> HP rolled out a pay-on-price "Free Ink for Life" plan that gave you 15 pages every month for as long as you owned your printer. But this is HP we're talking about, so words have no meaning. Last month, HP notified its "free ink for life" customers that their life had ended, and they were being moved to a new afterlife where they had to pay $0.99/month
And from what I can tell in a quick Google search, HP introduced the "free ink for life" plan less than a year ago. So "life" lasted less than a year!
That is truly evil.
If the arbitrator colludes with one side, the other side can file class action.
A more practical answer is telling everyone you know that HP is a sham company, and avoid their products like the rona.
What really needs to happen is for Congress to legislatively overturn conservative justices' belated, radical reinterpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act, effectively preempting traditional state law-based policies that reign in unfair arbitration practices. But anti-trial lawyer propaganda has permeated deep into the American psyche, including among Democrats. Legislation that could be spun as empowering trial lawyers has become something of a third rail in American politics, especially at the national level. The alternative to fixing the FAA is to do like Civil Law countries and create more regulatory bodies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But 1) both conservative legislators and judges make it their hobby to cripple those agencies; and 2) I, for one, would prefer going back to a regime that permits more private actions because, at least in modern American politics, a centralized consumer protection process is politically impractical even without the disingenuous and baldly partisan efforts of politicians and judges.
The problem with regulatory agencies is that to be effective they have to stick their nose into everybody's business preemptively. That's not a good fit for American-style enterprise and politics. The nice thing about civil suits is that, at least in principle, they can only happen when someone has actually been wronged and suffered actual losses. Which means companies can move fast & break things, so long as they're prepared to pay for any damages.
Or go bankrupt, like the Upper Graystone Well 963A Fracking Co.
It would be a nearly revolutionary change to introduce a law like "you cannot meaningfully agree to any contracts or agreements without a lawyer advising you and a representative of the other party empowered to negotiate the terms." I'm all for it, though.
You'd need to fix several other kinds of laws around liability for negligence and the like, but those things need fixing anyway. The current hack where everybody agrees to waive their rights to sue for negligence is stupid. You would, however, need a new kind of thing that handled common agreements like terms of a credit card. There need to be terms, hiring lawyers for each person is ridiculous, but "contract" is probably the wrong model since no customer could be expected to understand it all, meaningfully consent to it, or negotiate the terms. I would be interested in what an alternative system could be. I kind of imagine a government body deciding on acceptable terms for various forms of business, effectively acting as the customer's agent in negotiations, but that seems ripe for corruption and also really inefficient and hard to innovate around. Suggestions?
This would provide a way for consumers to collectively negotiate these contracts in their own interest while still allowing companies to create specific non-trivial contracts that properly manage the expected relationship.
This has the desirable property that it supports heterogeneous solutions and encourages competition amongst contract negotiators to negotiate better terms or ones that more closely align with the interests of their members.
That's what I always do when I go to the grocery store to buy eggs and to Office Depot to buy printer ink. I call my lawyer and say "It's that time again, I have to buy some printer paper, ink, carrots, eggs and cheese, so that's five contracts for you to read and verify, we should be done in less than a day!". With very reasonable price of $400 per hour, I don't even have to ask what the actual items cost, compared to the expense for the contact reading it's peanuts anyway. Oh, btw, need to call the lawyer about the contract for peanuts, I'm almost out!
Americans have every right to sign horrible contracts. They can also done all thier money to doll museums, or gamble it away in vegas. Like it or not, any measures that sound like they are limiting consumer choice, even choice to make obvious mistakes, will face serious resistance.
The outer limits on contracts are things like slavery, children, and taking advantage of the disabled. Bad printer service contracts dont come close.
Non-negiotiable standard contracts that are applied to consumer contracts en masse are called "Allgemeine Geschaeftsbedingungen (AGB)" (roughly: common business conditions). A business may apply those, but if they do, they need to conform to a restrictive law (AGBG) regulating what is and isn't allowed in such conditions. E.g. no future changes without an exchange of equal value to the changes, no surprising clauses that are not "normal" for this kind of situation, no grossly unequal considerations to begin with.
