Lease is too Good to be True is a case study concerning an inexperienced copier lessee.
By reading and understanding the case of “The Lease is Too Good To Be True”, you will know one type of deal you should stay away from. This casenwill help you weed out so called opportunities that are really rip-offs in disguise.
This is a rather simple, yet very common scenario. This is just one example of a repeating copier rip off I’ve seen so many times its just sad. This is a must read if you’re one of those people who like shopping the internet for equipment. It should make you rethink leasing any service intensive equipment from a non-local dealer.
Case of Noel Hosemenot, P.A. – She Got Hooked Up with a Deceitful Copier Dealer
The names have been changed, but the case is real. I received a call from Noel early in 2016. Initially, she asked me if we service Ricoh copiers. I replied, “yes we do”. “What model do you have?” She replied, “a Ricoh Aficio MP C4501”. I know the MP C4501 to be a good all in one type of color copier that was manufactured and sold as new around 2010, give or take a year. After about two minutes of me playing detective to get answers, Noel expressed to me some critical information regarding her dilemma.
The copier was leased less than 6 months ago – the lease is too good to be true – or is it?
A “dealer” located approximately 100 miles away set Noel up with a 60 month lease on this Ricoh color copier. They provided a service contract for $30.00 per month, including parts, labor, toner and service calls. Noel wanted to know if I would honor their service contract. Immediately, I sensed the problem. Just as so many before her, Noel had made a deal with the devil. Noel Hosemenot, P.A. had not been able to get anybody out to service her equipment in two weeks of trying. Her original dealer had mislead her into believing they could service the equipment, when they really couldn’t. At least, not adequately enough to keep it running under her low volume. In fact, I recognized the name of the copier company that sold her on this lease service program of theirs. This was a company I knew as a dealer wholesaler. They really weren’t a true servicing copier dealer. Wholesalers typically either do wholesale or they do general business to business. Wholesalers just fluff n’ buff the machines so functions work, but its the buying dealer’s responsibility to refurbish, replace parts and detail for the end customer.
Mama said if The Lease is Too Good To Be True Its just Another Copier Lease Scam
Noel explained that the dealer was very willing to let her out of the service portion of the arrangement. It was actually separate from the lease. In this day of bundled leases, these copier scoundrels probably planned to dump the service as soon as they had a service call. I saw this as somewhat of a mixed blessing. I told Noel, “You won’t be able to get out of the lease”, and its really not much help to get out of the service contract. The thing is, “the copier dealer has been paid for the equipment by the lessor. The lessor is just a finance company, aka leasing company. You could sue, but it would cost you a bunch of money and you will not likely win.“ Except for potentially getting a judgement from a judge for bad faith dealing by the equipment dealer, there wasn’t a rosy outlook. Please recognize, an all to0 common occurrence in the office equipment industry. I have no doubt that the problem isn’t just the copier industry. If there is money involved, there are crooks that lurk. Even some of the “good ones” are questionably crooked. Don’t assume everyone is a crook, but don’t assume anyone is honest. If things just don’t add up, or you don’t understand, stop and take a breather. You should regroup before signing. Even if the rate is alarmingly low compared to everyone else, figure out why. Here’s an example of how that can turn out bad.
End Result – If a Lease is Too Good to be True, it’s Neither
I offered a free estimate to repair Noel’s equipment. I would send a technician for $0.00. However, if we fixed it our minimum cost on that color copier was $119.00. If she wanted a contract, we would perform diagnostics and a thorough inspection of the machine. Then, we would give her a quote on what needs to be done to bring it to standards worthy of a service contract. “Nobody wants to bet on a dying horse”, pretty much sums up how dealers feel about taking on used equipment under service contracts. If it needs parts or is going to need them soon, any dealer is going to want those parts replaced at the customer’s expense. Where Noel was concerned, it simply meant that she would never find another servicer to provide an all inclusive contract for $30.00 on a 5 year old color copier. $85.00 per month would have been a reasonable rate for minimal usage allowance on that machine. Say 2,000 color and 500 black pages. The fact is, a 5 year lease on a used copier is just a horrible idea anyway. The leasing companies are well aware of that, but some of them will take that deal anyway. On the other hand, some won’t permit it. Otherwise, the leasing companies base their decision on repayment history, credit and tenure.