back to article HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink

HP Inc is under fire for not only ending its promise of free ink for life but also automatically enrolling customers into a subscription plan to continue using their printer ink. "During the pandemic, home printers have become far more important to our lives," said Cory Doctorow of the digital-rights warriors at the EFF. "It's …

  1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge
    Trollface

    Squashed trees, in this century?

    Paper. How vulgar!

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Oh well

      It made me laugh.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Squashed trees, in this century?

      "You need to print out your COVID-19 test result and produce it with your passport, boarding pass and ESTA ID (if applicable) before you will be permitted to board the aircraft"

      Of course, saying "I could not print it out since I have exceeded my allotted HP prints for this month" is not going to be a valid excuse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: boarding pass and ESTA ID

        I thought that the glorious land of the free and orange hairstyles ONLY allows to fly in for those luckly / unlucky ones with a US passport, or green card, in which case, no esta esta. Am I wrong?

  2. Little Mouse Silver badge

    print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

    What, so "Print-free-for-life" is just a meaningless name that doesn't actually imply anything in terms of customer expectation?

    That's pretty low. Perhaps HP will enjoy prosperity-&-good-fortune-for-life as a result.

    1. NightFox
      Black Helicopters

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      Agree - we're used to see companies weaselling their way out of earlier promises, but saying that something described "for life" was just an introductory offer just took things to a new level that even TomTom would struggle to justify. Maybe HP will start bricking their printers and then say the offer referred to the life of the printer, or I guess there's also a more sinister solution they could impose...

      1. ChrisBedford

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        "and then say the offer referred to the life of the printer"

        Yup - that's already in the fine print and has been for decades. In fact I'd guess you'll find that's the case with most manufacturers. 'Life' has a very specific meaning - and no, it's not *so* cynical that they mean 'if the printer expires the offer does', it means as long as the model is supported. Usually this is about 3 years (consumer inkjets), 5 years (business inkjets) or 10 years (lasers) and means the company still sells service parts and provides drivers for current operating systems. Once you discover your printer doesn't have a driver for your PC you can pretty much work on the assumption you're SOL any more.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      Like three pills of speed which were also an introductory offer from the new dealer in the neighbourhood?

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        Or Oxycontin from your doctor!

      2. Christoph

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        He gives the kids free samples

        Because he knows full well

        That today's young innocent faces

        Will be tomorrow's clientele

        1. ovation1357 Bronze badge

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          It's the old toner peddler

          With his powdered ha-a-pi-ness.

          1. ovation1357 Bronze badge

            Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

            Who dares to down-vote a reference to the great Tom Lehrer?!

            P.S. If it's because the article is about inkjets and I'm referring to Laser printers then replace the following words and smile:

            Toner: Ink

            Powdered: Liquid

      3. CountCadaver

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        Or Google Photos, free unlimited "high quality" photos and now withdrawn once people got hooked on the simplicity of "backup and sync", in favour of monthly billing just like a drug dealer...

    3. AW-S

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      It's free for the life of the introductory offer. Much as I dislike these kinds of things, HP will get away with that argument.

      I've used the argument to close a membership group where people had paid life membership - which they assumed was for their life. The terms were clear - life membership of the club. Charities Commission agreed with my interpretation. There were some pro-rated refunds etc. to ease the pain, again agreed with the Charities Commission.

      1. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        You still come over as a dick for using the 'life' word. Your club did not have a life, only animals and plants do.

        1. AW-S

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          Natalie Gritpants Jr wrote: "You still come over as a dick for using the 'life' word"

          Sure, I became a trustee of a charity (which had already existed for 30+years) and helped sort out a number of issues which would have returned nothing to members, funders or the Government had I not done the correct thing. Perhaps one day you may be faced with such duties? Time will tell.

          Now head over to the following organizations that offer life memberships and make a difference:

          National Trust

          The RHS

          Cycling UK (you will like that one)

          The MCC

          The Vegan Society (you can join me there with life membership)

          etc.

          1. Ahosewithnoname

            Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

            Vegan in "vegan feels the need to tell everyone they're a vegan" shocker

            1. ChrisBedford

              Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

              If a vegan also does Crossfit, which one does he tell you about first?

          2. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

            Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

            "Sure, I became a trustee of a charity (which had already existed for 30+years) and helped sort out a number of issues which would have returned nothing to members, funders or the Government had I not done the correct thing."

            A paid gig, no?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        "It's free for the life of the introductory offer. Much as I dislike these kinds of things, HP will get away with that argument."

        In the US yes, in other jurisdictions, possibly no (e.g. in the EU the substance of the contract can't contradict the headline advertisement).

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          "In the US yes, in other jurisdictions, possibly no (e.g. in the EU the substance of the contract can't contradict the headline advertisement)."

          And even if HP try to weasel out with "life of the printer", I think they'll find the expectation of the "life of the printer" is more than the legal minimum 2 year warranty. I think they will be screwed in the EU. Likely in the UK too since I doubt we'll be rescinding those consumer protections soon. (maybe down the line, but I doubt it)

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

            "I think they will be screwed in the EU. Likely in the UK too since I doubt we'll be rescinding those consumer protections soon. (maybe down the line, but I doubt it)"

            Why do you doubt it?

            The desire to lower all standards and "free" businesses from the "burden" of regulation is well known

            1. Tomato Krill

              Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

              Indeed 17m people voted for just that

              1. DRue2514

                Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

                UK legislation has been a bit more woolly than the EU requirements but it has always been possible to claim against a supplier if goods are not up to the quality that should be expected. i.e. a £5000 tv should be expected to last more that 2 years, maybe a £100 not so much.

                These days my expectations of HP products are pretty low however but then I remember the old Laserjet 4s.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

              "The desire to lower all standards and "free" businesses from the "burden" of regulation is well known"

              The increase in consumer protection across the EU was driven by the UK and is enshrined in UK law such that we get better consumer protection than most of the rest of the EU. One of those occasions when "gold plating" EU legislation has benefited us.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

                Yes - another UK initiated regulation that the current bunch of selfish twats want to get rid off so they can make more profit at the expense of consumers and employees.

      3. Drew Scriver

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        Given the quality of some of their gear, a couple of years truly is a lifetime...

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          Agreed. I don't know how many of their crap printers my wife has gone through.

          Meanwhile, my 1992 HP LaserJet 4MP continues to work just fine. Well, sometimes the power switch jams on - that's something mechanical in it that I haven't bothered to fix, since wiggling it a few times frees it up.

          The HP of today and the HP of the '80s and early '90s share a name, and little else.The current firm is reprehensible.

          1. Extreme Aged Parent

            Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

            You are correct, I had a Deskjet plus, late 80s vintage until I could no longer get any cartridges, then I bought a Laser printer, not HP...

