Approximately seven years ago, a friend of ours bought a franking machine (for stamping outgoing mail) for his small business from Neopost UK, one of the largest merchants for this type of machine in this country.
This week, the machine suddenly stopped working. Our friend phoned the company he purchased it from to see if he could pay to have somebody come and fix it, and was told:
Oh, those machines are programmed to stop working after 32,000 uses.
Our friend was somewhat taken aback, as he certainly hadn’t been told this when he purchased the machine from Neopost. However, there was little point trying to prove this, the machine having been purchased 7 years previously, so he asked how much it would cost to reset the chip (or whatever they do) to make the machine continue to work.
Bear in mind there is absolutely nothing wrong with this machine, it’s just been set to stop working when it reaches 32,000 uses.
‘Well’, came the reply, ‘we don’t do that, you’ll have to buy a new machine’.
It’s not often that I name and shame on this blog, however, I was so TOTALLY OUTRAGED by this that I had to write something about it.
Whilst Neopost claim on their website that their machines are up to 78% recyclable, the only way our friend’s local council’s recycling system has of getting rid of this large plastic and metal machine, which has nothing wrong with it, and would still be in perfect working order if Neopost hadn’t made it stop working and refused to make it start again, is into landfill where it will takes who knows how long to decompose. Not to mention the carbon footprint of producing the new one that my friend will have to buy to replace it.
I can’t tell you how horrified I am that such a large company has such a blatant disregard for the environment. How they have the gall to boast about their ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ on their website is beyond my comprehension, and their ‘Waste Management’ information page is, frankly, a joke.
It may well be that it is standard practice in the franking machine industry to set a limit on the number of letters their machines can stamp, and if this is the case, legislation ought to be put into place as a matter of urgency in order to stop this practice. After all, car manufacturers aren’t allowed to make their vehicles stop working after you’ve driven 100,000 miles, are they? Toasters don’t cease to cook bread after 3,000 slices.
Neopost have an active Twitter account, and I tweeted them about this issue yesterday to give them a chance to respond. They didn’t bother to reply.
Shame on you, Neopost.