Five Year Agreement For The Price Of One

Very creative use of microprint.

A small business paid outright for a copier from their local dealer and took out a 12 months Maintenance agreement with the dealer, all went well until the customer tried to cancel the agreement toward the end of the agreed 1 year period then the dealer highlighted clause 4.2 of the microprint:

4.2 Following the expiry of the term, this Agreement shall remain in force on a rolling

biennial basis until terminated either by you or us on giving not less than 24 months

notice to expire the day before a biennial anniversary of the expiry of the Term, such

notice to be given in writing and sent by recorded delivery to our address as set out in 

our Invoice immediately preceding your written notice.  

Translation: To terminate the 1 year maintenance contract without incurring a penalty, the customer needed to give notice 2 years and 1 day before the initial term ended, or to put it another way 366 days before they ever bought the machine!!

Despite the customer offering to stay with the dealer on a rolling monthly agreement the seller issued their invoice for over £5,200.00 ex VAT for service and Toners they will never supply to a machine which cost less than £1,200.00 ex VAT to buy. Being a Ricoh machine this seller* had taken full advantage of the opportunity to charge per colour development at 4.5 pence leaving the customer to pay at least 14 pence for each A4 single sided colour copy they produce. (see

Is that Fair?

*Note: This is not the same company mentioned in the 2014 newspaper article on our website.

To save yourself being scammed:

Keep in mind this is a very creative and totally unregulated industry, therefor, you must be sure you take time to read and fully understand all the terms of an agreement before you sign it. If you do not have time or the inclination to do so, then send the agreement to us to review before you sign and for a nominal fee, we will tell you any pitfalls it holds.

Unsure about the contract you already have? whoever your supplier is, send a readable copy of the agreement to: we will look at it for free and tell you if it is fair to you.

To see more in the series of unfair agreement terms or for a copy of the ’13 Scurrilous Scams’ visit