Following our recent article advising all organisations to read & understand their photocopier & telephone system terms & conditions before signing a contract…
We were contacted this week by a very dis-stressed organisation who felt they have been misled (hoodwinked) by the provider who supplied & service their photocopier.
Just to remind you. We are on a mission to change the current negative perception of the managed print service (photocopier) & telephone system industry. In fact. It’s more than a mission. It’s our philosophy.
Sorry I’m passionate & got side-tracked. But I think it’s important to add a bit of context. Lets jump back in…
It’s not professional to name names. But lets make is easy & create a couple of fictitious ones. We’ll call the dis-stressed organisation Honest Joe & the photocopier provider Deceptive Dave (sorry for anyone out there called Dave. It’s not a slight on you. Honest).
About 2.5 years ago (yes that long) Honest Joe bought a photocopier from Deceptive Dave with the promise of generous savings against their total printing costs at the time. As the photocopier was expensive Honest Joe agreed to finance it over 63 months (just over 5 years) through a 3rd party leasing company. And signed a 63 month service contract with Deceptive Dave for an agreed cost for each page printed covering all consumables & maintenance.
Everything sounds great. But fast forward to the present and Honest Joe gets a call out of the blue from Deceptive Dave, who tells them they can save even more money on their total monthly printing cost. And all they have to do is sign a new 63 month lease & service contract for new equipment. Deceptive Dave will make sure the existing lease is paid & remove the old equipment for free. At first glance this seemed a great deal & Honest Joe was tempted to sign.
Luckily Honest Joe took some time to reflect. And wondered how Deceptive Dave could save them an additional 5% & provide them with brand new equipment. As luck would have it, they caught some of our articles & got in touch. And this is what we found:
- Deceptive Dave has put Honest Joe’s cost per page printed price up by by 20%.
- Deceptive Dave has introduced a fictitious £75 a quarter network peripheral charge.
- Deceptive Dave were just going to add the remaining lease settlement figure to the price of the new photocopier. Meaning Honest Joe would be leasing fresh air.
- On the proposed new deal Deceptive Dave reduced the cost per page printed back to the original level, making it look like Honest Joe was getting a good saving.
- On the proposed new deal Deceptive Dave removed the fictitious £75 a quarter network peripheral charge. Again showing another saving.
- On the proposed new deal Deceptive Dave was making Honest Joe pay off the remaining finance agreement by adding it to their equipment price. In effect Honest Joe would be leasing fresh air.
In 2.5 years Deceptive Dave has greatly increased Honest Joe’s total printing costs against the original costs they agreed. Which has allowed Deceptive Dave to make up a fictitious saving money scene, with the aim of getting Honest Joe to buy some more equipment on a new long-term lease & service agreement.
But the situation is even worse. Deceptive Dave have also got them trapped with a host of deceptive (but binding) terms and conditions too. Here goes:
- Parts will be only replaced under warranty for 24 months. After which you will be charged our standard rates.
- Firmware upgrades are not part of this agreement & can be purchased separately at our standard rates.
- After the first 12 months we will charge you a £75 a quarter network peripheral charge.
- The installation of print drivers, scan locations & scan to email will be charged at £150 per hour.
- Moves, adds & changes will be charged at £150 per hour.
- Any other work not covered in the contract will be charged at £150 per hour.
- Pricing will be reviewed throughout the term of this contract. And the charges may be subject to an increase.
- Replacement cartridge deliveries will be charge at £10 for each cartridge.
- Any work carried out due to you using inferior paper will be charge at £150 per hour.
- You can’t terminate the contract until at least 6 month prior to the end, by giving 6 months notice.
- We can terminate the contract at any time giving 3 months notice.
- If you terminate the contract you will pay us compensation of 60% of the remaining average contract value.
- If you don’t provide meter readings and we have to estimate them, we will charge a £25 administration fee.
Basically Honest Joe are being taken for ride & are getting hit with massive charges every way they turn. Deceptive Dave can put Honest Joe’s prices up whenever they want & have hit them with this fictitious £75 a month charge. Aside to this if they want to add any extra users, change something or move the photocopier they get hit with a massive £150 (we charge £40) per hour charge.
It goes without saying that Honest Joe are very unhappy and extremely angry, now they know the full extent of their situation. But the worst thing is, even if they want to terminate their service agreement with Deceptive Dave, they will have to pay them around £5,000 for the pleasure.
We can’t stress how important it is that you read & understand your service contract before you sign. And if you are unsure contact our technical manager Paul on 07887 570422 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for some free (no obligation) confidential advice.
Just remember. If you are uncomfortable with some of the terms in your service agreement (before you sign) ask your chosen provider to change them. And unless they have a logical reason why they can’t be changed. Our advice would be to steer well clear. As they could well be just another rogue trader.