Every year we have clients call us to help them figure out what has just happened to them. They are typically approached by a company (sometimes several different companies!) telling them that they offer a super deal on toner or on a device or something that just sounds so good, and is presented so slickly and convincingly, that the target of the scam is tempted into signing a long term contract for services and products.
These performers are skilled at directing the conversation so that avoiding any mention of existing client agreements and relationships is executed to perfection. In fact, they don’t want to talk about any existing contracts or business relationships as it would spoil their dishonest play! They just offer a low, low price as bait and people are often tricked into biting on it and sign what turns out to be a new, long-term agreement.
Later, when the client realizes something is wrong and that they now have two long-term obligations in place for the same services, they rightly become very frustrated and upset! That’s when they call us to help them understand what just happened!
Unfortunately, they find themselves in a business pickle, with the trick new obligation in place and a slick vendor who will not let them get out of it, as nothing illegal was done. They just didn’t help the client understand the entire picture or what is in the clients best interests. They are only interested in making a sale. And they will tell you it isn’t their fault if people don’t know what their existing business obligations are.
This is a slick, transactional sales job, and everyone needs to be aware that it is out there and being promoted by folks who are something less than honest. If you have questions about a competitive offering and you aren’t sure what your present obligations are, please call us and we will help you understand what the big picture looks like, with no obligation.
The office manager receives a call from a telemarketer, who states, “our monitoring software indicates your copier is low on toner, shall we send you some?” The office manager, in the midst of preparing quarter end reports replies, “absolutely, thanks for the call”. Client “A” then receives a shipment of 4 bottles of toner for a color copier, the make and model of which Client “A” does not have, and an accompanying invoice for $469.50 per bottle of toner. Yes, $1,878.00 total!! The truly upsetting part is that Client “A” does not have a color copier, and certainly not one of the make and model the toner will fit. But the Pirate Company who sent the toner states that the office manager’s reply constitutes an order, and they will only accept the toner back if Client “A” agrees to pay a 20% restocking fee plus shipping charge. They insist they will turn the matter over to “collections” if they are not paid. In reality, the correct toner for Client “A”’s copier is paid for inside a cost per page maintenance contract, and would only cost $109.95 per bottle if purchased at retail.
Client “B” has their copy and printing devices managed under a comprehensive program that includes the devices rental, all supplies and service. The Slick Sales Rep stops in and states they will provide the same program for a substantial discount and convinces Client “B” to sign their contract. The Slick Sales Rep does not help Client “B” understand that they already have a long term contract in place, and a resulting long term obligation that carries costs with it. The Slick Sales Rep glosses over any discussion that would lead to an in depth discovery that would uncover this fact. Client “B”’s new manager thinks the Slick Sales Rep’s offer looks good and signs it. Client “B” now has two long term obligations for the same services. The Slick Sales Rep will not consider letting Client “B” out of their contract without the payment of a substantial early termination charge, even though little or no services have yet been provided. Client “B” is in a business pickle!
Don’t get snared by the Toner Pirates or Slick Sales Reps! Let SPS help you avoid trouble by helping you understand an offer that sounds too good to be true!