Copier Lease Pitfalls: a Case Study

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copier-lease-auditLeasing a copier/printer/scanner is a smart way to acquire this type of office machine. Leasing, as opposed to buying a new machine outright, does not require a big outlay of cash since most leases do not require a down payment.   Additionally, everything needed to run the machine can be included for one price (toner, drums, rollers, and even service).  One major benefit is you only pay to use it for a certain period of time to then return it for a new machine.  Leasing, if used properly, is a great tool for any business.

Leaser Beware

There are however certain things that a business owner should be aware of when entering into a copier lease. These things can turn a good experience into a bad one.  For example:

Several years ago I began servicing several copiers for a regional moving and storage firm in Morris County. They had four copier leases that had been started at different times over a period of years.  Over time, the company lost track of where they were in regard to the timing and payments for the various leases.  They did not realize whether they were paying too much or what to do when the leases ended. The CFO called me in to conduct a Leasing Audit.

After examining their documents, I contacted the leasing companies (there were several) and sorted out where they were at in each lease and what made the most sense for their office needs going forward.

It turns out one of the leases should have ended three year earlier! They had been paying $400 per month for an additional 36 months. I instructed them that their best bet was to buy the machine from the leasing company for $250 to stop the bleeding. They had never been instructed to contact the leasing company at the end of the lease with their intention to either buy the equipment or return it.

The copier lease on another machine was ending shortly. We contacted the leasing company and returned that machine and replaced it with a new one. The other two had substantial time left on the leases and they were happy with them.  These remained in place and we provide service for these machines.

Hidden Costs Dean Office Can Save you From

Another discrepancy I found during the audit process was that the leasing companies were unnecessarily billing for insurance on all the units. We provided proof of insurance through their Business Insurance Policy and these charges were dropped.

Generally, the vendor you use determines whether your leasing experience is good or bad. At Dean Office Solutions, LLC we work hard to make sure you know how to navigate through your copier lease and never pay more than necessary.

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