Toner Scammers try to trick companies into giving out information about their copier. They use high pressure tactics to mislead you into thinking you are dealing with your Office Equipment Provider. In order to gather as much information as they can, these people may call several times to gather bits of information.
This scam will offer you toners at a very cheap price. They may also claim that the price of the toner will be going up or that the copier/toner is to be discontinued. Use of these toners may severely damage your copier and void warranties and service plans.
You could receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of Document Systems Direct, stating that the price of toner is going up or your copier toner is being discontinued and you have the opportunity to purchase your toner at the old price. They may have already called your company a few times to get information regarding your office equipment, so they may seem very knowledgeable about your company. Do not give anyone information about your photocopiers, printers, and faxes. Ask them to give you a phone number to call them back at (to confirm it really is a Document Systems Direct representative). You could also receive a call from someone stating they need to send you an “updated service manual” and they want to know the model of your copier/printer. Do not tell them anything about your equipment. This is a scam as well, they are trying to get information about your equipment & send you toner (along with a very large bill).
Train Your Staff. Toner Scammers will typically try to deal with people who are unfamiliar with the equipment. Make sure your staff knows who your Office Equipment provider is. If they are unfamiliar with the equipment or procedures, make sure that they know what to do. Their response should be “I am not authorized to order supplies for our equipment. You will have to speak with our purchaser/office manager”.
Most companies pay a cost per copy under the terms of your service contract, and the toner is usually included in that cost (unless otherwise agreed upon on the service contract), so you would not have to pay for toner. Document Systems Direct does not call customers asking if they need toners. We wait until you call us. We may, however, contact customers about meter reads or information to update our files. If we call you, we will already have the required information about your equipment, therefore we will not ask it. We will provide you with the copier information, or if we neglect to, and you are concerned about the call, ask for the representatives name, info about the copier (do not provide it), and phone number.
What to look for
So how can you tell if you might be dealing with a toner Scam?
- They typically use high pressure sales tactics
- They cannot provide references
- They charge handling/processing fees
- The do not offer a way to call them back
- They will use terms such as:
- Beat the price increase
- Last remaining stock
- Offer expiring today
If you are victimized by a toner Scam
- DO NOT ACCEPT DELIVERY – return any un-ordered items to sender
- If you have already accepted the shipment DO NOT USE THE TONER. Send the shipper a registered/certified letter with return receipt requested. Provided that there is no valid proof of order, inform the sender that the merchandise will be disposed of in thirty days. Allowing the sender the opportunity to recover the merchandise, you invalidate any claim that you accepted an offer of sale by keeping the shipment.
- Contact your local police or the R.C.M.P.
- Withhold payments and DO NOT USE THE MERCHANDISE if an invoice arrives for unordered merchandise. If there is no response to your registered/certified letter, contact the Better Business Bureau for help.
- Contact your lawyer for assistance in this situation.
Protect yourself against Scams:
- Contact the BBB in your area
- Only do business with reputable dealers
- Know your contact person for the supply/service company
- Never give out information such as the make/model of your office equipment to someone you do not know
- Always get a callback number
- Never sign for and accept a shipment you did not order
- Make sure all employees/volunteers know your policies
- Remeber: Buyer Beware. If it seems too good to be true, it is.
Document Systems Direct cannot be held responsible for toner/supplies purchased from another company. Toners/supplies purchased and used from a company other than Document Systems Direct will result in any and all warranties and service contracts being voided.