Individuals and businesses still have freedom of contract however, if a contract is really negotiated freely, that is, in an equal exchange between both parties. If there was no negotiation or a very unequal one ("take it or leave it, we'll block any of your change requests but you need the ink now"), AGBG applies. In all situations mentioned above, the consumer had no opportunity to negotiate (a symbolic "negotiation phone number" in the smallprint doesn't count, etc), so all those fancyful clauses or the whole contract conditions would just be unenforcable, with the most consumer-friendly interpretation applied to the rest as a matter of law.
Again, the problem is specifically that you are not free to make whatever deal you care to, because the counterparty has been permitted to amortize the costs of adversarially designing one particular deal across a large number victims, and consequently is able to refuse to negotiate.
Sure, if you want to be known as Land of Horrible Contracts .. populated by people slavishly abiding by them in a state of learned helplessness.
If you call that "freedom", I truly hope that someone will take it from you.
Also, this user says it was ad-sponsored! 
It doesn't look like the "free" plan was available all the way back in 2013 though—it's not mentioned in your first link, and they presumably would have brought up something like that.
And more importantly, they were clearly still using this plan to sell new printers as recently as this past winter...
It's hard to tell what is more insulting, the ending of a "for life" program or the amount because of which it ends.
Also, another big warning against stuff which is "free" or "for life"; in most cases, either is commercially unsustainable.
a buck to print 15 pages a month on the customer's printer is a sweet deal for HP. It's pure profit and likely adds up. 6 months from now they'll bump it to $1.29 and some executive will get a multi-million dollar bonus.
For me however, I give that whole plan a giant middle finger. That's way too much headache and hassle for a $7 savings.
These kind of "we need to trick money out of you" methods are not limited to their printers. The one HP notebook that I installed half a decade ago was the worst bloated system I have ever seen.
Only their displays seem to be not cursed by that plague — yet.
It is too sad that there is no reasonable open hardware printer, so for now brother laserprinters will have to do. Costs <100€, toner cost per page is low and the thing runs for a decade (in my case) without weird issues.
just buy a Brother laser printer and never look back. Seriously, inkjet and all of the surrounding bullshit is not worth the time or the money or the energy or the frustration.
I have a Brother MFCL3730CDN CMYK laser for document scan/print/copy
and Epson EcoTank ET-14000 for photo and art prints.
A-fscking-mazing devices both.
Both provide (to be found somewhere in the maze of modern hardware vendor websites) solid (modulo CUPS wrangling and vendor filesystem layout) Linux packages. I've only had one recent glitch when Brother introduced some sort of USB/network bridge daemon that occupied the port so VueScan (Software so good that I don't mind that it's not open source, because it does exactly what I need and more. A work of art worth every penny.) couldn't find the scanner.
The problem is if you don't print a lot, the cartridges dry out, and the ink clogs in the printer and whatever else, leading to a big pain.
A month later, IT was tasked with re-replacing them for everyone but marketing overnight. Literally overnight, as in, we're paying overtime for this. The boss didn't know what was happening until a week later, but it was a fire drill of an intensity that you usually don't see outside of a full outage.
It turned out that, while the Phasers do generate gorgeous hardcopy, the wax-like prints, can, with some effort, some skill, and a sharp knife, be popped off the page. A customer figured this out and had been effectively stealing service by way of paying invoices with numbers quite literally pulled off the page. The old Laserjets were placed back into service everywhere but the marketing group.
Libraries are literally everywhere in the US, they're more common than McDonalds.
Laser printers can sit idle much longer but they're bulky and sometimes energy hogs.
I've always seen it at every library I've been at (both school and public), but I suppose it might be more of a regional thing.
On top of those, a few months ago I found a PrintWithMe  station at a corner store that's only a 5 minute walk away.
It "generally" works over Ethernet, but occasionally goes off the rails, and I have to scan over USB.
Because of that, I have the printer installed twice, once on the Network (where it lives most of its life, shared) and once as USB, that I connect during really heavy scanning sessions, which is seldom.
I have $200 OfficeJet that has a free fax service that I need once in awhile and I use the instant ink thing.
Laser MFPs are expensive and the toner is super expensive. Brother lasers are great as long as you’re ok with 600dpi.
If you care about print output and print often, inkjet will get you better value.
Most people print with whatever their employer/university has.
