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HP is now entering the printer rental business

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HP has a new proposition at a time when (companies like it have made sure) you don’t really have much control over your computer anyway: why don’t you just let HP rent you one? The company launched a subscription service today, as did CEO Enrique Lores. said it would be last month — called the HP all-in-one plan. It’s essentially an extension of HP’s Instant Ink, and like that plan, ink will be sent to you when you get close to empty, but unlike that, your monthly fee also covers the printer itself .

The printer you get depends on the plan you choose. They start at $6.99 per month for 20 pages of printing and regardless of the current HP Envy model, and go up to $35.99 per month which gets you an OfficeJet Pro and 700 pages. If you exceed your page allocation, HP will add more for a dollar per block of 10 to 15 pages.

But each plan corresponds to a two-year rental and not to a rental with option to purchase. So if you decide that HP All-In isn’t for you after all, you’ll have to return the printer and go back to rubbing shoulders with everyone at FedEx every time the need to print arises. And if you cancel after an initial 30-day trial or before two years, you’ll pay a fee of up to $270, depending on the plan and when you cancel.

Subscription, like that of HP recent advertising campaign By promoting its printers as being “made to be hated less,” it relies on the idea that printers are frustrating commodities. From the company configurator page For example, mentions bonuses such as “continuous printer coverage” and “next business day printer replacement”. In this way, if a firmware upgrade shows a blue screen on your printerat least you have a recourse that doesn’t involve going to a store to buy a whole new one.

There are people who will undoubtedly like this plan. Not everyone really cares about feeling ownership of their printer. And getting ink before you run out is a good thing if you’re, like me, the kind of person who ignores the “low ink” warning until I’m completely exhausted and have to print something critical, rather than coloring pages for your own use. kid, for once.

But that’s mainly because I don’t really print very often and rarely experience the hassles that come with owning a printer. For those that do, businesses can take two paths. One of them is HP’s plan, which taps into the frustration of user-hostile experiences, like scanners that don’t work. because you purchased third-party ink and printers that become unusable without a serious effort because you moved abroad. The other approach is to make printers it mainly does the thing you want them.

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