Rachel Morrisson, who runs Pitton Post Office in Pitton, Salisbury, thought that name rang a bell when she got a phone call from a woman called Jo on behalf of 'BCS'. "She said they had stepped in to help Bank of Scotland and One World Leasing with a photocopier maintenance package in the wake of Lanwall ceasing trading," says Rachel. "I asked her to put it in writing."
Rachel has faxed me the letter she received. It is indeed from BCS (or as it says at the bottom of the letter, Beresford Copier Supplies). The letter does not mention any relationship with BoS or anyone else. It offers a value-for-money, flexible package. It offers to overhaul your equipment, charging just £50 plus vat, and includes a 'copykit' which lasts for the next 2,000 black copies. The copykit includes all labour costs regardless of the number of engineer visits; all spare parts; all black toner and 2,000 sheets of paper. It does the sums: "guaranteed to generate £200 of revenue from your customers for the cost of £50, leaving a clear profit of £150".
And it concludes that if you are happy with the service you can be assured you will not be tied into any long-term contract! Doh!
Well, it looks good, but a small broom to clean up after Hurricane Katrina springs to mind.
A lot of retailers have called over Lanwall/Beresford asking: how is it that this is allowed to happen? Well, it is allowed under company law, although perhaps there should be a new way. One is encouraged to see that the Cameron-Clegg coalition is striving to find a really new way. Maybe one day company law will be changed.