Are copier service contracts really necessary?

Posted on 2011-09-07
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
The company I work for is looking to purchase a refurbished color copier. Specifically the Canon ImageRunner IRC-2880. The salesman is pushing the service contract with the printer but I'm not sure it's really necessary. The yield on the color toners is 14,000 pages and 26,000 pages for B/W. The cost per page on the service contract is .0683 for color and .022 for black.
If I purchase the toners, it's $66.99 for Black and $164.99 for each color. So to fill the printer it's $561.99 vs $956.20 for 14,000 copies.
From the costs, I'm looking at spending more on a contract vs just calling for a service call when it breaks. I've dealt with imagerunners in the past and they seem to work great and not break down much. I also have a connection to get the service manual for it. I was wondering what everyone's opinion on this would be.

Question by:bbrunning
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Assisted Solution

K_Wilke earned 166 total points
ID: 36496074
It all depends on if you will be servicing the unit every so many pages or will they.
If you will then the service contract is garbage.  If they will then get a service contract.
Also, what are your plans, if you do not have a service contract, if a major piece of the unit breaks, like the main processor board or several gears?  In the service contract will they repair this for next to nothing?
Armed with those answers that is what I would base my decision on.
Kelly W.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 36496079
We have a service contract on all our copiers and printers. They perform periodic preventitive maintenance and all toner is included in the price of the contract. The cost you have quoted seem high to me.  We pay around .011 for color and .008 for B/W.
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

atrevido earned 166 total points
ID: 36496179
The last contract we signed was BW .0175 per copy after the first 5,000 copies. So we get 5,000 free.
We do service agreements for 2 reasons - 1) we have a large # of copiers and large printers and it's just too much to maintain and if one is down they have a hissy fit and 2) a lot of our machines are off on construction jobsites that are filthy so it pays for us as the copiers are quite abused

It seems like you're getting a little mugged on the per copy price.  Tell the guy it's a recession, hasn't he heard and tell him to come up with a better price or bug off.
You could always run the first year without one and see how it goes.  Ask the guy if he can call you back in a year, that times are tight but you hope next year you have the cash to get the contract.

The bottom line is whatever you are comfortable with.  If $ is an issue and you're willing to gamble and you're sure the copier is probably refurbed then I'd forgo a contract.   If there is room in your budget and you want peace of mind - get the contract

Just my opinion
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LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 36496224
Kelly, with the service contract they cover all preventative maintenance as well as parts, toner, labor and drum. I planned on following the service manual for that preventative maintenance.

Pony, I'd love to know how you found a service contract that cheap. I've received quotes from 6 different companies and $0.06-$0.08 per color copy is average. You may also pay less for having multiple copiers with the same company on service contracts.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36496469
Yeah, that's a screaming deal for color
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 36496853
Thank you all for pointing out my mistake.  Teach me to type when I'm half asleep.  I just checked and here is what we are paying on printers/MFP's:

Color = .11
B/W = .0116

So in fact we are getting a much better deal on B/W and much worse on Color.   :(

This includes all toner, parts, labor and PM on all printers/MFP's in 10 locations around the state.
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 36499578
atrevido, thanks for all the info. I actually remember dealing with a company a couple years ago that did the 5000 pages deal like you have. I think they still do and that was one I didn't contact. I'm going to get with them. Also, I like your idea about not having the service contract for a period of time, so I'm going to request a call back on that in 90 days for a decision. We will only have the one main copier, beyond that I have 2 HP 5550's which take most of the color load so I don't see a huge load on the new (refurbed) copier.

Thanks again for everyone's responses.
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

CincyItSolutions earned 168 total points
ID: 36714497
I would purchase the contract if it were me. As others have stated already, the maintenance and toner are provided along with the parts. The typical per hour service rate in my area is $150.00. So if you throw this on top of parts (which are generally marked up about 10 - 30%) and the cost of purchasing a complete set of toners, you have paid for the service contract with one service call if something were to go wrong. Boards alone are very pricey for these units.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 37035154
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