HP Flails Further Into Irrationality By Offering Printer Spam

Now that HP has sufficiently disgraced the vision of Mssrs. Hewlett and Packard, they continued to gyrate wildly into odd business that no one wants. To wit: in a joint press release with Condé Nast, the company is offering two odd consumer-facing propositions. First, they’re going to charge you $5.99-$10 a month to subscribe to a replacement ink service, called Instant Ink. When your printer runs low, it will send a message to Meg Whitman who will personally ship you a new cartridge. Considering ink cartridges already contain less than $5.99 of ink and parts, it’s a bum deal all around but, also considering HP jacks the prices up on ink enormously, I suppose if you’re mad about printing this may work out. Oddly, I don’t see anyone spending $60-$120 on ink cartridges per printer per year (unless HP jacks up prices even more).

But wait! There’s more! Condé Nast, everyone’s favorite magazine producer that is fading into irrelevancy, is teaming up with HP to push magazine content to your printer whenever the publisher darn well feels like it. When you subscribe to Allure, Details, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, Self, or Wired, the C Nasty will send you pages of content that in thinks you should see. It’s like the Internet, but on paper!

Oddly this idea isn’t new. They tried it in 2008 and 2010 and also gave it a go with their Presto print service for the aged. However, this time they’ll get it right.

“Our work with Condé Nast creates a new channel for customers to access the content they want from some of their favorite publications,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Web Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “And, when coupled with our scheduled delivery service, allows customers to get the content they want, whenever they want it.”

This is kind of like the gas station down the street offering you cheaper gas and then hopping in your car at night to drive it around the beltway a few times to keep your tank low. Condé Nast already spams the heck out of the world and wastes resources on their glossy lifestyle rags so why do we need more of their content printed on matte paper spooling out of our HP printers? And why is HP crowing this announcement in the same press release it notes that its ink is already wildly expensive? Perhaps we’ll never know.