HP Ends Toner Subscription and Discontinues e-Series Printers

HP+ and Instant Ink have come under fire from customers due to their reliance on an active internet connection.

HP is significantly revisualizing its ‘smart printing system’ experiment, after discontinuing its e-series LaserJet printers and preventing new customers from signing up to its Instant Ink subscription service.

The decision comes in the wake of customer complaints about its Instant Ink and HP+ offerings, with users experiencing difficulties caused by the necessity for their printers to be online at the point of use.

The termination of e-series hardware goes hand-in-hand with the alterations HP is making to its subscription services. Although most HP customers have the option of whether or not they wish to subscribe, those buying e-series models have been required to sign up to HP+.

End of an Error?

HP’s decision to u-turn on its move towards a subscription model has been reported by German website Druckerchannel, which specializes in printer news and reviews.

It says that all of HP’s LaserJet printers with a model name ending in an ‘e’ will disappear from the market and, with them, the obligation to sign up to an HP+ subscription.

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Those with existing HP+ and Instant Ink subscriptions and are happy with the services have nothing to worry about – existing plans will continue.

And although both services will be brought to a close for new LaserJet customers later in the year, for now they are still available for fresh registrations.

It’s also worth noting that no changes are expected for InkJet printers, with only LaserJet printer users impacted.

Instant Ink Issues and HP+ Problems

Launched in 2013 and 2020 respectively, HP’s Instant Ink and HP+ subscription services require the printer to be online at all times to effectively automate the ink buying process. This has led to a series of complaints from customers, which appears to have influenced the decision to remove mandatory HP+ sign ups and Instant Ink altogether from LaserJet models.

Another perceived problem is that the two separate subscription services – that are distinct from one another, yet also have crossover – is a confusing proposition for customers.

Instant Ink is a straightforward ink replacement service where the user chooses a usage plan based on the number of pages they print per month and pays a monthly fee accordingly. HP then sends out toner to meet that demand.

HP+ turns the user’s hardware into a ‘smart printer,’ with “intelligent, cloud-based connectivity and security.” It includes an Instant Ink subscription, along with access to the advanced HP Smart app and a two-year warranty.

“Since the introduction of HP+, our smart, connected printing system has been embraced by customers who appreciate the convenience, extended warranty and solutions. We know that some customers in IT-managed office environments are unable to meet the cloud connection requirements for HP+. To provide our customers with an exceptional printing experience in all office environments, we will no longer offer LaserJet series products with HP+.” -HP statement to Druckerchannel

However, HP+ also requires its subscribers to use original HP ink cartridges only – another subject of consternation for anybody who has signed up (whether by choice or by mandatory requirement) and who would prefer to buy more affordable third-party cartridges.

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Written by:
Now a freelance writer, Adam is a journalist with over 10 years experience – getting his start at UK consumer publication Which?, before working across titles such as TechRadar, Tom's Guide and What Hi-Fi with Future Plc. From VPNs and antivirus software to cricket and film, investigations and research to reviews and how-to guides; Adam brings a vast array of experience and interests to his writing.
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