And remember it works flawlessly with Linux.
When you use the Mac OS built in “scanner” app to scan to PDF, it will scan in color even when you ask it to scan in B&W; unfortunately, this will confuse the app and the pdf will be corrupted.
The recommended workaround is “scan in color” (which I do, and then use Ghostscript to convert to b&w), but it’s ridiculous.
That said, as far as quality, speed, robustness and reliability, this is the best printer/scanner/fax machine I ever used. And it works perfectly well on Linux.
I thought it might be bonjour not working well over wifi, but the problem persists even when I assign the printer an IP address manually. I'm stumped.
I've never seen this issue with my Brother MFC-2740DW using "Image Capture" on my Mac (which I assume you are referring to as the built-in scanner app). It's worked flawlessly for me (as did my previous Brother laser printer/scanner).
I am still using Mojave; I was unaware of the "Image Capture" app - I opened the printer icon, which has a "Scanner" button on the right when you have a multifunction printer - but it appears to be the same underlying implementation, and it has the same bug, described here:
perhaps it was fixed in Catalina; the page I linked (with the exact kind of corruption I just tested through Image Capture) is from 2012...
I was using the scanner window available from the printer icon associated with the multifunction printer. Another comment mentioned the standalone "Image Capture.app" which was also news to me.
However, all three are using the same underlying implementation. Scanning in color works. Scanning to JPEG works. However my preferred scanning mode (300dpi, A4, to PDF) produces the garbled image seen here, and apparently has been doing so since at least 2012 ...
My impression is that preview/scanner/imagecapture all trust the printer to do the conversion to PostScript/PDF, but somehow don't manage to tell it to use B&W instead of color -- it seems like r/g/b pixels are treated as individual gray pixels.
In the days when you're expected to buy a new cell phone every two years and a new computer every four it feels like black magic that it just ... sits there ... and.. works.
For inkjet, I use Canon and I love them, although the ink is expensive, especially the 8-color ink packs.
The printer just keeps working. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if it lased another decade.
Fortunately someone has made an open-source equivalent which is much less complicated and seems to work just fine.
Maybe they thought I was a business or something. No, just a guy in a rented room. I asked about it. The guy didn’t understand why I thought that was weird.
I was baffled. Oh also there was none of that nasty HP business. Buy any fitting toner and out it in.
I wonder if Oki still exists. If it does, here’s a recommendation.
They're still continuing in other markets though.
With my kid studying at home who can print directly from the iPad, it's great.
I don't print often but when I need to print I need to print. I spent a bit of change on a Brother Laser printer/scanner and I don't regret that purchase one bit. It's now been years and it still works great -- I've only replaced the toner twice now.
I managed to get two different Office LaserJets for like $10 each and they work wonderfully (and it will probably be cheaper for me to buy a new printer off the school than buy more ink when I inevitably run out).
I call her trashy. Trashy Brother.
> Salima has a problem: her Boulangism toaster is locked down with software that ensures that it will only toast bread sold to her by the Boulangism company… and as Boulangism has gone out of business, there's no way to buy authorized bread. Thus, Salima can no longer have toast.
“The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.”
He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. “I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. “What I pay you,” he informed it, “is in the nature of a gratuity; I don’t have to pay you.”
“I think otherwise,” the door said. “Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.”
In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.
“You discover I’m right,” the door said. It sounded smug.
From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door.
“I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out.
Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”
- The price for the juice packs was outrageous
- The juicer was overbuilt. There was a hilarious teardown and BOM estimation. Should have been way cheaper
- The IoT aspect served no real purpose. It added to the BOM.
But I could totally see a subscription model with an inexpensive juicer that's subsidized by a subscription to juice packs. Sure you could also buy some generic ones and someone will come up with a re-usable pouch, but really you are paying for the convenience. Nespresso did it (but coffee has way better margins than juice pouches).
Whenever Salima toasts bread, her toaster orders more Boulangism bread. Even if she toasts bread that she has bought or made herself, she cannot use the toaster without her paying for genuine Boulangism bread.
Unbelievable that nowadays it reads more like a checklist.
