back to article HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

HP might have dropped the Ink Inc from its corporate banner but CEO Enrique Lores is still mining for the black gold: with the firm clawing back cash by slapping away the grubby hands of its pesky "unprofitable customers" from its printing rig. Over the years, billions of pounds in profit was generated by HP's ink and toner …

  1. msknight

    Bought bypass chips

    The HP locked down printers were never really that effective. WHen the system said the original toners were empty, a quick shake proved they still had toner in them. I bought bypass chips that I replaced on the toners, and continued using them. Proved what a rip off even genuine HP supplies were with a genuine HP printer. I trust nothing that comes out of HP's official mouth, and even less on what their printers said. Net result... when the toners finally gave out, I bought a different printer. (actually I had a faulty one and repaired it... but even that's cutting a long story short.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Bought bypass chips

      HP CEO decides that customers are too much bother and announces foolproof plan to shed company of them.

      1. Peter X

        Re: Bought bypass chips

        Seriously - this!

        I absolutely cannot fathom how people actually get paid (I'm guessing quite a lot) to suggest these clearly, utterly stupid ideas. This won't work. Eventually, HP will sell it's entire printing division to ... some company probably in the far-east. And that'll be that. And this CEO will likely get a golden parachute at the end of it.

  2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Dictionary

    I just checked my dictionary for definitions of "loyal customer". I found, among other things, "mug", "captive - see prisoner" and "fool - see ...and his money".

    1. Schultz
      Meh

      "Higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges ..."

      sounds almost like they want to create honest and transparent pricing. But that would kill their scam of luring unsuspecting customers with cheap printers and then fleecing them for ink. I feel some schizophrenia approaching as they try to have it both ways.

      I am sad that Samsung sold their printer business to HP. I run my Samsung ML laser printer with $15 refurbished cartridges and I am perfectly happy with it. Hope I can keep that alive for a while.

      1. Rtbcomp

        Re: "Higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges ..."

        I was very angry, never mind sad, to find my new Samsung printer came with an HP badge, even more so when the installation program on the supplied CD didn't work.

        HP is very near the bottom of my preferential suppliers list due to bad service in the past and Samsung is going in a southerly direction very quickly.

    2. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Dictionary

      I bet Epson and Canon are delighted.

      1. Jakester

        Re: Dictionary

        Many new Epson inkjet printers also won't accept third-party cartridges. I'm glad HP is up-front about their new policy. I will stock-up on a couple older printers from the local thrift stores so I can continue using refillable cartridges. I am very happy to not become an unprofitable customer of HP since they have become an unsupportive provider with this and other things like not providing BIOS updates on servers if you don't have a support contract. Bye, bye, HP - Lenovo will probably be my next server purchase, and certainly not my next printer purchase.

        1. Boothy Silver badge

          Re: Dictionary

          Quote: "...not providing BIOS updates on servers if you don't have a support contract"

          Yup, been using a HP micro server at home for years, been very happy with the hardware, (small, very quiet, low power use etc), but lack of support outside of the initial warranty period, for a product aimed at home or very small businesses, people unlikely to want to pay for a support contract, is a deal breaker for me.

          For my next server, likely to be built early next year, I'm just going to buy commodity hardware instead.

          1. FIA Silver badge

            Re: Dictionary

            For my next server, likely to be built early next year, I'm just going to buy commodity hardware instead.

            For a home server, it's pretty much the way to go.

            It is worth getting decent commodity hardware though. Since my home server has gone from 'desktop castoff' to having a bit more money spent on it the 6 month 'why has it crashed' episodes have decreased. (You still get issues if it's on 24/7, but pay a little more and these are lessened).

            Also... ZFS... :)

          2. JimJimmyJimson

            Re: Dictionary

            Server buisness is owned by HPE now not HP. And in any event a maintenance contract on one of those microsoervers costs bugger all. And if you don't want hardware maintenance a software updates only contract costs even less. If you want software updates it doesn't seem unreasonable to pay for them..

        2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

          Re: Dictionary

          I bought an Epson EcoTank printer a few months ago, (the ET-2720 since you didn't ask) and while more expensive to buy than cartridge printers, bottles of ink cost £10 each!

          I don't know how well the unit itself will last with prolonged use, but the cost difference was basically made up for after the first ink refill. It prints reasonably fast and quietly, I've been pretty impressed.

          1. Winkypop Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Dictionary

            Re Epson Eco Tank.

            Bought the 2750, still using the original supplied ink 2 years later. Not problems so far.

