is obvious that the person has no idea how the program works. But they complain anyway.
     
  18. mood

    mood Updates Team

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  19. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    HP's 'free ink for life' plan is over because home printers are a scam
    December 4, 2020
    https://mashable.com/article/hp-ends-free-ink-for-life/
    Consumer Reports: HP Ends 'Free Ink for Life' Subscription Plan
     
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