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A Day in the Strife

DSCF0255It was early 2007.  The office next door to my print shop was ordering a new copier, and the sales rep stopped in to see if I was interested as well.  Up until this point, I had been using a Canon ImageRunner Color Copier circa 2000 or 2002.  It jammed all the time.  It jammed on thin paper, on thick paper, on no paper, and when it wasn’t jamming, some sensor or another needed to be replaced.  Maybe it was a machine ahead of its time.  Maybe it was just old.  In any event, the shop needed more reliable equipment.

The OCE Imagistics CM3521 seemed like a good fit.  As a rebadged Konica Minolta Bizhub C352, it carried little risk as the reputation for the quality of Bizhubs precedes them.

Little did I know what a lousy company OCE truly was!

Our problems began on day one when the movers who delivered our first CM3521 broke it in transit.  I was in shock as I watched them kick this $13,000 piece of equipment because its little casters were catching on the sidewalk as the movers pushed it in the building.  Needless to day, kicking the copier was not a good move.  The unit had to be returned because of the damage inflicted, and another identical unit sent in its place.

DSCF0256 Identical, that is, except for the serial number.  From the first bill for maintenance and consumables through the point in which we canceled our maintenance agreement with Oce Imagistics, Inc., we have had nothing but problems.  Initially, we were billed for the wrong machine (each invoice carries the equipment serial number).  Then we were billed for the wrong amounts.  In fact, quite a few bills were incorrect.  So many so, in fact, that I would be hard-pressed to find a consecutive four week period in two years in which we did not have some problem with either the service or billing with Oce.

DSCF0254More recently, Oce is demanding payments for invoices that were either disputed, corrected and paid, or that were paid as issued because their records indicate that we have not paid bills that are over two years old!  Never mind the fact that I cannot think of a single for-profit entity that would continue to service and provide supplies for a customer who has not paid bills that are over two years old.  Incredible!  Now we receive numerous collection calls from Oce and parties that I assume to be Oce contractors, and are receiving threatening letters in the mail.  At the same time, another Oce department is reminding us to renew the maintenance contract that was canceled when Oce opted to cease servicing our equipment per the terms of the contract!

The bottom line is this:  stay away from Oce!  Stay far, far away!  The equipment is fantastic, but you can get Bizhubs from other vendors.  The service is lousy because there are too few field technicians spread out over too large an area.  (The field techs themselves are generally polite and competent, although obviously overworked!)  The billing, however, is downright fraudulent.

Representatives from Oce have been constantly demanding that we provide them with an endless stream of documentation to prove that we do not owe them thousands of dollars on invoices from two years ago.  As a small business owner, I cannot spare the employees to dig through boxes of records to find these files.  The good news is that we are in the process of transitioning to electronic records.  As a result, more and more old records are being digitized.  In addition, customers of mine who have Oce equipment have had similar problems in terms of service and billing.  I am now in the process of posting every available record that demonstrates the fraudulent business practices of Oce Imagistics, Inc.

I hope that this makes a difference in two ways.  First of all, I hope that Oce personnel read this blog and find ways of improving their business.  Secondly, I hope that potential Oce customers are warned to STAY AWAY unless or until Oce cleans up its act.