Misleading and dishonest printer contracts

Do you have a contract or a “con” tract?

Atomik.biz provides ethical printer contracts for business printers and scanners as well as multifunctional devices. We have access to brands such as Xerox, Sharp & Toshiba. The difference is we will only provide on the basis of our high ethical standards.



We investigated unfair clauses in printer contracts from many other document solution providers.

These “Con” tracts have three main aims.

  • To sell by appearing cheaper than other suppliers.
  • To maximise profit with hidden or unfair charges
  • To tie the customer in for an extended period where they can use their contractual clauses to take full advantage of a customer

They can get away with this as very few people read these contracts before signing them. People generally assume they are fair, they are much too long, and the print is always too small. Our advice is read them very carefully or ideally get a legal professional to look at them.

All too often clients will look at what appears to be the ‘headline price’, but that is all it is ‘a headline’. The basis of the simple trick is why would you pay someone more for the same product. The truth is that we all buy the product at more or less the same price so significant differences should ring alarm bells.

Look Out For These Tricks

Please beware of other tricks in the market (There may be some we don’t know about, so be careful – NONE OF THESE APPLY TO OUR ETHICAL PRINTER CONTRACTS):

Multiple clicks per colour print

i.e. one for Cyan, one for Magenta, one for Yellow and one added to the Black meter – They often pose a cheap price and then catch you with this one making the print cost very high – it’s often hidden in the terms and conditions which most people don’t even read including Solicitors believe it or not! They often use the word per colour, not per colour print. 

Coverage limitations

Many suppliers are now heading down this route, again they’ll make the click costs look cheap and then sting you for coverage in excess of 5% on black and then over 20% coverage (some are only 10% coverage) in colour! It’s a real money spinner for them. How do you know if they’re being truthful about your page coverage and do you have any idea at all about how much coverage of toner will be on the next page you print? We certainly don’t.

Parts Warranties

Unscrupulous suppliers now get you to sign up, and after the first twelve months, they start charging you for a parts warranty. It’s just a made-up term for we’re going to help ourselves to an extra £ 50 or £100 of your money each quarter! (typically hidden in the small print on the back of their agreement and it doesn’t even tell you what the charges are as they only put ‘at our then current rate’ which means they can charge you whatever they want to). 

A large increase in cost per page

We’ve seen client’s charges treble inside two years & they had the cheek to remove toner from being included so charged for it in addition to the copy charges! 

Delivery charges for toner and other consumables

This has become a lot more popular in recent times as companies look to make a few extra ££££ – Often the delivery charges for items like waste toner units are higher than the cost of buying the item yourself! 

Volume tie-ins

Avoid any tie to a volume as your business WILL change over the coming years, it’s only ever in the interests of the supplier to tie you in, and it gives them leverage over you and if you tie yourself to expensive colour volumes it’s almost pointless cutting costs by printing black when you have to print those colour prints or you’ll pay for them anyway – Bad idea!

Lengthy contracts

The most common catch of all. We’ve seen clients tied into a five-year service agreement even though they’ve only signed up to a three-year lease agreement. The law offers no protection as Limited companies and LLP’s are not protected in any way; if you sign, you pay. The other reason for the lengthy contracts is if you want to leave early you’re faced with huge penalties to wave goodbye. Many contracts now have a minimum of twelve months’ notice to terminate. When you’re looking to change something you don’t want to change it in twelve months, you want to change it now, but on this basis, you’re ‘handcuffed’ to the supplier, and they know that. Many even have dubious ‘admin charges’ top terminate the contracts and massive machine collection charges. 

Charges for Scanned Pages

Very popular now as many suppliers are looking to create sneaky revenue streams, and they’re very crafty as they can set-up the devices to record them against the meter! 

Misleading cancellation clauses

Clients are getting caught out more and more by careful wording that is deliberately set up to catch you; wording such as; if we increase by more than 5% per annum then you may cancel this agreement/contract. Not entirely what it appears as if you do cancel then they will charge you heavy penalties for cancelling leaving you forced into paying massive increases or the penalty to get out neither of which is palatable. 

We have examples of these types of contracts and are happy to pass them on, we are only interested in fair business for both parties.



For ethical printer contracts

Please use the Contact us page or call us on

01525 540 041 or 020 3327 1747

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