“Whoa, I didn’t know it was going to cost this much!”
No matter how robust your office printer or copiers are, they’re going to need a little TLC from an experienced professional eventually. Some office managers or company accountants may experience a bit of sticker shock when receiving a service estimate or bill. While understanding each fee may not soften the blow, it may help you believe that reputable copier service companies aren’t just throwing spaghetti at spreadsheets and hoping your company will foot the bill.
Projected Rates and Estimates
Whether your copier is spitting out streaky messes or not spitting out anything at all, you’ll likely want to start gathering repair quotes from nearby service companies. Most printer repair companies will happily give you rates over the phone with a disclaimer that these are subject to change.
“Why can’t copier repair companies give me a straight answer on price?”
Most copier repair companies will be able to provide their projected rates — a rough estimate of how much it will cost to get your copier operational once again. While this is true, you’re unlikely to get an “out the door” taxes-included-style cost quote due to the number of variables inherent in any repair.
Let’s break down the costs.
Most copier repair companies will have a base rate or fee for any repair. A base rate is usually the bare minimum that you can expect to pay for any single service call. These are typically set based on an amount of time to perform a repair to make it worth the repair company’s time to designate a technician for the job. While it may seem odd to have to pay for an entire hour or half-hour for a repair that takes five minutes, the repair company would likely lose money on such a repair—thus the necessity for base charges.
Not all, but some copier companies may start the clock on repairs even before technicians leave their company’s headquarters. This time accounts for the tasks required to prepare for your copier’s particular issue. Whether they’re looking up schematics, parts lists, or gathering necessary parts and tools, prep time can encompass various essential tasks. Some companies may eat any associated preparation time. Others may simply lump it into the hours required to perform the repair.
Time is money, and so is mileage. Traveling to your location not only utilizes the technician’s time but also requires a charge to cover the cost of getting there via a company vehicle. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to find a reputable printer repair company within proximity to your office and provide detailed navigational instructions as well as instructions for accessing your office. The shorter you can keep travel time, the less you can expect to pay for the repair.
Most copier repair jobs are charged by the hour. While a base rate is applied, a technician should be able to accurately assess just how long a particular repair will take to complete—thus giving you a clearer understanding of the final cost. Still, this is an ongoing estimate. Repairs may end up taking longer than a technician originally forecasts, so keep that in mind.
If your copier’s repair requires any replacement parts, the cost of said parts will factor into your final price. For the sake of performing a timely repair, most reputable copier repair companies have their technicians bring along common parts for the machine they’ve been dispatched to repair. Other companies may not keep an ample supply of copier parts on hand, requiring them to order the necessary parts. Even for those companies that maintain a large local parts inventory, there’s always the chance that they, too, will need to order a replacement part. The need for replacement parts will impact the cost and speed of your copier repair.
Hourly rates may not represent the full cost picture.
When comparing the hourly rates per company, it also pays to ask about their local parts inventory. A repair company with a higher per-hour rate but also a more extensive local parts inventory may drastically reduce the time required to perform a job. To be safe, make sure to look at the big picture!
How to Make Copier Repair Costs More Predictable
At this point, you may feel like getting a straight answer on the cost of copier repair is like shaking a Magic 8 Ball and always getting the answer “IT DEPENDS.” There are, however, ways that you can make your copier repair costs more predictable in the future.
Look Into Maintenance Plans
A well-maintained copier or printer will break down less frequently. Many printer repair companies offer regular maintenance plans to keep your office copiers in tip-top shape. These maintenance plans are usually relatively affordable. These plans can also provide insight into preventable issues that technicians may be able to identify before they get worse. Think of these plans as dental checkups for your copier.
Know Your Options Beforehand
What do doctors, lawyers, funeral homes, auto mechanics, and copier repair companies have in common? You’re better off knowing who to call before you need them!
Shopping for printer repair while your company’s print cue piles up is not only stressful but can result in making rash, regrettable decisions. Doing your homework while your copier is still fully functional is your best bet at receiving professional copier service for a great price in your moment of need. Take a little time to research on-site printer repair companies serving your area. Assess whether they’re qualified to work on your particular model copier or printer. Compare service options and pricing with their competitors. Read reviews from past customers or even give them a call. Once you’ve determined which copier repair company will be your go-to when you need them, make sure to save their contact information where you’ll remember it. You’ll thank yourself later.
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