Toner Pirates, the Scourge of the Copier Supply Industry

Toner Pirates typically try to trick companies into giving out information about their copier. They mislead you into thinking you are dealing with your local copier company, or they make several calls into the business, gathering bits of information each time. Typically they will deal with employees not used to ordering supplies, or not familiar with the office machines.

Train Your Staff: Train your employees or volunteers, especially new ones & those who answer the telephone or who provide maintenance or support services. If your employees are not familiar with certain callers, advise them to say something like, “I am not authorized to order anything. You will have to speak to the person in charge of ordering supplies and get a purchase order.”

How to recognize pirates:

* High-pressure sales tactics
* No way to contact them back
* No financing
* Processing or handling fee
* No company information can be sent through the mail (only UPS or hand delivery)
* No references

Also, listen for these:
* “Beat the price increase”
* “Last remaining in stock”
* “Offer expiring today”

Some of the cons are as follows:
The case is only a case of one toner;
The toner is only 5 ounces instead of the usual 16 ounces;
The toner is generic instead of OEM toner

According to the National Office Products Association, more than $50 million every year is pirated from innocent consumers.

What to do if you are victimized.

If possible do not accept delivery of unordered merchandise

If you have already accepted the shipment, send the shipper a certified letter with return receipt requested, demanding proof of your order. If there is no valid proof, inform the sender that unless the merchandise is picked up within thirty days, you will dispose of it. By giving the sender an opportunity to recover the merchandise, you invalidate any claim that you accepted an offer of sale merely by keeping the shipment.

If an invoice for the unordered merchandise arrives, withhold payment and do not use the merchandise. If the firm fails to respond to your letter, contact your Better Business Bureau for assistance.

Don’t let toner and supply pirates con you and your business out of time and money. Have you gottenever  one of those annoying phone calls, at just the wrong time, from someone offering you incredible deals on toner, paper, and other supplies? They tell you that they have a one time deal, quote you a price that seems too good to be true and pressure you to make a decision over the phone because there is a limited stock on hand and they have lots of other people interested.

These con artists or supply pirates as they are called, quote you prices that seem too good to be true and usually are.

Arm Yourself Against Pirates:

  • Contact the BBB in your area.
  • Only do business with reputable dealers.
  • Know the contact person at your supply company. Pirates often pretend to be from your regular dealership.
  • Never give the make and model of any of your office equipment over the phone unless you are sure the person speaking with you is from a local and legitimate company like us.
  • Always get a number to call the person back to confirm the order.
  • Never sign for or accept any shipment you did not order.
  • Have ONE person in charge of ordering toner and supplies.
  • Make sure all employees are clear on your policies.
  • Never feel pressured to purchase anything on the spot.
  • Please remember to always use clear judgment on all of your
    purchases and remember…”Buyer Beware”.