HP Wants to Rent You a Printer That It Monitors at All Times

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HP launched a subscription service Thursday that rents group a printer, allots them a circumstantial magnitude of printed pages, and sends them ink for a monthly fee. HP is framing its work arsenic a measurement to simplify printing for families and mini businesses, but nan woody besides comes pinch monitoring and a years-long commitment.

Prices scope from $6.99 per period for a scheme that includes an HP Envy printer (the existent exemplary is nan 6020e) and 20 printed pages. The priciest scheme includes an HP OfficeJet Pro rental and 700 printed pages for $35.99 per month.

HP says it will supply subscribers pinch ink deliveries erstwhile they're moving debased and 24/7 support via telephone aliases chat (although it's dubious really overmuch you want to rely connected HP support). Support doesn't see on- aliases offsite repairs aliases portion replacements. The subscription's position of work (TOS) statement that nan work doesn't screen harm aliases nonaccomplishment caused by, unsurprisingly, "use of non-HP media supplies and different products" aliases if you usage your printer much than what your scheme calls for.

HP Is Watching

HP calls this an All-In-Plan; if you subscribe, nan tech institution will beryllium each successful connected your printing activities.

One of nan astir perturbing aspects of nan subscription scheme is that it requires subscribers to support their printers connected to nan internet. In general, immoderate users debar connecting their printer to nan net because it's nan type of instrumentality that functions good without web access.

A web relationship tin besides interest users astir information aliases HP-issued firmware updates that make printers extremity functioning pinch non-HP ink.

But HP enforces an net relationship by having its TOS besides authorities that HP whitethorn disrupt nan service—and proceed to complaint you for it—if your printer is not online.

HP says it enforces a changeless relationship truthful that nan institution tin show things that make consciousness for nan subscription, for illustration ink cartridge statuses, page count, and “to forestall unauthorized usage of Your account.” However, HP will besides remotely show nan type of documents (for example, a PDF aliases JPEG) printed, nan devices and package utilized to initiate nan people job, "peripheral devices," and immoderate different "metrics" that HP thinks are related to nan subscription and decides to adhd to its distant monitoring.

The All-In Plan privacy policy besides says that HP whitethorn “transfer accusation astir you to advertizing partners” truthful that they tin "recognize your devices," execute targeted advertising, and, potentially, "combine accusation astir you pinch accusation from different companies successful information sharing cooperatives" that HP participates in. The argumentation says that users tin opt retired of sharing individual data.

The All-In-Plan TOS reads:

Subject to nan position of this Agreement, You hereby assistance to HP a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free correct to use, copy, store, transmit, modify, create derivative useful of and show Your non-personal information for its business purposes.

Two-Year Commitment

In January, HP CEO Enrique Lores declared that HP's "long-term nonsubjective is to make printing a subscription." The All-In-Plan is HP's latest effort astatine that goal, hoping group judge that nan subscription work will simplify things for themselves. And by including precocious cancellation fees, HP is looking to fastener subscribers successful for 2 years.

HP will complaint subscribers who cancel their subscription earlier its extremity day up to $270 positive taxes (the magnitude decreases to arsenic small arsenic $60, depending connected nan printer rented and nan magnitude of nan subscription). After 2 years, users won't spot a cancellation interest if they return nan rental printer and ink cartridges wrong 10 days aft canceling their subscription. With these tactics, HP is creating nan aforesaid type of subscription reliance that has made companies for illustration telephone carriers rich | while limiting customer options.