back to article HP is turning off 'Always On' data deals but won't say why

HP Inc has terminated a mobile data service that bundled free data with select laptops, tablets and 2-in-1s. "Say goodbye to expensive hotel airport and conference center network access," urged HP, when it launched HP Mobile Broadband in 2013. Buyers of a new ProBook, EliteBook or ElitePad were entitled to a perk – a bucket …

  1. AndyS

    Return under waranty?

    Can't these laptops be returned, at least in the EU, if they no longer function as they were advertised? I'd give it a damn good try if that's the reason I bought it.

    1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: Return under waranty?

      You mean like PS3s post Geohot? Nope.

      1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

        Re: Return under waranty?

        The latest offer on the table is about $65, so post Geohot? Yep. You have until April 18th I believe to submit your claim.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Return under waranty?

      9.4 We may end our Contract at any time by emailing you at the address you provided to us and giving you 30 days' notice

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No legal obligations?

    I suspect that may not be the case in all regions. At the very least, the marketing could be seen as misleading.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: No legal obligations?

      "I suspect that may not be the case in all regions. At the very least, the marketing could be seen as misleading."

      Especially if the relevant term isn't available to the purchaser until after they bought it and unsealed the box.

  3. J. R. Hartley Silver badge


    That's why.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Bait & switch

    Trading standards should get involved ... except that they have little money do to what they should these days.

    Trouble is that most will soon forget that HP are liars by the time that they next buy something.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bait & switch

      Aint that the truth. I bought a "carePAK" for my old iPaq which guaranteed next working day delivery of a replacement. Until I tried to claim after the device failed. 3 weeks, dozens of phone calls, threats to get TS and CA involved and finally, I had my replacement delivered. That was enough for me to NEVER buy HP/Compaq again. That was the best part of 20 years ago...

  5. Lee D Silver badge

    If it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

    I never believe anything like that, because there's always an asterisk that takes away all the fun stuff.

    I'd rather be told "20Gb" or whatever, than "unlimited (*)". Because it's always a lie. And at least with 20Gb, if I use 19.9999Gb, they can't touch me and if they do, I can sue them for breach of contract.

    That said, these companies obviously don't want me to use data abroad. So I don't. It's as simple as that. Give your money to the companies that clearly do, not the ones that begrudgingly allow it with a raft of sub-clauses on that use.

    If we all did that, then maybe when they go looking for new revenue streams, they might have to think to themselves "Well, how can we capture this money that's going to foreign competitors when our users take their phones / laptops abroad?" rather than "Oh my god, let's charge them per megabyte, how dare they!".

    Other the last few decades I've tired of companies that obviously DO NOT WANT to do business with me and take my money. So I don't give it to them. I'd rather give WhatsApp £10 than my carrier a single penny for a text message. I'd rather give a 4G carrier £30 a month, than BT £50 a month for a slower connection. I'd rather give Amazon £79 a year and get a ton of movies for free, than pay Sky a penny for their overpriced offerings.

    If it means I go without, then I've taken to going without. In this day and age, there's plenty of other choices or things to entertain me, and I don't see why I should struggle along with it. Make my life simpler and give me what I want I'll give you money, it's quite easy.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "And at least with 20Gb, if I use 19.9999Gb, they can't touch me and if they do, I can sue them for breach of contract."

      They'll quibble about what a Gb means.

  6. Richard Tobin

    "No contracts, no commitments"


    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: "No contracts, no commitments"

      Certainly "no commitments" from HP, at any rate :)

  7. msknight Silver badge

    "mobile broadband on your terms"

    ...should have read, "mobile broadband on HP's terms"

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Corporate good will

    How long is it since we had any hope of corporate good behaviour?

    These days it's all about what you can tie them down to, that they can't wriggle out of. If it's not a watertight contract or legal obligation it's just a marketing ploy and won't bear any weight.

    Yes they're bastards run by short-sighted bean counters. But we know that and shouldn't be shocked when they act accordingly. Let alone trust or rely on them.

  9. djstardust Silver badge

    Samsung Smart TVs

    Exactly the same.

    Come bundled with loads of useful apps.

    Gets updated for 6 months or so

    Then the apps start getting pulled one by one until your very expensive "quad core" smart TV is pretty much useless.

    But people still keep buying them and listening to all the PR bullshit.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Samsung Smart TVs

      "Then the apps start getting pulled one by one until your very expensive "quad core" smart TV is pretty much useless."

      Samsung's Apps are pretty poor anyway, and very annoyingly have selected crapware apps that you can't delete on the app bar. Since Samsung via my 65MU8000 recently had the outrageous cheek to display an advert for the Galaxy S9 on the app bar I just use apps on my Xbox instead and have vowed never use Samsung's apps anymore.

      1. johnnyblaze

        Re: Samsung Smart TVs

        I saw that too on my KS8000. Nice add for the S9 in the Tizen app bar! It won't stop me using Samsung TV apps though - they're not all that bad, and most are developed by the vendor anyway, just approved by Samsung.

