Photocopiers / Printers in Schools and Councils

At Unique Copiers Ltd we pride ourselves on being an honest and transparent business.  We have been selling and servicing photocopiers and printers for over 25years and have retained customers from when the company first started.

We have many schools and nurseries within the Midlands area that we supply and maintain photocopier and printing equipment too.  Excellent relationships have been forged between them and Unique Copiers mainly due to our open and honest approach to selling and ensuring that the benefits of any deal are with the customer.  This type of relationship has meant that the educational establishment renews with ourselves at the end of their lease because they trust us to give them the best deal.

It is however a fact the other companies in the industry do not share our values of selling Photocopiers and printers especially deals within educational and local Council environments.  We at Unique Copiers Ltd would like to raise awareness to such practices in order to help Schools, Colleges and Council led authorities make a more informed decision when choosing their preferred supplier for photocopiers and printers.   Articles about these bad practices have been raised in the press as shown below.

 

 

Daily Mirror, 14 May 2014, Posted by Andrew Penman

Schools stunned by ‘hidden’ copy costs which ”deprive children of books”

 

Investigative columnist Andrew Penman reports on a firm that actually charges schools three times more than it initially appears to.

Office equipment giant Apogee Corporation boasts: “We take great care to word our documents in plain English so that they are easy to understand.”

The large figures on one of its ¬photocopier service agreements sent to a school and forwarded to me are plain enough: 5p per colour copy and 0.5p for mono.

What could possibly be ambiguous about that?

A lot, it turns out, when the price it charges per colour copy is more than three times that – 15.5p – if you’re using a Ricoh brand machine.

Yet this figure appears nowhere on the contract, and the maths setting out how it is calculated are buried in the small print.

Agreements such as this prompted Chas Jordan to use his 30 years’ ¬experience in the office equipment business to set up Fair Contract ¬Associates to help schools and ¬charities hit by so-called “bill shock”. Read More

 

SMT Magazine, 8 Oct 2012 Posted by Jamie Griffiths

School Photocopier Rip-offs: Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

169 schools in the UK that had been grossly overcharged for equipment like computers and photocopiers, leaving some with debts of up to £1.9m and facing closure as a consequence.

While these practices are clearly sharp and shocking, the sad fact is that they’re nothing new. Unscrupulous actors in the photocopier industry have long preyed on non-tech savvy and fiscally challenged buyers at schools, charities and small businesses.

 

Teaming up with finance companies to devise lease contracts of incredibly poor value (and which are often illegal for schools to enter into), they’ve managed to skim millions from school ICT budgets through a practice that amounts to little more than usury.  Read More

 

BBC 5 Live, 8 Jan 2012 Posted by Adrian Goldberg Presenter, 5 live Investigates

Schools kit scam ‘could cost schools millions’

Glemsford Primary School unwittingly signed up to a lease agreement and now owes around £500,000

Schools across the UK are being charged up to 10 times too much for laptops and other IT equipment through mis-sold lease agreements, a BBC Radio 5 live investigation has found.

In some cases, head teachers are being chased for payment by finance companies for equipment they were told was free.

An industry insider says the overcharging could run to hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Department for Education says there is lots of advice available for heads.

But the Leasing Advisory Service, a claims management company which represents victims of mis-sold leases says it has identified a particular problem with schools leasing computer equipment.

Under these such schemes, schools effectively hire equipment from a supplier by taking on a loan from a bank who funds the supplier.  Read More

 

 

The Telegraph, 24 Sept 2011 Posted by John-Paul Ford

Council forced to pay nearly £350,000 to cancel contract for photocopiers

A debt-ridden council was forced to pay out almost £350,000 to cancel an agreement to provide photocopiers to two schools after they closed.

Medway council in Kent had to make the payment when Ridge Meadow Primary School and Medway Community College in Chatham were closed.

Sam Craven, a Labour councillor, said: “It’s a ridiculous amount. The whole procedure wasn’t justified and it was done shoddily because they didn’t read the figures properly.”

It is the latest fiasco to hit the Tory-run local authority after The Daily Telegraph revealed last month how it has assigned £250,000 for its website to be redesigned, despite facing debts of £6million.

Mrs Craven said the schools were closed last year by the council because they were not financially viable, but that the consultation had failed to take into account the costs associated with closure, including the photocopying contracts.

She said other costs including security at the sites as well as staff pensions and redundancies were also ignored when calculations were being made.

“They have just said, ‘We have had to accept it, it’s just one of those things’. Well it’s not. This is a cost, where we are having to spend people’s money.”

Medway council said it was “legally bound” to pay the £87,794 for the primary school and £255,000 for the secondary school – which had more than 1,000 pupils – because of the early cancellation of the contracts, leaving a total bill to council taxpayers of £342,794.  Read More