21 Jul

Due Diligence Can Save You Money

As a small business owner, it’s important to practise due diligence with any purchases you make or any agreements you sign up to. This was made obvious by a telephone call we received recently.

Someone from a company identifying itself as Deltec Manufacturing called and said that they were following up on a call they had made to us several months ago. As I wasn’t the only person taking calls here at CAS Netlink I didn’t know whether that was true or not. It turns out that it wasn’t true – it’s part of their sales pitch.

Anyway, they offered to ship me some ‘high yield’ toner cartridges for my printer at a cost of around $380 for two cartridges. At this point I was none the wiser as to whether that was a good deal or not, but the person I spoke to said that someone from their ordering area would call in around an hour to confirm. At that point no order had been placed, so that was fine by me.

Whilst I waited for that call I did some searching for the company name and also some research on toner prices. It turns out that the company has had more than its share of complaints. I’m fairly careful when looking at complaints that are submitted online as quite often it’s the result of frustration or anger and can paint the wrong picture about a company. In this case though, none of the compaints looked like they were the result of short term rage – they looked to be from small business owners who felt that Deltec were somewhat shonky. You can see those complaints at Complaints Board.

At this point I was more than a little concerned, so I did a search for toner prices for our printer. I was a bit shocked to find that the average price was around $80 including shipping. So, when someone rang back from Deltec I pointed this out and the explanation was that they were ‘high yield’, adding 30% of extra toner to the cartridge. It still wasn’t a good deal and I declined their invitation to order based on the complaints I had seen and the high cost. They did offer to do a ‘special’ deal and ship just one toner cartridge at half the original offer price but at $180 it was still over twice the cost of the same toner cartridge from a regular supplier.

If I had not done a little research I may well have ended up ordering these expensive toner cartridges and, according to customer complaints, possibly had to endure a stream of unauthorised orders.

Whenever I have any business contact me I head to Google straight away to look at their website and/or find out what I can about them before we commit to any payment or agreement. Fortunately the vast majority of online businesses are legitimate and trustworthy but it certainly doesn’t hurt to spend five or ten minutes to make sure that the people you are dealing with are above board. It can save you a considerable amount of money and grief.