          2. Wade Burchette

            Re: Dictionary

            My Epson Eco-tank printer requires frequent cleaning, like all Epson printers. I have to frequently use the printhead cleaning function. This year it started printing black lines on the paper. I had to take a single paper towel, roll into a long rectangle, soak in alcohol, and place in the printer and manually move the printhead under it. After an hour, I repeated the process. After it dried, no more black lines on paper. But still requires frequent printhead cleaning.

          3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: Dictionary

            Fellow 2720 user here, however I have found that I don't print enough at the moment (Hence I need to use the printhead clean function).

            Still its worked out cheaper overall compared to going with a standard inkjet.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Dictionary

              I have this same exact problem: don’t print often and the heads get dried out.

              I “fixed” it by buying a color laser printer!

          4. MarkTriumphant

            Re: Dictionary

            I've had one for about a year, and I am halfway through the colour tanks, and about 3/4 through black. Certainly for home use, it has been much cheaper than my previous Kodak printer.

      2. Mage

        Re: Epson and Canon

        Brother

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Epson and Canon

          Nope, I'm not touching that junk ever again.

          As far as I can tell, the people who write their drivers used to write malware for a living as it's difficult to distinguish the behaviour of their code from a virus..

          In addition, I have as yet to see a slower A3 inkjet printer than the one from Brother. It's been a few decades since I had a turbo button on my system, but I sure was looking for one when it ran print jobs.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    yet another snooper on everything I do?

    'HP+ includes web-connected standard print hardware [...] the Smart Security monitoring system[...] and a Forest First feature where every page printed is "balanced with investments to help protect and restore forests in equal measure."'

    In order to "balance every page printed" with anything, I guess HP must find out about it. Thanks a lot. HP was founded with an ethic of service to the community, but as well as potentially being excessively intrusive this version of such service seems to be PR driven greenwash waffle shop talk. If you really want to save trees, stop manufacturing printers and printer paper. If they're a component of your revenue stream, live with it without trying to sound holier than your customers. Both Hewlett and Packard are probably revolving on their respective axes at high speed.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: yet another snooper on everything I do?

      I've yet to see an automatic service to fix connection issues that is really working. All that blah blah is actually to hide the only feature HP is interested in is to check if your using their ink and brick your printer if you don't.

      Anyway it's OK for me to pay more a printer without paying most of it with every ink or toner cartridge I buy. Frankly, I would prefer an expensive printer and cheap ink - so I'm not deterred to print as much as I like because the inks cost and make me pay the same printer several times. With photos, even with a full CMM system, sometimes nailing a print requires some attempts, because previews are can't never be exact.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: yet another snooper on everything I do?

        I remember an advertisement many years ago for a home word processor (before computers were all-purpose web-browsing behemoths). It would automatically order replacement cartridges as it was connected to your phone line. The strap line was that the first time you'd know you were low on ink was when the delivery man called.

  4. katrinab Silver badge
    Meh

    The problems:

    People are still buying printers, but they don't print anything like as frequently as before.

    My Canon Laser mostly gets used for its scanner function. The toner that came with it looks like it will last me about 10 years.

    HP Printers are not built anything like as solidly as before. That means that people will be buying the loss-leader printer hardware more frequently.

    1. Annihilator

      Re: The problems:

      Quite - not sure where but I'm sure I've seen that inkjets need to be used reasonably frequently to stop being a dried out mess. I print something probably once every 2 months on average. My next printer choice will likely be a laser - and not an HP one.

      Also - just sell the bloody printer at the cost of the printer. HP must be a massive contributor to electrical waste - any average-consumer printer they sell, you're as well throwing the whole thing away than buying HP ink to top it up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problems:

        Inkjet printers definitely need to be used. The ink is expected to dry within a second or two of hitting the paper, but stay completely liquid in the printhead and tank. It's inherent in the technology.

        If you don't print often, don't get inkjet.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: The problems:

          >If you don't print often, don't get inkjet.

          Perhaps there is a need to reinvent inked ribbon impact printers - my ancient typewriter for which I've not had to purchase a new ribbon for since my university days (too many decades ago) can still print legibly; albeit only in black...

          1. vtcodger Silver badge

            Re: The problems:

            "Perhaps there is a need to reinvent inked ribbon impact printers"

            The internet assures me that Okidata still makes and sells ribbon using dot matrix printers. You need something like those or typewriters if you still use multipart forms for some reason or other.

            1. Evilgoat76

              Re: The problems:

              I have a customer with three Panasonic KXP1124s, same as I got with my Amiga 500 a while back...

        2. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: The problems:

          "If you don't print often, don't get inkjet."

