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Schools Stunned By Hidden Photocopier Charges!

11 Jul 2017
Schools Stunned By Hidden Photocopier Charges!

Schools stunned by 'hidden' photocopier charges which ''deprive children of books''

Andrew Penman a daily mirror investigative columnist reported on one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of office photocopiers, office printers and business machines. In May 2014 Penman exposed their dubious sales tactics leaving many customers paying more than 3 times the charge that appeared on their office photocopier service agreement.

What has the financial conduct authority (FCS) done to stop this unethical scam? Unfortunately the answer is ‘nothing’ and because of this many other office photocopier suppliers are taking advantage of customers to make a ‘quick buck’ regardless of the consequences.

Recently we visited a school in Oldham, Manchester and came across a distraught headmaster who showed us copies of the forms he signed without reading the small print.

The proposed charges on the service agreement seemed clear enough with colour copies being charged 3.5 pence and mono copiers charged at 0.5 pence.

What is misleading about that?

The school received their first invoice for copy charges after a couple of months the colour business machine was installed. They was surprised to find they had been getting charged 3 times the expected price at 11 pence per colour copy.

Always read your photocopier contracts small print

Majority of office photocopier industries such as, Xerox, Ricoh, OKI and Kyocera, have best kept secrets called ‘Development’. As a responsible supplier of office copiers, printers and other business machines, we are doing our utmost to make all buyers aware of this scam.

Based on Andrew Penman’s report, a lot of office copier suppliers are using ‘development’ to boost their income by over 300%-600%.

Below are a couple of comparisons:

A quote from us at Document XL, on a Xerox AltaLink C8030, will typically have the following charges:

Colour Copy Charge: 3.75 pence

Mono Copy Charge: 0.5 pence

A quote from another company on a multi-function business machine will have charges at:

Colour Copy Charge: 3.5 pence

Mono Copy Charge: 0.5 pence

Understandably, a buyer looking to keep costs down might be tempted to go for the second option but this is where you need to be careful

The lower pricing on the second copier is likely to be based on their ‘development’ charging policy which may triple your costs or worse.

With Document XL, your machine will be supplied with an all-inclusive Xerox Pagepack contract which includes all toners, printer consumables, staples, repairs and warranty, directly from Xerox UK, the Manufacturer. Therefore, the cost to produce a Colour document on the Xerox AltaLink C8030 will be the agreed 3.75 pence (excl. vat).

If you are based in Leeds, London, Manchester or Lancashire, the price we agree with you will be the price you pay.

Comparing this to the way you’re charged for a similarly featured office photocopier under a ‘Development’ service agreement:

Cyan toner, magenta toner and yellow toner are all charged separately costing 3.5 pence each, black toner is added at 0.5 pence. The end result of your document charges that you thought would be charged at 3.5 pence is actually costing 11 pence.

To make matters worse, if the document produced is either an A4R document (landscape) or a larger A3 document then the charge could be a staggering 22.00 pence.

However our Xerox Pagepack cost for the same document would remain at 3.75 pence, irrespective of the size of paper used.

An A4R or A3 double sided copy would be 44 pence that is double the price compared to only 7.5 pence with our Xerox package. That’s almost six times the price!

This shows, what you thought was a cost-effective contract is really a money pit.

The effect on schools

Back in 2014, Apogee spokesman Alan Pierpoint insisted that there was nothing wrong with its contracts, saying they contained the explicit warning, “Please read all terms & conditions”.

He added; “In my view, our charges are very clearly explained. The fact of the matter is that before a customer comes to sign a service agreement, there will inevitably have been discussions with them concerning our charges.”

According to the National ­Association of Head Teachers, the problem is; We don’t want head teachers to be experts in hire purchase and photocopier service agreements; we want head teachers to be experts in teaching.”

Many head teachers assume the people they are dealing with are upfront and decent when this is not always the case.

The National Association of School Business Managers (NASBM) is only too aware of the problem.

“This is an area of concern, ­particularly for those schools that don’t have a school business manager trained in overseeing complex ­decisions on contracts,” said executive director Stephen Morales.

“NASBM believes that schools should not enter any such contracts unless they can first draw on internal expertise or similar advice from the local council, otherwise there is a real risk that money could be diverted from the classroom to meet exorbitant contract costs.”

Read about our previous blog - 'Another Manchester School Delighted with New Xerox Photocopiers'

Check your Office copier costs

If you’re leasing photocopiers, you can check how much you’re being charged by noting the meter reading showing the number of copies made.

Then make a single A3 colour copy and check the meter again. If it has increased by more than one, question your copier supplier.

Repeat the process with a mono sheet because some copiers can be set to use the colour process (with the higher colour charges) even if only producing a black and white image.

However, if you really want honest, open advice from a trusted supplier on which office copier or printer offers the best value for money for you and your organisation, then you know who to call:

DocumentXL on 08456 448 600.

Did you know that we sell office photocopiers in Leeds, supply laser printers in London and sell copiers in Rochdale, Manchester? We even supply new, used and refurbished office machines throughout Yorkshire, Lancashire and across the UK.

So, if you demand true value for money, ongoing reliability and stunning high definition print quality, then we can deliver all of these important factors with confidence, as both Document XL and Xerox have the experience needed to support your organisation whether you’re based here in the UK, across Europe or indeed anywhere in the world.

Contact us today to get the right business machines for your business!

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