    4. mark l 2 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      Often 'free for life' offers that companies market, are for the life of the product not for the life of the customer. So one easy way for HP to weasel out of it is to send a firmware update to brick those printers and then claim they have reached their end of life and so the free ink can stop.

      I am glad that my nearly 15 year old Epson Stylus is continuing to pump out pages and a full set of ink carts only costs me around £5, Being the age it was meant it wasn't Wi-Fi enabled but with OpenWRT on my router I was able to plug it into the USB port and share it over my wireless network that way.

      1. PM from Hell
        Joke

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        Of course there is always the other alternative, leave the printer working and terminate the user.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          Of course there is always the other alternative, leave the printer working and terminate the user.

          If they could find a way to make money at it, they would.

        2. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
          Trollface

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          Only then would the 'for-life' be an accurate term.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        I have an Epson Stylus Photo 1290 (which replaced an 1160 because that had a failed power supply, which replaced an 880 which suffered permanently blocked nozzles) being used the same way, except that it's attached to the USB port of a NAS device rather than a router.

        Only problem is that the Windows drivers are getting more difficult to install, but the ESC P language is sufficiently generic to allow it to work with other Epson drivers that can still install, and most of my printing is done from Linux anyway.

        Does make it difficult for my kid's windows systems, though.

        Think I'll look at setting up a Linux system, maybe a Raspberry PI or even my old ASUS EeePC 700 as a Postscript print server to allow generic printing. That had previously been used to drive an HP LaserJet 1000 (disgusting low cost laser printer without it's own imaging engine), so probably still has most of the needed stuff still installed.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          I expect one good remedy would be to force HP to publish the source code for their drivers under the GPL.

          1. Bonzo_red

            Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

            A printer's for life, not just for Christmas.

            1. nematoad Silver badge

              Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

              "A printer's for life, not just for Christmas."

              Not if my experience of recent HP printers is anything to go by. As others above have said the old Laserjets were the business and I still wish I had my LJ3, though I do not miss having to lug it about as I did.

              God, that thing was built like a tank.

      3. Screwed

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        For many years we have used a network-only printer with what is sold as a range extender for wifi. Simply connect a computer to the range extender to set up the range extender so it talks to the router, then plug the printer into it.

        Works fine.

      4. dajames Silver badge

        How naïve!

        Often 'free for life' offers that companies market, are for the life of the product not for the life of the customer.

        More often still, just for the life of the offer ...

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        "one easy way for HP to weasel out of it is to send a firmware update to brick those printers"

        That's such a dumb assertion, there must be a /s missing at the end :D

    5. Shadow Systems

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands. If I bought something advertised as "free for life" only to have the device maker rescind the offer ~2 years later, I know how I'd express my dissatisfaction with their actions. And I'm on the other side of ThePond from you folks with your 6 years "it works right or we fuck you with a splintery cricket bat" consumer-friendly contract law. I imagine HP execs on your side probably rethinking their immediate travel plans to safer (tropical) locations right about now to avoid the pitchforks & burning pitch weilding mobs!

      1. RM Myers Silver badge

        I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

        You are both right and wrong. There will probably be a large number of lawyers who will file class action lawsuits, but there is a good chance these will eventually be consolidated into one federal court class action case. HP will definitely push for this, due to reduced defense lawyer costs, and previous class action history seems to be on their side as far as consolidation goes. I would be very surprised if they don't either reverse their policy decision or lose in court, though.

        1. Martin Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

          This is not going to get to court. Think about it. You had a free service. It's now going to cost you a dollar a month. That's twelve dollars a year. Over ten years, you'll be out of pocket by a hundred and twenty dollars.

          No lawyer is going to even meet with you if those sorts of sums are all that's at stake.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

            Damages? Mental health? Distress?

          2. rcxb Silver badge

            Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

            All you need is a few thousand customers, and you've got a class action worth the lawyer's time.

            The customers likely won't get anything out of it, but the lawyer will arrange for a hefty payout from HP for himself.

          3. Maelstorm Bronze badge

            Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

            Small claims court. Here in the U.S., lawyers are not allowed in small claims court. Which means they probably won't even show up. If you can prove that they were served, then they have a court judgement against them. If everyone who was burned by this does it, it may make them rethink their position.

            1. ShadowDragon8685

              Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

              So... In principle, Organized Mass Small Claims Action could potentially tap-out even HP by simply filing more cases than they have corporate personnel to answer to.

              That would be fantastic.

              1. Col_Panek

                Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

                It would be better if HP, faced with a huge consumer backlash, stayed in business and started competing with companies that produce printers with less ridiculously expensive ink.

            2. Donn Bly

              Re: Lawyers not allowed in small claims court

              In the vast majority of jurisdictions in the United States lawyers are allowed in small claims court, but the winning party cannot claim legal fees so it often is not cost-effective to do so.

              You have a constitutional right to legal representation in a criminal case, but not a civil case - but that does not mean that you can be denied access to legal resources if you are willing to pay for it on your own.

              From what I can tell, only California, Michigan, and Nebraska can require you to appear on your own, everywhere else your lawyer can handle it. I can tell you that here in Indiana every time I have had to sue a company in small claims court they showed up with their own attorney.

          4. RM Myers Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: I envision the (class action) lawsuits being filed by the hundreds if not thousands

            I'm not a lawyer, but I did work with lawyers on class action lawsuits at my former employer, both from a financial side (determining the size of reserves accounting needed to set up for the lawsuits) as well as pulling data that the courts or our lawyers requested. I also have been a member of a number of "classes", including one where the members received a check for less than 50 cents US (I threw mine away) and another where we got vouchers for a discount on full fare airline tickets that I never used since the discount was less than the standard discount I could get any day.

            Lawyers are looking at the total potential value of these lawsuits (number of claimants times each claimant's individual claim), and even small claims mount up when you have thousands of claimants.And the lawyers can make money even when the claimants get peanuts. I believe the plaintiff lawyers got $300 million in the airfare price fixing class action, although almost no one used the discount vouchers.

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        @Shadow_Systems oh we're civilised round my way. We use a normal cricket bat and linseed oil. However it does go in sideways.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

          That’s a funny way to bowl a maiden over...

    6. Drew Scriver

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      HP did the same thing with their "Printables" service a few years ago. Advertised certain printers to have this feature, which would deliver printed documents on a schedule.

      Examples were the New York Times daily digest and educational materials.

      Then one day users received the "Unfortunately HP Printables will be discontinued... Your support has been truly overwhelming... We couldn't possibly have taken this service this far without your participation and enthusiasm."

