|The worst transaction I have had to endured [I'm 41, no spring chicken, with >25 years office experience], hands down. A simple postage meter. $20/month rental for one year and I'll be spared that occasional trip to the post office. Sounds like a great deal, right? WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.|
The only straight shooting Pitney Bowes does is in their loss-leading initial rental offer: $20/month for 12 months. Month 13 and 14 came along and the price more than doubled. It's a small amount to begin with, so it escaped my attention. I then receive a hand-written fax from a sales rep. In very informal language [like I know her or something] she informs me it is time to renew my lease [lease? what lease? renew?] and instructs me to simply sign by the little x's and fax it right back to her -- and oh! I get a $5/month discount! [Lucky me!] There are multiple pages of 6-point illegible font with little circled x's at the front. I stupidly sign when the document is presented to me in my usual fat pile without much scrutiny [guess I just don't deal with enough companies who use 'techniques' to get business as opposed to providing good value and service].
A few weeks later, I realize I am now paying $39 for the same machine I was previously paying $20 for, so I investigate. Lo & behold, I have signed a contract for 60 months!! It is still very recent, so I call back my sales rep, [she's my friend after all]. Hmmmm, not so much.
At this point, I am motivated to check out the competition. The equivalent machine under a 60-month contract would cost me $15/month.
After multiple squeaky phone calls, I spoke to a woman in customer retention who reminded me of my kindergarten teacher. The end result after consuming 3-4 hours of my time [I had to throw numerous tantrums over several weeks] was a reduction of this lease to 12 months.Yay! A reduced sentence!
But my FAVOURITE is the valu-whatever-it-is [forced] insurance plan. I can escape the $7 adder to provide replacement/repair protection for this miraculous piece of equipment IF I ADD PITNEY BOWES AS A LOSS PAYEE ON MY INSURANCE. SERIOUSLY??This irritation caused me to investigate the replacement value of the machine. $1800. This basic machine is perhaps the least sophisticated of office equipment, a notch above the adding machine. [For some bizarre reason, you cannot buy a postage meter outright.]
And today the final insult that propelled me to sing it out from the mountain tops, a bill with a due date of January 1 that arrived in my mailbox January 11. It says I will be charged a $12 fee (13% of the amount owing) if it is not paid on time. THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL! [Lessee, safe to say 13% x 12 months = 156%/anum = usury, don't they call it?]. Oh yeah, and 2% per month on top of that.
Pitney Bowes is a very familiar name in postage meters. I was impressed, albeit irritated, by the sheer craftiness used in sticking their customers to long-term contracts with forced and quite unnecessary insurance coverage. There are other options. Stay far away, especially if you are a small business or charitable organization.