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Samsung Smart TVs

      90% of people don't care though, because they only use three apps: Netflix, YouTube and the one that sends every word they send direct to the NSA...

  10. David Austin

    Three Data sims

    I need busts of data when onsite during outages and on the road, so I was after a big chunk of data that didn't expire.

    The last few years, the Three Data only SIMS have been the best deal I can find;

    12 GB Data or 12 Months, whichever comes first, for £40, and often discounted lower.

    As a bonus, three give you free roaming in a load of other countries, including most of Europe and United states - was handy for my last holiday.

    Only downside is there's no way to top them up (They go to rolling monthly), so every year I just eject the old sim, and slap a new one in.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Three Data sims

      > three give you free roaming in a load of other countries, including most of Europe and United states - was handy for my last holiday.

      I think they all have to do "free" roaming nowadays - certainly within the EU (while we're in it). If it's in your mobile package at home, then it's also available to you in the EU

      Annoyingly it's one of those rules that hasn't been enshrined in law here, so Brexit means back to high roaming charges unless something changes :(

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Three Data sims

      I have one of those.

      Pay per month, though.

      And it's 40Gb for £30 (£25 if you're willing to go into 24-month contracts).

      Free roaming. Go binge (free data to Netflix / TVPlayer).

      I think you need to phone Three and demand more data or a cheaper deal...

      1. David Austin

        Re: Three Data sims

        I think you missed the point Lee; I don't use data regularly; just in bursts. I don't want to pay that every month - One payment of £40 sets me up for the year.

        Most of the Sim deals expire after a month or two, so 12 Months *or* 12GB is perfect.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Red Pocket in the US

          I had a need for small amounts of data for an LTE router (as a backup to my credit card processing and for a fire panel that must have connectivity with 24 hours of backup power, which would cost a fortune to provide for my fiber) and found a Red Pocket deal for $55 on eBay for a year of service with 500MB of LTE data each month (no rollover I don't think) Considering the prices for data only plans typically offered here in the US, that's a steal!

          I just got the SIM today so I haven't even figured out if it is possible to refill, but even if not getting a new SIM yearly is not really an inconvience, and I figure the price for something like this can only go down in the future...

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. tiggity Silver badge

    Every now and again

    HP like to remind the diminishing number of people who buy their products that purchasing HP is a bad idea.

    A shame how a company ethos changes and it declines so massively.

    I fondly remember "no questions asked" exchange / replacement I had of HP kit back in the day, e.g. HP part failed, new one sent out (saved them the cost of returns postage / courier) - they did not want old one (just accepted my word of it having failed, without needing proof) because we had built up a trust relationship over time (in early stages they had verified my kit gripes were legit by checking the faulty stuff was really faulty, became satisfied over time I was not scamming them and accepted my reports of faulty kit without question) ).

    Times change and it's many years since I purchased HP kit (or recommended others do so).

  13. Terry 6 Silver badge

    As to HP

    I've refused to buy their products for many years. Ever since I had an HP multi-function printer. Which was OK until there was a software update. But the old version wouldn't uninstall properly, a dll refused to delete itself. And because of that the new software refused to install, even though it was the same version .dll it wanted to use . I went through all the umpteen uninstall levels that HP's unbelievably unwieldy software required. Still couldn't reinstall their poxy printer. And on the web there were hundreds of posts, all with the same complaint. Dumped printer. The ink was expensive anyway. Never bought HP since.

    1. fobobob

      Re: As to HP

      If one has the time/patience, might be worth looking into obtaining one of their older laser printers... my (t)rusty old HP LaserJet 4+, manuf. ca 1994 still runs strong after rebuilding the upper feed rollers and replacing the laser scanning head (laser cooked out with visible scorching on the diode/lens. My toner goes bad from local humidity (southern Texas) before I can expend a ~$45 remanufactured cartridge. Caveats are that it is somewhat slow to warm up, takes ages to process full-page 600dpi images... but it was free (dumped by my dad's office when I was young), and does 600x600 DPI B&W copies at ~12 ppm, so I could never possibly trade it for a new shiny. HP gets nothing out of the deal, as far as I can tell. Their newer driver software is essentially nagware; protip: for many of their printers, you can install literally any old PCL/(5 or 6, as appropriate) drive and it'll just work... don't know much about their MFPs, unfortunately.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: As to HP

        IF all you are doing is printing b&W documents you can not beat an old HP laser jet. Damn things are rock solid, just change the roller feeds .

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Not also known as SC

    Data Provider

    Can the laptops be used with other data providers or are they now effectively the same as laptops which don't come with an included 4G modem?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data Provider

      I have this HP laptop with 4G modem and discontinued data offer. In theory another SIM can be used, in practice I've been unable to get any other SIM to make a connection. The software interface is dreadful; it seems to comprise one third dumbed down Win 10 UI, one third HP provided extension to that, one third "old Windows" settings with little awareness of possibility of a cellular interface.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sign of a failing company: employees and middle managers take heed!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sign of a failing company

      HP has been showing that since they bought Compaq.

