November 21, 2007 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Why would my company get a phone call from (caller said) "customer service" and ask for the model number on our copy machine?

That was all the caller asked for. I asked who she was customer service for and she replied customer service for "Global Distribution". I told the caller we didn't have a copy machine.
posted by jaronson to Work & Money (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
That is so strange, I got the same kind of call the other day at my company. They asked for the model number and told me where to find it. I sounded unsure and asked what company they were with and they hung up on me. Sorry I do not have an answer, but that is weird that it happened to you too....
posted by ForeverDcember at 8:36 AM on November 21, 2007

My guess is they want to sell you toner or other supplies.
posted by contraption at 8:36 AM on November 21, 2007

It's a scam. They do this so that they can send you their over-priced ink along with an invoice, hoping the person who pays the bills will assume it's legitimate. Don't fall for it.
posted by amyms at 8:38 AM on November 21, 2007 [3 favorites]

Yea, this is a scam. They call and ask for the model number of your copier. Then they send you toner and bill you for it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:38 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Here's a relevant link about office supply scams.
posted by amyms at 8:40 AM on November 21, 2007

So they can send you toner cartridges that you didn't order, and bill you for them at highly inflated prices, and hope nobody at your company notices that no order was ever placed with them and the bill gets paid. Or they might just send an invoice for the cartridges without ever having sent cartridges at all. See here and here (scroll down to "Office Supply Outrage").
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:41 AM on November 21, 2007

This is a long-time scam, as others have mentioned. I've been getting these calls for fifteen years. Don't give your model number.
posted by jdroth at 8:43 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's a longtime known scam with fluorescent lightbulbs too. Be very careful with people who fish for your name without giving up theirs. Your name will appear on the purchase order.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:52 AM on November 21, 2007

We get these calls at my workplace as well. In addition to what everyone else mentions, don't ever let them hear you say "yes" or "okay" or anything like that. They can and will record your voice and will play it back for you if you try to dispute it.
posted by Verdandi at 8:56 AM on November 21, 2007

Very old scam. Tell 'em you have a Bananaphone 2000. ;-)
posted by limeswirltart at 8:59 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Scam, just start in complaining about the service you get from "them" and refuse to accept that the one calling is NOT your regular guy and ream him/her a new one, never stopping bitching all the time until they hang up on you. Even better if you can have a hand signal to your co-worker who can take over as the boss and complain even more.

Good clean fun.
posted by Freedomboy at 9:00 AM on November 21, 2007 [2 favorites]

Haha. This is my favorite. I say, "We have three copiers, do you need all the model numbers?" I can practically hear their eyes bulging out. "Oh, yes, we need all of them!" Then I leave them on hold until they hang up.
posted by peep at 9:10 AM on November 21, 2007 [6 favorites]

I like to ask them "are you a toner phoner?" and then snicker while they gasp, stutter and hang up on me.

Good times.
posted by Sheppagus at 10:12 AM on November 21, 2007

Man the fun scammers never call me.
posted by Skorgu at 10:14 AM on November 21, 2007

def a scam. belligerent bastards too. often with one phone call you are set up for an auto delivery of an obscene amount of toner. i know this because a dipshit receptionist here fell for it. we got hundreds of toner cartridges, sent them all back and after she got fired I got the honor of dealing with their "collection dept". creepy shits, they were.
posted by domino at 10:23 AM on November 21, 2007

BTW, legally speaking you can probably (depends on your jurisdiction) keep the toner cartridges they send you without paying for them. Because you never agreed to anything, it's not a contract and you're not obligated. They cannot obligate you by taking one-sided action.

Of course, that will be cold comfort when their "collections" people start harassing you; you'd have to be a lot more dedicated to fighting them than I would be to go down that path on purpose. So, best course of action is just to avoid them entirely, but do remember if you get sent the stuff, you have no obligation to incur the expense of sending it back.
posted by katemonster at 11:26 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

They've started outsourcing this one, too. I worked as a receptionist all through high school and college and noticed that I couldn't understand the scammers as well as I used to anymore. Thick accents.
posted by fructose at 11:54 AM on November 21, 2007

To follow up on what katemonster said, you can actually keep whatever you didn't order, free! I've done this before with scammers. Here's the relevant page from the FTC web site.
posted by edjusted at 4:47 PM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

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