Understand the pros and cons of leasing versus outright purchase of your office equipment
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Here are a few of the most commonly asked troubleshooting questions on office equipment
Learn how to protect your organization from falling victim to a printer cartridge and toner scam
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These are a few of the common questions we receive regarding the safety of the machine and the security of your information
How Do I Evaluate my Leasing Options?
A lease is a financing agreement that is structured to meet your organization’s unique needs. Understanding those needs will help you decide if leasing is the best option for your organization. To do this, ask yourself these questions:
Factor the cost of leasing into your evaluation. The cost of leasing is usually comparable to those of other financing options when looking at the whole transaction.
Leases take into account the value of the device at the end of the leasing term. This is called its “Residual value”, and this is built into the lease pricing, because of this the monthly lease payments are lower than that of a monthly loan payment. To compare the options of a lease or a loan it is better to look at the monthly payments rather than try to compare the interest rates. On a cost-of-capital basis, leasing may be the least expensive option.
Leasing companies can offer competitive rates for a number of reasons. Lessors, with their volume purchasing power, can secure attractive financing deals and pass along the savings to the lessee. The lessor also is better able to take advantage of the deduction for depreciation expense that comes with the ownership.
I Want to Lease My Equipment. How Do I Get Started?
Easy! Just give us a call at 1-(800)-222-6265 to schedule an appointment with Account Representative. We’ll review your current equipment usage and costs, and develop a customized print management solution with one of our trusted leasing partners.
What are the differences between a Lease and a Loan?
A loan requires the end user to invest a down payment in the device. Then it finances the remaining amount.
A lease requires no down payment and finances only the value of the device that is expected to be depreciated over the term of the lease. So what is paid the estimated value of the machine the lessee will use. At the end of the lease the lessee will have the option to purchase the device for the remaining value. By signing the lease, the lessee assigns their purchase rights to the lessor, who already owns or who then buys the device as specified by the lessee. When the device is delivered, the lessee formally accepts it and make sure it meets all specifications. The lessor pays for the device and the lease takes effect.
What are the Benefits of Leasing?
Leasing offers numerous advantages over other financing methods:
The IRS does not consider an operating lease or a true lease to be a purchase, but rather a tax-deductible overhead expense. Therefore, you can deduct the lease payments from your corporate income.
Lessor can pass the tax benefits of ownership on to the lessee in the form of lower monthly payments. If you are in the Alternative Minimum Tax Bracket, a true lease will provide you with an attractive tax benefit.
Balance Sheet Management:
Because an operation lease is not considered a long-term debt or liability, it does not appear as debt on your financial statement, thus making you more attractive to traditional lenders when you need them.
With leasing, there is very little money down – perhaps only the first and last month payment is due at the time of the lease. Since a lease does not require a down payment, it is equivalent to 100% financing. That means that you will have more money to invest in revenue-generating activities.
Immediate Write-off of the Dollars Spent:
The device does not have to be depreciated over the five to seven years.
As your business grows and your needs change, you can add or upgrade at any point during the least tern through add-on or master leases. If you anticipate growth, be sure to negotiate that option when you structure your lease program.
A variety of leasing products are available, allowing you to tailor a program to fit your business needs
A lease provides the use of device for specific periods of time at fixed payments. The lessor assumes and manages the risk of device ownership.
As new technology becomes available, you can upgrade or add new devices to meet your ever-changing needs.
Leasing can allow you to respond quickly to new opportunities with minimal documentation and red tape. Most of the time we will approve your application within one hour and you will receive your device very quickly
Improved Cash Forecasting:
With a lease, you know the amount and number of lease payments so you can accurately forecast your print production costs.
Operating lease accounting provides a lower cost than a capital lease in the early years of a lease.
Is Leasing Right for my Organization?
8 out of 10 U.S. companies lease some or all of their devices. Most of our clients prefer to lease as the most cost effective way to finance their devices. Leasing offers minimal start-up costs, leading edge technology devices, and preservation of your working capital.
Our lease partners are Great America Leasing Corporation, Municipal Capital, and Konica Premier Finance (US Bank). They are well known for their exceptional service, competitive programs and rates, and ethical business practices.
I need to print on heavier paper, like cardstock. I know my machine is rated for this heavier weight. However the toner flakes off the page. How can I stop that from happening?
When using heavier paper, make sure you change the paper tray settings both on your machine and your computer within your printer driver. Check the packaging of the paper you want to use for the weight of the paper. Then check your user manual to find out which setting to use for that paper. (Many heavier papers work well with the setting “Thick 3”).
To change the settings on your device, go to the control panel and look for the section on the main screen. Select that, and then select the tray you put your heavy paper into, then press the button for changing the tray settings so the device knows you put in a different kind of paper. Then select the paper setting you need as stated in the manual.
