A huge buzz word over the past year has been ‘hidden photocopier costs’. Not only are people getting huge bills for things they did not know, but the bills are also so large, they are causing some businesses to shut down and pinch funds from other areas, just to pay for their copier.

In May 2014, this was first revealed, with schools one of the areas worst hit with some having to pay three times as much for their copying for what they thought they were going to be charged.

You may ask how has this happened and why are the financial conduct authority (FCS) not stepping in and sorting this out. Unfortunately, the answer is ‘there is nothing they can do’ and this has lead to many other companies trying this ‘quick buck’ technique out, at the detriment to the industry and their clients. The costs are hidden within the small print.

For example:

In an agreement, it stated that colour copies are being charged 3.5 pence and mono copiers charged at 0.5 pence. Yet when they got an invoice was surprised to find they had been getting charged 3 times the expected price at 11 pence per colour copy.

The majority of office photocopier industries such as, Xerox, Ricoh, OKI and Kyocera, have best-kept secrets called ‘Development’.

Where it can go wrong can be an example like below:

Scenario 1

Colour Copy Charge: 3.75 pence
Mono Copy Charge: 0.5 pence

Scenario 2

Colour Copy Charge: 3.5 pence
Mono Copy Charge: 0.5 pence

A buyer, quite rightly so, may look and think scenario 2 will save them money but you have to be careful. The lower price might be based on a service development charge which could lead to triple costs.

What can it mean?

Well if you have allocated budget towards copying and are monitoring it, a triple bill on what you are expecting can cause real financial trouble. For areas where budgets have already been allocated for the year, such as educational establishments, this can leave you with huge problems, after only one month of a contract.

If you are worried about hidden costs in your contract, speak to our team and we can help you compare like-for-like quotes, so that you do not get hidden cost issues. For help with any other photocopier questions, get in touch with us today.