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Is That Toner in Your Scam?I was a bit surprised to receive a cartridge of black toner for our copier last week – particularly since I had just received one a few days earlier from the company with whom we have a service contract.

So, I just opened the shipping box and placed it with the other canisters of various toner colors we have on-hand for when our machine runs out.  There was no packing slip, invoice or any other notification of why we received the container.

Then,  three or four days later, I opened the mail to find an invoice for nearly $500 for that unordered, unneeded black toner from a company in California I had never heard of!  Someone there had called our office and, sounding like they were our vendor, obtained the make and model number of our machine.  They then sent us the tube of toner, priced as if it were filled with gold flakes rather than black powder.

I was fully prepared to contact CBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry, Gary Harper at 3 on Your Side, 12 Call for Action’s Veronica Sanchez or Robert Anglen or Let Joe Know, along with the other ABC 15 Investigators – but there is some good news.

I called the company that sent us – and invoiced us – for the toner. They agreed to take it back.  And, they even sent me a pre-paid shipping label.  I guess the company figures this to be merely a cost of doing business for those who look at their invoices and challenge that they even purchased what was sent.

I’m glad I did.  And glad all the investigative reporters didn’t have to hear my rant.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. Scott – I hate to say it, but this seems to be a new scam of doing business. . .haven’t had the printer cartridge scam, but I certainly have had other such instances. A) it pays (literally) to pay attention, check your invoices and credit card charges carefully and B) it appears companies believe there are enough customers who don’t pay attention so this becomes a viable (albeit sneaky) revenue stream for them. Buyer, beware! Cheers, David

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