Service Plans – Need to Know!

Cost Per Printthrowingpapers

In the copier industry, most service plans function on a cost per copy basis.  Even if you find yourself in an “unlimited” copies plan, the price you pay is still based on the cost per copy of your particular machine.

Determining Cost

The manufacturer has spent millions of dollars testing their equipment and has gathered enough information to know, within a very small margin, how much it costs to operate any given machine. 

These costs include things like:

  • electricity usage
  • machine wear
  • toner
  • even atmospheric conditions in some cases.

With the advent of LED technology, and newer ink/toner manufacturing processes, costs have been driven down, but at a price.

Many of the lower priced copiers and printers still use older technology, and as a result, cost more to operate.

This is where it becomes critical to consider the cost of operation when researching a new copier or printer (even if you are not planning to purchase a service plan).

It might cost 3 or 4 times the amount in supplies to operate a $500 dollar copier as it would to operate a $4,000 copier.  However, if the print volume is low, the cheap copier would still make more sense.

This is the main reason why copier salesmen are always asking about print volumes.

The Bottom Line

The idea is to try and get a customer a machine that is as cheap as possible, considering both equipment and supplies costs, for the length of their intended ownership.

Once this has been established, the same information is used to determine the cost of a customer’s service contract.

Generally, the estimated number of copies is included within the base rate.  This is calculated using the estimated cost per copy and added to a small service fee. 

Ideally, the number of included copies should be very close to the estimated print volume.  We prefer to make it slightly lower.

The Honest Truth

“Unlimited” may sound nice, but it really just means you are likely throwing away money by over-paying on your service plan.Garbage bin full of cash

Instead, try taking your lowest recorded monthly print volume and base your service plan on this number instead.  You will pay an overage fee once you have exceeded your monthly copy allowance, but at least you aren’t paying for copies you never made.