Abby's Guide to Copiers
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Do I Need a Service Contract?

Due to their complexity and high demand, a high volume color copier will see the repairman four times as often as its black and white sibling. This works out to a service call every 5,000 copies for color, every 20,000 for black and white. With a major investment in your copier, it is important to have a service contract. Shop around for a contract that suits your situation and know what your service contract does and does not cover before you sign on the dotted line.

What a service contract covers
Normally, the cost of parts and labor for copier repairs and maintenance are included in a service plan. These parts might include replacing items that wear or break over time, such as fuser rollers and gears. But some parts may be considered consumables and therefore are not covered, e.g., the copier drum, an expensive item.

Find out what emergency repairs are covered, and how long it will take for the repairman to show up (look for a maximum time of four hours) and don't be hesitant to get it in writing. Know how often they will perform routine maintenance and if it is covered in your plan.

Variety of Plans
For the neat and tidy person, an all-inclusive plan may sound appealing. There is a fixed price per copy plus your monthly copier payment and all maintenance and repairs are covered as well as all consumables (except paper). This is not necessarily a value option. When you factor in all costs, it might be cheaper to contract out to a print shop.

Service plans can also be based on the volume of copies per month, which can be an inadequate measure of your copying pattern. Why pay for a high volume in the summer months when your staff may be on vacation? And if you have a particularly busy month, you are charged for copies made over your allotment. If you are unsure of your future copy needs, go for a service plan that charges only for the actual copies you make rather than an annual or monthly volume.

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