Let’s be direct with this topic as it’s a critical part of any copier decision you make.

As part of a photocopier service contract, the supplier of the machine WILL charge you a cost per page that you print. This is usually around the 5-8c mark for colour (A4) and .5 -.8c for black and white (A4) and will be billed to you in arrears each month above the cost of financing the machine. For regional areas, cost per pages can be around 15-25% more due to travel and supply costs.

What is included in the service contract?

Most suppliers will include; Toner, Drums, Parts, Maintenance, Repairs & Labour. What they don’t offer are the output products like paper and staples and any issues past the network point.

Service contracts are designed to be hassle-free and to allow you to focus on your business and not maintaining a device in your office.

What else should I know?

Fine print- Everyone loves getting a contract and reading through the terms and conditions but when it comes to a service contract for a copier, it’s critical. Why? In recent years, copier companies have added extra terms to their agreements which are heavily weighted to them as a result of print volumes declining from the use of technology.

Conditions to watch out for:

  1. “Base charges” This means the supplier can at any time charge you a flat fee of their choice over and above the cost per copy- It’s not every supplier but it’s becoming more common.
  2. “Increases” Yes the cost per copy WILL increase every year you have the device. This has been the case for many years as the cost of maintaining aging technology increases. A tip- Ensure you stipulate either a fixed period where you don’t get any increases or a fixed increase anywhere between 5-7% for the term of the agreement.
  3. “A3 cost per page” Most suppliers will charge you the same rate as an A4 page but as the margin in print has reduced, some suppliers are now billing 2 x A4 sheets for a single A3 print to.
  4. “Agreed volume” – This is a whole new topic in itself but if you rent or purchase a machine outright, you should NEVER commit to volumes. This will mean if you ever decide to leave or upgrade, you will be contracted to paying out not only the finance of the machine but also any unused “agreed volume”. These types of agreements are now rare but are in no way favourable to clients who rent or purchase outright.

There is always room for negotiation, don’t just negotiate on your box, make sure you consider at least 3 suppliers and then compare the terms of each to ensure you really do get value.

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