Laser Printers Service Contracts

By: Bill Tucker

Welcome to the final part of our three part series on service contracts.  This article covers service contracts on laser printers.  Laser printer maintenance contracts are similar to copier service contracts.  Most laser printer service contracts are billed by cost per print.  It is essentially the same thing as cost per copy.  Each time you print a page the internal meter clicks.  On a printer you can get the page count or meter reading by printing a configuration page.  Then, each month or quarter an invoice is generated by multiplying the cost per page by the total prints made.  The cost per page is determined by monthly volume, age of machine and environment.  Environment plays a big part because if it is in a dirty environment it will need possibly twice as much service than a machine in a clean environment.

Service contracts are really similar to an insurance policy.  They may or may not save you money.  The good part is that your costs are fixed, so you will know how much per year you will spend instead of hoping it won’t break down too much or have a serious or really expensive part break.   There are many ways of paying for a service contract.  It depends on the way you and your company would like to be billed.

Most service companies offer monthly, quarterly and annual billing.  

Total Cost Management

There is an explosion of service companies providing this way of tracking all of the costs associated with your copiers and printers.  It is called “Total Cost Management."  Most if not all copiers, MFP’s and printers can be monitored on your network with revolutionary print management software.  You are able to track your total pages or copies.  You can monitor toner low warnings, error codes, paper jams, and everything associated with your machine.  This software can help you calculate how much you are paying for the total ownership of all of your equipment.  This is very helpful when purchasing new equipment.  The software will help you figure all the costs of your equipment, toner, parts, supplies and service. 

Coverage

Understanding what is covered and what is not covered is very important to find out before you purchase a service contract.  Does the contract include supplies?  Some supply items are toner and maintenance kits.  Find out what hours the service company is available and days of the week that they operate.  Which holidays do they take off?  What is their response time?  Most service contracts do not cover abuse or neglect.  So be cautious with those paper clips and staples as they can cause an expensive repair and it probably won’t be covered.  Get all of this in writing then there will not be any surprises. 

Which Type of Contract?

Choose an all inclusive service contract that covers everything such as parts, labor, maintenance kits and supplies.  Or choose a contract that only covers parts and labor.

Color Laser Printers

Service contracts on full color laser printers are essentially the same except that you will be paying for a color print or a black and white printPricing varies, but you will be paying about 9-10 times more per print for color thanfor black and white.  If you have ever purchased toner for a color printer you know that color toner is more expensive.

Conclusion

This concludes our article series on service contracts for Copiers, Fax machines and Laser Printers.  My purpose for writing this series was to help shed some light on shopping for service contracts for companies that have never purchased one or are in the process of purchasing a service contract.  Each service company will have different options but for the most part they all bill their maintenance contracts as described in my series.

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