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Reading The Small Print. What To Look Out For When You're Signing A Printer Hire Agreement

The devil is in the detail when you sign a lease hire deal for a new multifunctional printing device, especially when that contract runs to six or more pages. But at Trio Systems we pride ourselves on fitting all of our terms and conditions onto one side of A4 paper – that’s less for you to read and fewer places for us to hide any unpleasant surprises, if we had any.

The Small Print

Admittedly, the font has to be a bit small to squeeze onto one side of paper, but it’s still far easier to read our standard contract than the legal documents that some of our competitors expect you to understand and sign.

As far as we’re concerned, terms and conditions are there to protect both sides, not a chance to bamboozle the customer into an arrangement that makes them feel trapped; that benefits nobody in the long run.

So, I’m going to be like a member of the Magic Circle and giving away trade secrets by pointing out some of those clauses to look out for, before you sign, which cost you more than you expect

Hidden Costs

You may think you’ve agreed the monthly cost of hiring your multifunctional device, but look out for extras in the body of the contract – e.g. delivery, installation and connection fees. I found a monthly “network support charge” in one contract, whatever that means.

You can also expect to be charged extra if you need more toner or a replacement part, especially if you need it quickly.

And providers may also reserve the right to “amend” charges during the period of your agreement.

Minimum Volumes

Make sure you specify a realistic minimum monthly or quarterly printing volume charge. If you don’t set a minimum, the provider may estimate one for you. Either way, if you don’t meet your minimum volume each period, you’ll find yourself paying for printing you don’t even do.

Termination Clauses

Check how much it will cost you if you decide to end your contract early or decide not to go ahead before the device is delivered. You may even be charged for the equipment to be removed.

I read one contract that demanded 50% of the retail value of a multi-functional device if you decide you don’t want to go ahead, or your finance provider turned you down, once you’ve signed an order form. Considering that machines can be valued at well over £10,000, that’s thousands of pounds you could end up paying for nothing.

Make sure you return the printer in the same condition you received it in - dents, stains or scratches will also cost you – and don’t forget to return all manuals instructions and service records.

Good Service, Not Clever Contracts, Keep Customers

Our policy is to win and keep customers by being honest and open with them. We’d rather build up a long term relationship with clients than catch them out with hidden charges. We make more money in the long run and you get the service and peace of mind you want from knowing that our contract best suits your needs, and we’ll keep your device working.

Always be prepared to negotiate with a potential provider, but if you want a clear, straightforward contract, then contact us at Trio Systems or ring on 020 8893 4455 for some answers in plain English.

Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs


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