How to get good photocopier service contract cover.
Pitfalls and things to watch out for with photocopier service contracts, if you own the photocopier.
So you have a copier and you are looking for a service contract to cover the machine when it goes wrong.
I’m going to try and give you a few things to watch out for and maybe a few questions you can ask prospective suppliers, so you will end up with good, inexpensive service cover.
First you should be aware that service contracts on photocopiers become more expensive as the copier becomes older and has printed more pages.
It’s a bit like having a car the older and more miles they have done, the more likely they are to break down, therefore costing you more to run.
Service contracts are usually based on a cost per click, this simply means that every time a page is printed you pay the service provider a set amount of money.
Here is an important point. Many suppliers now add extra costs to service contracts, these costs might be hidden in the small print. So ask the question: Are there any other charges? And make sure you get the answer in writing.
A minimum charge is often applied to a contract, let’s say the minimum is a thousand copies per month, this means you will have to pay for a thousand page even if the copier has only done 200 prints, some service providers have been known to put this minimum at a very high level. This is an unfair practice.
So make sure you have a good understanding of the amount of pages you print, and if there is a minimum applied to the contract make sure it is set at considerably less.
What you get for your money with a service contract can vary, usually it covers Toner, Service calls and parts.
On old copiers for instance parts may be impossible to source or may have become very expensive due to scarcity, in which case they may not cover parts, this is acceptable, but this needs to be clear from the start.
So again make sure you ask the question: What is covered by the service contract? And make sure you get the answer in writing.
The length of time any contract lasts is critical to get right. In my view the shorter the contract the better off you the customer are, and this is why:
1/If you don’t get on with the supplier or get poor service, you will be able to find another supplier within a short period of time. With a long contract you would be stuck in that relationship until the contract ends. This can be up to seven years!
2/You may wish at some point prior to the contract ending want to upgrade to a better, newer photocopier. If you still have time left to run on your contract it is usual that the supplier would offer you the opportunity to either pay off the remaining time of the contract or offer you a service contract to cover the new machine, and sometimes both.
If you pay for the remainder of the contract, you’re paying for a service you will never receive. And if you let you existing service provider automatically cover your new machine you won’t be getting the best price.
3/It could also be that your printing needs change over time, with a long contract you may well find you have the wrong equipment and type of cover compared to what you now need. With short contract this is less likely to happen, but if it does, you will have the flexibility to adapt.
Watch out for jargon, as in most cases when it comes to copier service contract it is widely used and can be very difficult to follow. I have been in this business for years and I’m still finding some companies are coming up with new jargon that can sometimes have a very big impact on the type and quality of service you might receive.
1/ Twelve months cover at a time, so no long
contract to sign up for.
2/ There is no small print on our agreement.
3/ No minimum usage required.
4/ We don’t charge for the contract, you only pay
for what you use.
5/ Clear and easy to understand billing in arears,
so there is no upfront charge.
Our welcome to you, when you take out a service contract with Solutions HQ Ltd