Recently I received an update to my HP printer. It ended up telling me that I could not run without buying more ink from HP. Now in the user manual it clearly states, that is the user manual and the conditions under which I purchased their printer to begin with, that I could run on black ink only. Furthermore there is a setting under printer properties that clearly states select grey scale to run in black ink only. So as a contract to me by virtue of the conditions I bought under and the properties which confirm the grey scale black ink only to run settings were intended I get this crap from HP. Extortion would be another way of stating this. The warning from HP I had from the printer after I installed much cheaper ink cartridges stated that any warranty would be voided by their use but did not prohibit their use. Legally I am sure they can’t since as a condition of buying this Officejet Pro 8600 I did not have to sign or commit to HP only ink.
OK today I get this email from the ink cartridge people. HP sends you an innocent looking update which does not specify what is in there and does not allow you to select what parts of it you might want like Microsoft does. You get the whole chilona. Today I and every other HP 8600 printer buyer are being told we HAVE to do things we never signed up for and did not ask for. Arbitrarily and after the sale HP decides they want to make more money and make it in ways customers can’t run from. It is the capability to squeeze their customer base for more money that is just something no company seems to be able to resist over time no matter what the promises if they can do it. You see if you give people this kind of power over you it WILL be used sooner or later.
Is it to much of a stretch for you to see how this type of thing will come your way too if you cede the idea of permanent seats of software for rental? Where the conditions can and will change over time and there you are. Stuck with something that won’t work if you do not pay to play. All the power and might of legal hostage taking will be underlying your rental plans. When you have data created and locked under chattel securities and usable only with further payments that are subject to change with benefits to you subject to change why would you even go there? Here is one for you. You think data storage is free? You think there wont be a day where with cloud run software your stuff won’t be held to a cloud server and they wont charge you for the use of your data each month for the program and then the new server farm rental fees? Where they will force updates on you that will change the conditions to be different from when you signed up and you can blow it out your rear end if you don’t like it?
I want you to sit down and think about the ways you can come up with to screw customers over if you were in charge of a situation where where you could force pay to play. And change the rules to your benefit whenever. The company you signed up with today may well mean all the good things they say. Then like with Solid Edge the good guy leaves and utter junk takes their place. Or they get sued and now have to raise lots of cash. Or they get bought out (don’t think it can’t happen to whatever you currently use) and the new guys have saddled everything with more debt that has to be paid for. Just as soon as corporate leadership determines they need to change how they deal with you and in direct proportion to how much power you have given them over you, you are their hostage with no recourse. Except to leave entirely and if you have years of data locked up with these mercenary companies will you ever be able to?
Gee Dave it’s just printer ink don’t blow it all so far out of proportion. I mean after all no software company will EVER change the rules on you like HP did.
Isn’t it just peachy that software companies are doing this to secure their stable future? Without regard to your future or care for your expenses or profitability or your secure stable future? Where you better pay them before you pay your light bill or lose accumulated years of work and the ability to use that work? Am I wrong about this? Can you prove me wrong about this?