Neopost IJ25 Postage Meter Pricing Scam

I just got off the phone with Neopost, whose postage meter I have been using for a number of years. I guess I never put together the true cost of using it. The reason for my call was that my postage meter suddenly stopped working, saying “Warning, Ink Expired”.

It turns out that the Neopost IJ25 postage meter is programmed to stop working if the same ink cartridge has been installed for more than one year (as in 365 days). When I called, I was told that we should have received a single warning about a month ago that the ink would expire soon. However, if we had pushed “Ok” that one time, the warning would disappear, and the next warning would be when the postage meter stopped working altogether. I don’t know if we got the warning or not, although nobody remembers seeing it.

Nonetheless, my Neopost IJ25 postage meter is dead in the water. The cost for a replacement ink cartridge is $124: $86 for the cartridge (!!), $29 for overnight shipping “& handling” (!!), and $9.32 for tax. 2-3 day shipping would have been $23, 10 day shipping $12. Clearly, Neopost has a strong incentive to set up their IJ25 postage meter so we would not see the warning, and is not shy about overcharging for shipping.

In addition, Neopost gouges us to update the meter for postal rate changes (so it prints 43 cents instead of 42 cents) – this was $91.89 on 12/22/08, plus a special deal $67.02 for one year of subsequent updates. In the notice, Neopost gleefully noted that the postal service has agreed to start increasing the postage more often – probably twice a year. The thing is, to get the special deal, I have agreed to automatic, non-cancelable upgrades; to cancel, I must give at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, notice. Again, clearly designed to make it more difficult to cancel.

The only thing that is reasonably priced is the actual rental of the Neopost IJ25 postage meter and scale, at $219.57 for 12 months.

However, the actual cost of using the Neopost IJ25 meter for 12 months is: $219 rental, about $90 reprogramming, and $124 for the timed ink cartridge, or $433, or about twice the quoted rental cost. Not to mention the inconvenience of having a postage meter that dies unexpectedly and with no (practical) notice.

So why is that a scam? For the same reason that it is a scam when an airline quotes an airfare that doesn’t include baggage. Neopost should be honest about the actual cost of renting their equipment, and not gouge their customers for the rate reprogramming and ink cartridges. There is no excuse for charging $29 for overnight shipment of a 4 ounce cartridge. And, worst of all, they should not design the Neopost IJ25 postage meter to fail unexpectedly and without (practical) warning, significantly inconveniencing their customer.

You can bet that between now and next December, I will be looking into other options that don’t include a meter programmed to fail.

If anyone from Neopost cares to dispute or comment on this post, I will be happy to talk with them. If anything is incorrect, I will certainly correct it.

30 thoughts on “Neopost IJ25 Postage Meter Pricing Scam

  1. I experienced that last year, as well as the repeated US mail postage increases, which instigate the need for the meter reprogramming (at around $100). Simply ridiculous. This expiring ink thing is silly (I certainly didn’t notice any degredation in the ink quality, ie., lightness, etc), and my darned ink hadn’t run out yet! Then you’re stuck in the woods without a meter and forced to pay much too high for both ink and shippng, which is why I found your post… looking for alternatives and considering stamps.com. Will proceed with my inquiries…

  2. I had this experience with Pitney Bowes but much worse. They charged me for the priveledge to download postage $10; charged to bill for postage $19 (for the $300 I downloaded). Ink was higher cost but they didn’t charge for the postal rate updates. I actually switched to Neopost and saved.

  3. Have used the Neopost meter for 3 years – signed a one year contract and advised cancellation March this year. Neopost claim its a 5 year contract, & their sales rep. ‘doctored it’ after we signed for 1 year only. We have two different contract copies. We also have over $300 postage on a trust account with them – which they refuse to refund. We buy postage stamps on line which are delivered to us free by the Post Office. Much easier and economical. Suggest all small businesses not even consider a postage meter, because of the mandatory contracts and exorbitant prices, which depending on postage needs can amount to 50% of the total postage costs. For larger mailings use a mail house it’s very cost effective.

