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Xerox sued over leasing fees and business practices

California company seeks class-action certification

A California company has filed a federal lawsuit against Xerox Corp., seeking class-action status, claiming the global document technology company charges excessive and illegal fees for services, equipment and supplies.

“Xerox induces individuals and entities to contract for equipment and supply services without disclosing the true cost of such services,” according to the 22-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester on Tuesday.

“Xerox also buries unconscionable and self-serving contractual provisions in its fine print form contract, resulting in penalties if the customer terminates the contract before its lengthy term expires,” according to the suit.

And Xerox charges “arbitrary and unreasonable termination fees, unsupported by any formula contained in the lease agreement,” the suit claims.

The requested class includes all Xerox customers in the United States that paid a fee that was not authorized in their lease agreements since 2011and all Xerox customers that paid a termination fee penalty in violation of their lease agreements since 2011.

The suit makes claims against Xerox for breach of contract, unlawful penalties for termination, and unjust enrichment.

Xerox officials declined to comment.

The plaintiff, Eco Farm Sales Inc.is a small company in Temecula, Calif., that grows and sells avocados. Eco Farm is represented by attorney E. Adam Webb, of Webb, Klase & Lemond LLC, in Atlanta.

After customers contract with Xerox, “Xerox crams customers with enormous fee increases,” the plaintiff claims.

Customers are then forced to either pay the increased fees or end the contract and pay “enormous early termination fees,” according to the suit.

The suit also claims that bills from Xerox are not clearly itemized.

According to the complaint, thousands of Xerox customers could be potential class members and the total amount of the claim could be more than $5 million.

Although lease agreements require Xerox to maintain equipment, customers must wait a long time for a technician to make repairs and sometimes the technicians can’t completely repair the machine, but Xerox won’t replace the equipment, according to the claim.

The suit claims Eco Farms was routinely charged at higher rates than called for in its lease agreement signed in June 2013.

“In order to escape the overbilling and faulty and defective equipment, Eco was forced to tender payment of $24,609. Xerox promptly deposited the check. Xerox then provided a monthly statement showing $0 owed by Eco, thus confirming that the lease agreement had been terminated,” according to the suit.

Eco Farms stopped using the Xerox equipment related to the ended lease agreement and moved it to a storage facility where it is available for Xerox to pick up, although it has not yet been repossessed, the suit claims.

Eco Farms has received a letter from Xerox demanding $11,575.56 for the machine, which Eco Farms has refused to pay.

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