    7. Geoffrey W

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      RE: Free For Life

      Ah, but...The life of what? Life of the user? Life of the printer? Life of the Universe? Or life of the scheme? Does it specify life of the user or printer? If not then they are good! I'm only making an uninformed guess.

      1. Geoffrey W

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        Oh well; Others made the same point first. I should read before opening mouth.

      2. Arthur Daily

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        In Australia, this was a problem. But now 'Life' if used in advertising is FIVE years minimum, and you cant use LIFE or LIFETIME if you know you will be EOL'ing the product before that.

        In New Zealand, I think consumers can return the box to the retailer for a no quibble full refund, for deception like this (including right to repair). I hope NZ'er were offered this deal.

        Also the privacy commissioner would be on the warpath - details were collected for one defined purpose - then used for another without consent. Deceptive advertising will be judged ...

    8. Rol Silver badge

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      The idea that HP might wriggle out of their promise on the grounds that it was marketing bluster, is going to find their customers took them at their word, and the courts will have no problems in agreeing with them, especially as there is a wealth of "for life" brands out there, demonstrating the promise is meaningful. Think Zippo, who are still maintaining lighters they sold decades ago. Sure they'll make losses on some of their sales, but the goodwill and brand image uplift more than pays for the umpteenth free repair to grandads ancient Zippo.

      I think HP's will find it far more cost effective to reinstate what they originally promised, and throw in free return flights to America, just for good measure. Maybe a complementary vacuum cleaner as well, just to jog some memories of an equally bad marketing ploy that almost destroyed an household name.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

        Yes, I remember that Hoover promo - 25 years ago? All the postgrads in my department got a flight out of that (with some delays) - having bought and then moved on their purchases (they were numerate).

    9. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

      Reminds of the Teamviewer lifetime plan that I purchased. I thought it was for as long as I lived. It turns out that "lifetime" meant to Teamviewer until they stop supporting it. They can suck rope if they think I will upgrade to a subscription plan after pulling that stunt.

  3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    On the basis that no business with do something for nothing, will HP refund the premium it charged on the printer to cover the cost of the "free" comsumables that would have been used over the life of that printer?

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Alien

      The printers were discounted heavily around here, presumably on the assumption that punters would over-estimate their print count and keep paying every month. Hell, some may even forget to cancel the subscription when they get rid of the printer!

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        I think I've over estimated, I'm on the 100 pages for €4,99 plan and I don't usually print that much. However even that is a hell of a lot cheaper than it used to cost to buy stupid barely-filled cartridges at nearly €30 a pop (it's a... 3635? 3630? something like that, generic budget inkjet).

        Actually, the main problem I'm having right now is running lots of cleaning cycles (well, I'm not paying for the ink...) because the black has been in for so long that it has started to suffer as only inkjet printers do.

        I keep it around because it's pretty cheap and it does give impressive results on photo paper. Sadly, however, the results on plain A4 are barely an improvement over the DJ500C I had back in the 90s.

        I *miss* my Brother DCP-165C. Brilliant results on anything, didn't care what sort of ink you fed it. And could assemble PDFs directly from scanned stuff. Pre-WiFi but a lovely little printer nonetheless.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Just buy a laser printer.

          You don't need to print color all that much anyway.

          1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

            I have a Samsung laser printer that has true Postscript. It's B/W only, but when that thing gets warmed up, it spits out 30 ppm.

            1. KLane

              Xerox WorkCentre 6027 color laser

              I've been pretty satisfied with this one. Print quality is quite good, and it is also has copy/fax/scan- to- network-share as well as wifi/usb/lan interface. It does say 'non-Xerox toner' on power cycles when using generic toner, but has no problem using them; even shows the remaining toner level correctly.

              1. Vegemite Sandwich
                Thumb Up

                Re: Xerox WorkCentre 6027 color laser

                Same here, switched from HP to the 6027 after the firmware debacle a few years back. Very happy with it and it does take the generic toners at 1/3 the cost.

          2. martinusher Silver badge

            Best printer I've ever owned is a Brother LED printer. Cheap, fast, reliable. It never died, I 'lent' it to someone and never saw it again.

        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Alien

          I told The Doctor* (S McCoy) to stop wasting his time on buying inkjet cartridges every time he came home from filming & needed to print new scripts) a few years back & simply invest in a mono laser.

          *Or Radagast The Brown, needing a different sort of printer wizard.

  4. dak
    WTF?

    IANAL, but...

    does this not constitute a "post-contractual obligation", and therefore unenforceable in the UK?

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: IANAL, but...

      "....the truth. So help me God"

      "Did the offer of free ink for life influence your purchasing of the HP printer?"

      "Yes it did"

      "No more questions your honour. I rest my case"

  5. Andy Non Silver badge

    So glad

    I ditched HP printers years ago due to their shenanigans.

    "Hey, that's a nice printer you've got there, it would be a shame if it suddenly stopped printing."

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: So glad

      Yeah..."GFY", HP. You used to be cool.

      I'm the proud (second) owner of a Laserjet 5, so I'm getting a kick out of these shenanigans. At least, until my three non-chipped toner cartridges are used up...which, at the rate I'm going, will be sometime around 10 years after my demise.

      Invest in the classics, which never go out of style

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So glad

      Ditto.

      In did a stint as a contractor writing service manuals for SOHO-market LaserJets. It was pretty scary so tear those things down and see what utter crap they were inside. About half never worked again after reassembly using the procedure provided by their engineers.

      I do still have an old LJP 1102 down in the basement, running remanufactured carts from Linkyo. It complains f-king non-stop ("Printer needs attention! Non-genuine supplies detected!"), but I'm damn sure not gonna pay $75 for a "genuine" cart that prints half as many pages as an $18 drill & fill.

      AC, because I can't remember how long the NDA was for...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So glad

      Out of interest, who did you ditch them for?

      My trusty old Brother printer has just given up the ghost, and is BER...I can't find parts for it, can't even find a suitable donor/replacement on the secondhand market..even on fleabay.

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: So glad

        I switched to Brother printers too; they also work under Linux Mint.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this also apply in the EU?

    If it does, I can see some very big fines being issued.

    I really hate that my Samsung laser is now "supported" by HP. I suspect I'll have to replace it when Big Sur is released (HP only got the Catalina driver working a few months ago - due to yet more signing issues).

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Does this also apply in the EU?

      I'm lucky. My Samsung 2022W is "supported" by HP, but it's too old to be able to find updated firmware, so it'll be left in peace.

      At least HP gave the Android printer app a "high quality" option. When it was still Samsung, prints were blindingly fast but looked like 150dpi halftone (dotty as hell). The high quality option isn't anything near what the printer is capable of, but it's a lot better than it was before.

