Welcome to episode 7 of our video series ‘exposing the hoodwinking

Each week we’re bringing to your attention a clause (usually hidden deep) within service agreement terms for office equipment like printersphotocopiers & telephones. Which could cause you pain and extra charges in the future.

Today were going to discuss suppliers who charge extra for ‘firmware upgrades’…

Somewhere in your agreement could be a clause that says something like. ‘Software of firmware enhancements or upgrades are not provided under this Agreement. But, may be purchased separately subject to our usual charges’.

Now. Before I go into what this clause means. I want to make it clear what is ‘firmware software’.

Firmware software is the operating system for a photocopier or printer. Like windows is for a PC or IOS is for Apple. And occasionally the manufacturer releases a firmware update to fix a problem or to release a new feature. Just like Apple & Microsoft do. And these are made available for free.

And if firmware in a photocopier or printer is not updated after a new release. Its highly likely the equipment will not function as it should or will simply stop working. Yes. It’s critical.

Back to the clause. What does it mean?

In its simplest term. The supplier will charge you for carrying out a firmware upgrade. Even though the software is free & the equipment is covered by their service agreement.

And I’m not talking about a few pounds either…

In the agreement I currently have. The suppliers ‘normal rates’ are £150 an hour. Which means. Including travelling time. Your firmware upgrade will cost you at least £300. For something which should be provided free as part of a service agreement.

And, if you’re not happy about it & decide not to pay. The supplier has the right to terminate the agreement for breach of their terms & conditions. And request immediate payment in full for the remaining agreement period. Based on your average monthly billing. Which could be £1,000’s.

As always. Our advice is to thoroughly check your service agreement T&C’s before you sign. And if you spot a clause that charges for ‘firmware updates’ ask the supplier to change or remove it.

If they won’t. Don’t sign it…

Instead. Find a trusted supplier who provide simple honest service. Who carryout free firmware updates within the service agreement. And don’t hide behind complex 1-sided terms & conditions.

…thank you for watching