When talking with a potential customer considering buying or leasing an office copy machine, the question is raised as to whether it makes sense to pay for a Copier Service Contract. Potential customers often pose the question that if the copier is as reliable as represented, why would they need to pay for a service contract? After all, if the copier is a quality piece of equipment, it shouldn’t require service very much, should it?
The author of this blog agrees in theory with the position championed in response to this question. I personally never purchase an extended “warranty” when buying a vacuum cleaner, television, blender, etc., based on the same expectation that the product I’m buying should be expected to work properly and thus, does not require an added expense for a warranty that will likely never be used.
Understanding Copier Service Contracts
A copier service contract is a different story and represents something completely different from a simple extended warranty. Unlike a television, blender, or vacuum cleaner, an office copier has dozens of expensive parts and supplies that wear out and require regular replacement. The frequency of parts and supply replacements is based on the number of copies and prints an office produces.
I compare copiers to cars. Most people understand that regardless of how reliably their car performs, they are going to continue to pay for gas, oil changes, tires, brake pads, etc., and the more miles they drive, the more it will cost them based on the increased frequency of replacing these items.
Commonly Replaced Components In Office Copiers
With a copier, the same is true, but instead of gas, oil, tires, and brakes, you are replacing toner, drums, developer, feed tires, transfer belts, etc., and the greater the number of copies and prints you make, the more frequently they will need to replace these parts. Therefore, even if your office copier never experiences a mechanical failure, there will be a frequent and ongoing need to replenish consumable replies. Many of these supplies require a copier service technician to install them.
A copier service contract is an all-inclusive maintenance and supply agreement that doesn’t just cover catastrophic failures like a simple warranty would. Still, it also covers the cost of all copier supplies such as toner, drums, developer units, fuser assembly units, transfer belts, etc., and the labor needed to install these components.
Additionally, the copier service contract covers mechanical repairs when malfunctioning, a parts failure, or paper jamming occurs. In summary, even if your office copy machine never breaks (which is unlikely), your copier will require frequent parts and supply replacements which can be quite costly if you don’t have a copier service contract.
Is The Cost of A Service Contract A Beneficial Value?
Without a copier service contract, the customer generally pays the full retail cost for all necessary parts and supplies plus a hefty hourly rate to have a copier service technician install these parts. A copier service contract covers all these expenses for a fixed monthly price (determined by the number of copies and prints being produced), and the price of the service contract is generally factored using pricing that is heavily discounted from the retail rate.
In most cases, companies will spend less to maintain their office copiers by paying for an all-inclusive copier service contract than it will cost if they pay retail value for each individual need for service, parts, and supplies.
Businesses Without Service Contracts Tend to Pay More and Neglect Their Machines
Often, I see companies with no copier service contract put off necessary copier repairs to delay the cost of these repairs. Not only does this approach result in the diminished performance of their copy machine, but it can also exacerbate the problem. This results in additional repairs that may not have been needed had the initial issue been repaired in a timely manner.
Extended Delays or Downtime Is Also a Common Side Effect
One last side effect of not having a service contract is that when you call and pay $150.00 – $200.00 an hour to have a copier service technician fix your machine, and this technician evaluates the remedy to the issue, there needs to be an approval for any parts or supplies needed to fix the copier. Suppose there is not a supervisor with authority to approve the expense. In that case, the copier technician will leave until approval is granted, which then requires a second billable service visit, thus increasing the cost of the repairs even further and increasing the amount of time your office is dealing with copier performance issues while waiting for repairs to be completed.
Contrast this approach to a company that has a copier service contract in place, and this company simply calls in a service ticket, has a copier service technician come out, evaluate, and fix the issue with no costs incurred, thus minimizing the frustration and potential copier downtime.
Our Opinion on Copier Maintenance and Service Contracts
I strongly recommend that any company looking to purchase or lease an office copy machine considers adding an all-inclusive copier service and supply contract. Not only will it be less expensive, but your office will receive priority response to copier service needs and will never be faced with unexpected repair costs.