  7. David 132 Silver badge
    WTF?

    What a way to honour Bill & Dave’s legacy

    HP’s founders must be spinning in their graves at what their company’s turned into. Yanking “for life” offers, morphing into hucksters for an overpriced-ink multilevel marketing scheme... way to go, HP.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What a way to honour Bill & Dave’s legacy

      HP’s founders must be spinning in their graves ...

      But not for this ...

      They have been spinning and spinning for about twenty years, ever since the HP/Compaq disaster went through, on that occasion led by the first of HPs Bitchy Broad™ type CEOs with political aspirations, Carly Fiorina.

      The next one to come along was Meg Whitman, the brains behind the puchase of UK firm Autonomy, the one that led to a whooping US$8.8 billion write down further on.

      But ...

      What's the all the fuss about?

      Can't blame HP for for trying to claw back one or two cents on each dollar they wrote down.

      Which (of course) has to come from their clients' pockets.

      Miserable bastards ...

      O.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: What a way to honour Bill & Dave’s legacy

        Meg Whitman, the brains behind the puchase of UK firm Autonomy

        Pretty sure the Autonomy buy was during Leo Apotheker's disastrous nine-month stint in the CEO chair.

  8. Reg Sim

    Not to throw shade..

    Not that I am about to suggest HP are not a bunch of pond surface water sucking doodle berrys, but...

    .. I do think talking about the loss of 'free for life' @ 15ppm and then giving an example of one of the highest tarrifs $24.99 ($25) for 700ppm is a bit of sensationalism on the part of reporting. The most common tarrif from every one I have sold a printer to since Instant Ink launched has been the $2.99 for 50 ppm with an upto 100 ppm roll over (ie max 100ppm).

    Being I live in the UK this is the £1.99/m for 50ppm which works out at £24/y with is vastly cheaper often £100's than all previus ways of getting ink (its about the price of an XL black cartrage per year with out having to pay for cleaning cycles ect.), and I would suspect is the reason Epson went with the Eco-tank model. I am sure both Epson & HP made this move due to losing ink sales to 3rd partys.

    Do I think 3rd partys should have a ligitimate opportunity to produce an alternative ink product - or course. Do I think HP offering 'life time free ink' and then pulling it and auto enrolling you is a bit scummy (illegal?). Yes what a bunch of swine.

    Much like I would not expect a manufacturer of a car to force me to use there air filters, I would not want my Printer maker from preventing me from using other ink. The fact that HP closed the Free Ink For Life is not a supprise to me (as I always though it was a dum idea), but then I never sold any printers on that premise in the first place.

    My only beef with this artile is the talking about free, then showing something that nobody who was into free/cheep would choose as an example. Its akin to showing a parking space that 'was' free in Manchester and then compairing to the price some people pay in Central London, all but asserting that its a realistic case - [The diffrence from skim reading the first four pargaraphs was Free = $12/y VS Free = $300/y. - OMG!!!]. Whist it is a bit of a betral at least they give you some extra pages. I do appreciate the inclusion of the new price listing from HP.

    Anyway, I am sure HP will sneek the tarrif up, the old 'were going to give you X ammount of extra prints per month for free!' and a few months later moving everybody onto the new higher tarrif then bring in a 'new' lower tarriff which was the original ammount. - how very Virgin Media of them if/when they do.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Not to throw shade..

      Pay £2 a month. Print 50 A4 photos. Win!

      1. Geoff Campbell

        Re: Not to throw shade..

        You joke, but one of the advantages of Instant Ink is not having to worry about print quality and full-sized colour graphics. Whack everything up to maximum, and print out all the cover pages and stuff when printing big documents.

        I find it excellent value for money.

        GJC

        1. Sven Coenye

          Re: Not to throw shade..

          Next up ... "we have found that 1% of our customers are responsible for 99% of ink consumption. Going forward, in order to protect the interests of all customers, full page color prints are no longer included in the monthly allotment and will be billed at the low price of $4.99/page"

          1. Geoff Campbell

            Re: Not to throw shade..

            <shrug>

            Maybe, and I'll be the first to criticise them and look for alternatives if that happens. But it hasn't happened, has it?

            GJC

  9. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Go

    HP striving to become every bit as likeable as Oracle.

    I wonder what their next step will be. Only HP branded paper allowed?

    You evil ideas, please!

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: HP striving to become every bit as likeable as Oracle.

      That's almost already present, actually.

      Some HP printers detect when it's not HP Photo Paper and complain about it. Only a very small step to refusing to print on it...

      1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

        Re: HP striving to become every bit as likeable as Oracle.

        About that. What if you are only printing text? Does it still complain? I'm not going to burn through photo paper when I can use regular copy paper to print reports, documents, etc....

  10. Howard Sway

    HP: That print-free-for-life deal

    Henforceforth to be known as Logan's Print Run

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: HP: That print-free-for-life deal

      See icon ------------>

    2. Maelstorm Bronze badge
      Terminator

      Re: HP: That print-free-for-life deal

      LOL

      At least it wasn't known as Terminator 2: Printer Day.

  11. Alan Ferris
    Coat

    I have no legal training

    Maybe someone with legal training can advise me here, but can a printer be deemed to have a life?

    If not, surely the life referred to is that pertaining to the owner of the device.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: I have no legal training

      The operational life of the device.

      It's not a question of semantics about a particular object being alive, it's an established and commonly used term.

      1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

        Re: I have no legal training

        Correct. Often used when selling cars with "a lifetime warranty" and the like.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          Re: I have no legal training

          but in any legal document you have to define the terms used if there is a risk of confusion.

          so in this case there should be somewhere in the contract a full definition of what this "lifetime" refers to.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I have no legal training

            Yeah, see the Ts&Cs on the website. What's that you say? You think it's changed recently? Shirley Knott!!

    2. Sven Coenye

      Re: I have no legal training

      Canon and Epson both have time bombs in their inkjet models, so yes. IIRC, Canon had a 60k page limit. Epson uses some vague"% of useful function" algorithm. I just had to replace an otherwise perfectly functional Epson Photo 1400 for that very reason.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Time bombs?

        We have a 15 year old OKI colour laser printer (so old OKI don't even remember they made it). We stocked up on cartridges ages ago so it's still going strong. When the official page count per cartridge is reached it warns "toner out". However you can dismiss the warning, and we typically get at least an additional 150 pages out of a 3k page cartridge (105% of nominal) before it actually gives out on printing.

        However, with reference to HP: they started out with a social mission -

        "We earn customer respect and loyalty by consistently providing the highest quality and value. We achieve sufficient profit to finance growth, create value for our shareholders and achieve our corporate objectives. We recognize and seize opportunities for growth that builds upon our strengths and competencies. We lead in the marketplace by developing and delivering useful and innovative products, services and solutions."

