[Open letter] HP Instant Ink, to save... or lose a lot of money!

A happy user of the HP Instant Ink system for years, I recently had a disappointment that cost me the modest sum of 405.99 euros… when my subscription to this service was 0.99 euros per month. (I hardly ever print).

The principle: you subscribe to receive new ink cartridges when your HP printer, connected to the Internet, is almost out of ink. An excellent and economical principle.

On August 8, 2023, I decide to part with my printer (because I’m moving), so I disconnect it from my HP account and uninstall the driver.

I immediately unsubscribe from the HP Instant Ink service and receive this confirmation message:


So I was expecting to be billed at the end of the month for 0.99 euros of monthly subscription plus any pages I might have printed in addition to my package.

At the end of the month, I was charged 405.99 euros!

Telephone complaint to HP who tell me, sorry Sir but our system is infallible (sic) and besides we’ve never had any complaint, you’re the first (but of course… :grinning:)

I’d like to point out that I removed this printer from my account on August 8, so it’s hard to see how I could have been billed for so-called pages after that date…

Besides, it’s technically impossible to print 4000 pages with a set of cartridges that were 70% full (we’d know).

Registered letter to HP on September 4, 2023 and no reaction since.

I hereby inform you, as I announced to HP in my registered letter, that:

  • HP sees no problem in charging you 400 euros for a basic package of 0.99 euros (it seems plausible to them).
  • It seems perfectly possible to print 4000 pages with one set of cartridges (you’ll have to tell me how)
  • At no point did they envisage a system failure (they’re right and I’m wrong).
  • It seemed perfectly plausible to them that I’d subscribe for 0.99 euros/month, only to have my package blown up two days before it was due to expire, forcing me to pay a bill of over 400 euros. (Thank you for your consideration of the intelligence of your customers!)
  • And the icing on the cake: those 400 euros are a net profit for them, since they’ll obviously never send me the corresponding cartridges since my subscription has ended.

Bravo HP for your commercial sense, you’ve earned 400 euros without investing anything quite easily on the back of one of your most loyal customers, and I told you so in my letter, who manages a large community of users who are often also your customers.

Let’s hope HP, since you haven’t replied to my registered letter, that you’ll realize where your interest lies. You’ve earned 400 euros, but how many customers or future customers will you lose by advertising such deplorable business practices?

That took some time and many discussions but finally HP refunded me…