Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ricoh Americas is now Soliciting Dealer Accounts?

WTF, was my first reaction when my wife told me she received a letter from Ricoh Americas Corporation at the church where she works. I then asked my wife are you sure it was from Ricoh, she stated that she would bring me home a copy of the letter.  Yesterday she bought the letter home and sure enough it was from Ricoh Americas Corp. 

This letter raised a few questions:

1) How did Ricoh know that my church has a new Ricoh Copier?

2) Where did they get that information from?

3) Is this going to happen with all of my accounts?

So, I'm thinking this through trying to figure out where Ricoh got the data from, I thought it couldn't be Aficio League because we black out the customer name and address on the invoice and we don't give them the customer name.  Ok, so I remembered that I used NCPG (national church buying group) pricing for this account.  With that I thought these rotten bastards, but I then backed off and maybe just maybe this was a mistake.

The letter which I've posted on here on the Print4Pay Hotel forums was a form letter.  The intent of the letter from Ricoh was to inform the end user that Ricoh is updating it's billing software and that the customer would notice some administrative changes when interacting with Ricoh Americas Corp.

Ricoh stated that there is a new number to call to schedule service, order supplies or receive any assistance and yes this number was shown on the letter. In addition, the letter also stated that my church would be receiving an email that would automatically enroll them in and they would receive a password. There were two other pages that outlined how the new invoices have changed and references, arrows and circles to address different sections of the invoice.

Remember when I thought it might have just been a mistake? I went one step further and posted a thread on the Print4Pay Hotel forums last night. I checked the forums today (Saturday) and there was a reply from another dealer stating that they had found out about two customers also.  One they had used NCPG like me and the other was a US Communities customer, to boot I had a PM (private message) from another dealer stating that they do had found out their customers had also received the letter. Just think of all the customers that got letters that we don't know about!

It's bad enough that the NEW Ricoh Americas Headquarters in now based in the old IKON Headquarters but now Ricoh is sending letters to dealer accounts.  But now Ricoh Americas is retaining the DEALER data that is used by third party purchasing groups, thus whats to stop them from additional letters for soliciting?  I always knew that if you signed up an RMAP account that Ricoh would have that information, but never ever did my RMAP accounts get a letter from Ricoh telling them about a new service number to contact along with enrolling them with

What's next, will they call the account for supplies, offer to give them pricing for additional systems, or worse keep the data and use it for their own reps to follow up on?  I'm hoping this is not the IKON way of conducting business when using NCPG, US Communities and any other third party buying groups.  Personally, I worried about all of the data that they have collected such as customer name, title, equipment, purchase or lease price, fed tax ID, term of agreement or lease. I'm also sure that this blog will have dealers calling their DSM's to get this corrected.

I also wanted to point out something about the printed media Ricoh sent, of the three pages the first page was printed via color laser device, the additional two pages that were double sided and outlined the new billing invoices were printed on a non laser device. How can I tell?  You can smell the ink on the paper, so I'm thinking some type of perfecting press.  A perfecting press is a press that will print both sides of the page in a single pass.  Thus this entire mailing is being outsourced along with the data.

In closing, it's a dam shame that the Ricoh I knew and adored is not the Ricoh I know today.

-=Good Selling=-


Anonymous said...

We contacted our DSM and he stated the letters went out on accident and that a follow up letter is going out to all of those customers stating it was an accident they sent it. As a precaution we are contacting all of our accounts that use US Communities and letting them know about the letter and to ignore it.

dave-244 said...

Hi. Isn't it possible that Ricoh might be collecting information from the printer? Remember that they are online. Ricoh might ask for an update on the firmware or something like that

art post said...

Yup, heard from someone else also that this was an accident. I understand accidents happen, but who the heck is watchinbg the farm?

Anonymous said...

As an update another "mistake" was made. Ricoh has sent another letter to dealer accounts the letter was dated October 2013.