        Commercial pressure then took over as always, and ultimately they lost their way and became just another tech manufacturer with a primary interest in profit. Printer ink subscriptions may annoy, but even more troubling is what can only be referred to as crippled kit. Under whatever name they're using today (when I last looked it was Keysight) they produce ranges of high end electronics test gear in the thousand dollar+ bracket. In the old days they sold several different versions of each product with differing specifications, quite reasonably at different prices. Now every member of a range has the same maximum specification, but the cheaper ones are crippled, so you can "upgrade" by buying a "license key". The old ranges had legitimate pricing increments because e.g. faster components cost more, but the new ranges are hard to justify on any basis other than revenue.

        1. Chz

          Re: Time bombs?

          OKI and Brother are the only brands I ever recommend. You can get a colour laser for under £150 and never worry about all the bullshit that comes with inkjets.

          Yes, I have to go to Costco for photos, but the economics of home photo printing were never really compelling given the downsides of home ink printing.

          1. David Hicklin

            Re: Time bombs?

            Have an upvote for brother, my dcp9010cn does the job nicely plus being a laser unlike inkjets it can sit there quietly for 2 months and then 'just work' when needed

            1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

              Re: Time bombs? (Brother)

              And the ones that take the TN-241/5 cartridges have no chips, So you can buy cheap knock-off cartridges for (realitively) buttons. Or even refill, if you're brave.

        2. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Time bombs?

          HP ised tp be one of the premier makes of test equipment, to engineers you tend to know them first as testgear makers who have a sideline in printers. Unfortuantely like other testgear makers they've not seen the writing on the wall, the fact that you really don't need a $20,000 oscilloscope (for example) for most test and development work, you can get something quite decent off Amazon for $500. (One of the reasons for this is that the kind of high speed circuitry that you used to have to troubleshoot now tends to be inside a chip in most cases.) This kind of change is difficult for an established company, especially one that's run by financial engineers rather than real engineers. The result is a focus on tricks like Keysight and sales to companies that don't have budget considerations (and are foced by contract to 'buy American' or whatever), typically defense contractors. This leaves a huge vacuum which is invariably filled not just nationally but globally by Chinese impoarts (BTW -- it used to be Japanese 40 years ago, its not just a China thing).

          I keep telling people that this is the inevitable result of these corporate policies but they never listen. The reason is quite simple -- 'maximizing shareholder value' is the one and only goal of the modern corporation, a goal that also 'maximizes 'C' suite renumeration'. So despite notable execptions to the rule we're Doomed.

        3. tfewster Silver badge
          Facepalm

          @Mike 137 Re: Time bombs?

          crippled kit:

          - several different versions of each product with differing specifications - And duplicated R&D, manufacturing, and support costs. Which got passed on to the customer.

          - so you can "upgrade" by buying a "license key" - Surely better than having to throw the old one away and buy the higher spec version?

          Paying only for what you use is a pretty good model.

  12. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    Carlill vs. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

    I think I might just lay in some popcorn for this one. At face value it's almost a dead ringer for Carlill vs. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co, which is one of the cornerstone cases for contractual law

    https://www.e-lawresources.co.uk/Carlill-v-Carbolic-Smoke-Ball-Co.php

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Carlill vs. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

      Balls!

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

        Re: Carlill vs. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

        And car bolics to you too

    2. Rol Silver badge

      Re: Carlill vs. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

      You mentioning that case has thrown me right back into the lecture hall of nearly 40 years ago and asking "Where did it all go wrong?"

      Have a pint of Tennents Super T on me.....oh! That's where it all went wrong. Hic!...hahaha burp! Hahaha

    3. Bonzo_red

      Re: Carlill vs. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

      I wonder how they proved an influenza infection back in those days - PCR testing was not available, I believe.

  13. Nate Amsden

    no printer at home since 2004

    I rarely print. Last time I printed regularly at home was 2003, i would print out my resume along with mini CD labels for business card CDs with a bunch of samples on them, attach to my paper resume at snail mail it to job applications (in addition to applying online), i figured it was a good way to get noticed at the time. Anyway i got a new job in 2003 and my printing needs sort of stopped. When I needed to print i printed at the office.

    Fast forward a few jobs and many years I shifted to fully remote work in 2016. Was working from home prior to that but the office was close by(about a mile). In 2016 i moved 90 minutes away.

    I started using fedex office for my printing needs. Have to drive 15min each way to get the print outs and there's a $1 minimum for submitting jobs through their website but it works well. I probably go on average 5 or 6 times per year and spend probably on average $8 to $12 per year for those jobs.

    There is a UPS store that is much closer and they claim to do online printing too but last time I checked I could not find a way to submit a simple 1 page job(or a few 1 page jobs). It seemed geared towards project level stuff but maybe that's different now.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: no printer at home since 2004

      You are truly the King of the Cool Story, bro.

  14. TDog

    A. G. MacDonnell

    "A subscription implies that this journal will be sent to the subscriber until one of the three expires." (England their England).

    Apparently the ethics of the 1930's have been supersumed by the intellectual poverty of the 2020's. We got Stalin and Hitler in the 1930's - I wonder what HP will deliver in the next 10 years?

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: A. G. MacDonnell

      We've just had Trump. Are you saying there's worse to come? Is that even possible?

      I don't know if I've hoarded enough toilet roll to see me through the dark days to come.

      1. James Anderson

        Re: A. G. MacDonnell

        Just imagine if Trump had a brain.

      2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: A. G. MacDonnell

        Biden?

      3. David Hicklin

        Re: A. G. MacDonnell

        still got BoJo (for now), at least "eye test" cummings is on his way out...

  15. Gordon861

    Chargeback

    "Hello 'Creditcard Company' I signed up for a subscription lifetime deal and now the company has decided to withdraw it, here's the evidence, please recover my money."

    Let them fight HP for you.

    1. Chris 239

      Re: Chargeback

      Yep, I think in the UK at least if the Printer cost over £100 *, but the CC company don't have to recover the money for you, they are liable to refund you themselves. You can get your money back from the credit card company under Section 75 if you bought the printer with your credit card and you are not getting what you paid for...

      The CC company can then decide to chase HP to get their money back if they choose too.

      * mind you not many consumer level inkjets are over £100 are they?

  16. LDS Silver badge

    Subscriptions...

    .... they are always designed to "maximize the shareholder value".

  17. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Pirate

    How the mighty has fallen

    Once upon a time, HP was a company that people aspired to work for and made great products.

    These days, they have descended into the ranks of Scumbaggery like Oracle, HDD makers and the rest.

