Big Brother Lives in My Printer

We are all used to computer updates that warn us that the world will end if we don’t upgrade in a timely manner and software that stops working unless you upgrade, but I didn’t realize that Big Brother lives in my printer until yesterday.

When I bought my most recent HP Printer I signed up for their Instant Ink program. Simple you pay a painless $2.99 a month (or more depending on your expected volume) and they send you ink. It is the perfect way to keep from having to fork over $50-$100 for cartridges on the spur of the moment, right?

So yesterday I decided to print a crochet pattern (thanks to 365 Days of Crochet by Nadia Fuad I am learning to read patterns by watching her and comparing the terminology). I decided I wanted to print one of the patterns so I could start making multiple squares for a possible baby blanket project. The printer wouldn’t print. So I thought maybe it had been so long since I’d used the printer the ink had dried up. They were the original starter cartridges and I had two brand new cartridges from Instant Ink so I put in the new cartridges. The printer wouldn’t print. The error message told me to go online for assistance but my computer was doing maintenance for the newest Windows 10 update so I called them instead.

It took awhile for me to convince them it was my printer because we had the Instant Ink account in my husband’s name. Once she found it she stated I had not paid my $2.99 for 3 months (my husband passed away in December) so they had locked my printer. I explained that his debit card was stopped when he passed away and since I didn’t go into his email account I didn’t realize it wasn’t being paid. We changed the email, I gave her my new debit card information and like magic, I was able to print. It was a little creepy, to say the least.

So I asked if they were sending me two more cartridges to replace the ones I put in because it wouldn’t work. She said that the printer would let them know when I got down to 20% on my ink levels. At that time they would send me more ink.

So now it sits there in my living room with its little blue wireless light on, and I’m wondering, is that the ONLY thing my printer is letting them know?

This entry was published on April 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm and is filed under 365 Days of Granny Squares Weeks 9-12 March Madness, American, At home, Big Brother, CBC Radio, Computers, Crafts, Crochet, Electronics, Employment, Family, Green Living, Humor, Lessons from the past., Living/Style, Management, Minimalize, musings, Nostalgia, Parents & Kids Reading, Personal, Printers, Simple living, travel, Uncategorized, Winning, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

11 thoughts on “Big Brother Lives in My Printer

  1. I am not reaching for my tinfoil hat yet however it is scary sometimes how much we are monitored and we have no clue Excited that you were confident enough to try a pattern to make a baby blanket that sounds awesome

  2. that is creepy. sorry to hear about your husband. 😦

  3. That’s dreadful… One doesn’t expect their printer to turn on them…

  4. Locked up the printer?!? Okay, that’s a bit much in my opinion.
    What square did you pick?

  5. I have never heard of paying money to keep the printer working, and I have never paid any money ever, my printer is updated when there’s an upgrade automatically, it works perfectly all the time. when I need more inkjets, I buy them when I’m in town as I get a warning telling me they are low, I have never run out of ink. You are in a strange situation, hope it gets sorted out.

    • The printer is wireless and connects to the network/internet. It isn’t paying money to keep the printer working, it is paying money to be in their Instant Ink club. Just like your internet service or phone service if you don’t pay they can cut you off remotely. I just didn’t realize that once you sign up for that service for the cartridges, they would cut it off. But it is resolved and I am happily printing again. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it very much.

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