5 things to consider before signing a photocopier service agreement
Signing a photocopier agreement is a big deal: you might be committing to a 5 year contract, with a company you know little about. The way to really get to know your budding supplier is to read their terms and conditions.
This video gives you five points to discuss with/ask your prospective supplier about BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Taking an extra day or two to make your decision can save you thousands of pounds and hours of upset.
Here’s the transcript from the video:
Hi! It’s Ed Barnett of Copier Mate here. And in this video I’m going to be giving you 5 things to consider before signing a photocopier service agreement.
1) No regulatory body
Unlike other industries, the world of photocopies isn’t regulated. That means there aren’t any values of guidelines that copier-providers are expected to operate within. There are no cooling-off periods, and the Office of Fair Trading doesn’t support businesses like they do consumers.
Basically, this means you need to make sure you’re totally happy with the terms and conditions you’re agreeing to, and you don’t let companies push you into signing just anything, because once you’ve signed them, you’re in a legally binding agreement.
2) Minimum monthly volumes
Frequently, minimum monthly volumes don’t work out well for customers. Where they do work though is when you know your monthly volumes, and you’re prepared to commit to those for the duration of the contract. That way you may be able to negotiate better cost per page rates.
If you’re unsure of your volumes, we’d be happy to complete a free analysis for you.
3) Termination details
Termination clauses can vary dramatically from contract to contract, and there are two important questions to ask:
i) when can you cancel this contract, and ii) how much will it cost you to do so?
If you’re signing up to a five-year agreement, and you can only cancel at the five-year point, that’s unfair. If you can cancel earlier, but are expected to pay the remainder of the contract in full, that, to me, is still unreasonable.
Read carefully, consider every clause, and proceed with caution. If at all possible, negotiate or remove these terms.
4) Unlawful termination
Anything about terminating your contract by defaulting on payments or going into administration is understandable. But anything relating to a decrease in your print volumes when you’re not using your photocopier enough enough is not fair.
In fact: *ding*, *ding*, *ding*.
Alarm bells are ringing for me here. These are often put in by suppliers to make sure you don’t buy photocopies from anyone else. These suppliers are notoriously difficult to move away from, and I cannot stress enough: *do not* sign a contract with these terms in place.
Now, no amount of negotiating is beneficial if there’s a disclaimer in your service agreement.
For example, if you’ve negotiated with the salesperson, but those promises need to be in writing and signed by a Director of the company, don’t sign the terms and conditions unless they provide it, or you trust them to do so.
In summary, here are my 5 things to consider before signing a photocopier service agreement.
1) There’s no regulatory body, so make sure you’re happy before signing.
2) Consider if minimum monthly volumes could be beneficial for you.
3) Be aware of your termination details.
4) Under no circumstances should you be asked to sign a contract with “unlawful termination” clauses relating to how much you print.
5) If there’s a disclaimer in your contract, make sure you’ve understood it correctly to make sure that your negotiations are valid.
Hopefully that was useful. If you have another question, please visit the website and fill in the form “Ask Ed a Question“.
I’m Ed Barnett from Copier Mate. I’ll see you again soon.