HP executive boasts that its controversial ink subscription model is "locking" in customers

midian182

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Staff member
Facepalm: An executive from HP, a company that has faced enormous criticism over its ink subscription service that has been called ink cartridge DRM, has boasted about how this model is "locking" in people. That's not a good term for a company that pushed out a firmware updates blocking the use of non-HP ink.

As reported by The Reg, HP chief financial officer Marie Myers was talking to investors at the UBS Global Technology conference about the tech giant's subscription model.

"We absolutely see when you move a customer from that pure transactional model ... whether it's Instant Ink, plus adding on that paper, we sort of see a 20% uplift on the value of that customer because you're locking that person, committing to a longer-term relationship," Myers said.

HP's Instant Ink subscription service sends out ink or toner cartridges to customers as and when they are needed. Plans start at 99 cents and go up to $25.99 per month. That's quite a lot at the higher end, yet the service still managed to boast more than 11 million subscribers as of May last year.

HP doesn't have a great history when it comes to pleasing customers. It increased the price of printer hardware in 2019 and now focuses on Smart Tank and Neverstop printers that come fully loaded with an estimated two years' worth of ink or toner.

Back in May, it was revealed that HP had blocked more customers from using third-party ink cartridges with their printers as part of its dynamic security policy. The policy was introduced in 2016, supposedly as a way of protecting the company's intellectual property and the quality of the customer experience by preventing the use of ink or toner cartridges that do not contain new or reused HP chips or electronic circuitry.

In August, HP faced a class-action lawsuit over claims it was shutting down multifunction printers when the ink was low, even if users weren't trying to print anything.

For all the anger against HP, the controversial policies are working. Its printing division margin has increased from 14.8% in fiscal 2020 to 18.9% in fiscal 2023.

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I hate HP and all their bloatware they install or have linked to their print drivers.

When I got a new printer at work (this was 4 or 5 years ago now) all this extra HP software that wasn't necessary was installed (by the lack luster IT guy my work has) and I was getting constant popups on my desktop. I had to go through and uninstall 5 or 6 different HP programs. I don't need a crap ton of monitoring software.

The lack luster IT guy keeps installing all that extra HP crap when people get new computers. Today as I was passing by a coworker's desk I saw a popup from HP called "HP Wolf Security" and it said the system needs to be restarted for the updates to take effect. WTF is "HP Wolf Security". I looked it up and it doesn't make any sense why anyone would even want it....it doesn't do anything any person actually needs. HP has so much bloatware out there.
 
I haven't had a printer for over 10 years now. I think there's been maybe two occasions where I had to ask my accountant to print out something I couldn't e-file with the IRS, otherwise I haven't missed it yet.

Hopefully it's not much longer before HP discovers that a "lock-in" isn't worth much if the customer no longer needs their product at all.
 
I (begrudgingly) like the subscription model for printing. I can print and not worry about buying replacement cartridges (that may or may not work if they're reproductions) for £2.99/m, which is a negligible cost.

It works out cheaper than buying cartridges used to be, plus the printer itself (which also functions as our family scanner etc.) is effectively subsidised.

There's minimal software to install - just the 'HP Smart' app (from the Windows store) which works well, and has no adverts or pop-ups.
 
I have long detested both HP and inkjet printers. Every time someone comes to me with an issue with their HP printer, I just outright refuse to work on them. I tell them "go buy a brother LaserJet, and I'll work on it. Or an ecotank, if you need inkjet for whatever reason".

People are SHOCKED that you can buy laserjets! Or that printer companies other the HP exist!

Not a single problem for anyone who has a brother.
 
I had a brother printer for years, it worked well, ink was cheap and readily available. I upgraded to an Epson just recently which has large refillable tanks and has been working well. An HP we inherited was only a few years old and after about a year of good use, it's LCD screen became unreadable so we recycled it. My adult kids drop by if they need to print anything. Plenty of competition for HP. Let them live or die with their slimy lockin strategy.
 
I got HP Laserjet Tank and Smart Tank ink and both printers have 5000 pages to print on full tank. That is lasting me for almost 2 years. I am ok with this. But never subscribing for ink ever. If HP does something to these printers over firmware updates. I will toss them into bin and opt for Brother Color Laser Printer.
 
