As my 4.8 regular readers know, my office mate Light Bright is a very sweet girl but - how shall I put this? - easily fooled. Although I am not sure I wouldn't have fallen for this either: she got scammed by toner pirates. Here is how it went down:
A woman called Light Bright and said we were due for more toner, and had we gotten the information about the price increase? Light Bright said she hadn't, and neither had I. So far as I knew, we had a contract with our two copiers so we just called the company and got more toner without any charge, since it was part of the contract. The woman wanted to verify our address, and I said it hadn't changed but she kept insisting that she wanted to verify it, so finally Light Bright gave it to her. (We were talking to her on LB's speaker phone.) That was several weeks ago. Then last week we got a toner cartridge in the mail, and we were both surprised, since we didn't remember ordering one. So it sat, unopened, on my desk - which, as it turns out, was a good thing. Because today a bill came in the mail for Light Bright from some company I had never heard of with a very generic name. I was puzzled because we had never gotten a bill for a toner cartridge before, so Light Bright called the company we have a contract with, and that's when they told us it was TONER PIRATES!! Now most people think of pirates taking things from you, not sending you things in the mail, but here's the thing: they wanted to charge us over $500 for a toner cartridge that retails for around $80 and can be found on legitimate websites for as little as $65. Can you imagine? 625% profit? What a scam!
I did a little research on Generic Company, Inc. and found that the Better Business Bureau has given them an F rating. This is their usual modus operandi, exactly what they did to us: they call to say you are due for more toner, and you may not be thinking and just assume you are speaking to the company with whom you have a contract. Then they tell you there has been a slight price increase (like 625%). When the toner arrives, there is no return address on it so that you can't just return it to sender, but that's OK, we just wrote their address on it. Light Bright had actually called Generic Company, Inc. about returning the toner, and the guy she talked to was very rude and said they would have to set up a return account. My online research showed that other people had been taken in by this as well, because then they will charge you a "reshelving fee" which is still more than the cost of the toner. So if anyone calls you saying it's time for more toner, just tell them no thanks, you know they're toner pirates.