We Give To Charity Copier Scam

This week we look at a scam regularly operated by a firm whose Head Office is based in South London, this organisation regularly boasts in the press and on-line how much they donate to Charity.

While we applaud their generosity, we abhor the methods they use to raise money from those very same organisations they purport to assist.

While on a routine contract review at an Essex based charity, we were handed a proposal from the dealer to supply a replacement Ricoh photocopier in place of the Canon which the Charity had leased through a local dealer who had recently sold out to the shower from South London.

Turning to the Service and maintenance agreement there is an unusual amount of notice regarding the customer understanding and agreeing to the terms of the contract, upon reading the small print it became abundantly clear why.

The contract is worded such that Mono copies (Black) are stated as ‘Cost per Copy’ and ‘No of Copies included for payment period’ whereas in the colour section, the words ‘copy’ and ‘copies’ are replaced by the words ‘colour’ and ‘colours’ respectively, the reason Is revealed in the contract terms on the rear of the document.

The cost per copy quoted was 0.5 pence and the cost per ‘colour’ was quoted as 5 pence, you might expect this to be 5p for a piece of A4 paper with a full colour image on it, however that is not the case.

For in the 2nd paragraph of clause 3 (Charges and Payments), it states:

In each Payment Period you can make the number of Mono Copies and, if applicable, Colour Copies/Developments specified overleaf without incurring additional charges.  If more copies and/or developments are made than the number specified you shall pay for them at the specified charge.  A copy is a single sided A4 copy.  A3 size copies and double sided A4 size copies will count as two copies.  In the case of the Ricoh manufactured Equipment our charges will be based on Cost per Development and for the avoidance of doubt a full colour Copy shall comprise of three developments one mono copy.         

Which, put most simply means 15.5 pence per A4 single sided colour copy, imagine if your Ricoh machine were also to have been set to default to a colour print, even your black copy would be costing you 15.5 pence per A4 page.  For the avoidance of doubt, a ‘development’ means billing for each of the primary colours which make up the image: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black

But that’s not all, think what happens when you turn your copier on in the morning or if you press for a copy after it has been idle for any time, your copier makes that whirring noise as the toner and developer are agitated to prepare them for use, that’s another few copies you are going to pay for but you won’t even get a piece of paper for the expense.

Now I ask you, is that Fair ?