HP finally did it! They’ve turned a printer into a subscription.

Yeah, this is a big no from me, dawg!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

I loathe printers. I loathe them with the fiery passion of a thousands suns. However, HP, once the darling of my printing heart, has found a way to make me hate printers more. I have shared my issues with HP’s Instant Ink program. We also covered a story where the CEO said that people were getting viruses from ink cartridges. Yet, somehow, HP was able take its nonsense a step further.

HP All-In Plan

HP has launched in “All-In Plan”. It is an “all-inclusvie printing subscription that delivers the ultimate in convenience.” In the subscription, you choose one of three different printers and that’s it. You set it up, you print, and when ink runs out, they’ll send you more. It’s similar to Instant Ink, but this time they throw in the printer.

The three printers you get to choose from are as follows:

  • HP Envy for $6.99/month
  • HP Envy Inspire for $8.99/month
  • HP OfficeJet Pro for $12.99/month

Now, don’t get me wrong, getting into the subscription is simplicity itself. And given the cost of ink cartridges, the math on these printers isn’t so bad.

Subscription headaches

But here’s were the bad news comes in. The prices I quoted are only for the “light” printing plan. That plan limits you to printing on 20 pages a month. Here’s the breakdown of all the plans.

(20 pages)
(50 pages)
(100 pages)
(300 pages)
(700 pages)
Envy Inspire$8.99$10.99$12.99$18.99n/a
OfficeJet Pro$12.99$14.99$16.99$22.99$35.99

Don’t worry, the pages will rollover if you don’t use them all. You can have 3x the amount of paper in your monthly plan in rollover. This means that you can bank up 60 pages on your light plan that can help offset if you go over one month. If you do go over, you’ll be charged $1 for 10-15 extra pages or given the opportunity to upgrade your plan.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this is a subscription that will lock you in for two years. You will have 30 days to cancel and return everything no questions asked. After that, here’s what you’re looking at for cancellation fees:

The last bit I caught came from a couple of questions that I saw in the FAQ:

Subscriber beware

Essentially, both of these questions refer to ownership of the printer. First, it asks is this a rental program. The second asks if this is a leasing plan. None of those questions are answered in the slightest. Both just describe what the program does. Neither mentions who really “owns” the printer. Just that you can subscribe and you have 30 days to return it. That’s it. The only thing that’s known to happen after two years is that you can get an upgrade. Even cell phone companies let you keep a phone after the 2-3 year lock-in.

I know for some people, this may remove a lot of hassle. I mean, I was a happy camper with HP Instant Ink until I realised the ink cartridges have a DRM. But that may not be an issue for many people with printing needs.

I just know that another HP printer will ever come into this house again.

Source: PCWorld

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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