  4. I agree with a hundred percent… it’s a bunch of crap! I have decided not to purchase the the new ‘chip’ for the scale (or the redicuous insurance for the same the thing) and since the scale is valuable as a SCALE, I just have the rate chart posted on the wall. One thing you may not realize is that you can change the default amount so it will print $.44 unless you change it.

  5. My company uses the Neopost IJ25 too, but on a fairly large scale (probably use about 8-10 cartridges a year). I was wondering if anyone knows whether this machine “locks out” after 100,000 items are franked?

    The company who we’ve bought the machine off of are trying to sell us something bigger / more expensive due to this, but the IJ25 does its job well (and refilled cartridges aren’t badly priced). I don’t know if they’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes or not…

    Anyone knows about that for sure? Any feedback about it appreciated. Cheers.

  6. Have also purchased a IJ25 and am absolutley shocked at the price for a cartdridge… we have been quoted over £75 plus vat for a new item… As we only very rarely send out mail, it is now not cost effective to keep this machine…

    I did come across a company http://www.cdh.co.uk/ who offer to program your used Ij25 for a flat £10 straight… i am going to give these folk a chance rather than burn my money with neopost… the crooks !!

  7. The IJ-25 can be reset to run another 8 – 12 months… the period thats set to expire once fitted to the machine.. search for info on the web about “IJ-25 EXPIRED”

  8. I just ran into this issue with a perfectly good ink cartridge for the first time. Neopost tries to claim that the ink will damage the machine if it is over one year old and/or the image might not be clear enough to “satisfy postal requirements” which is absolute crap. They bottom line is they want to force users to buy new cartridges. My IJ-25 rental comes up again next month ($370 USD per yr.), so I called and cancelled the new cartrtidge and cancelled my rental. I will invoice as many customers as possible electronically, and use stamps for the remaining few. When you combine resentmentf caused by the Neopost/Pitney Bowes shakedown with changing technology, I don’t see the USPS having a very bright future, but I guess they get what they deserve.

  9. I totally agree that Neopost are very naughty. They have lots of hidden costs, such as expensive ink with a 12 MONTH time bomb, a rate chip each year of around £100 (which Ive cancelled and use a Royal mail chart on my wall), the re-crediting is a huge scam, no-one told me that I would be ringing a number at £1.50 per minute and that I would be forced to do this every 90 days for “security reasons”.

    Frankly, and that isnt meant to be a pun, stamps are looking quite appealing!

    The market is stitched up with Pitney Bowes and Neopost, so there is no real competition which would sort this nonesense out.

    I am taking this up with Royal Mail and will consult my Ombudsman about this apparent duopoly.

  10. Hasler does the samething with thier WJ-20. Cancelled my contract today with a year left just to get the machine out of my office. My usage was small, under $500.00 in postage per year. Monthly charge was $19.99 per month. Postage rate changes added another $99.00. Changing out ink that was still working perfectly, $99.00. Add all those charges together and it does not pay us to have the machine. I will not be gouged by a company period.

  11. I just spoke with our Neopost rep. Hewlett Packard makes these cartridges for Neopost. The rep blames HP – she claims that this business of the expiring cartridge was designed into the system by HP (or mandated by them to insure a steady stream of revenue). Either way it sucks. I have a usable cartridge and I have to throw it away.

  12. I totally agree on the cost of running a franking machine if you do not have regular mail use the alternative.
    I closed our business two years ago, told Neopost – they still try to bill us each time for an update (latest one £88.13). Our mail has always been redirected so I still receive their letters and even though we have never received a chip they we still received a demand for the money.
    I ignored the latest letter and then received a “final demand”. I phoned and told them I believed this was a scam as they had been told on at least three occasions that the machine was not in use. The didn’t even try to argue – apart from saying a chip must have been sent out! Therefore, all you small companies who have changed suppliers beward – your accounts department may pay the bill thinking it is still a service you use. In my opinion, not good people to do business with I’m afraid.