    Stop buying anything from this lot. Give them scathing reviews and if you have been caught by this sue the bejeezers off of them.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: How the mighty has fallen

      I have to wonder if the Hewlett and Packard families could bring a suit for defamation against the pack of weasels currently using their name. Alternative collective nouns at

      https://www.animalsandenglish.com/collective-nouns-etc22.html

      I'm particularly fond of "confusion", "gang" and "sneak"

      A side-trip during that search led me to read that a group of ferrets is called a "Business" or Busyness",

      so maybe HP could attempt a totemic species upgrade.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: How the mighty has fallen

        This is such a dumb move that you have to wonder if some HP exec has a short position on HP stock and intends to make a lot of money when the share price drops.

        And then even more when it rises again after they abandon it

      2. ShabWeasel

        Re: How the mighty has fallen

        A side-trip during that search led me to read that a group of ferrets is called a "Business" or Busyness"

        And the name 'ferret' literally means 'little thief' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferret)

        1. Maelstorm Bronze badge
          Pint

          Re: How the mighty has fallen

          Well, like a murder of crows, a group of weasels has several name: boogle, confusion, gang, or pack. HP has gone the way of the weasel, nothing left but confusion. I tip my hat off to Scott Adams and his Dilbert comic strip: "The Way of the Weasel" was one of the books that he published in the Dilbert series.

  18. Mike Richards Silver badge

    'We are now adjusting our offerings to enable customers to enjoy more flexibility and options.'

    Wow! As a Mac user who runs Adobe software I thought I'd read the ultimate in the psychotic bollocks from Silicon Valley's finest marketers, but phrasing the introduction of compulsory charges as something to 'enjoy' takes things to a whole new level.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: 'We are now adjusting our offerings to enable customers to enjoy more flexibility and options.'

      The phrase "a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes" springs suddenly to mind.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: 'We are now adjusting our offerings to enable customers to enjoy more flexibility and options.'

      HP are probably "excited" to bring you this wonderful new price plan too.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: 'We are now adjusting our offerings to enable customers to enjoy more flexibility and options.'

        It's wonderful because they like it.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: 'We are now adjusting our offerings to enable customers to enjoy more flexibility and options.'

      Share and enjoy...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    profitable at $0.99?

    "The fees start from $0.99 a month for 15 pages,"

    Hmmm, I suspect that $0.99/month is a loss leader for them and they're hoping you'll print more to move to a higher tier. Tempted to sign up and never print (or to print 14 pages/month).

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: profitable at $0.99?

      Don' worry, from time to time (at least once per day) the printer will initiate a self-cleaning and test print a few pages informing you that everything is OK.

    2. Rol Silver badge

      Re: profitable at $0.99?

      What's the betting that the firmware upgrade "smudges" just enough pages, that your reprint goes over the threshold?

  20. Zebo-the-Fat

    Another reason

    I have an HP colour laser printer and have been refusing the firmware update for several weeks now, it works fine so I don't see it needs an update, but I suspect that after an update it will refuse to work with my non HP cartridges.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Another reason

      We just need to start hacking and re-flashing their "updates". Or at least find a way to hack the printer to no longer look for updates.

      I suppose if the updates are calling to a specific URL, you could block it at your router.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Another reason

        I block my printer at the router for all external access anyway - it has buggerall need to go out and get stuff as I should be the only one feeding it print jobs, etc.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Another reason

          YES. I've been doing this for years.

        2. Marty McFly Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Another reason

          Of course you have blocked your printer from being an IoT (Internet of Threats) device on your network. So has everyone else reading this article. That is what...1% of all users? A big 'who cares' from HP. They are after the 99% of the sheep which blindly hand over their credit card number to enjoy simplified automated billing.

  21. Martin Silver badge
    WTF?

    The other point of view

    I'm probably risking some downvotes here....but this strikes me as a fuss about nothing.

    I'm in the UK, and I've been with HP Instant Ink for just over five years. I paid about fifty quid for the printer. I pay £1.99 a month for up to 50 pages. A few weeks before the printer is due to be refilled, a new cartridge just arrives in the post. On at least one occasion, I lost one of the new cartridges (it was during a house move); I phoned them up, and they just sent me a new one. On a couple of occasions, I needed to print a couple of hundred pages, so I just upped my payment for a month then reverted it back to £1.99. The price has been £1.99 for 50 pages since the start - it has never gone up.

    I mean - it just works. It's a trivial sum of money each month, so that I no longer have to worry about buying new cartridges. I'm a fan - I think it's brilliant.

    I can't for the life of me remember whether the "free for up to 15 pages" offer existed when I took it out. Presumably it didn't, as they say it was introduced a couple of years ago. I vaguely remember the lowest tariff being 15 pages a month, and I thought that I'd get through 15 pages a bit too often (especially as my daughter was still at school when I started it). But even if it did, and it's gone now - what's the big deal? Is it really that much of an issue to pay out a dollar a month?

    Look - you got a free service for a couple of years. Now they've decided you have to pay a trivial sum for it. If you don't like it, go buy a printer from another company. But I don't think you'll get printing as cheap as a dollar a month from them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The other point of view

      All that would be fine, but for the fact they are stopping something they said was "for life". No-one has actually complained about the economics of it.

    2. Michael Felt

      Re: The other point of view

      No down vote - fair answer.

      But you elected to pay.

      At issue, imho, are the people who choose a HP printer over a different brand because of the "free ink for life (of the printer)" plan. Marketing is about capturing people's attention and influencing their decisions. So every printer sold because of this plan was successful marketing. Since you make an economical point: that is something HP should have considered before launching this plan. They could have, and should have, imho, only stopped new subscriptions. Those that have it - should be able to keep it. As you say - it does not cost that much. Further, only more food to the fire about how HP treats it's customers. I had nearly forgotten.

      Probably, there is some "fine print" saying they can change the conditions at any time - but morally, they are wrong. And, if you have been on the plan 5 years - how could this be a "introductory" plan started two years ago. I read this (between the lines) - they were not getting enough subscriptions - so a manager put his bonus on the line to get more subscriptions (not more money). Goal achieved - let's now milk the subscribers - because we can!

  22. DS999 Silver badge

    I've been on this free plan

    And I think I might prefer the replacement, given that you can roll over up to 45 pages. I might go a month or two without needing to print anything, or only a couple pages, then run into a need to print several dozen. I may come out ahead with this new plan, but it should be mostly a wash either way.

    As for why I went with Instant Ink, the reason is simple - I was having to replace ink cartridges after a year or so because they would dry out from lack of use. That was costing me far more than paying 99 cents a month will!

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: I've been on this free plan

      On the Instant Ink Plan there is nothing to stop you putting in your own cartridges if you stop paying. The printer continues to work (or at least my Mother's did). I don't believe there is anything mentioned that if you don't sign up you cannot print.

