You have a copier lease that is about to expire in 14 months. Though you still have some time left on your contract, your copier rep calls you and tells you that if you sign up for a new lease now, they’ll give you a free upgrade.
“Free” has the power to loosen purse strings like no other word. Unfortunately, this word gets used by the copier companies and their leasing companies to rip people off.
How Copier Companies Use Free Upgrades to Con You Out of Your Money
Copier companies are always on the lookout for new sales, and leasing companies are on the lookout for new contracts. To achieve these outcomes for themselves, they work together and concoct a plan to extract cash from your pocket.
The leasing company will tell the copier company that they will forgive a payment or two if as long as they can sign another long-term contract. Sometimes, the leasing company will also defer some of the payments.
A copier company will look at the equipment portion of the lease (which usually comes to half of the total price), and they see if they can wrap this price into the next contract and remain under retail price. They’ll go to the manufacturer and see if they can get any specials. Instead of giving you the financial incentive the manufacturer provides them, the copier company will take what they save and pay off the remainder of the payments.
Why Is Deal So Detrimental to Your Company?
When you look at the process, it may not seem so bad on its face, but when you look deeper, you can see the scam for what it is. Here are three reasons why this deal is terrible for your company:
- Your long term costs could be lower if, instead of taking the “free” upgrade, you waited for your current lease to expire. If you upgrade before your lease is up, the leasing company will inflate your monthly costs.
- This process is easier to wrap into a five-year lease, which is usually necessary to make the financials look right. Copier technology changes quickly, and you’ll most likely want to upgrade at year four. The copier reps know this, and they never hesitate to capitalize on customers’ impatience.
- This process edges competition out. The copier and leasing companies have no incentive to give you a fair deal on your monthly bill since you just made them your only option.
When Offered a “Free” Upgrade, Don’t Take It!
Patience is a virtue. Don’t let your copier reps take advantage of your impatience and sucker you out of thousands of extra dollars. Wait for your lease to finish up, and shop around with the leverage in your hands.