We have heard it all when it comes to copiers and bad contracts people seem to have signed up for. First of all, I would like to toss out a few ideas, before I go too deeply into the weeds.
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17
The first thing is, if you listened to the surface of the story, you would conclude the teller of the story was preyed upon or victimized. It is possible they indeed were. There are cases where they were treated fairly and the impressions is messed up. Here are some examples:
- Someone works with a lease 5 years ago, they told the rep what they wanted, they left the company 2 years ago and the new person thinks the former person was stupid or tricked into a bad plan. This isn’t on the rep, it is more of a company culture issue.
- The workload used to justify the bigger device, but because of the economy, covid, or whatever, now printing has gone down a ton.
- The owner likes to get the best copier, regardless of need
- The person who was talking to the rep didn’t understand their business needs
Then there are times where it can fall on the copier company:
- A rep is trying to hit quota and oversells an account
- You have a dishonest rep
- The copier keeps breaking and breaking and breaking and people seem ok with that.
I would say, there is always a responsibility for BOTH parties to know what they are signing and to be ethical. So, if someone who does 1000 color prints a month has a lease for $300 per month for 5 years and they aren’t doing crazy specific marketing stuff – I feel bad for them, but they did sign the contract. In a similar manner, if the copier company cuts their margin too tight (happens all the time), and there are a lot of issues, so the client is losing them money each month to have… they also signed the contract.
I think MORE of the burden falls to the copier company because they do this daily and are setting the terms. All this being said, what do you do if you have a bad copier lease?
- First, I would call the copier company and see what can be worked out.
- I would see how long is left on the deal (maybe riding it out isn’t too painful.
- I would check competitor pricing to be sure my suspicions were accurate
- I would make sure to read the current lease so I could give notification in the proper window so I didn’t get stuck with extended terms
- I would ask for the buyout number, to see how painful just being done with it was…
- I would escalate the concern to the owner of the copier company
- I would have my attorney look at the contract if it was super bad
- I would write reviews online to warn others against the company
- I would work out the cost difference between what I have vs what I wanted and see if it made sense
- I would take responsibility for making a bad choice to go with the current dealer and learn from the decision and not complain.
I hope this helps. Being in a bad lease isn’t the best thing that can happen to a company. It can be financially and even emotionally stressful.
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