Frequently Asked Questions about Service Contacts

Technology

A service contract is an agreement between you and your office technology service provider covering devices like MFPs (Multifunction Printers) and phone systems beyond the warranty. 

This agreement covers various factors that make your machine run as smoothly as possible in your office. Each manufacturer and supplier have their own version of service contacts.

This FAQ will answer the basics of Service Contracts for office technology. 

Question: Do I need a Service Contract?

Answer:  Maybe, this depends on a few factors. 

If you recently purchased a new piece of office technology, ask yourself these questions. If you answer yes to any of them, you will benefit from a service contract

  • Do you want coverage beyond your manufacturer warranty?
  • Have you paid for large unexpected repairs in the past?
  • Have you had issues getting service technicians promptly?
  • Do you often forget to buy ink and toner?
  • Would any device downtime be a critical issue in your company? 
  • Do you have multiple devices used by a large team? 
  • Are you leasing your device?

Chances are that most office technology devices would benefit from a service contract. If you want to read about why you should get a service contract on your new MFP or copier, check out our article.

Question: How do I sign up for a Service Contract? 

Answer: You will need to reach out to either your supplier to get service contact. 

Manufacturers and office technology dealers will be able to get you started with a service contract. This typically happens when you start a new lease or buy a new machine. 

At Office Interiors, you can connect with one of our technology Account Managers who would be happy to talk you through your options with Service Contracts and if they are a good fit for you.

Question: What if my machine breaks down? Is this covered with a Service Contract? 

Answer: Yes, service contracts can include help from service technicians and possible repairs.

It can be pricey and time-consuming to have a service technician come and examine your broken machine. Service contacts guarantee a visit from a service technician and will also cover the cost of the examination. 

With a service contract, your call is prioritized, and you are guaranteed faster service.

Depending on the issue, service contracts can also cover the cost of repair and parts. Service Contracts cover wear and tear of the device and the parts. The exception to this would be if you are neglectful or purposely destroy the device

This will save you headaches not only with budgeting but also confidence that your machine will work promptly. 

Imagine this, it’s the end of the month, and you have final budget reports to finalize and submit. Just as you are preparing to print your final report, you get an error on your MFP. This grinds your productivity to a halt and can cause downtime for not only you but the rest of your team. If a service contract covers your MFP, one quick call to your supplier and a service technician will be on their way. You can be assured that this payment would be covered by your contract and you will be back up and running as quickly as possible. A timely service call may not be possible without a contract, and you will have to pay for the service technician’s time, parts, and repairs. 

Question: Are supplies covered with a Service Contract?

Answer: A service contract covers some supplies. 

Consumables are often included in contracts. This means supplies like ink and toner. Paper, staples and other accessories are omitted.

The main benefit of supply coverage with a service contract is the ink and toner supply notifications. Some service contacts mean suppliers can monitor your device remotely, and you will be notified when your device is running low. Ask your supplier if they include shipping, and some contracts will ship your supplies as soon as they are needed directly to your office. 

Question: Is a Manufacturer’s Warranty the same thing as a Service Contract?

Answer: No, manufacturer warranties and service contracts are not the same.

Chances are you have dealt with a warranty at some point in your life. Warranties are common practice for a wide variety of products, from home appliances to cars to new technology. 

A manufacturer’s warranty for your new device will most likely cover any error on the manufactures side. This coverage applies to problems with a defective device, but that’s where the coverage stops.  

Warranties are there to protect you if something out of your control happens to the device through faulty manufacturing. Warranties are typically a one-time price and cover a specific timeframe, extending as long as a lifetime guarantee. Warranties are supplied through the manufacturer and will outline stipulations for device repairs. 

Warranties do not cover inevitable device repairs from daily use or supplies you will be using. Manufacturer warranties are important because they protect you from faulty equipment over a fixed timeframe.

We have an article about the difference between copier service contracts and copier warranties if you want to learn more. 

Question: How is a service contract billed? 

Answer: Service Contracts are typically billed every quarter and billed on a cost per click (CPC) basis.

You may have the option where you can pre-purchase a certain amount of impressions! 

Different factors go into how the CPC is billed. For instance, colour and monochrome impressions have different rates. Every quarter your device will have a “meter reading,” which will be used for billing. 

There are a few ways your dealership may obtain the meter reading. This includes calling and asking you to manually take the meter reading from your device, completing a form or using specif

ic software. 

We have a whole article about how much a service contract costs and how it is billed if you would like to dive deeper. 

Question: Can you cancel a Service Contract?

 Answer: The short answer to this is yes, you can cancel a service contract. 

There are caveats you need to be aware of before cancelling a service contract.

Contracts typically contain a policy that allows either the dealer or the customer to end the contract, provided they give notice 30 days in advance.  

If you have a service contract under a leasing agreement, it may not be wise to cancel your service contract completely. Some lease agreements maintain that the device needs to be regularly serviced to keep operating condition. If you return the device at the end of the lease in a faulty condition, you will be expected to pay for repairs. Since service contracts include regular upkeep and service, it’s easier to keep your device in good condition and will avoid any of these issues at the end of your lease. 

Question: Can you add a service contract to an old machine?

Answer: Yes, you can add a service contract to your legacy device in theory, but you have to ensure your device is in perfect working condition.

The supplier will need to assess your machine and ensure that it’s in great condition to add it to a service contract.

This means that you will have to pay for any repairs needed, which may end up being expensive, and then you are still working with an outdated device. 

If you are looking to add a service contract to save costs, this might not be the best solution. Start by monitoring your device usage, have your default setting to grayscale and ensure you are using the correct device for the type of printing you’re doing. If you are looking at saving costs with your copier or MFP, read more here. 

Do you have a question we didn’t answer? Want to learn more about if a Service Contract is right for your company? Our technology reps would love to help you out. Contact us today! 

Emily Adams
Digital Content Specialist
Office Interiors

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