The Ultimate Guide to Buying or Renting a Franking Machine
When talking to a franking machine company representative there is a list of important points you need to cover as there are many hidden pitfalls. Also, always bear in mind most representatives are commission paid and have monthly targets to achieve. If they claim information that differs on this site always check direct with the company (numbers below) as when you realise all isn’t what was promised the rep will either not take your calls or will have probably moved on and your stuck with it!!
Important questions to ask when talking to franking machine suppliers:
- Is the company a Royal Mail authorised independent supplier and maintainer of franking machines?
- How much does the replacement ink cartridge cost?
- How many impressions does the ink cartridge last with and without printing the company logo or return address? (Ask for evidence as this can vary dependent on who you’re talking to!)
- Does the ink cartridge time out and stop working within a certain period of time from when you install it in the machine?
- Is there a charge for adding postage to the franking machine? If postage top ups are free, find out how many are free per annum and how much each top up would be thereafter.
- Most Franking Machines are re credited down the phone line or fax line, find out how much the call cost would be as some use premium rate ‘090’ numbers that are charged at up to £1.50 per minute. (Beware as the cost is not the only issue, many modern phone systems barr ‘090’ numbers !!)
- Is there a charge to update the machine or postal scale with new tariffs when the Royal Mail change their postage prices?
- If they promise free Royal Mail tariff updates find out how many are included and how much each one is thereafter. (The Royal Mail have changed some prices twice since April 08 and by up to as many as three times in on one year recently!!!)
- If you are signing a lease or rental agreement they usually all carry those annoying ‘documentation fees’ or ‘administration fees’ which would be payable with the first rental. Find out how much this would be, they can vary from £75.00 up to around £150.00!!
- How much do the franking labels cost when franking onto larger items?
- How much does the logo stamp or return address cost?
- How much does the annual service and maintenance cover cost and does this cover all breakdowns, call outs parts and the annual Royal Mail inspection? Also check if its onsite maintenance or ‘return to base’ (This could leave you without a machine for a prolonged period of time!!).
- Does the company have its own approved engineers or do they sub contract out the service.
- Does the company install the equipment and train the customer free of charge or is it delivered in a box for you to sort out?