IKON: The Perfect Storm of Suck

I had a really bad day today. 

I have a 18,000 page proposal (actually 18 copies of a 1000 page proposal) due next week.  I had a new color printer ordered from IKON Office Solutions scheduled to arrive last week.  When I got in town this morning, I found no copier, even a week after it was promised.  No call, no warning -- just no printer.  I called and my sales guy had no idea what was going on, despite the fact that I had been adamant that I needed to hit this date.  Apparently, he never even bothered to check the schedule.

Anyway, he promised an immediate call back but never called.  I called him again on his cell at noon and he acted like he had forgotten to check and promised to talk to his boss.  An hour later it was confirmed -- I was not getting my equipment in time for this bid.  I told them they could therefore keep it, and I would call Xerox.  I absolutely cannot stand companies that require me to do constant checking and expediting in order for them to deliver on their promises.  I can't tell you how many times I have been promised an immediate call-back from IKON "within the hour" for service only to have to call again and again over the following days to get any response.  I would not have contracted for this new machine in the first place if I wasn't already locked in an IKON lease they won't let me out of -- this would at least have gotten me a better machine for the money.

In the mean time, I prepared to do the proposal mostly in black and white with bits of color from the laser printer.  I was going to use my high speed B&W copier I had under lease from IKON, and which we were planning to replace with the new machine that never showed up.  I had a technician from IKON out just last week to check it so I knew it was in good shape.  WRONG.

Within minutes of use, the machine began spitting out horrible copies.  Looking inside, it was clear something in the heat-finisher was unraveling and very broken.  I called service and was given an emergency designation and assured of a call in one hour.  Nothing.  So I called again, and was again assured that I would definitely hear from a technician in one hour.  Nothing.  Now, everyone has gone home, and the messages all say they will get back to me on Monday, when it will be too late.  I called my sales person on his cell phone tonight (the one that was begging me a few hours earlier, asking me what he could do to save my business) and was told there was nothing he could do and he had no way of getting in touch with a dispatcher or any real human service person until Monday.  Right, they are willing to do anything for me except what they are supposed to do.

So here I am, with a thousand dollar a month copier that doesn't copy, a color copier that is not here, and the prospect of spending all weekend and a couple grand at Kinko's to get my proposal out.

IKON has been informed that they are now in breach of their service contract and may come by any time and pick up their boat anchor.


  1. OneEyedMan:

    Man, if I were the Canon sales man, I'd love nothing more than to get a call from you saying "How fast can I get a copier?". If they were smart the Canon people would have moved heaven and earth to get you an equivalent machine and a comparable price. They would have earned an awfully loyal customer.

  2. Highway:

    Or Ricoh. We just switched one of our copiers to Ricoh, who bought out the lease for the Xerox we had. It's now done over 200k copies with zero errors.

    Also, when we signed the deal with them, they said 'If you need something copied before it arrives, bring it to us, we'll do it at the office here'.

  3. Stephen Macklin:

    We have always had good service and support from our IKON people in CT. But part of that may be that we're a large international corporation and have dozens of their machines. They also have "preferred vendor" status which they work hard to keep.

    That said - copier sales people are about the lowest form of life on the planet. Maybe slightly above "Member of Congress." But only slightly.

  4. Larry Sheldon:

    I lived and died with HP gear until Carly did her magic and convinced me never to buy HP again.

    So for Christmas I bought my wife a Canon multi-purpose to replace her failing HP.

    Dead out of the box.

    Took it back.

    New one had a ink cartridge go bad after a few uses.

    To their credit, they said something like "yeah, we think we have a problem, would you run some tests for us?" and sent her a new cartridge overnight.

    But still. Why do we have to buy "warranties" to get what we paid for?

    And you don't want to get me started on what Kinko's did for my daughter's wedding stuff.

  5. Anonymous:

    I really, really hate to tell you that you s&rewed yourself over with a sub-par supplier...

    IKON blow. I know this already, as someone who deals with these sorts of things regularly.

    Screw Canon, which are so far up their own a*se as to be unbelieveable, but give Oce, Konica, or Ricoh a call for new contracts. All are much better.

    Until then, I wish you luck with your Kinkos bills.


  6. Larry Sheldon:

    There was an amusing sidelight (well, I dint think so amusing at the time) to the DOA Canon. The problem was the color part of the machine was dead--it wouldn't run the standalone "calibration" step before you are supposed to hook it to a computer. Called in--twit insisted I had to install the software before he would talk to me. Should have taken it back right then and there, but it was a Christmas present so I really really wanted it to work.

    Installing the software on the PC dint help.

    Wjat is the world coming to when the foreign stuff isn't even any good? (I am old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" was about the worst thing you could say.)

  7. ParatrooperJJ:

    You trusted a salesman...?

  8. Darin:

    You can't really blame the manufacturer for the customer service foibles of a dealer - IKON. ANY box can contain defective componentry and sewrvicing entity needs to get it resolved asap. Also, to the person who suggested Ricoh 'bought out' a lease - the remaining $ you owe is merely absorbed into your new lease payment. It's industry standard.

  9. Harold:

    IKON was just bought by Ricoh, hope you didnt get a damn canon printer,

  10. david:

    Hey man if you need a Xerox copier write me an e-mail david_clark_00@hotmail.com

  11. slomaro:

    wow. I am an IKON sales rep and I have to say this stings a bit. I work EXTREMELY hard for my clients (they all have my cell phone) and do everything that I personally can to make their experience a pleasant one. Sadly, I am familiar with the cirmcumstances described herein. I have a service background (I was a service manager for a large transportation company) and can attest to the fact that, even in the best of organizations, size sometimes gets in your way. I have felt the discomfort in trying to give someone an accurate ETA for delivery but having too many processes and persons to go through to obtain said information. Each person or group that I contact is always helpful and works hard to resolve the issue, but admittedly there are hiccups in the process from time to time. That is where I consider the true measure of a service provider is really made: when and how they (in this case "we") respond to a problem. I hope that your sales rep did indeed follow up and take accountability for the issue: if not, as an individual they are in the wrong. To chide the entire organization for the actions of one, however, is not the answer. As far as copier sales people being the lowest form of life on the planet, I'll kindly respond that you are branding the whole group based on your experiences with the few with whom you've worked. Many of those that I work with are honorable people with families that work hard to take care of their clients (myself included.) I hope that with future encounters you find that the stereotype you mentioned is NOT the norm.