About the Cost of Copies...

by Linda Burnside

My husband works from home, and he frequently needs to have copies made as hand-outs for a monthly employee meeting. I usually get the copies made for him while I am doing my other errands. I learned about how to save on copies by accident. One day while waiting at the counter for someone to come and make my copies, I picked up a brochure that described a pre-paid copy program for as little as 3.5 cents per copy.

I was shocked. This program had been in place for a considerable amount of time -- longer than I had been getting my copies made at this drugstore (Rite Aid). No one had ever told me about it. They accepted my request for "20 copies of each please." and I paid them 15 cents for each copy.

I was outraged to say the least. You would think that a national chain would provide better service by way of informing a customer who does not know about a better way to make copies.

When someone finally came to make the copies, I informed her that I would like to purchase some copy cards as outlined in the brochure. No one seemed to know anything about the copy cards -- that they even existed, where they might be stored, how to sell me one, etc. I asked to see the manager. She was uninformed about the pre-paid copy cards as well, but she took time to read her company's brochure that I placed in her hand.

Because they could not provide me with any copy cards, the manager gave me all my copies at 3.5 cents each. I have been back to the store half a dozen times in the last two months. They still do not have any copy cards they can sell me, and therefore, I demand the 3.5 cent rate each time I make any copies. This is usually in ear-shot of other customers who just paid 15 cents per copy for 50 copies or so. The employees always look at me in a bewildered fashion. I ask to see the manager, and then I get my 3.5 cent rate. I would not get it without explaining their own pre-paid program to them.

Next time you're standing around the copy counter at your local drugstore, look around for any such pre-paid programs. Chances are the employees of the store know nothing about them, but you could be taking full advantage of the better rate. I have been in several of these drugstores, and I have not found one yet with any staff memebers (other than top management) who were aware of the pre-paid rates explained in brochures on their counters.

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