if you promise to pay for your printer in installments and then fail to do so, what are they supposed to do?

@kolya @theimagecaptioner It's very unlikely they are referring to a payment on a printer itself. I'm not sure how recently you've shopped for a printer, but HP encourages use of a program called "Instant Ink" in its printers (and in some, it's mandatory.) Instant Ink is a monthly subscription service where they will send you ink through the mail. If you stop paying for Instant Ink though, not only will they not send you more ink, they will shut down your printer remotely to stop you from using the ink they already sent you. It requires the printer stays Internet-connected for this reason, and if you're using Instant Ink, it won't operate offline at all.

This is a complaint about an industry that is, like other tech, increasingly moving toward models where you pay rent for a service instead of buying a product.

@kolya @theimagecaptioner note that, to add insult to injury, you have to have bought an HP printer already, which isn't cheap to begin with. It's vendor lock-in writ large.

accurate information about printers 

@apisashla @kolya @theimagecaptioner or you cancel your instant ink plan, which you can do at any time, and go back to using regular ink cartridges you buy at the store, which the printer will never not accept. there are no printers that require an instant ink subscription

sure if you print documents instant ink is a ripoff but so is any inkjet if you print documents. use a monochrome laser with a duplexer for that and don't expect it to cost two shirt buttons and a paper clip, you'll more than make up the upfront cost on consumables because toner is a whole lot cheaper

if you print photos instant ink is free ink. i've been using it that way at $3/month for years and never not had a refill show up when i wanted one

i think they don't care at all about the price of ink but do care about the manufacturing costs of print heads, which with instant ink they get to reuse because you have to send the empty cartridges back to keep getting more full ones (this is free, they send a postage prepaid mailer with each refill)

also toner cartridges don't have print heads and there is no such thing as "instant toner" even though the same per-page pricing model applied to laser printers would probably make hp a mint

also with printers that run on ink tanks with a discrete head the ink is usually cheaper by a factor of ten or more volume for volume than for cartridges with heads built in

i mean sure, instant ink can be a ripoff if you don't pay attention to how the pricing works, but like. don't sign up to give them money if you're not sure it's a good idea? don't subscribe to things that you don't know what they do? as subscription services go it's a model of transparency and idk why people get so hung up over this in particular when rent also exists and actually deserves the opprobrium

actually accurate information about printers 

@alexis @kolya @theimagecaptioner sorry to contradict you, but I recently moved out of a job where I sold printers for several years, and this is wrong on several points.

1. Printers that are on the Instant Ink program routinely have trouble swapping back to store-bought cartridges after cancellation. It's true that that's not *supposed* to be the case, but it's at the very least a hassle to get it working again after it's been remotely disabled.

2. About a year before I left, HP did in fact come out with an instant ink plan for toner on several printers, including the M209dw, which

3. only accepts toner purchased through the Instant Ink program. I was hesitant to believe this also, and had to consult with my supervisor and the HP rep, since HP has faced lawsuits about exactly this kind of thing, but this is true of the 209 and some of the other new black and white laser printers from HP.

actually accurate information about printers 

@apisashla @kolya @theimagecaptioner isn't that just the -e models? (m209dwe, and the 207e/212e ig)

i hadn't known they had extended it to toner, or that they added models with required enrollment, but it looks both quite recent and like right now at least they're keeping the lines well differentiated

maybe they'll try to change that if it takes off, but it's still an unsupportable stretch to represent this as the current state of play for any and all printers or the program more generally

actually accurate information about printers 

@alexis @kolya @theimagecaptioner the -e models are the inkjets that are designed to work with instant ink, yes - the inkjet models, in theory, are supposed to accept both (though in practice customers have trouble swapping.) the m209dwe model specifically is the one I was referring to - it will not accept off-the-shelf toner. And since HP has such a large market share, I think it's absolutely fair to discuss this type of thing as the current state of the printer industry.

actually accurate information about printers 

@alexis @kolya @theimagecaptioner I will note that, if you happen to do a lot of color printing as you noted above, Instant Ink can be much cheaper than buying the cartridges directly, but I've also been watching printer companies (not just HP, but especially HP) jack up the prices on name-brand cartridges as much as humanly possible over the last few years, and deliberately cause third-party cartridges to fail frequently in their printers, so that's not saying much.

I do agree that ink-tank printers are the way to go in terms of price, I have one personally, but it is absolutely correct to point to Instant Ink as a shady business practice. The fact that they are transparent about their pricing doesn't mean paying for a printer and then paying a mandatory monthly fee is a positive development for the consumer.

@apisashla @kolya @theimagecaptioner I see that my 20 year old decision to not use HP products has been proven correct.

@kolya @theimagecaptioner You say this as if they're not also going to hit your credit score and come after you with debt collectors. They have recourse.

Also, maybe they could have, I don't know, fucking called them or something?

@kolya @theimagecaptioner are you seriously coming in here, with a straight face, and advocating for surveillance capitalism? You've come to the wrong side of the Internet for that shit.

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