          Or simply print a test page every three weeks or so. That seems to be sufficient to keep the jets unclogged. At least it works for me ... so far.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The problems:

            Note to self: set up cron job with a one page.

            Note 2 to self: watch out for force of habit, don't set it run at night.

            :)

        3. EVP Silver badge

          Re: The problems:

          ”Quite - not sure where but I'm sure I've seen that inkjets need to be used reasonably frequently to stop being a dried out mess. I print something probably once every 2 months on average.”

          Not so fast. I just dug out my Canon MP6xx inkjet from storage where it has been resting for 2 years. It churned out perfect test patterns, first try, no cleaning required. No clogging, no nothing, nada. How stupid is that? It’s creepy. I had the same experience with an MP540 too, but time it spent in storage was much less.

          Many moons ago I was young and stupid, now I’m only... well.. anyway, and bough a very cheap HP inkjet. That miserable fucking thing barely managed to print one page between clogging. I wish I still had it so I could kill it with fire. Many times. I know it was a rip-off device, but still, I paid money for it after all.

          ”My next printer choice will likely be a laser - and not an HP one.”

          Excellent choice, sir.

          1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

            Re: The problems:

            You're lucky. My Epson, which I use probably once a fortnight, needs print head clean and about 5 pages of printing every time I turn it on. It would probably be cheaper for me in the long run to leave it on and print something every day. I think that if it breaks I'll look a a S/H laser and live without colour.

            1. TVU

              Re: The problems:

              "My Epson, which I use probably once a fortnight, needs print head clean and about 5 pages of printing every time I turn it on"

              I had a similar problem with my Epson printer but only with the Epson black ink.

              That black ink was a pigment ink that regularly clogged up the print head and all I had to do was switch to a generic black dye ink and that solved the problem. As for the three Epson colour inks, they were dye inks and they never caused a problem.

          2. Giles C Silver badge

            Re: The problems:

            My two canon printers (very cheap inkjet and a very expensive pro-1) we’re both started for the first time in probably a year, both printed without any issues.

            My old hp 4350 also starts and prints without any issues after a period of dormancy.

            Seems some are a lot better than others.....

            1. EVP Silver badge

              Re: The problems:

              Do you use original ink cartridges? I'm using original ones in my Canons.

              I got a second-hand Epson multi-function device. The previous owner had been using third-party ink in it, and it got clogged very soon when I didn't print with it for four, maybe five, weeks. Cleaning did not rescue the heads. I though Epson is good brand what comes to clogging, maybe it isn't after all.

              I've sold my arms and legs to buy Canon ink, and I've got only one kidney left. I'd very much like to know what third-party ink is (nearly) as good as the original one. Perhaps there doesn't exist such third-party vendor...

        4. Dinanziame Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: The problems:

          If you don't print often, don't get inkjet.

          The funny thing is that when inkjet came out, people said that laserjets were for people who print a lot, since they are faster...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The problems:

            Not with the HP Pagewide printers. They don't have a moving printhead, they simply have a printhead the width of the paper and it shows. I had the Pagewide Pro 477, and that happily worked its way through a full drawer of paper (500 sheets) in 10 minutes if it wasn't too complex (text with a few images). The first time I had that print I thought it was only ejecting paper.

            That was also the first time I've seen HP's trick to speed up double sided scanning from the ADF: they simply have two sensor strips so it reads both sides in one go.

        5. FIA Silver badge

          Re: The problems:

          If you don't print often, don't get inkjet.

          This.

          I treated myself to a decent laser about 6 years ago, as I print very infrequently (but the ability to do so, and scan is a godsend every so often), and am still on the toner that came with it.

          It is an HP though, so I am having to suffer constant 'your toner is empty' messages, and did have to prod it into printing colour a few months ago due to 'no toner'. (however once prodded it still does).

          I suspect I also suffer from getting a SOHO one; with the expected duty cycle that they assume that will come with.

          Knowing what HP are like and that they're only getting worse I talked my mum into getting a Brother laser recently, which she's really happy with. Although that did just stop printing the other day as the toner was 'empty'. A simply youtube and a few button presses later it's all working again, but it was much more abrupt than my HP, and more 'service menuy' to fix than I expected.

          Mind you, as mine is built like a jeffing tank I'm hoping I'll not have to replace it. (and I expect when I finally drop the few hundred quid on replacement toner that'll last me for life. :D )

      2. Adelio

        Re: The problems:

        My last inkjet was a canon piximia, so full of functionality, duplex, printed cd's great. but due to sometimes going months without printing the heads just got more and more clogged and cleaning them seemed to make no difference. in the end I replaced it with a colour Laser. this is a network printer, and duplex and colour. I expect the factory cartidge to last a while. i still have about 58%

        I have a Xerox, now Y.M.M.V so do your own research but i would NEVER by a HP printer. Too many bad stories.

