Buying or leasing a new copier or multifunction device for your office is exciting! The right device can increase your team’s productivity, and with an MFP, replace a roomful of equipment with one device.
At some point in the sales process, your dealer will talk to you about a service contract. Before signing, it’s important to understand what the manufacturer’s warranty covers, and what a service contract can offer you.
What Exactly is a Service Contract vs a Warranty?
Copiers and MFPs come with a manufacturer’s warranty designed to protect the buyer from issues that arise as a result of a manufacturing error or premature failure. While they are great protection because they cover repairs or the replacement of a defective device, it is typically for a fixed time period of one or two years. It does not cover supplies and regular maintenance.
A service contract is offered by the dealer to protect you beyond the coverage of a manufacturer’s basic warranty.
Basically, a service contract is like buying a maintenance package on your car. For a fixed monthly fee, the service provider – typically the dealer you leased or bought the machine from – will provide any service, maintenance, or repairs your device requires.
A service contract will usually cover everything that is directly related to the device. The minimum contract typically covers quality issues, repairs, parts and labour, and provides priority service. Today, many contracts also include toner and preventative maintenance.
Why You Should Invest in a Service Contract
When leasing, you may be required to have a service contract, and the cost is typically included in your lease agreement. However, when buying, there are still plenty of benefits a service contract provides that make it a smart investment. For example:
A service contract prevents unanticipated repair expenses and gives you budget predictability. With a service contract, if something goes wrong, simply call your dealer and a service technician will come and repair the device, at no additional cost.
Service calls can cost as much as $150 per hour if you are not covered, not including parts. Without a service contract, a single unexpected malfunction could cost you hundreds of dollars to repair.
• Less Downtime
In the event of a breakdown, your productivity may grind to a halt. With a service contract, you are guaranteed faster service over customers who do not have a contract. In addition, most contracts allow for regular preventative maintenance which can often resolve problems before they become critical.
Some offer the use of a loaner device to use in the interim while your machine is being repaired – however, this isn’t standard practice. Be sure to check with your provider if this is included in your agreement.
• Consumables Are Often Included
Nothing is worse than running out of toner when your team is on a tight deadline. With a service contract, you can include “just in time” ordering. Your device can be monitored remotely and you will be notified when supplies are running low. Some service contracts will even ship the necessary items directly to your office so they will be available the next day.
Ultimately, what a service contract provides you with is a peace of mind. Your device will be kept properly maintained and help prevent any surprise expenses. It can also help minimize or eliminate downtime. This is critically important if your day-to-day business depends on your device.
When to Opt-Out of a Service Contract
There are some situations where a service contract may not be necessary. For example, if you only use the device for convenience printing, or have the need to occasionally make a few impressions, then a service contract is probably an unnecessary expense.
Another example is if you have a backup device in the event your primary device cannot be immediately repaired. Finally, a service contract is often not necessary on desktop printers that are so inexpensive you can just replace rather than repair them.
If You’re Still Not Sure…
If you’re not sure if a service contract is right for your device, think about how downtime would impact your business.
Here at Office Interiors, we recommend that our customers opt for the service contract, unless they only need their printer for occasional printing, or can withstand the downtime if a breakdown occurs.
As you gather your research about service contracts for copiers and MFPs check out our blog How Much Does a Copier or Printer Service Contract Cost? to learn how service contracts are priced. Hopefully, this will help you with your decision making!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of our Office Interiors team members. We’re always happy to answer your questions and can help you decide if a service contract is right for you.
Digital Content Specialist