Now is a good time to check on your copier lease expiration. Most people assume it’s like other leases where about 30 days prior to the end you give them a phone call and say ‘pick it up’. Not so! I will give you a few examples from some large well known copier leasing companies.
One well known leasing company requires notice four to six months before expiration. Do you really think you can remember that after leasing the copier for five years. Plus, sales reps aren’t going to talk about that when making the sale because they would end of scaring you. What happens if you forget to notify them four to six months out? It renews for another twelve months!
Why would a leasing company risk creating this ill will? Because it locks you into to doing business with them again. The only copier company that can get you out of this mess is the company you originally got the copier from and to make matters worse the new copier has to be with the same leasing company.
How many other large well known copier leasing companies would do such a thing? At least three or four. The number of months vary but if you miss their window it renews for twelve months. Talk to an experienced office manager who has leased copiers over the years and you will get a reaction as well as confirmation.
So what can you do? Call your leasing company, not the copier vendor, and ask for a copy of the lease. Make sure at least two people get it and know about the end of the lease options. That way if there’s employee turnover or change in ownership, etc someone will remember.
Another thing you can do is make sure you only deal with leasing companies that don’t do automatic renewals like I described earlier. Our leasing company, Great America Leasing, is one such company. You even get a person instead of voice prompts when you call them.
A final thought on end of lease shenanigans is the clause about shipping the copiers back at your expense; wrapped and insured. Didn’t know that was in there did you? Well, you can easily negotiate that away by letting the new copier company take care of it. Just tell them if they want your business they need to take care of it. They will usually say yes.