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02/18/2008 Entry: "Pitney Bowes F352 Repair"

At the office, we have a Pintney Bowes F-352 folder/inserter machine. It takes our invoice, folds it in thirds, stuffs it in an envelope, seals it, and spits it out. We paid big bucks for the machine. It seems like it's nothing but trouble.

Today, it was giving us grief. The rubber roller that "picks up" the invoice at the start of the paper train would just spin and spin on the paper. We squirted the roller with rubber rejuvenator, but that only helped for a minute or two. So I called PB to see if they had some kind of factory rebuild option. The lady who answered the phone didn't really know. She referred me to an in-the-field technician, and she promised he would call within two hours. He did. I explained to him the problem, and what I was asking about. (I didn't think the lady answering the phone really understood what I was after.) He explained there was no rebuild program, but there was some PM (preventive maintenance) he could do. I asked him the cost. $450 just for him to enter the building! Then he'd let us know what would be needed by way of parts and labor. I told him, politely, "No thanks."

I went to ebay thinking I could find some parts or something. I saw this guy Al Pepper from Postmarq. He had a bunch of P/B machines for sale, and his phone # was listed in the ad. "Prior to bidding, I would welcome you to call and describe in detail how you wish to use the machine. I have 13 years experience in sales, service and consulting regarding inserters,their function and application." I figured I'd call him, and see if he offered service.

He's got the part in stock, and will provide me with instructions on how to replace it. If I get stuck, he'll walk me through it over the phone. Cost? $105. And, while he had me on the phone, he gave me some other quick things to try. He gave me access codes to the function section, had me check a few things, and his tip seems like it really worked! And, before we hung up, he said "Thanks for calling! Now you've a new tech support person for your machine."

Based on my dealings with the guy so far, if you need help with a Pitney Bowes machine, call Al at (314) 849-5392.

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