COPIER LEASES – BEWARE

Multi-Function PrinterToo many copier or MFP leases contain an “evergreen clause”. An example of that would be that at the end of the five year lease you need to turn in the cancellation notice between the 4th and 6th month. Otherwise, it automatically renews for 12 months which is being “evergreened”!

Why would a vendor use that program? They can lock out the competition and have a customer for life. If the lease does renew for 12 months because you didn’t give them a 3 or 4 month notice ahead of time you can get out of the lease. However, only the current vendor can get you out of it which means you can’t shop around for a good deal. You will pay too much because there’s not much incentive for the vendor to discount. They will just keep the price near the current lease.

What about leases where you’re told they are flexible and you can make changes whenever you want. You need to understand that you can’t downsize. What the vendor means by that is you can upsize or maybe move sideways buy never down to something smaller with a lower payment. In other words, they will make the changes as long as they can make a buck off the change.

So what can you do about it? Firstly, ask about the cancellation clauses at the end of the lease. YOU DON’T WANT AN AUTOMATIC 12 MONTH RENEWAL IF YOU FORGET TO GIVE SEVERAL MONTHS ADVANCE NOTICE. Leasing companies have both types of leases; evergreen and non-evergreen. The vendor makes less on a non-evergreen lease but you will be happier. Many companies have turnover and the person handling contracts in five years is often not the same person in the beginning so eliminate this GOTCHA CLAUSE NOW.