Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 13:17:23 -0400

Hello, Everyone...

Just to let you all know, we at the Swampscott Public Library received a phone call this morning from a man named "Jim Taylor" from a company called either "Compustar" or "Compustuff" (or something similar). He wanted to know the numbers of our HP laserjet printers because of a "mix-up at the warehouse." We do not own any HP laserjet printers, and we do all of our printer and cartridge ordering through an entirely different company.

I have heard of scams in the past where people will call companies and ask for printer and photocopier types and numbers. When they get the types and numbers of your machines, they will start automatically sending toner and ink supplies and expect payment, even though you never authorized the transaction.

Just wanted to give everyone the heads-up in case your library gets a similar phone call.

Vicky Coffin
Reference/YA Librarian
Swampscott Public Library
Swampscott, MA 01907


Thu Jul 31 22:41:00 PDT 2003

I have spent part of today dealing with a company that I
think is pretty sleezy.  And yes, I mailed a complaint
form with lots of documentation to the Oregon Department
of Justice.

My concern is that others may also have had to deal with
this company.  I am wondering if they are hitting
libraries that received a printer with their Gates Grant.

CompuStar Systems tried to send 4 toner cartridges for the
HP 4100 (Gates Grant printer) to a very small library.
 This library won't even come close to using up a
cartridge of toner a year, let alone need 4 cartridges any
time soon.

The company wanted to charge the library $1,247.00 for the
cartridges and shipping and handling.  The library has a
yearly supply budget of $600.00.  I checked to see how
much this toner would cost if purchased elsewhere. Here is
the breakdown: CompuStar = $298.00, Hewlett-Packard =
$98.99, Staples = $88.99. Shipping and handling charges:
CompuStar = $55.00, Hewlett-Packard = $0.00, Staples =

Anyway, I just thought I would send out this warning.

Diedre Conkling

    Lincoln County Library District
    P.O. Box 2027, Newport, OR  97365
    Phone & Fax:  (541) 265-3066

From (in response to the previous post):

Thu Jul 31 23:19:21 PDT 2003

I had an offer from them 2-3 weeks ago by phone.  Although they
offered more, I accepted only two cartridges.  They knocked their
price down several times in discussion with me.  The cartridges were
leaking when they arrived.  I called them back and asked them to pick
them up and said I wanted no replacements, had decided not to do
business with them.  Before they picked up the leaky cartridges, we
received two replacements.  I called again and told them we were
returning the good cartridges with the bad.  They had them picked up
by UPS and we have not heard from them again.

So, maybe Gates computers are the deal.


Brad Baker's response to the above, also from (note the four-month delay):

Tue Dec 2 11:42:40 PST 2003

I think it is important to let anyone who might come across this thread that there is some false information left about our company, Compustar Systems.  An order was placed by Ms. Nanette Lockwood, an employee of Siletz Public Library in early July for four Lexmark toner cartridges.  The order had nothing to do with the Gates computer, it is not manufactured by Gates, simply supplied to the library by Gates.  Gates has not and I assume would not give us any information pertaining to the printer at any library.  At the time of the order, there was a concern that four toner would be too many for such a small library and Ms. Lockwood stated that it would not.  She then stated she was authorized to make purchases for the library and requested us to ship the product on her authorization to the library which we did right away.

A few weeks after the merchandise had arrived, we did receive a call from Ms. Conklin[g] stating that she needed to return the merchandise due to the fact that they did not have enough money in the budget to pay for the product.  When I returned her call, later in the day, she stated that Ms. Lockwood could not have ordered the product and was extremely rude.  I allowed her to return the product and even waived the restocking fee that would normally be associated with a return.

Not long after that we did receive notice from the Oregon Attorney General that we sent something without authorization, had tried to overcharge her, and wanted a refund for her shipping charges.  We again received authorization from Ms. Lockwood and the product we sent is a high yield product and cannot be compared to the items sold by local office supply stores unless comparing the same yield.  We are not being reimbursed for our shipping charges to Ms. Lockwood, nor did we charge the restocking fee which we had to pay to our supplier so at this point we obviously cannot give a refund [of] the shipping charges for a customer based error.

I would offer to anyone on this list that if comparing similar product that Compustar Systems will match any price you can pay elsewhere for any printers you might have by 10%.  I want [you] to understand that Compustar Systems would never overcharge any company, nor would we ever send any product without authorization.

Thank you,
Brad Baker
Director of Customer Relations