      3. Rob Daglish

        Re: The problems:

        Indeed. Early 2000s I used to work for a small MSP which had a shop on the high street (remember those? How Quaint!) for consumers.

        We used to sell Epson C20 and C40 printers. A lot of them. Mainly because new printer with 2 cartridges = £30, while 2 x new cartridges = £45. We drew the line at people ripping the cartridges out and leaving the printers, still boxed, in store.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problems:

      I had a Canon laser printer bought in the late 80s that lasted me for nearly twenty years, until my dad stole it (back) from me. For all I know it's still going. Impressive stuff that was.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: The problems:

        The HP-II and HP-III printers of the 1980s or so that were virtually indestructible and easily repaired if they did break were actually built around Canon print engines.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: The problems:

          They weren't virtually indestructible.

          This is a pet bugbear of mine. Every printer people describe as being virtually indestructible is just used in an enviroment well below it's expected service levels. ie; a printer designed for a potential max usage of 20k pages per month that actually does 400 pages per month acquires a reputation for longevity that it frankly doesn't deserve; it just gets so little that it doesn't have parts wear out.

          This is easily demonstrated when somebody says their printer is "indestructible" by putting it in a high usage enviroment and watching it crash and burn under actual use.

          1. David Austin

            Re: The problems:

            With you on this one - I often have long, tiring conversations with customers about Duty Cycles of printers, not so much over the raw cost, but not understanding why they need a big footprint printer to do 80,000 pages a month instead of a nice little cube printer with a DC of 10,000

            In their defence, most manufactures for obvious reason don't highlight that information, and you have to dig through the more obtuse specs to get them

          2. Giles C Silver badge

            Re: The problems:

            Hp 5si could withstand a 20 tonne rubbish compressor, we put one it after the electronics burned out, all the boards got fried and it wasn’t worth replacing. The compressor groaned and the chassis was unbent so on that factor it was indestructible....

          3. doesnothingwell

            Re: The problems:

            I used to service printers for a few county jails, HP LaserJet 4s could easily do 500,000 pages before needing serviced. The status page included a page count. Not indestructible but leading the field for sure. After year 2000 they started down the path to low quality.

        2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: The problems:

          HP Laserjet 5 user here. Can confirm.

          I'm the 2d owner, repaired a free one myself. It sits on powersave in the corner of my workroom, awaiting the rare print request, to which it dependably responds with beautifully clean prints.

          I'm a fan of buying commercial grade products whic have been popular but are no longer state of the art. In home use, they work fine and are far more robust than the consumer options.

          Up until this year, my family had been frustrated inkjet "users"...first HP, then Epson. Standard problems, "expired" cartridges and clogging due to not enough use. Finally, I decided to attack the "project" LJ5 that I had picked up on a whim. I'm into it for $250, which is about what the other option I had (a Brother laser) would have cost me. But the LJ5 is a joy to work on, and aftermarket parts are still available at very reasonable prices. I scored two genuine HP refills from Goodwill at $20 each, which should last me the rest of my life.

    3. Belperite

      Re: The problems:

      I'm only an occasional printer. My solution was to buy an office-spec colour laser at a decent price from an office-supply company, knowing full well that toner doesn't dry out and the starter cartridges would probably last me 10 years.

      I did have to block the supply company phone number though as they kept ringing me asking how often I would be buying new cartridges...

  5. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Printers go on the IoT LAN

    I haven't done any business with HP since 2002, after they first abused the DMCA (the SNOsoft issue). I haven't seen any reason to change that position in nearly 20 years as they have followed up with many other abusive actions.

    However, even my Brother printer is on my IoT LAN and does not have access to the Internet. I certainly wouldn't let any HP device have access to the Internet, if I had any. The sort of crap in the article is exactly the reason: I am willing to pay for IT gear - then it is mine and it will do what I tell it to, without further contact or payment to the supplier.

  6. BenDwire Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I guess I'm an unprofitable disloyal customer then

    For home use I still have my trusty Laserjet 6P that is 2 decades old, and it gets fed remanufactured toners once in a blue moon. It just sites quietly on the LAN (via a tiny PrintSir server) and does what it's told.

    When it dies, I'll atttempt to fix it. After that, I'll be buying from someone else.

