Lately, there’s been a trend for some companies to quote really low maintenance/supply agreement rates as a way to buy business because of the recession. Everybody is under pressure to move copiers and make quota. I want to point out a few issues to be aware of so that if you do go for something like that you’ll do it with your ‘eyes open’.


Most companies that do this consider it a ‘teaser rate’ because they know everybody’s equipment quote will be about the same so they need to differentiate themselves. Unfortunately for the customer, the rate usually doesn’t stay there. Get ready for rate increases of at least 10% per year. An experienced copier buyer will know exactly what I’m talking about.


Another issue is that some of the companies quoting service at dealer cost have a very slow service response of 2 to 3 days. The way they lock you in so you can’t get mad and switch service providers is by including service in the lease. You lose that prepaid service if you switch to another service provider. Including service in the lease is normally a good idea but you need to do it with a vendor who has a reputation for same day service. Unfortunately, asking for some references does little good because all companies have a few customers that say nice things. Just know that someone quoting copier service at dealer cost without profit has no incentive to meet or exceed your expectations.


By the same token, don’t assume that the highest quote for service is the best service available. Some copier companies haven’t acknowledged that there’s a recession out there and they are still using the old model of quoting companies service/lease combos of $400 to $600 per month or more. These customers call us and there’s nothing we can do because they usually owe a couple of more years on the lease are very upside down. They just have to tough it out. And please find out the proper cancellation procedures from the leasing company. If it’s not done right it ‘evergreens’ for another year. Evergreen means it renewed for another twelve months. Yes, that’s somewhere on the lease in fine print. About 50% of copier leasing companies do evergreens. Not ours!