      I'm an ex HP'er with 23years of service. BC (Before Compaq) it was a great place to work. After that? You counted yourself lucky to get through a week without some PHB ranting off at you for not working hard enough.

      I would not buy anything with an HP/Compaq badge on these days. It is all crap.

  17. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Won't ever buy anything HP again

    Bought an HP laptop about 10 years ago, wifi card didn't work with Linux (this was a while ago). Found an equivalent mini pci-e wifi card that was compatible from Germany, took off the easy access panel and swapped it out for the original HP one.

    HP's BIOS refused to POST with a card that was not an original HP part.

    1. David Austin

      Re: Won't ever buy anything HP again

      A very rare "In defence of HP" post from me, here;

      if it was about 10 years ago, that would have been in the Intel Centrino era; a stipulation Intel put on to get Centrino certified and that lovely logo on the box meant the laptop had to not boot if it had a non Intel Wireless card (Or Chipset or processor, but obviously less of an issue)

      This wasn't a HP thing, it was across the board with Intel Centrino. A bit of a dick move on Intel's part, but partly in their defence, the Intel Centrino logo was a mark of quality; it was the first wireless systems you could buy that "Just Worked" without any of the normal compatibility headaches; this was intel protecting the platform integrity, and you got caught in the crossfire of it.

      1. Smirnov

        Re: A very rare "In defence of HP" post

        I'm sorry but that is not true. Centrino was Intels brand name for laptops which had an intel CPU, intel graphics and intel WiFi adapter. Centrino had no other requirements than these three, and no, intel did not require laptops to lock up if a non-intel adapter is inserted. HP, like Lenovo and pretty much everyone else in the business market, offered the same systems they sold as Centrino also with non-intel WiFi adapter as an option, although they then could no longer use the 'Centrino' label and benefit from intel's marketing support.

        The fact that most laptops lock up if they find a non-approved WiFi adapter is something completely different and totally unrelated to Intel's Centrino campaign. It's a simple measure laptop manufacturers use to make sure only approved WiFi cards are used in their laptops, which is important as WiFi means there's RF radiation leaving the laptop's antenna, which is why manufacturers test laptops and WiFi cards to ensure they maintain compliance at all times. For this reason a laptop BIOS checks the ID of the WiFi adapter and, if it's not one of the models that has been whitelisted, locks the laptop to prevent potentially unintended EMI.

        The way around that is to check which cards are supported by a specific laptop, and then just buy the exact part number. For some laptops there are also hacked BIOS versions available which remove the block. Also, there's a way to enable the card by cutting/overtaping a specific pin on the WiFi adapter's connector, but that comes with other downsides. So the best bet is to just buy a compatible card.

    2. Smirnov

      Re: Won't ever buy anything HP again

      Well clearly the card you bought wasn't compatible then, was it?

      And if that's the reason you won't buy HP in the future then you better stay off from pretty much every other laptop manufacturer out there as they all block unsupported WiFi cards in their BIOS, as this is a requirement to get FCC approval for a device which emits RF radiation.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Won't ever buy anything HP again

        they all block unsupported WiFi cards in their BIOS, as this is a requirement to get FCC approval for a device which emits RF radiation.

        UTTER bollocks. The manufacturer of the wifi card is required to get FCC approval. Only certain manufacturers interpret their obligation to test the RF emissions of devices that they sell to be only to allow the use of original parts. For instance, Dell have never put a wifi device lock on their laptops whilst HP have.

        Are you saying Dell are breaking the law? Or just trying to justify General Motors like OEM control?

  18. Anonymal coward

    Fiorina was the beginning of the end for HP...

    She dumped the mini business, even whilst there were buyers like Shell Expro, Lockheed, Boeing et al, bought Compaq ("Because it stands for 'Compatibility and Quality', doesn't it?") to bolster HP Consulting (Compaq still had the rump of DEC Consulting), redirected HP Research to digital cameras and flat screen TVs (which they had to buy in from Dell), and generally tried to go for consumer electronics margins to consumers. After that, there was no way back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Swiftly followed by Hurd...

      ..who was a numbers guy who only knew how to do one thing, and that was cut costs. After all, you can cut your way to prosperity, right?

      Hurd really didn't "get" R&D and demanded near instant ROI, which was never going to happen, so he ripped the heart out of HP R&D. Wanted everyone to take a pay-cut too; that went down well...

      BTW, along with digital cameras and flat-screen TVs, HP also sold iPods and car sat-navs at one point.

      A fine example of a once-great organisation that lost its way...

  19. AmyInNH

    ALWAYS read the not so Fine Print, and take it seriously.

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