    1. Edward Clarke

      Re: I guess I'm an unprofitable disloyal customer then

      Me too - I'm using (when it's turned on) an HP LaserJet 4M plus/ps with a duplex feeder. I think it was introduced in 1994. The printer replaced a LaserJet 2 that I was using in 1991. What reason do I have to "upgrade" a black and white laser printer that prints one or two pages a month?

      For color I print on an Epson 2500 series with refillable tanks. $12 for a bottle that an refill a single color tank multiple times or an HP that is makes you buy a new cartridge for three times that when you run out of one color? And HP printers wear out too easily now -

  7. luis river

    Times change

    HP inc Guy CEO E. Lores think than people consumers simply by be HP, purchase their products, I believe is too much arrogance by part Lores and market pull down that retrograde opinion.

  8. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    Private Pickup?

    "helpful for office users working at home or people who don't want their family members to see what they are printing" Here's a clue - don't print it. Super secure and planet friendly.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Private Pickup?

      Yes, I was wondering what type of job and home environment someone who has this problem has, as clearly they wouldn't be working for the (UK) government.

      Having implemented secure/privacy enhanced printing capabilities decades back, I would hope that this new feature is not HP proprietary but is open (ie. contributed to MOPRIA) so that Enterprises that already operate these solutions in their offices can simply add/include the home printer.

      1. EVP Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Private Pickup?

        “don't want their family members to see what they are printing“

        ASCII p0rn is coming back.

        Private Pickup users could be working for the government, though.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Private Pickup?

      Printers that allow to unlock jobs by entering a PIN or using a badge have been around for years. I was never able to make executives, beancounters HR drones, and other people printing sensitive documents on printers in the corridors to use it. Having to interact with the printer make them very unhappy. They just wanted to find the print ready. When they remembered to collect the prints, of course....

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Private Pickup?

        I've worked at two universities where print jobs need to be unlocked by PIN or card. I loved it! Wandering up to the printer, tapping my staff card, waiting a few seconds while it printed, taking it away. No wading though cubic metres of print dating back to the dinosaurs, no finding my job has been unceremoniously dumped to one side in random order in the minute it took to click "Print" and then get to the printer, no getting to the printer to find someone printing off copies of three chapters of weighty law books for their 40 students...

        1. Allonymous Coward

          Re: Private Pickup?

          I’ve worked in one organisation that did this. It was brilliant! And it was in the NHS which is really surprising for such a forward thinking IT policy.

          I can only assume offices that don’t do it haven’t experienced what a difference it makes.

  9. alain williams Silver badge

    What is "lifetime" ?

    "use of Original HP Ink or Toner for the lifetime of the printer."

    Normally a vendor seems to define "lifetime" as "until the next model is out", ie probably a couple of years. What is the betting that for these things "lifetime" will be much longer ?

    1. IanRS

      Re: What is "lifetime" ?

      You need to use genuine HP 'makes champagne look cheap' ink for the lifetime of the printer - until it finally wears out. They will support it for the printer lifetime - until the next model comes out.

    2. Gary Stewart

      Re: What is "lifetime" ?

      I don't know. The last HP inkjet printer I had about 15 years ago quit feeding paper from the paper bin less than two years after I bought it. I looked for some kind of adjusting mechanism and didn't find one. Haven't bought an HP printer since.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Slightly dangerous precedent

    Suppose Microsoft decides on an exclusive deal with Epson "to benefit customers, surpass business model, etc" - and the next update blocks HP printers from Windows?

  11. Paul 87

    Well looks like it's time to stop selling HP printers

    This will be a huge hassle for businesses and is a stupid idea to boot because it says that HP can't actually manufacture at a sensible price, and thus charge over the odds compared to smaller businesses.

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      It would help if printer manufacturers didn't keep changing the innards and styling every month or two. That way they would be better able to get back their return on R&D investment.

      There's a reason that nobody remembers models other than the classics, such as the original DeskJet, LaserJet II, Laserjet 5si and the Laserjet 4050. Built to last and you can *still* get consumables for them.

      HP (and Canon and Epson): stop fannying around redesigning the guts, case design and consumables, and just make something that you can manufacture reasonably cheaply with a reasonable profit. Don't charge the earth for consumables. Profit.

      I wonder sometimes if these companies are just too large to do economical manufacture any more, particularly if their core customer base has shrunk.

  12. IanD
    Pirate

    New scammer opportunities open up...

    ... web-connected "standard print hardware", which HP says "automatically detects and fixes connectivity issues" ...

    <phone rings>

    "Hi my name is May Dup from HP Technical Support. Your printer has told us there are connectivity issues - please download this softwares which will give us access to your PC, bank details etc etc in order to fix your internet."

