Common printer/copier lease mistakes

While leasing your copier or printer can make budgeting for a new machine a lot easier, you need to be aware of a few common traps that can cost your company unnecessary money throughout the course of your lease. These hidden costs can be tacked onto your lease payment without you even realizing it and add up very quickly.

Insurance on a Leased Device: This is a common practice. You receive your new machine, everything is working great, and then the first invoice comes in $10-$25 higher than expected per device. Most businesses don’t question the payment and figure the difference is tax or other fees. But it is actually an unnecessary insurance charge that is already covered under your existing liability insurance policy. Make sure to review your first invoice with your vendor to make certain that you have clarification as to what every charge is for.

Shipping Fees: It has become common vendor practice to build-in monthly shipping fees in order to recover out-of-pocket shipping expenses for toner replacement. While this may seem like a legitimate expense, it is only beneficial to you if you order toner once a month or more. If you do not, this charge then becomes an unnecessary expense that benefits the vendor. If your toner usage does not justify this built-in monthly charge, you should ask to be switched to a per order shipping fee. Typical shipping charges are around $8 per order versus a $6-$15 recurring monthly charge.

Serial Number Discrepancies: This situation is one that will not impact you until the end of your lease. 95% of all machines need to be returned to the leasing company at the end of the lease. If the serial number doesn’t match the one recorded on your original lease documents, you could be on the hook for the total fair market value of the device. While this is not a common issue and only happens on rare occasions, it is a potential situation that you should be aware of. When reviewing your first invoice with your vendor, or when submitting your first meter read, you should confirm that the serial numbers match. In the event that your original machine needs replaced due to damage or inability to repair it to the required standards, you need to make certain that the leasing company has documented the “asset swap” in their records and once again verify the serial numbers match on your next invoice.

These unnecessary charges can be easily avoided with a thorough review of your first invoice and could save your company thousands of dollars throughout the term of the lease. You should always question any unexpected fees or assessments and make certain that your equipment information matches what is recorded with the leasing company.

For billing assistance or a free evaluation of your current lease agreement, Ford Business Machines is ready to help by simply calling 800.633.3673.