HOW IMPORTANT IS THE SERVICE RATE

The first consideration is “what is your volume?” If it’s low; the service rate is almost meaningless. If it’s mid to high volume than it’s an issue and there are a few things to be aware of. One is that some companies use a really low service rate to entice you to buy from them. They know that the equipment quotes will be about the same. Unfortunately for the customer, the rate usually doesn’t stay there. Get ready for rate increases of at least 10% per year. An experienced copier buyer will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Another issue is that some of the copier service companies quoting service at dealer cost have a very slow service response time. They are understaffed and can’t afford to hire an extra tech. The way they lock you in so you can’t get mad and switch service providers is by including service in the lease and you lose that prepaid service if you switch to another service provider. Including service in the lease is normally a good idea but you need to do it with a vendor who has a reputation for same day service. Unfortunately, asking for some references does little good because all companies have a few customers that say nice things. Just know that someone quoting service at dealer cost without profit has no incentive to meet or exceed your expectations.

By the same token, don’t assume that the highest quote for service is the best service available. Some copier repair companies haven’t acknowledged that there’s a recession out there and they are still using the old model of quoting companies service/lease combos of $400 to $600 per month or more. These customers call us and there’s nothing we can do because they usually owe a couple of more years on the lease are very upside down. They just have to tough it out. And please find out the proper cancellation procedures from the leasing company. If it’s not done right it ‘evergreens’ for another year. Evergreen means it renewed for another twelve months. Yes, that’s somewhere on the lease in fine print. Half of the copier leasing companies do evergreens. If you’re not sure about yours, call the leasing company and ask for a copy of both sides of your lease. Don’t call your vendor because they may take a long time to respond.

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