It is an exciting experience to buy or lease new copier equipment for your office.
Photocopy machines these days are equipped with a wide range of features to ensure that the device can take up complex demands of printing or copying.
Choosing the right equipment can not only boost your team’s productivity but can also replace a range of other equipment used in the office with a single device.
Once you’ve decided to get a copier for your office, your dealer will approach you with a copier maintenance agreement.
While the document is a necessity for all future purposes, it is crucial to understand its key points and how it serves you.
Before we go any further, let us start from the basics.
What is a Copy Machine Service Contract
A copier service contract is like health insurance for your copier.
Just like medical insurance helps you budget your health-related expenses more efficiently, a copier service agreement protects a machine from the unnecessary costs incurred by expensive repairs.
So, in general, the primary purpose of a copier maintenance contract is to improve the copier’s lifespan and ensure that it keeps performing in the best conditions.
In the event that your copier gets jammed or breaks down, the agreement allows you to reach out to a group of experts to fix the issue.
A copier service agreement is a multifaceted approach that covers your machine parts, toner/ink, ongoing maintenance, and emergency repairs.
How Does a Copier Service Agreement Work?
When navigating the intricacies of a copier service contract, it’s crucial to comprehend the various operational frameworks available:
Should you opt for the Pay-As-You-Go model, you will be responsible for covering service or repair expenses as they arise.
However, it’s worth noting that this approach might present some inconveniences, particularly considering the potential high costs associated with toner replacement.
Additionally, as copiers age, the need for frequent repairs becomes more pronounced, further complicating the cost equation.
All-In-One Lease Payment
Under the All-In-One Lease Payment structure, your lease fee encompasses a predefined number of copiers or copiers allocated on a monthly basis.
For example, if you lease a colour copier, your package typically includes a combination of black, white, and colour copiers.
Importantly, surpassing the allocated quantity incurs a specific fee per page. In the case of fixed monthly lease payments, the agreement covers a specific quota of black and white or colour prints.
However, it’s noteworthy that even if you don’t utilize all the prints within your package, the fixed monthly fee remains unchanged.
Separation of Lease and Maintenance
Also recognized as a cost-per-page contract, the Separation of Lease and Maintenance model distinguishes between lease and maintenance charges. This arrangement offers proactive services encompassing supplies, parts, and comprehensive training.
One notable advantage is that expenses are tied to actual usage, preventing unnecessary payments. When the agreement stipulates a fixed amount per page, your dealership calculates charges by multiplying the total number of pages or copiers by the specified amount.
This structure often proves economically viable for small to medium-sized businesses. In this case, you’ll receive separate monthly bills for the cost per page and maintenance charge. However, it’s still possible to explore the ‘all-in-one option,’ which encompasses supplies, parts, and preventative maintenance services.
What is Included in a Copier Maintenance Agreement?
Preventive maintenance agreement varies depending on the vendor.
However, there are several standard services which will be offered in copier service agreements.
In most cases, these agreements cover anything required for the regular operation of the equipment.
Some problems such as staples, paper, and network-related issues are however not applicable.
It is, therefore, advisable to go through the list of exclusions in the service agreement before signing the contract.
Here is a sample of the copier service agreement.
You can see that some of the things that are included in the agreement are:
General Description of the Copier
The details of the copier, its serial number, the number of accessories, and details of the service provider are included here.
This section includes the rental charges/month, deposit amount, and monthly meter charges.
Here, the total duration of the contract after it is signed will be mentioned along with the starting and end dates.
Modern commercial copiers run on toners rather than ink because it is possible to print large volumes of pages just by using a single toner cartridge.
In most of the service agreements, a clause makes the dealer responsible for providing the toner to the client based on request.
Advanced machines with networking capabilities have automatic alert capability where an alert will be sent to the dealer when the toner is running low.
Parts & Supplies
Copier service agreements often have coverage for faulty parts and supplies.
Replacement or repair will be provided for drum units, rollers, fuses, operation panels, electronic boards (PCB board), etc.
Having a copier service agreement will definitely be beneficial for you as you can expect the service from expert technicians who are well-versed in repair.
Diagnostics & Labor
Copier service companies often incur labour costs for deploying their technician to the user’s site. If the repair location is far, it could add up additional travel expenses as well.
They also employ staff to remotely observe alerts coming from copiers and provide remote assistance during emergencies.
If you plan to pay for maintenance without a service agreement, it could be burdensome if your copier requires extensive repair.
Having a copier service agreement means that you can get your copier repaired without additional cost, except for the exclusions negotiated while entering into the contract.
What Affects A Copier Service Contract Price/Cost?
Here are some elements linked to a copier service contract cost:
Speed & Paper Output
The operation speed and the required output play a key role in determining the cost of a copier service contract.
The higher the required output and volume, the greater will be the requirement of cost.
For example, if you are using a copier at 80% capacity, the maintenance charge will be higher than those offices that utilize just 20% of the copier capacity.
Maintenance requirements for a very old copier will be higher than that of a brand new one.
Machine parts will get worn out by age, and after a particular period, frequent replacement is required which might affect the maintenance charges.
Some of the other factors that determine the copier service contract prices are:
- What software is installed in the copier, and are updates required?
- Is your copier colour or monochrome?
- How often do you have to replace the parts?
- Are your copier spare parts easily available in the market?
Read further to delve deeper into the details of each factor that affects your copier service contract cost.
Also, protect yourself by learning the 3 copier rental traps to avoid when leasing a copier especially if the contract is too good to be true.
What to Look For in a Copier Maintenance Company?
You can avail of service or repair your copier only from the company that supports your specific brand.
Printing technologies and parts greatly vary depending on the company that produces the brand.
Say, for example, if you have bought or leased a specific copier from a company, you will have to seek the help of a dealer who is certified to maintain or repair the product.
Dealers are reluctant to service products that they don’t lease or sell.
When you look for a maintenance company, ensure to check the following information which includes:
- Experience of the technicians.
- Average response time. It can take a few hours for some companies, while others may take a few days.
- What is the minimum time taken for the technicians to diagnose and fix an issue?
Remember to compare quotes from different service providers and choose the one which suits your budget and needs.
Should I Get a Copier Maintenance Agreement?
If you plan to purchase a new copier, we strongly suggest you get a copier maintenance agreement along. Maintenance agreements help cover issues that might happen during a breakdown as well as cover extensive repair charges.
If you have a service agreement for your copier, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are well prepared for any unforeseen repair or maintenance demands. All you need to do is simply pick up your phone and call your provider in case of a breakdown.
Learn the benefits of a copier maintenance contract for your business and why the cost is justified in terms of ROI for your business.
If you are planning to get a service contract, learn how to negotiate your copier maintenance agreement to get the best deal from your copier vendor.
This article has mentioned some of the intricate details of different types of copier contracts. Make sure that you choose a service contract depending only on your specific requirements.
Choosing a copier service contract is beneficial in the long run and helps to ensure peace of mind. After all, your work should never stop!