HP Inc. Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Its “Instant Ink” Program
In a class action lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in California, a consumer claims that he and others who subscribe to HP’s “Instant Ink” program are left with faulty cartridges.
Radek Barnert v. HP, Inc.
Radek Barnert, the lead plaintiff, seeks to represent other HP Instant Ink subscribers who were promised an “unlimited supply of printer ink” but instead received late or damaged cartridges, rendering their printers unusable for extended periods.
When the plaintiff purchased a new printer from Best Buy in June 2020, he pre-paid a two-year HP Instant Ink subscription. He claims that he was unable to operate his printer for more than a month due to late shipments of various faulty cartridges.
Furthermore, Barnert claims that additional flaws in the program prevent him from canceling the subscription or using store-bought ink during downtime.
In the class action lawsuit statement, HP launched its subscription-based “Instant Ink” program in a rush to convert its business model to one based on subscriptions. The program intends to provide HP printers owners with an essentially limitless supply of printer ink—minus the wait to purchase replacement ink cartridges.
HP Instant Ink subscribers were assured that their printer will notify the company when their cartridges are running low. HP will then send replacement cartridges in exchange for a fixed monthly charge, ensuring that they never run out of ink.
According to Barnert, the HP Instant Ink subscription comes with disadvantages.
First, subscribers are only permitted to use HP ink cartridges provided by the program; store-bought supplies are not allowed. While this should not be an issue because the HP “Instant Ink” program is supposed to keep customers supplied with cartridges as needed, the plaintiff asserts that HP consistently fails to uphold the program’s promises.
Specifically, HP consistently fails to provide subscribers with replacement printer cartridges on a timely basis. Also, even when it does, they are flooded with errors that prevent them from printing, the class action lawsuit states.
Rubbing Salt to the Wound
Barnert asserts that he and other HP Instant Ink subscribers are frequently unable to operate their printers for extended periods due to program-related issues. Further, when customers complain, HP maintains that it cannot resolve the issues and instead offers to ship additional ink cartridges. This process can take up to several days.
HP compels users to purchase ink cartridges as part of the “Instant Ink” program to make matters worse. According to the class action lawsuit, if they cancel their membership, HP disables the cartridges and demands them to buy replacements at a retail store.
Moreover, the plaintiff alleges that HP misrepresented its commitment to recycling spent ink cartridges at no cost to subscribers. Barnert claims that the corporation refused to send him the pre-paid shipping materials necessary to return his used or malfunctioning ink cartridges and instructing him to discard them.
HP allegedly violated the terms of its contract with Instant Ink subscribers, as well as consumer protection laws. Barnert wishes to represent others similarly situated throughout the United States and in New York subclasses.
Editor’s Note on HP Instant Ink Class Action Lawsuit 2021:
This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit filed against HP Inc. over its “Instant Ink” program.
Case Name & No.: Radek Barnert v. HP, Inc., Case No. 5:21-cv-05199
Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California San Jose Division
Products/Services: “Instant Ink” program subscription
Allegations: HP allegedly violated Instant Ink’s terms of the contract to its subscribers, as well as the consumer protection laws
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