As people often advise, try to use a laser printer. A Laserjet 5N that I found set out for the trash on the curb one rainy night worked like a tank for over a decade, only very rarely needing consumables, which was perfect for someone in poor grad student in expensive city mode. When the muffin fan finally needed replacement, and I found a newer Laserjet on CraigsList. (And I decided to part out the 5N, rather than repair, which IIRC paid for the new one.) That CL LJ's original toner lasted many years, and a quick tipping around of the cartridge made it last longer. Eventually, I decided to buy a new (third-party) cartridge at the start of Covid (since I didn't know what would happen to supply chains).
To that, I'd add, if you care about such things: the Ethernet-facing firmware on my current printer looked so unsettling, like it might be full of vulnerabilities and possibly a lot of malware or features I didn't want, that I put my own print server in front of it (running on an old OpenWrt device, at the moment), and only connect the printer as USB. I also use open source drivers without all the features and bundleware I don't want. When I get a chance, I want to make the print server do filtering of what can be sent to the printer, since I strongly suspect there's some vulns there, but the current setup does block a lot of potential other headaches. I also have some VLAN work to do on a new router.
When I replaced the new cartridges in the tray, the printer insisted that I connect to the internet and I refused to connect it because it wasn't necessary I thought. It wouldn't let me even print a single paper despite the tray being fully loaded.
So, fine with it, I connected the damn thing to the internet. Suddenly, I got a notice saying the ink cartridges aren't genuine. I was puzzled, went back and fought with the store manager and got a replacement and they made sure it was 100% genuine this time.
So, I went back, set it up and nope. Still the same issue. The cartridges were full and brand new, and I really wanted to print some flyers for a business convention, which is why I was willing to invest the money because of the shortage of time I had.
The printer absolutely refused to print anything at all. HP support left me running around in circles like a headless chicken. I had to take a lot of heat because of this stupid printer for no fault of mine, simply because it was "smart" and needed an internet connection to do an offline job.
I was so mad that day that the first thing I did after I came from the business convention was took the damn thing apart and remove all the parts for arduino projects (motors, rollers, display, PSU, etc) and threw everything else away. I wrote a very rude note to their unhelpful customer support and went back and even apologized to the store manager who replaced my genuine cartridges.
It was an expensive lesson for me to learn not to trust any printing company, especially HP that relies on the internet to do an offline job. I follow this rule of thumb for coffee makers and every other hardware that shouldn't be "smart" and should be dumb. I'm even ready to pay the premium these days for the dumb version of a product offering simply because..it is so much simpler.
Just put in ink. Really - the ink come in bottles you just pour in. The ink is really chip, and it prints just as pretty as another inkjet, including quality photos
Essentially a counter, that once it reaches zero, you have to ship your whole printer off (at super high expense) to replace a sponge inside the printer. Even if you open up your printer and clean it, there's no user way of resetting the counter.
Search for "Ecotank reset" for more details. But essentially they've priced the required maintenance at the cost of the printer, so the whole thing gets replaced after a certain number of cycles (and cycles aren't the same as pages, it will draw/dispose of ink every printer startup).
Anyway mine still runs fine so we’ll see
Print photos at a shop, it's cheaper and better.
Hahah, as funny as that sounds, it was a thought that crossed my mind as well when I owned the printer. That's crazy a printer company would push you so far.
I really never saw printer ink being something else we subscribe to.
It's because we finance our printer purchases with future interest payments in the form of ink.
(I bet that really irritates the corporate scumbags...)
Open source, or some binary/blob? I'm increasingly less willing to run binary only code from entities I don't have a way to sue or have some legal recourse against if they do something against my interests.
I did sniff the communications it did with the printer, so I could probably write an open-source version if I really wanted to; but I don't think there's all that much value in doing so.
...but someone did think there was, so there's this: https://github.com/lion-simba/reink
So, the question becomes, what's the cost of removing those companies and their supply chains/software after purchase? If it's well trusted software that doesn't require constant attention, that's attractive. If it's random people providing binaries in a country that I may or may not have any chance of getting recourse if they harm me (that is, trajan horse or exploit, not accidental hardware bricking/breakage), then I'm left wondering whether it's worth it.
The way to deal with business practices that harm the consumer or public is to regulate or legislate them in some way. This is why we don't allow child labor. We didn't just tell people "well, choose a company that doesn't employ little children".
