A local Larimer County business recently reported to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office they were being threatened with legal action from Imaging Supply Center, Inc. (ISC) out of Villa Park, California, for failure to pay for copy machine toner sent to them in 2010.
Upon investigation, it was determined that ICS has had several complaints from around the country for sending unordered toner supplies to businesses and then billing them at prices three times the normal retail price for the toner. It is believed that ICS calls the business, asks for the business address and the name of the employee they are speaking with and then sends the toner claiming that employee ordered it.
Unfortunately, the local business actually paid two invoices totaling over $1100 before discovering the error. Offers to return the unordered toner were refused by ICS.
A check with the Orange County, California Sheriff’s Office revealed that the address ICS uses is a valid address but there is no business by that name located there. The telephone number listed for them has been disconnected and a company website could not be found.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection offers these tips to avoid the scams:
1. Know your rights. If you receive supplies or bills for services you didn’t order, don’t pay, and don’t return the unordered merchandise. You may treat unordered merchandise as a gift. By law, it’s illegal for a seller to send you bills or dunning notices for unordered merchandise, or ask you to return it — even if the seller offers to pay for shipping.
2. Assign designated buyers and document your purchases.
3. Check your documentation before paying bills.
4. Train your staff. Train everyone in how to respond to telemarketers.
For more information, refer to http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus24-avoiding-office-supply-scams.