Saturday, October 8, 2016

HP Instant Ink

I've been meaning to say something about this printer ink replacement program I'm on, HP Instant Ink, which might work for some of you. When I bought a new Hewlitt Packard "Envy" series printer a few months ago, at the end of the conversation the person pitched a program Hewlitt Packard has where for a monthly fee they mail you ink cartridges when your printer needs them. You pay per month, not by how much ink you use.

It sounded like it might be good for me because with my night working schedule I'm pressed for time during the day to do things like run around and buy ink cartridges. This same dynamic has led me to to do more and more of my shopping online. I don't dislike shopping but I'm not inclined to go shopping when I'm sitting at home thinking about it and my imagination balances doing more sitting at home with fighting wild maniac traffic. Some people might confuse this with laziness.

Anyway, HP instant Ink, as they call it, has been working well for me. I'm on the 100 pages per month plan. They debit my checking account $4.99 a month ($5.25 with tax) and I get to make 100 copies a month and all the ink is included. (I still have to buy paper.) To start off with they sent me the special ink cartridges that they say hold about twice as much as a normal cartridge. I still had ink in my printer and billing didn't start until I'd installed one of the new cartridges. When they notified me billing had begun I just went ahead and installed the other new cartridge.

The cartridges apparently send the HP company information about my ink level. HP also keeps track of the pages I print. I had to sign up for the program at the HP web site (where my current status is is represented by this screen shot.) Maybe they get some of the information that way, some from the printer, some from the cartridges, but yes, they are watching me and know my printing habits. So the NSA and FBI do, too.

I've been on it for four months now and so far I haven't even received any new cartridges and my printer tells me it's only used about half the ink in each cartridge, so HP seems to be getting a good deal on this but so am I, I think. Oh yes, you must send the cartridges back when they're empty. They give you the prepaid envelopes. I hope I can keep track of them.

As you can see I have some rollover credits. I've gotten close to my 100 page limit once or twice and it caused me to be more careful abut what I print, but most months I don't come close to my 100 page limit.

In the past, when I was buying those $30 something replacement cartridges, I would tend to print what I wanted to print because I was afraid the cartridges would dry out if I didn't use them, which has happened to me. This program has probably made me more frugal in printing overall, although I don't pay that much attention, and when I do think of it I go to the web site and sign in and it shows me where I'm at.

My innate frugality though still has me habitually printing everything in draft mode to save ink when I could be printing everything in high quality mode and it wouldn't cost me any more than I'm paying now, $4.99 per month, $5.25 with tax.

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