  13. After reading all the comments above its amazing how many people have had similar experiences. We signed a contract with Pitney Bowes , not realising it was 5 years – they also have silly insurance costs built in. We finally got rid of them after paying £1700 ‘surrender’ value . I told them they could have the machine and they cunningly said they are not allowed to use the same machine again for another customer – yet when we surrendered they decided to pick it up anyway. basically they are very dishonest scamming people and i detest them and their practices. we moved over to neopost as they happened to fone us with a great offer. we could buy the IJ25 outright for £250. we did and then the scams of upgrade chips and other recurring costs started. we cancelled the chip upgrade as it seems most others have and now am paying around £90 for the ink which expires each year. almost all our correspondence is electronic and so the ink could last longer but we still have to pay them. i can see now there are cheaper options. However, pitney bowes and neopost are pretty bad and i suggest people are very careful before they get into it.

  14. I was checking on our website’s searchability and came across this thread. Obviously I’m biased, but had to toss in my 2 cents. You don’t have to purchase those outrageous (almost robbery… okay robbery) prices for postage meter ink. Having been in the industry for 15 years, I couldn’t stand it any more due to difficult meter manufacturers make it for their customers. We got out yet still had the ability to offer remanufactured / compatible ink cartridges and meter tapes for a fraction of the cost. Some will likely feel that this is risky and the manufacturer will use scare tactics, but both could be further from the truth. Feel free to check out our site at http://www.midwestmailingsupplies.com and I will personally stand behind our products. I’m just trying to save you some frustration and money, (of course I seen some benefit too) so at the very least check it out!

    All the best!

  15. Neopost is shady for sure. We bought a tabletop model inserter from them and it was a total piece of junk. The salesperson way oversold the ability of the machine and once we got it installed, it wouldn’t even do the job it was purchased to complete!! The company is taking no responsibilty and no we are hashing it out in the legal system. Meanwhile, my small biz is out $100K.

  16. Kevin Tiffany,

    Is the timing chip on the cartridge or the machine? We have an ij70 and it’s a pain changing those out knowing there is still plenty of ink left.

  17. Does anyone have any experience with th Hasler WJ220 mailing machine with meter? The ink timed out and we have not used the machine for over two years. We had a difficult time contacting someone who would help us with this problem. We finally found a way to contact the company, and are in the process of trying to cancel the lease. We still have three years on our lease at 425.00 per month. Does anyone know what their policy is for cancelling a lease?

    The sales rep did not make us aware of the time-out feature.

  18. Our postage machine has “Ink to Expire Soon” message of doom, and it’s clearly still working well…I can’t stand the idea of having to buy more ink for it when it’s working. Has anyone had any luck (or and bad luck) with chip resetting services in Canada, or alternatives to buying the cartridges directly?

    Thanks!!

  19. I signed a contract for a neopost franking machine which said 24 x payments….
    we have now not used the machine for over 18 months because of the added costs of upgrading and phoning a premium line to top up credit which cost us several pounds every phone call….
    I rang them and informed them that I wanted to cancel our agreement and they said that I had signed a 6 year contract because each payment is for a three month period…..I was told I had to pay up the full 6 year contract if I wanted to cancel….

    WHAT A SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY….YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!!! I DID!!!!!

  20. It is a scam. And i can prove that! I found a company who have made a tool to reprogram the cartridges. I have restarted the same ink jet 3 times now. They say they proram them to stop just before the print quality fails, yet mine worked 3 times over!

    SCAM!!!!!!

  21. I’ve had the IJ25 for seven or eight years now. Took a while to catch on to the expired ink scam. I run a mail order house, we use the machine roughly 250 days a year.

    I signed a three-year contract at about $220 a year. After the first year I got a bill for the second year, which was based on usage, which I had not heard about or agreed to: Roughly $450, as I recall. I called and protested.

