Copier Service Response Time: What’s Reasonable and What’s Way Too Long

Last week I received a call  from the office manager of a company here in Baltimore, Maryland looking to lease a new copier.

As I usually do when I receive a call like this I began asking this office manager a few questions about their current copier situation and why they might be looking to leave their current vendor.

She gave me a few of the usual answers like the copier is jamming a lot, the copier is regularly down going altogether and they’re not at all happy with the service from their existing copier company.

From there I scheduled an appointment to meet with the office manager and general manager of the compan.

If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll know that often when I meet with prospective customers and begin asking these types of detailed questions I’m stunned by the answers. I guess I shouldn’t be stunned  any more but it’s kind of hard not to be when you find out how badly people are being taken advantage of by morally challenged (shady) copier companies.

When I arrived at the company and was waiting for the office manager and General Manager to meet with me I observed they had an old Lanier copier right there in the front office. When I say an old Lanier, I mean OLD. At least 12 years old.

After asking my more detailed questions I found out 2 things that really did shock and amaze me.

1) They have been paying a lease payment for their old copier for at least the past 8 YEARS. Yes I said AT LEAST 8 YEARS!

They even suspect that 8 years ago when the copier was first delivered that it was already used. Judging from the make and model of the copier I think they’re probably right.

The issue of paying a lease payment for the same copier for years and years perpetually is one I’ve seen many times before. It’s called “ever-greening”. What it means is that the lease will continue to self-renew until the customer says stop with written notice.

I think it’s called ever-greening because the copier companies bank accounts are becoming greener by ripping off people who are too busy running their businesses to pay attention to whats happening to them.

This practice is very common so I decided to dedicate a whole post to it in the next few months.

Now lets move on to shocking discovery number 2.

2) The existing copier company regularly takes up to 4 business days to service the copier.

No I’m not joking. I wish I was. On more than one occasion this company has been without a copier for 4 days and even at their best this company would take 2 days to get there.

So you have something to compare to my company offers all of our customers a 4 hour service guarantee. From the time you pick up the phone and call us we have 4 hours to get to your location to service the copier. If we don’t get there within 4 hours we will credit our customers $100.00 toward their next service plan invoice.

We rarely have to pay. We’re dedicated to providing top notch service.

While a 4 hour service guarantee may be a bit on the ambitious side I think same day or next day service are totally reasonable expectations. If your copier company is taking longer than that on a regular basis you may want to consider having a polite conversation with them about the issue.

If that doesn’t work it may be time to consider looking into other companies who can service your brand of copier.

I hope this information helps. As always feel free to email or call me with any questions about buying or leasing copiers.

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

 

 

 

Why an Old (Paid Off) Copier Can Easily Be Costing You More Than a New One

 

 

I recently received a call from an organization in Northern Virginia. Someone in the organization had been reading this blog and contacted me because they were curious if there was any way they could get a new copier for anywhere near what they were paying for their existing copier.

The copier they had was an older Cannon Image Runner that printed/copied at 20 pages per minute in black only and had very few of the  features that are available today. The copier was donated to them several years ago (already used) and had been serving them well but they wanted a little to see if they could upgrade to a newer, better copier(maybe even a color copier) for anywhere near what they were currently paying.

The service contract was about to renew for another 12 months and the existing copier company was asking this organization to pay$1,750.00 for 35,000 black copies/prints for the following 12 months. That’s 5 cents per black print/copy. OUCH!!!

5 cents per black copy/print is VERY expensive.

In the existing copier companies defense the Cannon is very old and probably very inefficient in it’s toner use. But 5 cents still seems high.

After asking a lot of questions and making sure I understood their needs I created a proposal for this organization complete with full cost analysis comparing what they have now to what I’m offering.

I have cut and pasted below that actual Cost Savings Analysis I included in the is customers proposal.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Copier Cost Savings Analysis

 

Current Situation

XXXXXX currently has a Cannon ImageRunner 1021F which prints and copies at 20 pages per minute.

The cost for a new 12 month service agreement from your existing vendor, which includes 35,000 black copies/prints, would be $1,750.00.

Proposed Solution

ABS-Toshiba is proposing a brand new Toshiba e Studio 2050c color copier.

The  lease payment will be $92.43 per month for 39 months for the new

Toshiba e-Studio 2050c.

The service plan for the Toshiba would be $784.00 per year ($65.33 per month) for 7,000 color and 28,000 black copies/prints.

The total cost for lease and service would be $157.76 per month or $1,893.12 per year if choosing a 39 month lease.

Conclusion

XXXXXXXXX can upgrade to a brand new Toshiba color copier with more capabilities for $143.12 per year or $11.93 per month more than you are now paying for the Cannon when choosing a 39 month lease.

