Friday 6 May 2016

You Get What You Pay For... With HP Instant Ink

A couple of years back I wrote a post about the new HP Envy 5530 printer that I had received to try out the brand new (then) Instant Ink service. This service basically gives you complete peace of mind that you can always print whatever you need (as long as you have the paper, electricity and wifi of course) but with absolute minimal cost or fuss.

Take a look at my post and you'll see that I liked the printer and I loved the Instant Ink service, so much so that when my free trial was over I started to pay for the service and I still am a year later.  I think that speaks for itself and I can honestly tell you that in the two years I've been using HP Instant Ink I have never run out of either a black or colour ink cartridge.

I'm not alone though as the HP staff told us that once someone has signed up to the programme there is a 98% retention rate. You don't find that level of satisfaction much nowadays. So how do HP know when I need ink? Well my HP printer is wifi enabled and as long as I turn it on regularly it sends the info all on its own and my ink just turns up by post before I ever even realise I might be getting low. It is very good.

It really is very freeing to just be able to say yes to the kids whenever they ask me if they can print. It doesn't matter if it is a load of photos as they are making a memory book or just plain black text for my son's homework, the Instant Ink service just counts the pages I have printed and takes them off my monthly allowance.

During my free trial period at the beginning I was subscribed to the 100 pages printing per month plan and the cost for this is £3.49 per month but then I saw that I wasn't using that amount most months so I switched down to the 50 page per month plan and this reduced my cost to £1.99 per month. I have to say it was all so simple, I can change or cancel the plan anytime I like and there is no cost or implication for me of doing so.

It is also pretty cool that there is page roll-over each month and with the 50 page per month plan I can take the full 50 pages over to the next month if I do not use them and purchase an additional 15 pages for £1 if I need to do so or even trade up to the next plan for that one month if it is a print heavy one.

Even with this lowest cost monthly plan you can consistently save money but as with most things you save more if you are a higher volume user. The cost for a 300 page per month plan is just £7.99 and HP estimate you will make savings of about 70% or £512 a year with this plan.  You really can't say no to that, can you?

And just in case you've read this but still have no idea what I'm on about, watch this short video and see for yourself -

I think you can tell that I really am sold on the idea of the Instant Ink programme and I am now a happy and loyal customer so when HP asked me if I'd like to come to London for a relaxing afternoon last week to learn more about Instant Ink I jumped at the chance.

A small group of bloggers and journalists got to meet Thom Brown, HP's resident Inkologist to see why HP class their ink as being a cut above the rest. It was a complete eye opener to learn that on a standard photo there are about 35 million drops of ink making up the sharp and clear image we see, each one placed in precisely the right place by the computer chip on the ink cartridge.

Thom got us all to watch and try out a few experiments to demonstrate the point that you get what you pay for. First off we were encouraged to colour some pictures with Derwent Inktense pencils and call me a heathen but colouring pencils are just colouring pencils in my world as I've not got into all this popular adult colouring that is the rage right now. I did find I was enjoying myself though and when Thom came round and told us to stop with our Derwent pencils and to use a supermarket value one I was dismayed to see I couldn't even attempt it as the pencil was all cracked inside and the nib kept falling out!

He then showed us how the ink colours blend and run into each other with the cheaper brands in comparison to the HP ink which has a unique recipe. I think most people's favourite demonstration was when he made a margarita cocktail.  The HP version with its unique recipe was all about quality ingredients and utensils that takes time and skill to make. The second version was about cutting the corners and going for low-cost alternatives but of course the taste suffered.

HP are so confident of their printer and ink quality that they have asked me to trial out a competitor's printer and ink provision and I'll be doing that and reporting back in a couple of months, so keep your eyes peeled. I sure will be interested to see how HP stands up to its competitors offering.

As for me at the end of my afternoon in London with HP, well I had a marvellous time, a hand and shoulder massage, some yummy mocktails and an afternoon tea with a group of fab bloggers. I had a wonderful time, thanks so much for your hospitality HP.

Disclosure: HP paid for my travel to London and hosted me at this event. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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