Hewlett-Packard is teaming with office-supply retailer Staples on a new cloud-enabled service to ensure your printer never runs out of ink. The companies estimate the HP Instant Ink replacement service can save customers up to 50 percent on their yearly expense for printer ink.
How does it work? The HP Instant Ink service enables eligible printers to track ink levels automatically and then order ink refill cartridges via the cloud, before the old ink runs out. HP says the new service provides a cost break for customers, along with the convenience of having ink delivered to their home or office.
The service is aimed at small business (SMB) users and work-at-home professionals, as well as consumers and college students who can’t afford to run out of ink when working on important projects.
HP Instant Ink Printers
For its part, Staples offers a wide selection of HP Instant Ink-enabled printers, starting at $99.99, with models designed for a variety of printing needs. Available models include the HP Officejet Pro 6830, 8610, 8620, and 8630 (shown above); the HP Officejet 4630, 5740, and 8040; and the HP ENVY 4500, 5530, 5660 and 7640.
To round out its own loyalty program and encourage repeat-business, Staples also has a rewards program that gives customers $2 back in rewards for each ink or toner cartridge returned for recycling, either in-store or via online. Staples also offers up to five percent back in Staples Rewards for ink & toner purchases and free shipping on Staples.com.
Three Pricing Plans
HP's Instant Ink site outlines three monthly HP Instant Ink plans, each based on how many pages per month the printer is expected to print. The $2.99/month plan is suited for users who need ‘occasional printing.’ Go over the 50-page monthly limit and each additional set of 15 pages costs $1.00.
For printer users with ‘moderate printing’ needs, the price increases to $4.99/month, for up to 100 pages, plus $1 extra for additional sets of 20 pages, if needed.
The ‘frequent printing’ option covers up to 300 pages per month, at a pricetag of $9.99/month, plus $1 for each additional 25 pages.
HP estimates that each HP Instant Ink cartridge has enough ink to print approximately 500 pages -- which is more than standard cartridges provide -- though it’s important to note that pricing is based on the number of pages printed, not the number of ink cartridges used. That means that customers pay the same monthly fee whether printing high-quality photos, black and white or color documents.
If the number of printed pages ends up being under the allowable limit for the month, pages can roll over for the future, with certain limitations.
To get started, HP says a customer just needs to buy an eligible Instant Ink printer, connect it to the Internet, and enroll in the program. After that, the printer should be able to order its own ink with minimal hassle. One advantage is that there’s no annual fee, and, if someone finds the selected program isn’t the right fit, that customer can change to a different program category or cancel at anytime.
Hermel D. Fortin:
Posted: 2015-04-26 @ 9:41am PT
Yeah well I will go back to dot matrix or upgrade to a laser printer before I submit to being "pressured" to buy non-"counterfeit" ink. I am getting ready to trash (and I do mean trash) my cheap HP deskjet 2540, and when I do buy a new printer it won't be an HP and it won't be from Staples. Ford Motor Co treated me shabbily in 1974 with my Ford Pinto, and it has been mostly Toyota and Huyndai ever since, but no Fords. Corporate America needs to reread Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends And Influence People", and take it to heart or soon ALL of our manufactured goods will come from overseas.
Posted: 2015-03-18 @ 5:04pm PT
I don't like it; sounds like I'm using a printer service instead of using my own equipment, paper etc. HP and others have created a monopoly on the home print market by creating firmware that precludes competition or efficiency. This might be a slick and profitable business model in the eyes of HP, but it rubs me the wrong way. I'm going to seek other alternatives that are not as invasive on my wallet.
Posted: 2014-12-19 @ 1:49pm PT
@Robert: Everyone's out for their own self-interest. HP isn't exactly forcing users to buy their ink. They're just offering some printers that specifically use their ink under this new program. HP is obviously interested in profitability, just the same as you and other independent ink sellers are interested in your own profitability.
Posted: 2014-12-19 @ 1:40pm PT
As an independent seller of ink cartridges for use on HP and other brands of printers, I object to HP's attempt to force users of their printers to avoid buying non-HP inks. Users of aftermarket inks reduce their cost of printing. Taking that option away from HP users will increase the printing costs of HP users. I, and other independent ink sellers, intend to suggest that printer buyers avoid buying HP printers.