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HomeNewsGadgetsHP scraps controversial e-series LaserJet printers amidst consumer backlash over restrictive HP+ program

HP scraps controversial e-series LaserJet printers amidst consumer backlash over restrictive HP+ program

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The stringent requirements: an HP account, a constant internet connection, and the exclusive use of HP original ink and toner for the printer's lifetime has effectively locked users out of more affordable third-party ink and toner options, causing widespread dissatisfaction​.

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In a quick turn of events, has decided to discontinue its e-series LaserJet printers following a significant backlash from users over the restrictive nature of the .

The e-series models, identifiable by an ‘e' suffix in their names, such as the HP LaserJet M110we and M209dwe, will no longer be available. The move reflects a critical juncture for HP as it navigates the balance between innovation and user satisfaction.

The HP+ program, introduced as a “free upgrade,” was designed to enhance the user experience with features like automatic updates, enhanced security, and extended warranties.

However, these benefits came with stringent requirements: an HP account, a constant internet connection, and the exclusive use of HP original ink and toner for the printer's lifetime. This effectively locked users out of more affordable third-party ink and toner options, causing widespread dissatisfaction​.

HP's ambitious attempt to create a smart, connected printing ecosystem with HP+ seemed promising on paper. The program aimed to simplify the printing process, improve security, and ensure a seamless user experience.

However, the mandatory online connection and the prohibition of third-party supplies turned many potential benefits into significant drawbacks. Users, particularly in IT-managed environments, found the constant internet connection requirement burdensome and the exclusive use of original HP supplies restrictive.

According to industry experts, HP's decision shows several underlying factors. First, while HP+ promised enhanced functionality and security, the program's rigid requirements clashed with the needs of many users who value flexibility and cost-efficiency.

The requirement to use only HP-branded ink and toner effectively eliminated the competitive advantage offered by third-party alternatives, which often come at a lower cost. This move not only frustrated users but also raised questions about HP's commitment to customer choice and affordability​.

Moreover, the mandatory online connection requirement posed significant challenges for users in environments where constant internet connectivity is not feasible or desirable. This includes many corporate and IT-managed environments where security concerns and network policies might restrict continuous cloud connections. HP's assumption that all users would readily adapt to these requirements was evidently miscalculated, said one of the industry veterans.

The decision to discontinue the e-series printers can be seen as HP's attempt to salvage its reputation and realign with user expectations. By pulling these models from the market, HP acknowledges the missteps in its strategy and signals a willingness to adapt based on customer feedback.

The company's statement emphasised its commitment to providing an exceptional printing experience and mentioned plans to extend successful features like Print from Anywhere and Smart Security to new LaserJet devices without the HP+ constraints​.

This development also underscores a broader trend in the technology industry where companies must balance innovation with user-centric design. The backlash against HP+ highlights the risks of imposing restrictive conditions on products, even when they come with enhanced features.

Users today demand flexibility, affordability, and control over their devices, and companies must navigate these demands carefully to maintain customer loyalty, according to education industry leaders.

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Sanjay Singh
Sanjay Singh
Sanjay Singh covers startups, consumer electronics and telecom for TechObserver.in
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