When our parent company first started PC Disposal in 1997, there were very few competitors. Since then, it seems like there are new computer recycling firms starting up every week. And with such intense competition it’s inevitable that a few bad apples have figured out ways to cut corners or trick clients into using their services. Much of our business now comes from companies that once used these less-than-legit computer recycling companies. However, we thought it would be nice to spare you the school of hard knocks by letting you know upfront what these little tricks are:
Trick #1: Luring you in by lowballing the bid.
This little trick has become so common that even otherwise legitimate computer recycling centers are starting to use it. They offer an incredibly low bid on your equipment just to get your business. However, there are a few small charges that can’t be “quoted exactly” until they complete the work. Sometimes these charges aren’t even mentioned except in the small print of the contract. Other times they are calculated using variables such as weight or volume that make it impossible for you to predict what your total cost will be.
The result: Bloated shipping and handling fees along with a few other charges you didn’t even know existed. Once you get the bill you realize that your “lowest bidder” may actually be the highest bidder.
Protect yourself: Always analyze the total cost to remove, ship and process your equipment. Make sure the agreed upon rate contains all costs and isn’t just a vague estimate. Read your contracts carefully. Also, be sure you are comparing apples to apples by analyzing what each computer recycling firm is offering for the money (click here to view PC Disposal’s services).
PC Disposal introduces
In response to the
pricing games being played by other computer recycling companies, PC Disposal is proud to
announce that we are the first computer recycling firm to offer "No Surprises"
Pricing (NSP). That is, we bid using a flat fee per unit plus any extra services that YOU CHOOSE
for each type of equipment. NO HIDDEN COSTS. NO SURPRISES. Plus, if the market for recovered raw materials is high enough, we will REDUCE your per unit cost to reflect the difference.
Trick #2: Offering free computer recycling services.
For this trick, so-called computer recyclers promise to do everything the competition does and they’ll even do it for free. They claim that they make their money by reselling your old equipment. This is the most dangerous trick that can be played on an unsuspecting business.
To understand why this so dangerous, it helps to understand just a little about how the computer recycling industry works. First of all, just like the fly-by-night computer recycling companies, legitimate computer recyclers make nearly all of their profits from reselling your computers. Very little money is made on properly preparing your computers for disposal or resale because of the labor-intensive tasks involved (e.g., asset tag removal, sanitizing or destroying hard drives, EPA compliant disposal, etc.). This means that if a computer recycler isn’t charging a fee for processing, they are losing money on every computer they aren’t able to sell. The more computers they process, the more money they lose.
But why should you care if your computer recycling firm is making a profit? Here’s why: Let’s say that your computer disposal company is only able to resell 20% of your computers (a good estimate considering computer obsolescence and the glut of used computers). Now, ask yourself why they would bother to properly dispose all of those remaining computers when they know they will start losing money on each and every unit they process.
The result: If you guessed that those remaining computers will probably be dumped into a landfill without being processed, you’re right. But what are the chances that someone will actually try to find your computers to recover sensitive data on your computers? Expect your odds to be 100% against your company. Identity thieves, environmentalists and privacy watchdogs are constantly combing through landfills, wreaking havoc on businesses that haven’t properly disposed of their equipment. And extracting private data from hard drives is easy, even if they’ve been reformatted.
For example, we recently had a representative from a city government ask us to bid on a computer disposal project. He was impressed with our services, but couldn’t understand why we couldn’t offer the services for free like their last vendor. Of course, we were curious and had to ask why he just didn’t use the previous computer recycling company. His answer, “Well, we had a few privacy problems....”
Protect yourself: While you should always be suspicious of computer recycling firms that don’t charge, it always doesn’t necessarily mean that those who do charge are much better. Put in a little due diligence. Is the recycler certified by a third party like R2 or e-Stewards? How long has the company has been in business. Fly-by-night computer recycling companies don’t stay in business for long because the victimized companies usually start hitting them with lawsuits. Unfortunately, they usually just close up shop and start again under a new name. Also, be sure to ask for references.
“When you want it done efficiently and properly, PC Disposal is the company to work with. They've been providing services for our company for years.”
Gordon Ghroman, President
“I had the opportunity to visit the PC Disposal facility. I was impressed by operation and the great staff. I am very happy with the service.”
Romy Riddle, President