Leases can be a tricky thing to shake. Its almost like they are designed with the intention of keeping you in a lease forever. They do have nice benefits, financing, and payment plans instead of all upfront, and, depending on the lease, the equipment doesn’t even have to be on your balance sheet. But they also have some negatives—think of a car lease, it’s something crazy like $0.25 a mile for anything over the limit. Crazy stuff!
Office equipment leases can be just as penalizing and fine heavy. They can also be a total nightmare when you are trying to get out of one. We have created a quick 6 step plan that should help you get out of your lease.
6 Steps to Follow When You’re Ready to Return Your Leased Copier or Printer
1. Notify, in a written letter, your intent to cancel the lease.
This is important. Make sure you review your lease terms of your incumbent provider and send this letter in the correct time frame. This time can be anywhere “between 120 – 60 days before the term of the lease” or even “between 90 – 30 days before the term of the lease”. If you send this letter of cancelation too early or too late, they won’t consider it valid and you could find yourself trapped in a year-long renewal. This renewal is called the “Evergreen Clause” and can even result in additional fees.
Click HERE to download a sample letter that you can copy and paste on your letterhead to send to your existing office equipment provider or leasing company.
Sometimes, but not always, the equipment provider requires you to send a letter to the lease provider as well.
2. Contact your account representative to request buy-out information.
All leases end with a final payment to satisfy the terms. It is important to talk to your current sales/account representative and gain this information from them. This will be what you need to pay to get out of the lease, so it is appropriately named the buy-out.
3. Give buy-out information to your new provider or partner.
If you are getting out of your lease because you are switching service providers, then your new partner may need that information. Sometimes they can have a program that will help you buy out of the lease or assist in payment of the buyout or upgrading your device to new equipment.
4. Get the return authorization and share it with your new partner.
You will need to get the return authorization from the lease provider to send the equipment back. This should be a letter or an email with instructions on how to do the return and giving permission to move the equipment. Since it is a lease, there is normally a section of the agreement that states you will not move the equipment without permission, so to avoid any penalties, wait for the authorization.
5. Ensure the equipment is in working order and you get a 30-day window for return.
Since the equipment is a lease, and not actually yours, they will want a working device sent back to them. Make sure that anything you are sending back is in working order and there are no major issues with it. Minor blemishes here and there are nothing to be worried about though. You will also want to make sure that you are given enough time to send the equipment back. 30 days is normally more than enough time for you to work with your new provider for this. Many times, if you are switching providers, your new provider can arrange for the pickup and return of the device.
Switching providers can sound cumbersome and exhausting, but more than likely, your new representative is willing to work with you and alleviate some of the headache of this process. You will be well on your way to choosing the vendor that most closely matches your needs. Applied Imaging is here to help every step of the way and we would be honored to be the vendor partner that you choose to switch to.