      Yes stopping the deal is a bit iffy and automatically signing people up is also underhand but how were they signed up without providing any payment information.

      To put it another context Fujitsu ran a deal quite a few years ago where if you bought a laptop and paid an extra few hundred pounds you could get a new laptop every 3 years for life. There were caveats:

      Non-transferable

      Packaging etc

      Now I got my first replacement and all was well. I then attempted to get the second to discover that they had changed the terms very subtly at the first replacement. You had to have phoned then to acknowledge receipt of a letter that was sent Recorded Delivery. The document was identical to the first acknowledgment sent (not recorded) with the initial purchase with the exception of the line buried in it to say to phone. I missed this and then had huge back and fourth with Fujitsu (washed their hands of it) and the third party they used for the promotion. They eventually agreed that having the proof of signing for the letter was sufficient. The third party then changed the terms again so that the time to register for the next replacement was reduced. A 30 day window was shrunk to 7 or 10 days BUT when you tried to phone them, there was no answer. I wrote a letter noting this and advising that I needed to register for the replacement as I was then going away (this was in the middle of school holidays). That was sent recorded delivery & signed for but they refused when I then was able to phone after the 10 days. There was absolutely nothing that could be done, the terms and conditions can be changed at any time at the discretion of the promoter. They can also stop the promotion due to "extenuating circumstances" or the promoter going bust. The only difference with the printers is that it appears to be run by HP directly.

      Just like a "guaranteed for life" statement, they are subjective and can always be wriggled out of.

  23. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    License to print Money

    Nicely done HP, what a bunch of greedy bastards... Introductory offer my ass.

  24. Evil Harry
  25. Mark192

    HP the nasty company?

    I don't even consider HP any more - every time I read about HP, or use their products, I encounter examples of them being dicks about stuff.

  26. steviebuk Silver badge

    HP

    And "Ian HP" are quite simply, cunts.

  27. David1

    I use a Samsung mono laser and a Canon inkjet all-in-one - am I safe or not?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ..depends what you use them for!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nothing kinky, I hope...

        (unless you're Megurine Luka, in which case I want to watch...

  28. Ashto5

    Everything Is Subscription These Days

    You own nothing, but are on the hook for lots of subscriptions.

    You can not stand still in the UK without a £1000 revenue stream.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats an inkjet printer?...

    I think I had one of those. It was crushed under a bulldozer in 2002...

    I've always had laser printers. Mainly because they dont cost an arm and a leg in consumables and the toner cartridge can last up to a decade if shaken regularly if you don't print very often. Always bought indestructible HP tanks in the '90's and anything with the soviet tractor laser-printer engine from Brother in it for the last 20 years.

    Now I think the inkjet printer I had was bought for some reason or other but of course the ink dried out almost immediately so it lay in a corner unused for years. Then during a big clean out while moving it was brought to the city dump in Seattle where myself and a bunch of other guys discovered to our great satisfaction that all computer bits like laptops, PCs, printers etc were were to be thrown into a concrete pit about six feet below the drop off point where this big bulldozed threaded back and forth crushing everything beneath its tracks. There is great satisfaction in seeing printers, laptops etc being crushed by a large bulldozer. In the case of that printer that moment, when it shattered under the bulldozers weight, was probably the only moment I can remember where I got even a twinge of pleasure from owning it.

    And its been a happy inkjet printer free life ever since. I would highly recommend being crushed by a bulldozer as a suitable end for all inkjet printers.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Whats an inkjet printer?...

      I would highly recommend being crushed by a bulldozer as a suitable end for all inkjet printers.

      Please enjoy a pint! --------------->

  30. sbt Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Pray I don't alter it any further

    As much as a subscription deal makes sense for low volume users, if HP get away with this change in particular, 'for life' as an offer for warranty or service will lose all meaning, just like 'unlimited' already has.

    Let's have an end to big trademark holders taking over some parts of our common language and putting a rocket through others.

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: Pray I don't alter it any further

      I think it's an American thing. Sure some companies in the UK have tried usurping the common language to make it mean whatever they want it to, but you eventually come to realise that they are owned by an American company.

      Destroying a nations language. Taking away the meaning of words is the new invasion. No longer is America going to take over the world by physically plonking it's unhealthy food outlets on every street. No. It's just going to destroy your culture at its very heart by clawing away at your language until it is as meaningless as the babble from an advertising exec.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Pray I don't alter it any further

      The problem is that the ASA and CMA are purchased - and the current government have amply demonstrated they only have contempt for consumer rights laws by stating they're going to attempt to walk them back once out of the EU

      "Unlimited" should have been stomped on - HARD at the outset

      With the increasing number of IPv6-only resources, any service provider not supplying IPv6 should be prohibited from calling itself an Internet Service Provider, but the ASA, CMA and OFCOM are taking the view that as far as consumers are concerned "Internet" means "web" and more specifically the big guys. Not being able to reach smaller websites or other resources is something they claim doesn't matter

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Introductory offer?

    Did HP clearly state that it was a time limited introductory offer when customers signed up to it? If not, then surely that is a breach of contract. Take the printer back and ask for a refund as it no longer does what the vendor said it would do when you bought it. This breaches the ACLG in Australia and probably similar consumer protection legislation in other countries.

  32. tcmonkey

    Just. Stop.

    Whilst this is obviously despicable behaviour by HP, the impact wouldn’t be half as bad if people would just stop buying shitty inkjet printers. The mountains of e-waste produced by these monstrosities would shrink substantially too! Perhaps some legislation is required...

    Lasers might be a higher initial outlay, but they are better in almost every way that matters.

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Just. Stop.

      I agree but not everyone has money. So I'll recommend decent quality, but slightly more expensive laptops to people that want one, only to hear they ignored my advice and got the shit, cheap one and now, only after a few months, wondering why it's running as slow as an old dog.

      It's really annoying but I understand not everyone can afford the cost.

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Just. Stop.

        Almost everything is driven by the lowest cost. The majority of people shop on price regardless of quality. They then appear surprised when it stops working fairly quickly and promptly buy another cheap piece of tat. The cycle then goes on and on. Manufacturers have no option but to produce cheap shite because if the don't the cannot sell enough.

        When something does last a bit longer a lot of people will still dump it because a new model has come out that has some dubious new feature (the case as now black not grey).

        This is not just in computing but audio, TV and white goods. It is just frightening how much E-Waste is created and "recycled" by sending it to Nigeria etc to be burnt then dumped.

        Our local tip has a container stuffed full of huge flat screen TVs. If they have all failed electronically then that is abysmal and if they are working then why the hell are they at the tip? Just how big a TV screen do you really need? Why do people have to buy a 72" to replace a 60" when the room it is in is not more than 4m in any direction?

