Do I need a maintenance contract for my copier?
There is no set answer to this question. As Fernand Raynaud would say, it depends. It doesn’t depend on the wind or the weather, but on how important your copier is to your business and how much risk you are willing to take.
If you absolutely need your copier day in and day out, and a downtime of more than four hours is not acceptable, then you need a maintenance contract. This is the only way to be sure that a qualified technician will work on your copier within 4 hours of you reporting a problem.
However, if you agree to be without your copier for 24 or 48 hours while a technician comes to your home, you are not obliged to take out a maintenance contract. Just like when your car breaks down, you make an appointment with a technician who will come and fix your machine.
How much does a copier maintenance contract cost?
A maintenance contract is expensive. It gives you peace of mind but it is not cheap. Depending on your location, count between 55 and 65 euros for 1000 color copies and about 6 euros for 1000 black and white copies. For a company that prints 30,000 copies per year (national average), this represents about 1650 euros. In this contract, the hours of intervention, the inks and the spare parts are included.
There are two types of contract, the contract by the copy, with which you pay only what you print and the contract of type fixed price which envisages a fixed cost for a given volume of impression and a invoicing with the copy beyond.
What is the alternative to a photocopier maintenance contract?
You have every right to bet that your photocopier will not break down. The hour of intervention of a technician being charged between 85 and 95 euros, you can bet on the fact that a punctual intervention will cost you less than a contract. Especially if you print little.
If you want to save on the maintenance contract, two factors should be taken into account: the condition of the copier you buy and the use you will make of it.
- If you opt for a new or refurbished copier, there is little chance that you will experience a breakdown in the first year of use. Modern copiers are very reliable. Few breakdowns require the intervention of a technician. 70% of them disappear after a shutdown; 20% can be solved by being guided over the phone by a technician. If you choose a used or reconditioned machine, the risk of having to intervene is much greater and depends on the level of wear and tear of the machine and the quality of the maintenance it received during its first life.
- How you use the copier will also greatly influence the need for service. If you are confident that your company’s staff will take care of the copier and make sure that paper clips, staples, rings… never get near your machine, then there is little chance that you will encounter a problem. If not, be prepared for some nasty surprises. The damage that a ring on a transfer fabric can do during a simple operation to remove a jammed sheet is underestimated…
Without a maintenance contract, you will have to pay for technician hours (travel and intervention), spare parts, consumables and inks.
In case of a problem, you will not be able to get out of it by giving a call to your dealer. Even for a paper jam. A technician won’t help you remotely if you don’t have a service contract or if you’re not willing to pay for his hours. Like you, their time is their livelihood and they will bill you for the time spent, even over the phone. Has your mechanic ever serviced your car for free?
In summary, whether or not you decide to go with a service contract really depends on the gamble you are willing to take. It’s just like your car; are you willing to take the risk of several days of downtime and pay for technician hours and wear and tear parts in the event of a breakdown, or would you rather be covered by a contract?
Whatever you decide, remember that a maintenance contract or a manufacturer’s warranty will not cover abnormal use of your equipment. If you make a mistake using your copier, you will have to pay the price. A maintenance contract is not an all-risk insurance.