The patent deals started with HP, Canon and IBM having a cross-license. Lexmark inherited that deal and was able to enter the market after it spun out from IBM but took the printer patent licenses with it. Things evolved a lot since then, but the same tactics are employed to keep out new entrants.
Except that Brother can do the same if they want. Also, lets me clear to talk about profit, and not sales, as "money they make" can be interpreted either way, and locking someone into your product is a classic way to increase profit. Even if brother sells twice as many printers, and makes three times as much money in profit on hardware sales, are they really better off than HP if HP is making even more money by locking people into ink sales and making 6x the hardware cost on ink?
Vilifying behavior doesn't incentivize companies to stop doing it, it incentivizes them to keep the public from learning about it or making it so they can't do anything about it once they do.
Capitalism and the free market are predicated on accurate information that people can assess in a timely manner. When that breaks down in some way, whether it be negative information being hidden until it's too late or information that is just very hard for the average person to acquire and assess, that's where the government comes in.
> They might be unit profitable, but it doesn't help if you move much fewer units.
It depends entirely on how much more profitable each unit might be, and how much having guaranteed ink sales can be used to leverage other opportunities, and other opportunities that may come up from having a captive customer base.
Small print: "Flu shot is free only if your insurance covers all of it."
So, yeah, pretending to be free has spread to that industry too.
More accurate would be "Flu shot is free if you already paid for it through the insurance contributions that are reducing your take-home pay"
That is literally what they are doing through printer firmware. They are literally preventing you from printing freely.
As I discovered when my UK printer was accidentally shipped with US ink. The printer permanently locked itself and refused to accept any HP ink sold in the UK.
Will never buy anything from HP ever again.
It'd be way too easy to claim that the ink is past it's best-by date, and that they want you to have a trouble free experience with their ink, so they are disabling that bad expired ink.
Plus, since it's a consumable, it's much harder to return a defective ink cartridge once the packaging has been opened.
Actually, it's exactly like that. HP cartridges can and do expire, and printers will refuse to work with them even though they are still full and functional.
My dad's printer is affected by this news, and between this and other recent issues it's having I doubt he'll ever buy a new HP printer again. He's been a lifelong (dare I say lifetime) customer since buying his HP 12C calculator in the 80s, and has owned only HP printers since his first DeskJet 697c in '96.
Buy a non-shit brand that doesn't connect to the internet, eg. something from Brother without internet connectivity.
On the other hand, I have a Brother laser printer that's still working after 17 years - and they still manufacture toner cartridges for it. (It's so old that it has a parallel port in addition to a USB port.)
I was thinking about this a few weeks ago because I found an identical printer at a thrift store for $4. I didn't get it but thought it would be nice to be able to keep using my stash of 3rd-party cartridges.
I also have a dot matrix printer with enough ribbon to last me a decade or so. So I really don't need to look for another printer for a while.
I've got a couple of pre-2008 HP scanners and laser printers that I intend to keep going as long as at all possible, because the alternatives are just so horrible. Fortunately, they're pretty repairable, and all the consumables are still reasonable. And, frankly, I don't print that much any more. SCSI is getting slightly more interesting to support, but not unreasonable.
That first DeskJet lasted us around a decade until we replaced it with a couple of DeskJet 3500s that didn't need a parallel port and were cheaper than new ink. I still have one of those squirreled away just in case.
Those printers are refreshingly simple, with no screen or wifi and only one button (power) and one port (USB).
Fool me twice, can't get fooled again except ink.
This is a common saying in Texas, apparently.
Except they’ve done exactly that. Twice. Issues as “security” updates no less.
It is exactly like that. If you unenroll a printer from Instant Ink, it will no longer accept the cartridges provided under that program.
I use the service and like it - for photo prints, where the per-page pricing model works in my favor; for documents, I have a monochrome laser. But outside my specific and very narrow use case, it is a terrible deal.
Given that I am not that heavy of a print user, I recently opted for the $300 Canon G7020 refillable inkjet over a color laser. The EPSON EcoTanks also looked good, but I think the G7020 included two extra, full bottles of black ink, plus the initial set of CMYB. The initial bottles are full-size, however, about 1/6 of the ink disappears on setup as it fills the tubing and print heads inside the printer.