        </end rant>

        Run out of coffee this morning and the local shop only has decoffinated......

      2. tweell

        Sir Pterry sayeth

        “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

        Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

        But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

        This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

  33. Whiznot

    I use aftermarket ink in my trusty laserjet 1012 and save about 80% on cartridges. Screw you HP.

  34. pgm

    HP being HP

    They have lied ,cheated and misinformed for many years.

    What makes you think they can change.

    They are to hardware what M$ is to software.

  35. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    There are a lot of companies out their who lack innovation, and instead they exist purely to service their shareholders.

    Stop buying from these pricks, until show they can innovate.

  36. Michael Felt
    Childcatcher

    HP printer - Oh brother!

    Lucky me - my printer is my brother! (That should be with a capital B - model number withheld to preserve it identity!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP printer - Oh brother!

      He ain't heavy, he's my Brother!!

  37. wyatt

    I recently purchased a HP printer which came with the offer of using the cartridges delivered, it sounded like a scam and I didn't even bother looking any further. Glad I did as this won't improve at all.

  38. Piro

    Buy a laser. What the hell is going on

    The only inkjet that makes sense is that Epson EcoTank one that you can simply squirt more ink in to, you can buy third bottles dirt cheap.

    I use a laser myself though, life's too short for inkjets.. If you want photo prints, order them online..

    1. Piro

      Re: Buy a laser. What the hell is going on

      "third-party bottles". Sorry.

  39. Miss_X2m1
    Holmes

    Dumped Ink all Together

    I don't print enough to warrant the ownership of an inkjet-type printer. The heads get clogged and then you have to use up half an ink cartridge to try to unclog the mess. Instead, I purchased a black and white multi-purpose laser printer for "everyday" stuff and on those rare occasions that I need a color print (I only use color for photographs), I purchased a dye sublimation printer capable of 8x10 prints that uses dry ink on rolls. The ink comes boxed with a roll of continuous paper. Everything you need is in one convenient box and even if I don't use the dye sub printer for ages, the photos still come out looking gorgeous. It's my solution to getting rid of inkjet-type printers.

  40. sierraskies

    HPaaS

    I signed up for HP'sr free-ink-for-a-year offer. The way the service works is that they monitor your printer/cartridge status remotely (the printer calls into HP).

    When the HP-supplied cartridge developed a fault, the printer stopped working and because I was unable to print further, no further cartridges were sent ;-/

    Then (I wasn't paying attention) the free first year expired and HP began to charge me for keeping their useless printer in my house. Zero utility. And when I cancelled (rather angrily I'll admit) they insisted that the contract I'd signed took some time to cancel and then charged me an additional month.

    Never again, HP. I'm with the others on this list, bring back the LJ4 mono please - the original version and not some stripped back shite.

  41. riffrafff

    Why anyone continues to buy *anything* from HP is quite beyond me.

  42. arobertsintergage

    I use HP Instant Ink and it works well for me

    I used to buy ink from the shop, and found it would dry up faster than I actually used it. I wouldn't use the printer for months, then switch it on and a blank page would come out. I would clean the heads and maybe get a couple of pages out. I was projecting spending £50 per year for two full sets of cartridges for probably 50 pages.

    Then I heard about Instant Ink. I spend £2 per month and get 50 pages and can rollover 100. Perfect I thought.

    So I bought a new compatible printer for £39, got 3 months free Instant Ink, recommended a friend and got another 3 months free, then started paying £2 per month.

    For me this has worked perfectly, I can print 50 amazing full A4 photographs of the children on photo quality paper for £2 (+ the paper). Of course I rarely do this, but it has removed the hastle of buying cartidges and worrying about getting every last bit of ink out of a Tri-Colour cartridge.

    Their 15 pages a month free tier was going to be very difficult to sustain, and I don't blame them for having to scrap it. It was probably in hopes most people would subscribe to a paid tier, which probably didn't happen. In this situation, all they could do was get their messaging right as to try not to upset too many people who wanted to keep it. Introducing a new lower tier of £1 per month seems a fair compromise.

    It works well for me, but I appreciate it isn't for everyone.

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: I use HP Instant Ink and it works well for me

      In the mail today was a stack of prints from Snapfish for our Christmas cards. They were 2 cents apiece, although we had to wait 3 days for them.

  43. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Nice to see that the Great Ink Robbery of the industry still continues.. Give away the printer and steal money on ink.

  44. Marty McFly Silver badge
    WTF?

    I don't understand...?

    My 20+ year old HP Laserjet prints just fine. It connects via a parallel port & USB adapter. It has no concept of the Internet and has never needed a firmware update.

    Sounds like the modern HP printers are really intended to keep e-cyclers in business. If I had one, that is exactly where it would end up if I was getting screwed with by HP.

  45. Baz_The_Waz

    Free forever - Life support.

    Santander promised 'free business banking for life'. Many businesses changed banks only to find that a few years later, Santander deemed the Free Forever accounts no longer viable.

    I had an old Rayburn cooker / water heater and Aga's promise was that they would support it for life. It needed a new thermal coupling that they no longer stocked. Their definition of 'Life' was the life of the appliance, which is whatever they say it is. I had to buy a new (non AGA cooker), and a new central heating system, all for the sake of a £10 part.

    Never believe 'Free forever' or 'Lifetime support'.

  46. sitta_europea Silver badge

    HP used to be good. But that was a long time ago. Like many others here, I wouldn't even consider them as a supplier now - for anything.

  47. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    Sometimes life means one set of toners...

    For the past decade or so, on the happy islands where I hang out, a new domestic colour laser cost around $300. The four replacement toner cartridges cost $150 each. Yes, they have twice the toner in them then in the factory fitted ones, but the bottom line is that it is cheaper to bin a perfectly fine printer with a good ten years of life in it every time a cartridge runs out and buy a brand new one. I am the least environmentalist person on earth, but even to me this is such a waste.

  48. ERB967
    Facepalm

    HP Ransomware

    It's Ransomware dressed up as corporate business:-O

  49. Col_Panek
    Joke

    " ... to enable customers to enjoy more flexibility and options. " God bless them. See, they have our interests at heart.

  50. 4d3fect

    Dumb printer for life!

    We don't print enough of anything to justify any but the smallest expense.Hence a dumb (yes, it's an HP) inkjet.

    1. Piro

      Re: Dumb printer for life!

      A monochrome laser would be a far cheaper choice. You can leave it for years at a time, and it'll still print when you try to print something, which an inkjet will not.

  51. djbeach73
    Coffee/keyboard

    hp free instant ink tier

    I just said temporarily cancelling due to financial hardship then requested reason said "end of free tier" & offered me a further free months of the 99p tier for free

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