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: New scammer opportunities open up...

      Well, if someone is so fool to buy such printers, he or she would be at the top of my list of people to scam...

      1. EVP Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: New scammer opportunities open up...

        Scammers are late in the game, HP got there first.

  13. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Thanks for the warning

    First test of an ISP: if the help line is a premium rate number then faults are considered a revenue stream. (If you have to deal with one of these call the sales number and get transferred.)

    If HP+ "automatically detects and fixes connectivity issues" that makes me suspect HP- "automatically breaks connectivity to create issues" in an attempt to get me to switch to their locked-in tier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for the warning

      > if the help line is a premium rate number

      I have a recollection of there being an EU Directive against this practice. Or maybe it was a proposal?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Thanks for the warning

        >I have a recollection of there being an EU Directive against this practice. Or maybe it was a proposal?

        Either way, suspect we in the UK will see a return of premium rate support lines post 1-Jan-2021...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boycotting HP since 1999 (and loving it)

    The original Hewlett-Packard company split into two in 1999: HP Inc. went on selling mostly Chinese-made consumer tat while the actual engineering bits (those that did participate in the US space program) became Agilent. HP is a consumer company only vaguely related to Hewlett-Packard by its legal history, and not related at all in terms of employees, culture, ethics, or ability to do engineering.

    I am part of the group of people that has been boycotting Hewlett-Packard, and later HP, ever since they appointed that Fiorina woman. This would be the same group as the original founders' families, so in quite good company, if you ask me.

  15. Giles C Silver badge

    I have too many printers...

    A hp 4350, which is used for a club newsletter (not that it has been used this year for some reason) and a pair of canon inkjet which also are suffering from lack of use.

    But this new model of pricing, just brings me back to a few comment earlier - sell the printer for what it costs to make it, therefore it isn’t subsided by the ink revenue.

    Mind you it will probably put people off buying a printer, but when the machine is sold for £50 and a set of inks costs £60 how much is the hardware really worth, or conversely how much is the ink really worth.

    Incidentally I buy genuine hp carts for the laser, but usually on the second hand market from companies who have ditched a printer and found a load of toners in the cupboard.

    1. spold Silver badge

      I use re-manufactured (3rd party refilled) toner cartridges for that reason....

      Why? Because every time the toner got low it was cheaper for me to junk the printer and buy a new one rather than buy a new HP cartridge, I'd just keep an eye on the sales, and when a deal came up buy a new printer and store it until needed. Sticking a perfectly good printer (except it had no toner) out with the garbage made me feel like an environmental terrorist (I know - if you feel like one why don't you indulge yourself and have one).

      HP also had this "green" send your used cartridge back to us for free scheme... so I requested the return, they promptly couriered me a 3ftx3ft shipping box with a pre-paid return label. So I dump 1 used cartridge into it to rattle around and drop it off with the courier (who gave me a lot of strange looks of course). So you still feel bad since they shipped you a box involving all the transport that required (it involved air-transport from a different city), and then shipping the humongous box with 1 toner cartridge in it all the way back again.

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    How to win friends and influence people?

    This is not the way to retain customers. I'm so glad when the missus needed a new printer a while back, we didn't buy another HP...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: reducing the number of unprofitable customers'

    That says it all.

    HP Sucks big time and this is an ex HP employee (almost 20 years) speaking.

    As for printing...

    I use a Brother Laser for my printing. I actually print quite a bit. Proof reading/editing parts of my novels is a lot easier when it is on paper (and you are relaxig on the couch)

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: re: reducing the number of unprofitable customers'

      Yeah. the first thing that came to mind when I read that phrase was "good god, this guy's a total and absolute c--t, and that's insulting to proper c--ts the world over."

      I have stronger words, but they aren't getting past my brane to keyboard filter.

  18. Ralph Online

    I swear by HP printers..

    And very frequently at them!

  19. tcmonkey

    Oh for the days of old...

    I use precisely two printers. A HP 4350 A4 mono and a (much larger) 5550 A3 colour. The 4350 was bought second hand for cheap, and the 5550 is a frankenstein rebuilt from two printers found dead on the side of the road. I like them both. I especially like that they were both built to last, don't phone home and don't require any bloatware to do their jobs. Oh, and they both have 3rd party consumables available.

    Why can't they make them like that anymore?

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Oh for the days of old...

      "...the 5550 is a frankenstein rebuilt from two printers found dead on the side of the road."

