Article

How to Understand Your Office Equipment Supplier

03-Apr-2014

 To avoid the copier scam, the telephone scam, the franking machine scam etc, you need to understand your Office equipment supplier.

So to begin to get a fair deal from an office equipment supplier, you need to understand a couple of the basics

 

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First, most people who start a company do so with an end game in mind, usually this will be to build value and have something to sell or pass on to family or friends.

Therefore if your supplier just sold photocopiers, printers, telephone systems or franking machines etc, he would have nothing of value to sell or leave to loved ones, after all anybody can sell a machine.

The value of your suppliers company is directly linked to having you tied into him for as long as possible and for as much as possible, hence the rip off contracts we read so much about.

If you sign on the dotted line to produce copies you might never make each month or quarter for an extended period, you add a value to the sales company. You have a long term commitment, which is attractive to some of the companies who grow through acquisition.

How can a seller enhance the potential you afford him?

A seller can do a number of things to optimise that value, for instance, if your machine produces colour copies, he can set your machine to register each developer movement as opposed to each physical piece of paper (copy) which is produced. This means he can charge you 3 times for each colour plus one black for each colour ‘copy’ you produce, set in this way, you will even be charged for copies you never produce.

In another copier scam he can set your machine to default to a colour copy, this means that even mono copies are printed using the colour method, as colour copies are generally charged at around 5 pence per copy and black copies at 0.5 pence, this gives the dealer more profit and of course increase your periodic colour usage.

Try to imagine the effect of all three of the above, if you had a minimum number of copies you commit to produce and your machine was set to developer movements, this means you would get less than 1/3rd of the physical copies you are paying for and if the machine was set to default to colour, you would get even less.

In such an event the selling company will undoubtedly come back to sell you a bigger machine or increase your minimum periodic volume.   

Add to this erroneous contract terms which if you try to leave the contract before it has completed the initial term, require you to pay for copies you won’t use based on your historic usage and you have a potential goldmine for the seller.

So ladies and gentlemen, be very careful when you buy office equipment.  Remember the damage is not always in the finance agreement, for if you fall victim to a copier scam it could easily put you out of business.

If you think you might be the victim of a one of the above scams then contact us now for peace of mind.

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