Deceptive Telemarketers (Toner Pirates)
of Supplies are Increasingly Common
Telemarketers engaging in fraudulent or high-pressure sales tactics have become a problem in the industry, and it is a problem that Optimum Business Services, Canon & Copystar (Kyocera) would like you to have all the facts about. How serious is it? The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Service, and local Better Business Bureaus nationwide have judged the problem serious enough to issue warnings about so-called "toner pirate" practices, and in some cases, investigations have led to lawsuits against deceptive telemarketing companies.

Our main concern is for the customers who have placed their trust in our equipment. The most serious concern for our customers is the likelihood that supplies sold by these companies may not be genuine and might damage your equipment or significantly reduce its performance. However, equally important for our customers is the bottom line: Even though deceptive telemarketers say that the prices they offer are exceptionally low, in fact the opposite is usually true; the prices are often grossly inflated sometimes exceeding 10 times the normal cost.

Since they never retain customers, these practitioners must make all the money they can on the first sale. Their business depends on using high pressure and deception to make a lot of sales fast.

Here's what to watch out for:
The caller is not the authorized salesperson you normally deal with.
The caller tries to avoid giving their phone number.
The sales pitch is high-pressure, with a time element, "if you don't act now, the price being offered will change".
These operations often get information about your equipment by pretending to be a Customer Service representative making a customer satisfaction survey. Once they know the machines you are using, a salesman will call back with the pitch tailored to your equipment.

Here's what to do:
Always get information about any salesperson calling with whom you are not familiar.
Get their phone number, and call them back at that number before you do business. Most deceptive telemarketers will not give out their phone number.
If the caller is unfamiliar but claims to be from your normal dealership, check with a contact person that you know at your dealership before you go further.
Compare prices with your normal dealer before you buy.
If you come in contact with one of these scams, report it to the Federal Trade Commission, the Postal Service or your local Better Business Bureau.
If you wish to submit a report of your experience, you may write to your local Better Business Bureau, or to:

The Federal Trade Commission
Division of Marketing Practices
6 Street and Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington D.C. 20580
On Line Complaint Form
(available daily between 3AM-12AM EST)

The United States Postal Service
P.O. Box 4140
Burbank, CA 91503

We trust that by directly communicating with the agencies referred to above, they will assist in eradicating these unscrupulous practices, which have been going on nationwide for years.

Please contact us if you have any questions.
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