BE WARY OF SALES CALLS ON OFFICE EQUIP.

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BE WARY OF SALES CALLS ON OFFICE EQUIP.

 user 2006-12-07 at 1:28:00 pm Views: 80
  • #16893

    Be wary of sales calls for office equipment
    BBB warns not to give out info when inquiry unsolicited
    If
    you get a call at the office asking for information about your office
    or computer equipment, you might want to think twice about giving it.
    Some
    local businesses have gotten calls asking for serial numbers to their
    equipment and, sometimes, the names of those in charge of ordering
    office supplies, said Michele McDaniel, president and CEO of the Better
    Business Bureau of North Alabama.The callers often say they are calling
    from “business systems” or a similar name. They ask for the model
    numbers on printers and other office equipment, McDaniel said.”They
    have all this information and call you back and act like they’re your
    service provider,” she said.Sometimes the callers send supplies that
    the business didn’t order and expect to be paid. Other times, they send
    out used toner “that could harm your machine,” McDaniel
    said.Office-supply scams have been around for years, she said.”In the
    past that has been one of the top three or top five complaints we hear
    from businesspeople,” she said.Every year, businesses lose millions of
    dollars to con artists, according to the Better Business Bureau.
    Businesses from 27 states have registered complaints with the BBB about
    the schemes.Small businesses in particular need to be alert to “toner
    phoners,” “paper pirates” and other less-than-ethical salespeople who
    use tricks to peddle office supplies.According to the BBB, a
    telemarketer typically asks to speak with the person in charge of
    ordering supplies. The caller than asks questions which usually require
    a “yes” response from the employee. Afterward, a shipment is sent to
    the place of business, usually containing paper towels, credit card
    slips or something similar, accompanied by an invoice that is about 10
    times the value of the shipment.If the business contacts the supplier
    to question the invoice, the supplier plays a tape recording of the
    employee agreeing to order the product. If the business files a
    complaint with the BBB, the complaint is immediately addressed and
    resolved.But many small retailers never file a complaint and may not
    realize they’ve been the victim of a scam, according to the bureau.The
    BBB offers these tips to protect your business from office scams:Train
    your staff. Advise employees who are not authorized to order supplies
    and services to refer any such salespeople to the purchasing
    department.Instruct the purchasing department not to respond verbally
    to unsolicited phone offers for office supplies. Require that all sales
    pitches be made in writing.Do not deal with unknown sellers without
    first verifying the reliability and complaint history of the seller.
    Every purchase should be documented by issuing a purchase order to the
    supplier with an authorized signature and a purchase order number.The
    handling of invoices and the like should be centralized and
    authorization closely checked.Keep a list of regularly used vendors.
    This will help protect your business against schemers who claim that
    your company has used their services.