If you were to choose a 48 month lease you would be paying $91.52 per year or $7.63 per month more than you are paying now for the Cannon.

** If you were to choose a 60 month lease you would SAVE $230.56 per year or $19.21 per month compared to the Cannon.**

Further savings will be realized by using less paper due to duplexing (2 sided printing) capabilities of the Toshiba.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The bottom line is that this organization could get a brand new Toshiba color copier for LESS money per month provided they go with a 60 month lease.

Keep in mind we are comparing the total cost of ownership of an old Cannon copier that prints/copies only black to a brand new Toshiba color machine with far more time and money saving  features.

They can cut their paper budget by at lease 30% because the old machine doesn’t do two sided printing so every time they print a 2 page document they are forced to use 2 pieces of paper. A 4 page document now requires 4 pieces of paper where their new Toshiba e-Studio 2050c would only require 2 pieces of paper.

You get the idea.

What’s even more impressive is that if they were to lease a Toshiba e-Studio 206L, which is the true equivalent model of to what they have now (20 pages per minute black copier), saving would be considerably more.

I’ve pasted the conclusion of the Cost Savings Analysis for our equivalent model below.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

XXXXXX can upgrade to a brand new Toshiba copier with more capabilities for less money (including lease & service)  than you are now paying for the Cannon.

The total savings realized would $423.88 per year when choosing a 39 month lease.

The total savings realized would $471.61 per year when choosing a 48 month lease.

The total savings realized would $769.60 per year when choosing a 60 month lease.

Further savings will be realized by using less paper due to duplexing (2 sided printing) capabilities of the Toshiba.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It’s an understandable misconception. Most organizations (businesses, churches. nonprofits, ect) assume that because their copier is paid off that they are saving money over leasing or buying a new one.

The reality of MANY cases like this is that I can provide them a brand new Toshiba copier for less money (including lease AND service) than they are paying now. Sometimes substantially less.

If your organization is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia or Deleware and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will always tell you the truth,  please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

My company carries Toshiba Copiers, HP & Lexmark Printers, Fujitsu Scanners and Dahle Professional Shredders.

In addition to the hardware listed above we provide software and services such as Managed Print Services, IT/Network Services and a full line of document management software.

If you have a general copier buying question or would like a free copy of my book, The Ultimate Copier Buying Guide, just fill out the form below. Thanks for stopping by. Come back often and most of all…… HAVE FUN!

Ed Worthington

Categories: Uncategorized

Save your organization BIG MONEY on printing & copying costs by knowing and controlling who’s printing & copying what, when, where, why and how!

Contact me for more information on PaperCut MF

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

Should You Include Maintenance Plan Costs In Your Copier Lease?

Business saving money Stock Image

 

Recently I met with a prospective copier customer located here in Baltimore, Maryland.

The company is what I would consider a mid-sized manufacturing business with 200 employees.

They have 3 copiers and 3 large commercial color printers at their facility.

During our initial meeting I asked the CFO of the company how his billing was set up with his current copier vendor and he informed me that everything was included in his lease.

By everything he meant that the copiers, the printers and the maintenance agreement for all of them were all rolled into one lease.

Just to be clear, when I say maintenance agreement/plan I’m speaking of an agreement that covers toner, all service and repairs as well as preventative maintenance. Basically everything except paper and staples for the copiers and printers.

When I asked the CFO if he’d ever considered having the maintenance agreement billed separately from the lease he looked puzzled.

I explained to him that he was paying interest/leasing fees on the maintenance agreement and that he really didn’t have to do that.

I further explained that all copier companies will bill you separately for your maintenance agreement and that keeps you from paying leasing fees on your copier maintenance plan.

I told him that many copier companies don’t actually hold your lease in-house but instead send it to an outside company. In these cases the leasing company sends you the lease invoice each month for the lease and the copier company will send you the bill for the maintenance plan because they are the ones providing the maintenance.

Then what the CFO said next had me puzzled. He said he likes to keep the copiers, printers and maintenance together in the same lease so he doesn’t have to write 2 checks every month. Huh?

This business does a fairly significant amount of printing and copying so they are paying A LOT of money unnecessarily.

Unlike this CFO many businesses who have the cost of maintenance rolled into their copier lease don’t understand that they’re paying leasing fees on the copier maintenance agreement.

I’ve even had prospective customers tell me that the sales rep of their current vendor told them that there are no fees whatsoever associated with putting maintenance into the lease.

That sounds like a bunch of poo poo to me. There could be many reasons a copier salesperson is encouraging you to do this but my bet is that it benefits the salesperson to do so.

