We have received a few calls from customers stating that somebody has called them wanting them to order toner. They were concerned and have brought it to our attention. These calls are from “Toner Pirates”. This has happened quite a few times in the past and these calls are surfacing again. There has been a documentary with the RCMP on the Fifth Estate but with different laws in different provinces and countries it is very hard to stop these fraudulent companies but at the very least they are trying to bring awareness to consumers.
This is one of the processes being used at this time:
- Someone will call your office, ask an employee questions about your office equipment (and they will also get a contact name). Then a short time later someone will call your office, asking for the contact person and then states the toner is on sale and/or increasing in price but they are holding the price special for you.
- These companies make it sound like they are calling from the manufacturer of your equipment i.e. Panasonic, Sharp, Lexmark and some have even made it sound like they are from All Office Machines Inc. You will receive a fax from 'SPECIALTY BUSINESS CENTER' (see sample attached) with all the information filled out for you, all you have to do is sign it and send it back. The company name may be different depending on what Toner Pirate company is calling but the form format is usually the same.
PLEASE DO NOT SIGN THIS AND SEND IT BACK AS YOU WILL RECEIVE THE TONER AND IT WILL BE 3 TO 10 TIMES MORE THAN NORMAL PRICING.
What can you do about it!
Toner pirates will try and deal with staff that is not familiar with your office equipment. Set up an in-office procedure and train your staff (and show them a sample of the order form) and make sure they are familiar with the procedure for these types of calls. Their response could be something like “I am not authorized to give out this information; you will need to speak with the office manager”.
You may also ask for their name and a phone number so you can call back to confirm that they are All Office Machines or your current office equipment provider.