Over the course of four working days I received two complaints about Ezeecopy, the photocopier company.
The first complaint was from Andrew Brown, who runs Marsden Stores & PO in a small village near Huddersfield. He says he responded to an advert in a retail magazine (not Convenience Store), which offered him a free photocopier on a split-the-profits basis. He got the machine installed back in September.
After three months he says he was hit with a bill for between £60-£80 a week (minimum copies spend). He says this was reduced to £55 a week after he complained. But he is only doing about two copies a day and he is clearly losing money on the deal.
I appreciate that Ezeecopy is not losing money, but I appealed to the company on his behalf to let him out of this contract.
This is their reply: “I can confirm that Ezeecopy are in direct dialogue with the customer with regards to his account and agreement that he operates equipment under.”
All I could advise Andrew was to continue to try to negotiate with the company.
The second complaint was from Biren Patel. Writing from Berrymoor Stores in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, Biren says he was told that they would take the photocopier back if it didn’t work out and no one mentioned the minimum copies spend to him. He is being charged £60-£90 a month and is doing about a fiver a month only in photocopies.
Crucially, he says he signed without reading the contract properly. It’s a five-year contract.
There would have been no point in my contacting the company in this case and all he can do is, like Andrew, try to negotiate.
Following reportage that Ezeecopy recently lost a court case against a retailer, the company went on record to say that its agreement had been accepted and agreed by the Financial Conduct Authority. It has more than 2,000 pieces of equipment - mainly in independent sites - and has been operating for 22 years.
It adds that, inevitably, there have been some court cases along the way. In these it has a success record of 99.2%.
My advice on the photocopier front has never changed. If you want to offer this service, buy a machine.