One possibility is that the copier company actually holds the lease in-house and by rolling maintenance plan costs into the lease they make increased profits on that maintenance. Therefore the copier company may be giving the sales rep an increased commission for putting the maintenance costs into the lease.

If the leasing company (whether in-house or not)  is allowing you to have maintenance costs rolled into your copier lease they are charging you for the privilege one way or another.

They are leasing companies, not charities. They didn’t get to be the incredibly profitable entities they are by lending money to businesses for free.

It seemed to me that this CFO was costing his company a boatload of money for the convenience of writing one check per month instead of two. Heck, most copier companies will bill you quarterly or even annually for maintenance so you really don’t even have to write a maintenance check every month.

My advice is to have your maintenance agreement billed separately to avoid unnecessary costs to your business.

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

 

 

 

 

How Small Businesses Can Save BIG Money on Copying & Printing Costs

Last week I received a call from a small professional services company located in Bethesda, Maryland. The bottom line of the call was that this company was struggling with declining revenues since 2008 due to the economic downturn and is looking to save money on their copying and printing costs.

My experience in the field tells me that they’re not alone. I seem to be getting more and more calls and emails from small business owners and executives with the same questions and concerns. The owners of these small businesses are feeling uncertain about the future and looking to save money wherever they can.

As a matter of fact, this company wasn’t just looking to save money, they needed to save money to stay in business.

They wanted to know if I could help. I could, and in a BIG way. I’ll explain how I did it in a moment but first here is some important background information.

There are approximately 28 million small businesses (under 500 employees) in America . Approximately 90% of these companies have 20 or less employees and about 96% have 50 employees or less. Chances are pretty good that if you’re reading this you’re one of them.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of  small businesses in America and many of them are unknowingly throwing money away every day by using very inefficient and expensive desktop printers and all-in-one (print,copy, scan, fax) desktop printers. I’m not talking about a few dollars here.  There is much more than that in play here.

I’ve been told by more than one business owner that they’ve always assumed because they have so few employees and do such a small amount of printing and copying that it wouldn’t be cost effective for them to purchase or lease a stand alone copier. That assumption is costing many of them thousands of dollars per year.

When I say thousands I mean that literally. No exaggeration. If that sounds like a lot of money that’s because it is. Especially for a small business.

Many businesses based on the assumptions I listed above go to Staples, Office Depot or go online and purchase multiple desktop printers and/or desktop all-in-one printers.

Although these desktop models are less expensive than a stand alone copier to purchase up front, in the long run they can be considerably more expensive to operate due to the high cost of their consumables such as toner, drums, ect.

It’s important to take a close look at the total cost of ownership of your current copying & printing equipment.

I designed The Copier Cost Comparison Worksheet to give businesses and professional practices like yours a way to assess the monthly cost of your current copier(s)/printer(s) to the cost to the cost of the solution that a prospective vendor is offering.

This worksheet is especially helpful for businesses that are using multiple desktop all-in-one machine like the popular Brother or HP models.

There are many variables that effect the overall costs of copiers and printers so you may have questions about your specific situation. When these questions arise feel free to call me directly or fill out the easy contact form at the bottom of this post.

1) How much do you spend on toner per month for all existing machines? Include all desktop printers and all-in-one printers.

__________

2) How much do you spend per year over the last several years replacing  fax machines, desktop printers and all-in-one devices?  (Divide annual amount by 12)

__________

3) Total Monthly Cost of Existing Copier/Document Management Process (Add lines 1 and 2)

__________

4) Proposed Monthly Investment for Stand Alone Copier (Lease Payment or Purchase Amount Divided by 60 Months)

__________

5) Proposed Monthly Investment for Service Plan on Stand Alone Copier

__________

6) New Monthly Investment for Stand Alone Copier (Add lines 4 and  5)

__________

7) Savings Per Month with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Subtract line 6 from line 3)

__________

8) Annual Savings with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Multiply line 7 by 12 months)

__________

9) Savings Over Full Lease Term with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Multiply line 7  by number of  months of lease term)

__________

Other Considerations:

In addition to the savings shown above, your office staff will now be much more efficient in their daily work. The time invested in repeated workflow processes will be dramatically reduced due to the unique features of a stand alone copier solution. There is a definite savings in cost of man hours due to this increase in office efficiency.

Additionally, if you currently receive a high volume of inbound faxes you can save additional revenues by using the stand alone copier as a fax machine. Each fax printed on a stand alone copier is far less expensive than that of a fax machine.

Also with a stand alone copier you don’t have to print every fax. You can have the faxes routed to an email inbox as a pdf document. Many businesses receive several pages of fax spam per day. You no longer have to pay for toner and paper to print out these advertisements. Just view and delete them right from the an email inbox.

