HP Instant Ink

Deal or Scam?

Back in September 2018, we bought a HP DeskJet 2632 Wireless Printer & 3 Months Instant Ink.

The printer is pretty good and it also has a built-in scanner which is handy. Not bad for £30.

I was curious about the Instant Ink and in the box was also a leaflet to explain the 3 months instant ink trial.

Having worked with computers and printers for the last 30 years, this service was new to me.

The Deal

If you haven’t heard about the instant ink from HP, it is like Netflix for printer ink. You pay a monthly fee, depending on how much you intend to print. £1.99 for 50 pages, seemed reasonable.

You might think, why pay for a subscription, when your printer has ink cartridges in the box. HP even thought about that.
HP assured me that the subscription would not start until I put the instant ink cartridges into the printer.

This was a win-win, or so I thought.

We could use our shop bought ink cartridges and went they run out, swap them over. Then our 3 month trial would begin.

The Problem

The subscription started from the moment I setup the account.
We got our free 3 months, but we discovered we had been charged £1.99 per month to use the ink we paid for.

Every page we printed, counted against our monthly total.

Did we misread the documentation HP gave us?
I don’t think so.

Looking at this HP support document, says we were correct.

When does the HP Instant Ink billing cycle begin?

The Scam

It seems to come down to this line from their documentation.

“Any pages you print with standard ink cartridges are not counted as pages by your HP Instant Ink account”.

After speaking to HP support, it turns out that the cartridges that come with the printer were “Instant Ink Ready”.

What this means, is, if you don’t sign up to the service, they will function as standard ink cartridges.

However, if you sign up, they are counted as subscription ink.

The Solution

After speaking to HP for 35 minutes, they offered to credit my account with 4 months of free service as a goodwill gesture.

This doesn’t come close to the original deal.

However, the issue is still being escalated.

To be continued …


HP finally got back to me. They have agreed to refund the costs of the subscription that we were charged before they sent the Instant Inks.

Remember, if you won’t stand up for your rights, who will?


Whilst building web applications, Daniel also sets up web servers from scratch because he has yet to find the perfect hosting solution. His philosophy is “Why settle, when you can build it better yourself?”

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April 2017

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