1. BE AWARE OF LONG RENEWAL CYCLES
Most leases have an “evergreen clause” that states if a letter of intent is not submitted during a specific period, the lease will renew for an additional 12 month period. I have seen copier leases extended by the lease provider as long as an additional 60-month term.
The best language for the customer is short-term 60-day renewals. Once the contract is satisfied return instructions will be issued. Once the return instructions are issued and equipment is shipped back to the leasing company, the lease will stop. Not until then.
2. BE AWARE OF UNREASONABLE SERVICE INCREASES
“ABC Company had the lowest price, so we will not be going with you”. It’s true that every copier/document technology company has heard that statement before. However, did ABC Company tell you that they are going to increase your maintenance fees 3 times per year? Their fees have escalated beyond reasonable and normal costs and have now positioned their company as the highest bidder. It’s normal for service fees to increase slightly due to the cost of consumables, transportation, etc. With this in mind, be aware of how much your cost for service CAN climb. It’s always best to look at the ‘total cost of ownership’ before making your final decision. Understand how much you will pay for both the service portion of the agreement along with the lease payment.
3. BE AWARE OF DOWN-TIME
You may not realize how important your copiers and printers are until you’re faced with a service issue. A MFP (multifunction printer) is used for so much more than the simple copy function. They can now help you create a digital work environment by scanning directly to email and cloud applications. Need to make a presentation booklet for your meeting? They can do that too. A full-color brochure for a new client? No problem. So what happens when your “document assistant” is down for a few days? How much time and money will this cost you in lost productivity?
There are copier service technicians that uncover the cause of the problem on the first day, but then tell you that they don’t have the part(s) to fix the issue. Their next step is to place an order for parts from the manufacturer. This process can easily prolong downtime by 2-3 days. Frustration mounts as you look at the Out Of Order sign taped on the front of the copier.
4. BE AWARE OF WHAT PROCEDURES ARE IN PLACE IF THE SERVICE TECHNICIAN CAN’T FIX YOUR LEASED DEVICE
Any reputable company will supply you with a loaner if your device is in need of repairs beyond normal issues. Some even have replacement procedures in the event that your leased device cannot be repaired. Make sure you know what will happen if through no fault of your own, your copier stops working up to factory expectations.
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