These savings are in addition to the savings on this worksheet.

If your organization is located in the Baltimore, Washington DC, Northern Virginia metro area I’d be happy to perform a cost analysis to see if I can save you money. Chance are good that I can whether you have desktop equipment or stand alone copiers.

It never hurts to get a competitive quote to compare your current vendor to.

If you have any questions feel free to call me or fill out the easy contact form below. Have Fun!

Ed Worthington 443-570-0414

How to Cancel a Copier Lease- Sample Letter of Intent to Cancel Copier Lease

February 15, 2014 4 comments

Frustrated Man Worries About Economy Unpaid Bills

If you are leasing a copier for your business, professional practice or non-profit than your lease will no doubt have a specific term attached to it. A term simply means the length of the lease. Most copier lease terms are either 36, 48 or 60 months.

Most people believe that if they don’t want to keep the copier that the leasing company will contact them at the end of the lease and they can just send it back.

That’s where the mistake is made.

The leasing company usually will not contact you at the end of the lease and if you don’t send them a “letter of intent” to discontinue (cancel, terminate) the lease they will keep billing you the same monthly payment you’ve been from the beginning.

I’ve personally seen a real life case where a medical practice located in Westminster, Maryland (a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland) paid on their copier for an extra 4 years after the original lease ended.

With the amount of money they paid over the 7 years the could have literally bought 3 copiers. All because they failed to understand when their lease actually ended and what their responsibility was if they wanted to end the copier lease.

Whether you want to send the copier back at the end of the lease or you want to purchase the copier from the leasing company you must send them a letter of intent to terminate or purchase during the time widow specified in the lease you signed. That time window varies by leasing company but typically is something like, “no later than 60 days before the lease ends but no sooner than 120 days before the lease ends”.

You may be wondering why you have to send a letter of intent to terminate a copier lease if it ends on a specific date anyway. That’s because in the eyes of the leasing company the lease isn’t over until they receive your letter of intent within the specified time window.

It gets worse. With some leasing companies if they don’t receive your letter of intent in time they may not only keep billing you the same monthly payment but they may renew your lease for a full year.

So if you were to discover that your lease ended 3 months ago and you contact the leasing company thinking you can just end it now you’ll be in for a rude awakening. If you want to terminate the lease after this full year automatic renewal has happened than the leasing company will say, “no problem, you just have to buyout out the remaining months plus a few early termination fees to boot”.

To make this magical journey even more fun guess what happens if you were to forget to send in the letter of intent during the specified time window at the end of your one year automatic renewal? You guessed it, you get to spend another exciting  full year paying the wonderful leasing company.

The moral of this story is two-fold: 1) know when your copier lease ends and 2) send in your letter of intent during the time window specified by the leasing company or else you’ll regret it.

If your wondering what a letter of intent should say then click on the link below for a template. Just fill in your info and send it off. I would recommend certified mail. :)

Letter Of Intent To Terminate Lease

If your organization is located in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC or Northern Virginia metro areas please contact me to receive a competitive quote about 6 months before your current lease ends. It never hurts to get a competitive quote. It tends to keep your current vendor honest.

My company carries Toshiba Copiers, HP & Lexmark Printers, Fujitsu Scanners and Dahle Professional Shredders.

In addition to the hardware listed above we provide software and services such as Managed Print Services, IT/Network Services and a full line of document management software.

If you have a general copier buying question or would like a free copy of my book, The Ultimate Copier Buying Guide, just fill out the form below. Thanks for stopping by. Come back often and most of all…… HAVE FUN!

Categories: Copier Leasing

Health Plan Company Settles with Health & Human Services (HHS) for $1.2 Million in Copier Hard Drive HIPPA Violation Case

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Affinity Health Plan, Inc. based in Bronx, New York will settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules for $1,215,780.

The Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) investigation indicated that Affinity impermissibly disclosed the protected health information of up to 344,579 individuals when it returned multiple photocopiers to a leasing agent without erasing the data contained on the copier hard drives.

In addition, the investigation revealed that Affinity failed to incorporate the electronic protected health information stored in copier’s hard drives in its analysis of risks and vulnerabilities as required by the Security Rule, and failed to implement policies and procedures when returning the hard drives to its leasing agents.

Bottom line, if you are a physician or health care provider make sure that your copier company is protecting you by following proper information security procedures namely wiping the hard drive or removing the hard drive before selling or leasing the copier to someone else.

Click the link below to see the CBS News report that opened up this case.

If you have questions about this post or any general copier buying questions fill out the form below or contact me, Ed Worthington, directly at 443-570-0414. Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun day.

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