Beware Of The Free Print Audit
In the eighties photocopiers were sold through a system called "CopyPlan". CopyPlan like Timeshare may have been initially a reasonable idea but hard sales tactics resulted in massive overcharging within the industry, eventually causing CopyPlan to become banned. The reason was simple, it was confusing and misleading. What CopyPlan did was effectively tie the customer to a high charge per copy that bundled the price of the machine, service and occasionally paper as well. It left many companies overpaying by thousands of pounds per year for their copiers and gave them little protection for bad service or in some cases no service at all. Photocopiers under CopyPlan were poorly maintained as the copier company had no incentive to provide good customer support and consumers ended up paying for thousands of unused copies each month. However Copyplan was hugely popular with copier salesman as they earned huge commissions, not just on the machine price but on future usage of the machine.
For many businesses, charities and schools, CopyPlan often meant horror stories that resulted in six figure bills for the copier contract. The idea of Copyplan has recently been resurrected with photocopier companies offering free print audits to get a foot in the door. Although digital photocopiers can save a huge amount of money on printing costs, often the print audit is used to deliver a "package" that fails to protect the customer and usually results in false economy. Additionally companies are often tied to fixed minimum level monthly copy charges which, just like Copyplan, lead to overcharging.
Consumers should insist that the price of the photocopier and the service charges are shown separately in any agreement. Do not agree a high minimum monthly charge as it is not necessary and offers no benefit.
Beware the Free Photocopier
Again a variation on Copyplan, the photocopier is offered for free but a high minimum charge and copy charge is paid by the customer. This tactic commits the customer to a far higher charge than they would otherwise pay through purchasing the copier. Although these deals can be appropriate in the short term, the customer needs to be aware of the overall commitment of this type of rental and that these deals are normally only suitable for a year.
Beware the Long Lease.
The price looks good for the monthly lease - the only problem is when you are asked to sign, the lease suddenly becomes a 7 or 9 year lease. No new photocopier should ever be sold on more than a 5 year lease and used photocopiers should only be sold on a 3 year lease. As a customer you should always be left with a copy of the lease and you must ensure that the lease term is written in front of you. An old trick used by photocopier salesman was to leave the lease term blank and fill it in after the customer has signed, or alter the term of the lease after the customer has signed.
Beware the Rollover Lease.
Any photocopier lease is designed to fully pay for the copier. At the end of the lease the title for the machine is given back to the supplier unless otherwise stipulated. On no circumstances should a consumer rollover the lease as the machine is almost worthless. Typically, title to the machine should be offered for no more than £100 to the customer. In these turbulent times, renewing or rolling over the lease may seem an easy option but in every case the customer is being charged twice over, often at a far higher lease and service cost than for new equipment since technology prices have fallen.
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Online Connect offer office equipment and document management goods and services throughout the UK. To arrange fair Photocopier Leasing http://www.onlineconnect.co.uk/