Now you have to change the settings at your computer. To do this, open the file you wish to print, and select File > Print. When the printer window pops up select the “printer properties” button, then look for the drop-down list to change which tray you want to print from. Then change the paper type to the same type you selected on the device.
It seems like there are always paper jams first thing Monday morning, how do I prevent this?
Paper is sensitive to environmental conditions. If your office’s air conditioning is turned down low or off over the weekend, the building can get humid. The paper then will absorb some of that moisture and stick together a bit.
What you need to do is open up the trays and remove the paper. Then hold the stack with one hand and use your other thumb to “fan” the stack of paper. This is will “fluff” the stack of paper and help to keep them from sticking.
Also, it helps if unused paper is stored flat, rather than on its edge. Make sure you have paper that is rated for your machine, for example don’t use paper made for an inkjet printer in your multifunction copier or inkjet printer. Always keep your paper wrapped until you load it into the machine and don’t load paper that is lumpy, wavy, or bumpy. Bargain paper is less expensive but will cause more problems down the road; be sure to use quality paper.
There is an error code showing up on my machine's display. What should I do?
Locate you copier’s main power switch. It will look like a light switch with a circle on one end and a straight line on the other. It may be on the lower left side of your device, or possible on the front of your machine behind a door (this is not the same as the power button on the control panel).
Press the switch on the circle side to power it off. Leave this switch off for approximately 20-30 seconds.
Then press the switch on the straight line side to power the machine back on. Allow your machine to fully reboot and warm up. Once it is back on if the error message reappears please call us with the error code you are receiving so that we can get a technician out to service your device.
I have an error message that reads "Printer Board Failure", what should I do?
This error normally occurs after a power outage. Locate you copier’s main power switch. It will look like a light switch with a circle on one end and a straight line on the other. It may be on the lower left side of your device, or possible on the front of your machine behind a door (this is not the same as the power button on the control panel).
Press the switch on the circle side to power it off. Leave this switch off for approximately 20-30 seconds.
Press the switch on the straight line side to turn the power back on. The machine will reboot, and within 8-10 seconds your display should come back on and either read “ready to copy” or “printer board failure”.
If you receive the error message again, you will need to call us for service. If it reads “ready to copy” you can make copies right away. However you will need to tell your staff to wait about 10 minutes until they can print from their computers. This will allow the device to reboot and function properly.
How do I get rid of the black lines on my copies?
(This happens only when I run copies through the top document feeder. This does not occur if I lift the cover and copy with my document directly on the glass)
Life the top cover, look to the left of the large pane of glass, and you will see a long thin piece of glass next to top edge. This glass may look clean to the naked eye but it actually may have some dust or dirt on it that is make black lines appear on you copies.
To clean this glass, get a cloth or something to wipe it with, paper towel works fine. Then get the bottle of Glass Cleaning solution your Martin Group technician gave you. Squirt some of that solution onto your cloth and wipe the glass length wise from front to back. If after you wipe it the glass is still wet, simply use the dry side of you cloth to dry it.
Please ONLY use the solution provided by Martin Group, DO NOT use a regular household glass cleaner. If you are out of the proper solution please let us know so we can restock you.
I cleared a paper jam, but the message on the control panel won't clear?
You probably didn’t get all of the jammed paper out. Make sure you check all the paper sources, including all paper drawers and the bypass tray. Chances are you’ll find some paper that was caught, wrinkled up, curled, folded, or otherwise not in position to pass through smoothly. Be sure to check the guides in your paper trays to make sure they are snug against the edges of the paper.
Unfortunately, they’re out there, they want to steal money from you by conning you into ordering unnecessary toner or sticking you with invoices for toner at grossly inflated prices. It’s fraudulent telemarketing, it’s illegal, and it’s estimated that these scammers can cost businesses, schools, government agencies and non-profit institutions $50-$200 million a year.
And, yes, it does happen in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Martin Group has even received phishing phone calls from someone pretending to be our toner supplier!
How does a scam work?
How can I tell if it's really a Martin Group staff member calling?
The scammer calls and claims to be your copier company (they may even have the name of your company and say they are with Martin Group). They will ask to “confirm” your machines ID information, including the tag number and serial number. They will then send you expensive shipments of toner and a pricy invoice.
A newer tactic was reported to us in October of 2011. The caller claims to be from Martin Group and says that our maintenance programs have changed and no longer include toner. They insist that you should have gotten a notice in the mail. This is NOT true. We will always honor the terms of your maintenance agreement as they are listed on your sales agreement for the ENTIRE length of your contact; we would never make such a major change like that mid-contract.
How can I stop them?
NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR MACHINE MAKE, MODEL, TAG NUMBER, OR SERIAL NUMBER OVER THE PHONE!
Unless you can verify that the caller is really, truly an employee of your copier company, never give this information to a caller. We would never call you for information about your machine because we assigned your identification numbers to you in the first place.
Be sure to train every employee who answers your phone to not give out any identifying information about your equipment.