    The result was curious. I was classified as a non-profit and my annual renewal – I just got it the other day – was $15.00US. Fifteen dollars. The other curious thing was that I could no longer make deposits. When I saw that I laughed as I had seen similar nonsense from AT&T years earlier. I called up NeoPost tech support. Help, help, something’s wrong with my machine! Why, you can only make one-cent deposits, the voice replied. Here, let me fix that. And he did. That was years ago. Tech support is usually the last to hear about rip offs and scams, and even when they do, they sometimes don’t follow instructions.

    I don’t use the NeoPost scale. I use a good 30-pounder made by Detecto-Cardinal. It was originally set to work with an Ascom meter I gave up years ago. It has a rate chip, but as updates were $225 a year and as I had to manually enter the result into the IJ25, I stopped upgrading and now use postal rate sheets. Media mail, first class, Priority, Flat-rate, International, lots of different things. The Detecto, from 1997, wasn’t fitted for half of them anyway.

    But this year the expired ink is a nag. Every time you set a new postage amount, you have to pound through “Ink Expires Soon.” (Wouldn’t it be nice if they gave the date?) So I’ve been looking around on the net for refills and found bunches of companies and lots of hype. Kevin from Midwest took the time to leave a note here, so I think his company will get my money. What I would prefer is someone who could blank out the date and refill the ink, but I haven’t seen a US company that does that.

    PS: I wore out a machine, am on my second IJ25.

    Keep up the good work.

  22. Neopost are the worst company i have ever dealt with. They have ignored my emails, billed me for things i didn’t ask for or want. I am pretty easy to please, but no emails are answered, all complaints are ignored. My machine has broken down more times than i can remember

    All of that, plus the ink scam they run

    They are a terrible company that should be shut down!!!!

  23. I have an IJ25 and it is currently showing “Warning Usage Lock”. We have had the machine for about 10 years or so and it has worked hard for us. Does anyone know what this is about please?

  24. I signed a 1 year lease with Neopost in July 2013, employee said it was 12 months, and the contract has a 24 month checkbox that is NOT checked. When I tried to cancel it a few months ago, they tell me that even though it is not checked, it is still 24 months. “Since there is no other option to check, then it is as shown, 24 months.” is their wording. Looks like fraud to me, turned it over to the state attorney generals office and I’ll see what they say. BBB shows a lot of complaints, but so far, they haven’t been any help on this so far.

  25. Just had same argument with Franking Sense (Bolton) UK – only use my machine about once a week as I suffered a breakdown after starting my Business so lost Thousands of Pounds and cannot run my Business ( just keeping it mothballed ) – its bad enough keep charging for service @ £200 + a year which just means a guy dusts it for 3 mins but when I signed up I asked ” how long does the ink last” to be told ” about 1,000 impressions – by my calculations ive about 950 impressions left but it now says ” Ink expired” – phoned them up and told them ive £ 22 in the bank , they dont give a damn , what an utter scam , discusting – do not lease a franking machine unless you post more than 200 items a week – it is a total scam !!!

  26. So what meter/company should we use? I have sworn not to renew with Pitney Bowes since it is costing us about $50/mo which is at least 2X higher than the highest bid I am getting now. The problem is, all the reviews I read make all the companies look like scammers.

  27. I am well aware of the hidden costs of operating a postage meter from Neopost and the low capacity cartridges they come with so you have to buy a new ink cartridge after 6 months or even less, however they are so expensive, the crazy cost of supplies just adds fuel to the fire when they expire after 12 months. Ouch!. I have now changed over to aftermarket postage meter ink cartridges and they work great.

    I was concerned about the subject of Intellectual Property (IP) and if the aftermarket ink cartridges are IP cleared or not. My understanding was that if an ink cartridge is not IP cleared then the OEM may pursuit the supplier for IP infringement and the cartridge may even be illegal to purchase and use.

    I have recently replaced the Neopost ink cartridge on our postage meter with an aftermarket cartridge from http://www.smartmeterink.com the savings were around 40% and guaranteed to be Canada Post approved and 100% IP cleared with a 12 months warranty.
    Ultimately I want the savings without the risk, doesn’t everyone?

    What is your views on non – IP cleared products?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *