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HP offers Instant Ink delivery

April 19, 2018

The OEM has added the HP Instant Ink delivery enrolment scheme to a selection of its printers.

The Instant Ink scheme works as a subscription service, with the customer paying a monthly fee for their HP ink cartridges; when your ink needs replacing, HP will then deliver you a replacement cartridge.

However, recommends customers work out their monthly print usage prior to taking up the OEM’s offer, arguing that “the amount you print and how much you print means that there’s no point in having an instant ink subscription.”

The Instant Ink plans come with a maximum number of pages per month, with the options of 50, 100, or 300. The initial subscription fee covers the cost and delivery of the replacement ink, which will be ordered based on HP’s monitoring of your ink levels and number of pages printed. also argues that the scheme “is better for photo printing than mono printing,” as HP charges and records the number of pages printed, with no consideration for how much you print per page: “If you print one paragraph of a page compared to one full page you will be charged the same.”

Any unused monthly allowance does roll over, but only to the subsequent month, and no further. If you exceed your allowance, meanwhile, you will be charged an additional fee per 25 pages printed.

The website also highlights the potential drawback of the delivery time of replacement cartridges, opining that “the delay of up to 10 days with receiving your cartridges may mean that you won’t be able to print.” It then contrasts this with its own delivery service.

It recommends considering your printing needs before subscribing to such a scheme, stating that “the printer comparison of pages you print is based on 5 percent coverage” – if your printing needs are likely to require more than 5 percent, regularly, “you can quickly exceed your monthly limit.” Drawing a comparison with a mobile phone contract, the website reminds users that “if you go over your allowance, you get charged or have to add more to get on a better subscription.”

It also points out that the scheme “allows for colour printing, as the pages are worked out individually pages rather than cartridges. Normally printer cartridges are ordered depending on use with the printer. Individual colours or the black on the most efficient printers. This may work better when using a printer that accepts two cartridges with the black and colour tri cartridge.”

Furthermore, it argues that remanufactured compatible cartridges could offer both a cheaper alternative, and a wider choice, than the monthly Instant Ink scheme. Additionally, “HP has been known to update software and lock some cartridges, to prevent recycling of cartridges or use in other printers,” meaning an Instant Ink subscription could lock you into a contract with HP for the rest of your printer’s life. It concludes by recommending you “always seek advice if you’re unsure.”

For the website’s thoughts in full, and a full list of HP’s Instant Ink printers, click here.

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