HP will officially launch its HP Instant Ink program nationwide this weekend. Best Buy will be the first retail partner to offer the program beginning this Sunday, followed by OfficeMax in mid-October. HP Instant Ink is a subscription ink service offered with eligible printers. Customers pay a monthly fee (3 price tiers are available) and HP automatically ships a new cartridge to the customer’s address once ink levels fall low enough for the cartridge to require replacement. The system is timed so that customers will receive the replacement cartridge before the in-use cartridge is empty. HP monitors the number of pages being printed through the printer’s Internet connection. Customers can also monitor their usage and manage their subscription through a web-based dashboard page. The subscription plan is designed to be flexible, so that customers can easily move up and down from one price tier to another, or cancel their subscription at any time.
My View (Print4Pay Hotels)
It's not only the price of ink but it's also about the reliability of the inkjet printers and MFP's that customers have concerns with. Most are tired of buying a new printer or small MFP when the system has a mechanical failure. In most cases the time that it takes to transport the printer to a service depot and wait for the system to be repaired is not worth the effort.
I would also tend to think that most users also have a guilt trip about the environment when they throw away the old printer (I've heard this from accounts and felt this when I had to part with one of my printers).
I think that HP could develop a monthly subscription service that also includes the printer or small MFP. If there was a failure of the printer the service would include HP shipping you a new printer as a replacement and they would initiate a call tag for the return of the old printer so it could be recycled. I'm not sure what the cost of the subscription ink service is, but for another $10 or $12 per month to include the printer/MFP might create some excellent value to the end user and keep them as long term customers.