      I like the cut of your jib, sir

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5550

      I had a DJ5550 once, as a follow on to a trustyu DJ970 (we're talking a long time ago).

      Presumably your 5550 wasn't a 5550 like this oneL

      https://www.cnet.com/reviews/hp-deskjet-5550-c6487c-review/

  20. steviebuk Silver badge

    Surely

    Forcing people to use your inks only should be grounds for an anti trust case. High time HP were slapped hard in the face with one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely

      I am actually getting deja vu. I think they did lose a court case about locking out third party ink refills a few years back.

      What happened to "making a product and selling it it"? When did a subscription become a thing?

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: Surely

        > "When did a subscription become a thing?"

        In the sense you mean, a century ago when Gillette invented razorblades.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Surely

      "Forcing people to use your inks only should be grounds for an anti trust case. High time HP were slapped hard in the face with one."

      If, as they say, they are offering cheap printers tied to their own ink and more expensive ones you can use 3rd party ink in, then there's no issue there so long as they are clearly marked and sold as such. Switching the firmware/drivers on already sold printers to lock them to HP ink when not sold with that restriction would be a contractual breach.

  21. Aussie Doc
    Mushroom

    Re: HP

    Must say, haven't touched HP for a long time.

    My own main printers are both Brother lasers - Mono HL-L2340D and colour HL-L3230CDW as well as an MFC J6510DW A3 printer I picked up from a help-me-for-a-swap type job.

    All wireless and work flawlessly and only use no-brand toner/cartridges.

    Never had to repair any of them and they have seen a fair bit of use.

    Built to better standards, I guess, certainly better attitudes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enough

    I'm tired of their gouging, unreliable, wasteful products. Their new model might be ok for large offices that are heavy users and buy by the page, etc. but my printer recently stopped working because they (mistakenly) told Apple to revoke their certificates, the printer claims to be out of toner, yet I open the carts and there is still plenty. Pages don't always print correctly for a colour at random, various postscript / PDF pages crash it, etc, etc. This is a colour network laser printer.

    I've had enough of their overpriced garbage. When these carts get low, I'm changing vendors.

  23. aldolo

    what happens when the support for an old model ends?

    a new paperweight born?

  24. Giles C Silver badge

    The biggest problem with printers these days is that every new model uses a slightly different ink / toner cartridge design. If the manufacturers would use the same design for multiple printers it would reduce their costs (less tooling needed), reduce the design costs (reuse the same parts) and keep printers running longer.

    They won’t do this as it will hit the bottom line, but it worth looking at.

    1. Adelio

      But do you think the cost of tooling has anything to do with the price they charge. Really...

  25. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    On the other hand...

    There's a thriving (?) market in used/reconditioned office grade HP printers. I recently my second one (I have a situation where I need two printers at the same time) got an HP 2055dn that way. The 2055dn is solid, reliable beast, doesn't make a fuss about after-market cartridges.

    Now if I can just find an reasonable cost color laser printer that plays nice with Linux (specifically RPiOS). Anybody have a recommendation? It also needs to able to handle card stock.

    1. Mage

      Re: On the other hand...

      Brother.

  26. Joe Drunk
    Flame

    Hey corporate morons

    Whenever I purchase any product and/or service it's done entirely for my benefit and my benefit only, not yours! I didn't purchase this printer so I can be a loyal customer of some faceless, soul-less corporation. I could care less if your corporation goes bankrupt as a result of my using third party consumables and the subsequent circumvention of any technology you have in place that would prevent me from doing so!

    It somehow gives me a little pleasure to give the middle finger to the robot-like C-suites who follow the same playbook (Do everything as cheaply as possible and fleece your customers as much as possible).

    I do hope those of you with wireless printers on your LAN have them configured with static IPs and the gateway set to 0.0.0.0.

  27. David Austin

    Keeping hold of my dumb as rocks and reliable as anything HP PSC 1315 I bought in 2003 until it crumbles into dust.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn you HP

    I used to recommend HP printers for reliability and lower cost of ownership, but haven't for some time. Now with this customer - squeezing wheeze, I'd put them on the never buy list.

    The problem is the number of other printer manufacturers already there. Can we have a campaign for ethical printing?

  29. LucasNorth

    I have a 10 year old laserjet p1005, 12 years old and going strong. I never buy official cartridges. Great printer, who needs colour

  30. Spanners Silver badge
    Meh

    Why are people still using inkjets?

    The quality is poor unless you have so much ink on the paper that it has to be put on a warm flat surface to dry out for half an hour?

    If you rarely need that colour density, a cheap colour laser printer is better, simpler and cheaper to run.

