Approximately 95% of small to medium-sizd businesses who lease office space sign a lease for an office copier or a multi-function printer. Most of these businesses assume the “monthly payment and lease term” are the most important factors of this three to five year commitment and that the other clauses in the lease are “standard legalese” that is common, can’t be altered and creates no problems through the term.
“Even if you ignore everything else,” says Philip John, President of Magnum – an award-winning provider of Xerox office equipment systems, “there are four major pitfalls to beware of when signing a new copier lease.”
“Pay close attention to these four aspects of any copier lease in order to avoid unpleasant surprises, or this new lease will end up costing your organization a lot more than you think” cautioned Philip
Failure to notify the copier leasing company in a timely manner.
Most copier leases require the customer to give WRITTEN NOTICE to the leasing company within a certain window of time. This period may begin between 30 and120 days prior to the end of the lease. Failure to send such notification can often result in an automatic lease extension of that can be up to twelve months..
Payment of the Initial Document Preparation Fee.
Most copier leasing companies impose what they call an “Initial Doc Prep Fee” of $75 to $200 with the first invoice. It is an administrative fee that will be waived, but ONLY IF YOU ASK! Just tell your representative to remove it from the contract. This is an easy negotiation point, so don’t be shy about it. “They’ll often be expecting you to ask,” noted Philip.
Payment to the copier leasing company for insurance.
More often than not, your existing office insurance policy provides more than adequate coverage needed on the copier lease.
Within the first 30 days of the lease, call your company insurance provider and ask for documentation showing the limits of your coverage, with the leasing company named as loss payee on the copier. Forward this immediately to the leasing company. Without this documentation, your invoices will show an additional charge between $10 and $50 per month for insurance. That adds up to $120 to $600 per year for coverage you already have!
Additional fees at end of the copier lease term.
There are generally two parties involved in leasing the equipment to you – the leasing company and your dealer. Most clients assume the leasing company will come and pick up the equipment at no additional cost. That is not always true!
Generally, you have to send the copier back to the leasing company, not to the dealer. It’s not unusual for a business in New York to be required to return the copier to a destination thousands of miles away. It needs to be professionally crated insured and properly tagged prior to return – the copier is your responsibility until it arrives back at the leasing company warehouse. This can easily cost $350 to $1000 you did not expect to pay. Take photos and videos prior to return and during packing so you’re protected from liability in case of damage during transportation
With any purchase or lease, it’s always caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.
Take all these tips into account, at the start of your lease, write yourself a list of reminders that pertain to these issues & you will avoid surprises and be able to enjoy your equipment without any headaches of these additional costs.