Do you have a printer contract or a “con” tract?
Atomik.biz provides ethical printer contracts for business printers, scanners and multifunctional devices. We supply brands such as Xerox, Sharp & Toshiba. The difference is we will only supply based on our high ethical standards. Unlike many of our competitors, we want customers to keep coming back to us because they are delighted with our ongoing fair prices. Customers want printer contracts to minimise capital expenditure and give predictable ongoing costs. Some dishonest printer contracts result in the exact opposite outcome.
Unfair printer contracts
We have investigated unfair clauses in printer contracts from many other printer suppliers.
These “Con” tracts have three main aims.
- Get sales by appearing cheaper than other suppliers
- Maximise profit with hidden and unfair charges
- Tie the customer in for an extended period where they can use their contractual clauses to take full advantage of the customer
They can get away with this as very few people read printer 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 to read them very carefully and ideally get a legal professional to look at them.
Some clients just look at 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. Suppliers 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 low price and then catch you with this one making the print cost very high. The clause is well hidden in the terms and conditions which most people don’t read. They often use the word per colour, not per colour print.
Many suppliers are now heading down this route; again they’ll make the click costs look cheap and then sting you for coverage over 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.
Unscrupulous suppliers get you to sign up, and after the first twelve months, they start charging you for a parts warranty. It’s a made-up term for we’re going to help ourselves to an extra £ 50 to £100 of your money each quarter! Again this is hidden in the small print on the back of their agreement. It doesn’t even tell you what the charges are as they only put ‘at our then-current rate’. “Our then-current rate” means they can charge you whatever they want to.
A substantial increase in cost per page
We’ve seen client’s charges treble inside two years and they even removed toner from being included. They then charge for toner in addition to the per-page charges!
Delivery charges for toner and other consumables
Delivery charges have become more frequent recently as companies look for ways to make extra revenue. Often the delivery charges for items like waste toner units are higher than the cost of buying the part yourself!
Avoid any tie-in 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, as it gives them leverage over you. If you commit yourself to high colour volumes, it’s almost pointless cutting costs by printing in monochrome as you’ll have to pay for printing colour anyway – Bad idea!
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 does not protect Limited companies and LLP’s in any way; if you sign, you pay. Another reason for the lengthy printer contracts is if you want to leave early, you’re faced with considerable 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’ to 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, deliberately designed to trap you; wording such as; if we increase by more than 5% per annum then you may cancel this agreement/printer contract. These clauses are not what they appear, as if you do cancel, then they will charge you heavy penalties for cancellation. You have to choose between paying massive increases or the penalty, 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.
WE DONT CHARGE ANY OF THE ITEMS IN BOLD. We are an ethical supplier.