The only catch I have heard with this printer is that apparently the waste ink absorber (non-replaceable) can fill after a few years of use, shortening lifespan. However, the print heads are replaceable which is nice compared to the EcoTank line. (In a refillable, the print heads look like cartridges, but instead of ink, they have a port that connects to the tanks). The setup (AirPrint) works great and the only issue I have had is that the old-school LCD screen is impossible to read without a lot of lighting.
That is true, and correct for many Epson printers in my experience too. There's a program to reset the printed pages counter, AntiPampers, which makes a paperweight printer return to work for many years instead of having to deal with planned obsolescence, which that definitely is - entirely on purpose from a customer view. Printers market, inkjets in particular for their very low initial cost, have a lot of shady if not straight criminal practices that unfortunately are overlooked.
> LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY AND REMEDIES. IF YOU ARE IN ANY WAY DISSATISFIED WITH THE INSTANT INK SERVICE OR ANY PART THEREOF INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, AN INSTANT INK PROGRAM OR THE SITE, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE INSTANT INK SERVICE AND/OR THE APPLICABLE INSTANT INK PROGRAM.
I had no idea you could have a contract that says, "if you don't like how we fulfilled the contract all you are allowed to do is go away, even if we burn your house down."
Obviously, companies don't like to be sued. What a lot of the tech industry and Silicon Valley has been doing lately is trying to write up their Terms of Service to make it so difficult to initiate any sort of proceedings, or at least appear to be so difficult to initiate any sort of proceedings, that nobody actually will.
The risk of this, though, is that if they act so egregiously that somebody actually does get angry enough to break through the activation energy necessary to start something, that it will be both larger and worse than if they had a more conventional approach. Larger in that larger groups of people may break through at once, especially once someone blazes a trail. It's like raising a dam without fixing underlying issues with water management; it may put off the day you have problems, but when the catastrophe hits it'll be even larger.
A perfect approach for a short-term-focused modern company, no?
That clause is meant to convince you there's nothing you can do. But if someone does file a class-action suit, there's a very good chance the judge will not look favorably upon such a clause at all, and that'll get factored into any damage awards.
Personally I think the expected value of this particular shenanigan is quite negative and I think a lot of companies are going to bitten by it in the next decade... but I have a long term perspective, personally.
Even if they win in court it will cost them a ton of money.
There is a direct correlation to wealth and rights in this country. Language really has no meaning anymore.
There is a useful counter correlation in that it's a lot more costly for a wealthy entity to fight thousands on tiny lawsuits for a few hundred dollars each, all over the country, than it is for these suits to be filed, especially when almost every court proceeding is virtual.
As always raise awareness with your friends and family not to buy HP's garbage, Epson pulls the same shady practices as far as I know.
When possible, buy a laser printer and just don't give any of them more money.
This is a change to the functionality of the printer post sale, and that tends to be viewed as an unreasonable action and one where one sided user agreements can be read by the courts as unfair to the consumer.
The important point is the the printer no longer works as advertised and as a starting point this is guaranteed in European law for six years after purchase. (https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/gua...).
In UK can you also get your money back for filing fees etc. if you win?
I know people who managed to get around $5000 when Equifax leaked their data. They just added up the monthly cost of the most expensive credit monitoring that they could find for the next decade and sued for that amount (then kept the money and didn't bother with the monitoring).
It's honestly not very difficult to file and right now the meeting is virtual so you barely have to put in any effort (with the downside that in the past you had a large chance the other party wouldn't bother showing up and you'd win by default).
I remember a few years ago Amazon Prime went from having $3.99 next-day shipping to suddenly charging up to $11.99 for it on one package I ordered. I knew when I signed up, the $3.99 price tag was advertised so I went digging: sure enough, it was not longer advertised, and no longer in their ToS. So I went digging further on how they could do this without any sort of notice to customers. Here's what I found using the internet archive to trace ToS changes wherein Amazon incrementally removed rights & privileges:
--When I signed up for Prime, the $3.99 price was in the ToS. So was a provision that said Amazon would notify me of any changes to the ToS 30 days in advance.