    I have heard that there are still people who use mono inkjets - why?

  31. osxtra

    Drive Time

    I just love my new BP-Mobile!

    Only problem is finding one of their stations to re-fuel...

  32. Blackjack Silver badge

    Where it says "These actions will help us to optimize the business by reducing the number of unprofitable customers"

    It really saying "These actions will help us to ruin the business by reducing the number of customers."

    HP keeps doing their best to lose customers, they are the main reason I don't use Ink Printers at all.

    Laser, laser all the way... with sharks!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Age old scam

    It's the same rubbish we've heard for years from HP (and others).

    Every so often people realise that printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids, yet ink is super cheap and when it's pointed out we hear from the companies that "Oh no our ink isn't more expensive than oil, it's actually really sophisticated and lasts so long you can't just use the ml count to measure it".

    The reality is that most people don't give a damn how "amazing" or "technologically brilliant" your ink is compared to a cheap £2 bottle. They just want to click print and have a sheet of black letters appear on a white page. You've been doing that for 40+ years and we don't care whether the quality is from a printer made this year or 20 years ago, black text on a white page technology hasn't advanced far enough for the normal user to notice.

    If a cheap £5-10 "knockoff" (or rather 'compatible') cartridge can produce the same quality but doesn't last as long as an official £50 one (which is still debatable, given they force them to stop working with at least 15% ink still in) then I'll stick to the 5+ knockoffs.

    1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

      Re: Age old scam

      On the HP2055dn, you can *set* the "low toner" warning at anywhere from 2% to 20% remaining.

  34. Mage
    Devil

    Lockdown

    Is it moral or legal to prevent a third party supplying ink or toner to a printer you own?

    Or do they want the model the really big copiers and printers had since the 1950s; you only buy if you are the USA Government, otherwise you rent. Only a free printer should have a locked in consumables supply and that should be make clear in very large print, that you are not buying a printer, but taking out an overpriced service contract.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, bye bye HP then

    I have always enjoyed HP printers in that they generally just work, and keep working. However, their prices for ink/toner have hit frankly idiotic levels, especially compared to Epson's EcoTank range where the original ink is sold at prices that match the "alternative ink" trade.

    It appears that at least for home it's time to buy Epson. I run a HP A3 printer (7740) on alternative ink, but the suppliers have already warned people that the first thing they need to do is to switch off updates.

    As weekend is approaching my brain is more focused on beer and food, but wasn't there some law that prevented HP from doing exactly these things?

    So long HP, it's been a good run. But I have a responsibility to my company too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, bye bye HP then

      "I run a HP A3 printer (7740) on alternative ink, but the suppliers have already warned people that the first thing they need to do is to switch off updates."

      I have an occasional need for A3 print and A3 scan, and my HP OJ 7610 didn't seem likely to last forever, so I bought a cheap 7740 not long ago. I suspected it might end up being "tied to HP" one way or another.

      Bar stewards.

  36. Ashto5

    Copying Apple

    They are just copying apples amazingly successful lock in model.

    Next they will charge 3rd party suppliers a 30% fee to use their cartridges in a HP money pit.

    It’s just business ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copying Apple

      They are just copying apples amazingly successful lock in model.

      But at least the extra expense brings something tangible as the gear saves us lots of time (labor being our main cost over IT). I have as yet to see a benefit of paying up to 5x s much for ink as I can get elsewhere with no real discernible difference.

  37. jelabarre59

    Unprofitable

    If any company is that concerned about me being an "unprofitable customer", I an more than happy to save them the "aggravation" of it with any future purchases or recommendations.

  38. MortyCapp

    HP+ is illegal anyway?

    Considering that HP+ sends data to HP servers in the US while Privacy Shield and Safe Harbour have been rescinded, it seems to me that some product manager in Boise with poor advice from legal in Palo Alto forgot about Europe and is hoping that contractual agreements will suffice.

    Good luck with that.

  39. phil_n

    Canon

    I have a Canon MX492. You can refill the cartridges and there is a little routine you do once (IIRC Canon even tells you how to do it) and it'll use the 'empty' cartridges forever. Plugs up sometimes but then I bought a $100 Ultrasonic cleaner to clean the old ones and with the cartridges costing $40 to $50 each around here that gets paid for real quick. (And I can use it for cleaning old carburetors too.)

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Canon

      (And I can use it for cleaning old carburetors too.)

      Obvious comment, don't get them mixed up!

  40. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Dot Matrix

    I ditched HP and went back to my Epson LX-400. A new ribbon is £5. USB to Parallel Port converter.

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