If you do fall victim to the scammer phone call, do NOT accept the unsolicited toner shipment! Or else, you could be stuck playing the outrageous invoice! If you would like a template letter for revoking goods you have received from fraudulent telemarketing, the Business Technology Association has one posted on their website.
How do I tell the difference between a scam shipment and Martin Group's automated Fleetview toner shipments?
If you are receiving automatic toner shipments through our FleetView service, you can contact our Service Department to verify the shipment before accepting it. Or, you can check your machine to confirm the toner is actually low.
We’re not going to call you out of the blue and ask you to “confirm” your tag number. Ever.
If you have acquired a new device through Martin Group and elected to get a maintenance contract with included copies OR signed up for a OneSource Platinum or Gold Program, remember that your toner is included in your contract. There is no need to “stock up before prices change”, which is one common ploy that scammers use to get you to agree to an order.
If you have signed up for the OneSource Silver printer care program, you may occasionally receive the follow-up calls from your account representative. They also will not ask for your tag number because we assigned the tag number and sent it to you after you enrolled. Remember that your representative provided you with pricing prior to your enrollment; if you need to verify identity, you can ask them to look up that pricing and re-confirm it with you.
Would anyone other than a Martin Group staff member call me about my copier?
If you lease your device, Martin Group’s leasing partners could contact you. These partners received the make, model, and serial number of your device when your lease was executed; so, they won’t call you to ask you for that information either. These partners include Great America Leasing Company, Konica Minolta Premier Finance (US Bank), and Municipal Capital.
Your account representative would have given you the name of your lender when you signed the sales agreement and lease for your device. Leasing partners do not sell the lease agreements they fund; so, you would never receive a call from someone claiming to be your “new” lender during the middle of an existing lease.
When in doubt, please feel free to call us to verify the authenticity of any caller!
Why did the Technician plus my copier into that little box with all those outlets and cords?
NO! Please don’t. These surge filters are designed to protect one device at a time. If you remove your copier or printer from its surge filter, it will violate the terms of your maintenance contract, making you responsible for the expense of repairing any damage caused by Dirty Power.
That box is a transformer based surge filter, and it comes with your device when you choose a maintenance contract. Consider it your device’s new best friend.
Transformer-based surge filters protect your device’s sensitive microelectronics from “Dirty Power”. This condition is an everyday experience in today’s world with there being so many devices in the workplace. Whenever you turn on the lights, flip on the coffeepot, boot up your computer, or turn down the air conditioning, your power experiences temporary low voltage increases (spikes) and decreases (drop-outs). You may not notice them, but your electronics do.
Unlike surge protectors which are fine for one-time catastrophic events like lightning strikes; transformer-based surge filters use a “detect and correct” system to remove “noise” and convert dirty power into clean power. They give your device the protection it needs over several years’ use against Dirty Power.
This Dirty Power can cause unexplained system disruptions and crashes, scrambled data, and shortened device life spans. It’s estimated that downtime and damages caused by Dirty Power can cost upward of $26 billion a year. In a nutshell, Dirty Power could fry your copier if left unprotected.
Does my device store my personal data? Is my data safe?
It’s true that today’s digital copier’s functions much more like a computer with onboard operating systems, hard drives, and RAM memory. They do also store some personal information such as an address book with email addresses and fax numbers; and your network settings, including IP address. Many have the option to store favorite documents to a user box for easy reprinting.
When you replace your old device, you need to ensure that your dealer is taking steps to erase your personal information from your system. Martin Group has a three-step cleansing process to restore the old device to “Factory New” settings. This will ensure that none of your data is left on your old machine.
Can hackers get access to my network through my copier or printer?
Do your copiers have any options for using card readers or authentication add-ons?
Yes, Konica Minolta has a variety of optional enhanced security accessories for both the black-and-white and color office systems.
- The Biometric Authentication Unit scans veins in your finger to recognize the authorized user.
- The HID Card Authentication Unit lets you use familiar HID proximity cards for fast, secure card access to bizhub printing, copying scanning, and faxing.
- The HID iClass Card Reader allows clients who use these card types to gain access to their office building to also be able to use those security cards for access to their bizhub system.
- The Magnetic Stripe Card Reader has a 3-track bi-directional dual-sided reader designed to read any magnetic stripe regardless of which way the magnetic stripe is facing.
Security features are built in to the Konica Minolta, Muratec, and HP devices that we sell.
Konica Minolta is industry leading in its role in developing and implementing security technologies. Their systems are evaluated and certified to meet an extremely high security level, one that meets ISO 15408 (EAL3) criteria, the international standard for security. Standard security features prevent unauthorized access to data via the internet and protect against cyber-attacks.
They also use encryption to protect data, including anything stored on your hard drive, and have audit logs to track the usage and control access.
Martin Group recommends that your IT administrator include your multifunction copiers and printers in your company’s IT security policy.