--A year or so later, the ToS no longer had the 30 day notice provision, but the $3.99 was still there. However, now they no longer had to notify me of a change.
--Fast forward a little more, and Amazon was able to change its ToS unilaterally without any advance notice or notification, allowing me to be surprised when I was suddenly asked to pay 2-3x as much for the same service.
I owned and old used LaserJetII (with a duplexor) for years followed by an old used LaserJet 4-Plus (it was awesome!)that both were so reliable, and so Awesome, that I I bought an HP Photosmart color printer. What a mistake. One of those stupid two cartridge models that stopped printing as soon as one color ran out. Plugged heads all the time. Drove me crazy.
Dumped that for a Canon about eight years ago, which so far has been excellent.
The LaserJet 4 Plus finally wore out two years ago. I replaced it with one of those little Brother 2360s. It works fine. Faster to start up a print job than the HP was, but not as fast printing duplex as the HP. Probably faster in single sided.
The end point being, the old LaserJets were built back when HP had not yet lost its soul. The Photosmart Inkjet was the first generation of the "New HP".
Switched to a lexmark color laser which prints very well, doesn't produce a first page very quickly, but then it started having BSODs.
Replaced with monochrome laser printers (Samsung) and that has gone pretty well. I'm still nervous about HP being involved, but it seems to be Samsung's show with HP just doing the fulfillment.
Edit: just noticed that the HP Laserjet 4+ was introduced at $1,839 in 1994; about $3,230 today.
Note this is not to insult - I genuinely want to know that other point of view. Thanks
The cost for the supplies depend on the region your in. So we're setting it up that if you buy a THING in say US/Canada, you can only buy supplies from a reseller in US/Canada and not a cheaper one in Africa.
Why am I doing this? My wife lost her job due to COVID, and I'm the sole income earner right now. Once things recover I'll switch jobs.
I don't think its moral, but I am stuck. My wife got laid off due to COVID and I need this job to support the family. I'm currently looking for another job.
Any time printers are brought up, someone says this.
And every time, I feel I have to point out that the cartridges that come with a printer are starter cartridges. They contain significantly less ink/toner than a replacement cartridge. If you are buying a new printer rather than new cartridges, you are NOT saving money.
This is not HP-specific, either. AFAIK, every printer manufacturer does this. I have a Dell laser printer and I'm fairly certain that the toner cartridges that came with it are rated for 200 pages, while replacements are rated at 800 pages.
Later on they started including "starter cartridges" instead. (And even reduced those from 1/2 to 1/4 at some point)
Even accounting for that, I remember it was still cheaper to buy a new printer.
Why do people always say this? You can't determine if that is actually cheaper unless you know how much ink the printer comes with. I am genuinely curious.
Because they sell the printer at a loss to get you to buy the ink, the ink is their real business. This is exactly why HP is so concerned with forcing you to buy only HP ink. See also razors and blades.
But I agree it would be nice to have some kind of FOSS printer without DRM etc. This came up recently on another HN post, and people had various hypotheses for why this hadn't happened, but I don't recall the article to find it now.
Lots of people just need a few pages per month which is why the cheap cartridge printers are so popular and why a lot of people will just cope with HP's $0.99/ month.
I'm not keen on HPs deal here, but it would be difficult for many to justify that $200 up front cost when it'll take 10 years to recoup it and ink jets often don't last that long.
I'm not sure that's true. The cheaper printers people are buying are cheaper because the manufacturer makes it up on the egregiously priced ink.
It depends on how much printing you do, but I doubt it'll take you 10 years to recoup or longer than the life of the printer. Has anyone done any numbers?
How much are you paying for a cheap HP printer anyway? I don't buy em, I'm not sure what they go for. I bought a B&W Brother laser for ~200, and am happy with my purchase.
The HP laser printer I bought recently, on the other hand, did come with starter cartridges with a smaller amount of toner. My impression is that starter cartridges are more common with toner than ink.
In my case, I've been buying 3rd party toner cartridges for my parents' Canon D300 laser printer/copier for years. First through one company I found on the internet years ago and then, when they closed up shop, I found another on Amazon -- I paid $20 for the cartridge I bought this past May (the official cartridge is about $109).
I'll be tempted to buy a new printer when it fades, to add duplex and get newer wifi.