I had a brother printer for years, it worked well, ink was cheap and readily available. I upgraded to an Epson just recently which has large refillable tanks and has been working well. An HP we inherited was only a few years old and after about a year of good use, it's LCD screen became unreadable so we recycled it. My adult kids drop by if they need to print anything. Plenty of competition for HP. Let them live or die with their slimy lockin strategy.
Agree - I have an Epson EcoTank and it’s awesome. I only just refilled my tanks after heavy usage for two years, including lots of full page photo printing. I’ll never buy HP with their BS (blocking black only printing when the color cartridge is out, and blocking scanning due to being out of ink, bricking devices, etc.)
 
Wat he dosen't mention is how many customers they have lost because of that policy. I used to work for a large AEC to purchased over 1000 of their commercial plotters. Once they started that foolishness with their inks, I changed over to another company and told them why ..... never heard back from them ..... LOL
 
HP up to HP things. Just ensuring I'll never own another HP printer if I even ever own one again. Their printer models with the "e" are even worse as they require you to make an online account with them and activate the printer before you can do anything with it, even if it has a built in web server.

I hate HP and all their bloatware they install or have linked to their print drivers.

When I got a new printer at work (this was 4 or 5 years ago now) all this extra HP software that wasn't necessary was installed (by the lack luster IT guy my work has) and I was getting constant popups on my desktop. I had to go through and uninstall 5 or 6 different HP programs. I don't need a crap ton of monitoring software.

The lack luster IT guy keeps installing all that extra HP crap when people get new computers. Today as I was passing by a coworker's desk I saw a popup from HP called "HP Wolf Security" and it said the system needs to be restarted for the updates to take effect. WTF is "HP Wolf Security". I looked it up and it doesn't make any sense why anyone would even want it....it doesn't do anything any person actually needs. HP has so much bloatware out there.
I always minimize what software I install with HP printers for customers. The unfortunate part is most of our customers buy HP printers and getting them to use something other than HP Smart to drive the printer is difficult to impossible.
 
Where are all the "locking in customers" is justified since they "created the platform" posts from people that love to post this message in favor of Apple locking in customers to their Apple App Store?
 
Those misguided souls who are singing the praises of that HP evil company, haven't read the recent news:

HP CAN and WILL disable your printer if it senses it's out of ink and you're not buying a replacement from them.

AND NO, you can't even copy, scan or fax from that devilish "all purpose" disabled printer. Even though neither function requires ink......!!
 
I seriously wonder about the mental fortitude of someone that would purchase HP printers or frankly any HP hardware. You deserve everything this scumbag company throws at you.
 
I manage ~30 HP enterprise printers and ~10 Canon enterprise printers. TBH I never have issues with the HP ones, where I only very rarely have problems with the Canon. (blue moon situation)

Printers are one of those things where you really need to pony up a little more money out of pocket and just buy laserjet. It's better, cheaper in the long run, and so much less drama than all these cartridges and DRM and nonsense.
 
I have zero sympathy to anyone who uses disposable inkjet cartridges. people who kept buying these, just couldn't be bothered to make an informed purchase. disposable inkjet printers have been around for decades, and if you're still gullible enough to purchase it, then it's on the customer.

apple should've made inkjet printer too just for fun and watch their products blow hp out of the water.
 
I manage ~30 HP enterprise printers and ~10 Canon enterprise printers. TBH I never have issues with the HP ones, where I only very rarely have problems with the Canon. (blue moon situation)

Printers are one of those things where you really need to pony up a little more money out of pocket and just buy laserjet. It's better, cheaper in the long run, and so much less drama than all these cartridges and DRM and nonsense.
Enterprise printers are far out of the reach of 99% of consumers.
When other printer manufacturers realize that HP increased their bottom line by over 14% last year, they will follow suit.
When printer manufacturers realize that Brother hit the same growth last year WITHOUT abusive policies, they'll have to pause that idea.
 
Only the clueless, the masochists and people with money to burn should by HP inkjets. For the rest of us, Brother and Epson offer far better alternatives.
 
I've been refilling and resetting the the same ink cartridges for a long time with no problems, if it suddenly stops, it goes in the trash instantly. I have no brand loyalty and never will.
 
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