It really doesn’t matter what brand of copier you’ve chosen, it is always a wise decision to maintain it properly. The best way to keep your copier running in tip top shape is with a copier service contracts. Not all copier service agreements are created equally and knowing what is and is not included will save you headaches down the road.
Let’s look at some of the potential pitfalls of copier service agreements and how to avoid being the victim of scams and lost revenue.
Read the contract! I know this seems like a crazy notion, but read the entire contract. All too often we either get distracted or decide there are just too many words and the “sign and worry later” approach will always bite you in the back side.
Always be mindful of the following passages within copier service agreements:
Review the section about renewals! Make sure you understand how long the contract is in effect. Don’t commit for long periods of time (over one year). Things change and you want to have options if your current provider fails to satisfy your needs.
Understanding how much and how often your copier service agreements can increase in cost. Most contracts have a built in annual review which means that a cost increase can be in play. It would be unfair to ask your provider to never look at the possibility of increases, just make sure they are no more frequently than an annual basis and there is a maximum percentage clearly defined. Another important reason as to why not to include service in the lease.
What’s included in the contract? “All inclusive” doesn’t always mean everything! Most copier service contracts DO NOT include paper, they also often don’t include staples (if you have a stapler), and many don’t include toner shipping charges. Do you see how all-inclusive might not be all-inclusive?
What is the expectation of service turn-around times? Is there a guaranteed response time? A fair estimate when you can expect a technician at your doorstep ready to repair your broken copier? Often the acceptable range for this type of contract clause is 2-6 normal business hours. Be careful here, if your business is open 24-7 this might mean an extended wait if the problem occurs overnight, on a weekend or during a holiday period. Most copier dealers will offer some sort of additional “off hours” service response, albeit at an additional cost.
What happens if you are not happy with the level of service or your business moves? Is there language that specifically outlines early termination? Is there a refund available if your expectations aren’t met? Knowing if the service provider is willing to insure your happiness by backing the service with a money back guarantee is huge. This shows they have enough confidence in their abilities to make you happy while offering some sort of refund if you are not!
It today’s busy connected offices it is not uncommon for there to be conflicts of interest. Because the modern office equipment is a copier, printer, scanner, and often times a fax, what happens when one of these systems fail? All too often you (the business owner) is stuck between an office equipment vendor and an IT professional pointing their proverbial fingers at one another blaming fault. Take the time to understand what the copier service contracts state when it relates to computer/network issues and exactly who is responsible for that repair.
Find a quality authorized dealer partner is essential to having a positive experience. Knowing what the expectations of both parties will be and creating a customer service contract to meet those needs will prevent any confusion if/when a problem arises. Take the time to review your copier service agreements with the same enthusiasm it took to find the right purchase deal. It will save you hours of aggravation later. Remember, if there is any confusion, contact your vendor for a more thorough explanation of the terms.