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HP Instant Ink launched in UK

HP Instant Ink launched in UK

May 29, 2014

HPInstantInk2OEM’s ink cartridge subscription service to be launched in UK via John Lewis, PC World and online.

The Telegraph reported on HP’s Instant Ink service, which was launched in the US in September last year, and allows users to subscribe to receive ink cartridges from the OEM before their current cartridges have run out due to Instant Ink’s ability to wirelessly monitor ink levels.

Users of the service can choose to pay a fixed monthly sum of £1.99 ($3.33/€2.45) to cover 50 pages per month, £3.49 ($5.84/€4.29) for 100 pages per month or £7.99 ($13.37/€9.82) for 300 pages per month depending on how much they are likely to print; and can also “pre-empt planned periods of heavy usage”.

Any pages that are unused are placed in a rollover account and then applied to pages in excess of the customer’s monthly allowance; with the rollover account balance limited to a maximum of their monthly service plan pages. The printed pages are taken first from the base plan of subscription, and then from the rollover pages, which do not expire. The contract can be cancelled or changed online at any time, with cancellation of the service effective after the last day of the current billing period.

HP claims the service, which will launch in John Lewis, PC World and online, “will save users 70 percent” on ink cartridge replacement costs, with even heavy users expected to save “significant amounts of money”. According to John Lewis, subscribers to the most expensive “Frequent Plan” can save “£364 ($609/€448) per year”, while those on the “Occasional” plan are expected to spend £24 ($40/€30) per year on cartridges instead of £74 ($124/€91).

However comparing Instant Ink to the telecoms’ model of pricing, Christopher Mims noted that “if user behaviour for printing follows that of telecom customers, HP Instant Ink customers could end up overpaying. That might be because they opt for an overly roomy plan that they underuse, or because they have a spike of over-usage that drives them into a higher-volume plan that they rarely exhaust”.

The Recycler reported in January on a review of Instant Ink by Dallas News which described it as “an interesting model”, highlighting that the home delivery of cartridges is “convenient” that users “should save money” through using it. However, the reviewer noted that “some don’t like another monthly bill or someone keeping tabs on their printing”.

Categories : Products and Technology

Tags : HP Printing UK

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