Office Document Strategies Blog

The Guts of Your Postage Meter Contract May Be Costing You Big $'s!

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 @ 07:06 AM

The Guts of Your Postage Meter Contract May Be Costing You Big $s!Hidden within your postage meter contract there may be clauses which are costing you big dollars and you may not be noticing.

When I started to tear apart the Canadian postage manufacturer's meter contracts so that I could offer full disclosure to our clients I thought I had taken on a simple task.  I have had years experience dealing with contracts.

…I was very wrong; there is no universal language among the postage meter manufacturers. Some back end fees where the same for each, but they all had different names depending on the manufacturer. How they implemented these fees is another huge point to contend with and can have a definite stinging effect on the bottom line.

What is your contract really costing you?

One example is the reload of postage:  There are several different ways that your postage account can be setup.  Each manufacturer has a slightly different system.  One of the options offered seems very inviting but in the end has the potential to cost you way more.

How many of us have fallen into the trap when something is offered to deliver now and pay later only to find out the pay later is a much higher cost.  While pulling apart one of the manufacter's contracts this is what I encountered on their postage processing option:

 

Postage fees within contract
Fee when you reset your meter adding more postage $8
Transaction or reporting fee for the service on top of the reset fee $15
If you exceed your prepaid postage allotment limit $15
Advance fee for postage delivered prior to payment $15 or 1% of advance whichever is greater
Late payment fees (look out folks) for bills arriving late in the billing cycle and not paid immediately 24% penalty or maximum allowed by law
Canada Post Rate Change Fee Up to $399

 

Based upon reports from a consumer review site the late billing with penalty is a common practice leading to regular interest costs.

The manufacturer referenced is seen as the dominant player in the market and they seem to treat customers as submissives who just do as told.  The customer review site is less than complimentary, but if you enter into a contract without knowing you may face some of the same challenges.

How do you protect yourself?

Demand full disclosure of the terms of the contract, before you sign.  Take the time to understand the details of the fine print and what your options are.

Some of the manufacturers are less inclined to have hidden 'gotcha' clauses and will quote you with all fees included.  On higher end product you have an option to buy service plans or use time and materials.  With full fee disclosure you know what you are buying when you look at leasing or rental along with meter charges.  This makes the process a lot less painful.

Hope this summary helps....for more information on saving costs with postage meters read,

Postage Machine Shopping? Compare the Consumables!

Have you experienced hidden charges in your postage contract?  What did you do about it?

JoAnna W

Download Free Canadian Guide to Postage Meters Canada

 

 

 

 

Topics: Postage meter, postage rates, mailing equipment, postage machine