HP+ is another reason not to buy HP printers
Is printer ink really more expensive than gold? Original printer ink is without a shadow of a doubt very expensive, and companies like HP or Epson earn a lot of money from selling printer ink to customers. Printers, on the other hand, are often not very expensive.
Third-party ink is often bought and used, as it is not nearly as expensive, and works exactly as original ink.
Printer manufacturers have used various means to get customers to buy their ink, for instance by releasing firmware updates for their printers that lock out third-party ink cartridges.
HP+ Smart Printing System, or just HP+, is Hewlett Packard's latest scheme to get customers to buy their ink. It is a subscription-based system, which the company launched in 2020.
A new complaint by the International Imaging Technology Council against HP claims that HP is using its Dynamic Security and HP+ features in violation of rules that prohibit EPEAT registered devices from preventing the "use of remanufacturered cartridges". EPEAT is an ecolabel that is managed by the Global Electronics Council.
To get the label, "products must meet certain required and optional EPEAT criteria to be considered "EPEAT-registered".
HP+, as reported by The Verge, is preventing the use of third-party ink cartridges in HP printers for the lifetime of the printer. Customers who subscribe to HP+ fall into a trap that they seemingly can't escape from.
HP does everything in its might to make the HP+ subscription deal as enticing as possible. Customers get extended warranty on their printers and 6 months of free ink, provided that they subscribe to HP+ in the first seven days of using the printer.
What customers may fail to read is a tiny footprint stating: "Requires Internet connection, HP account, and use of Original HP ink for the life of the printer".
No third-party ink provider has managed to break the new blocking of third-party ink cartridges in HP+ enabled printers. Neither independent ink cartridges nor refilled HP original cartridges work at the moment on HP+ printers.
While it is possible to cancel the HP+ subscription, doing so does not restore the ability to use third-party ink in the printer. In the complaint, the International Imaging Technology Council claims that customers have only one option to start using third-party ink again, and that is to buy a new printer.
Computer users who plan to buy a new printer might want to look at the products of other companies. Brother manufactures great printers and may be the right choice for many customers. Switching from ink to laser may also be a good option.