Acquiring your copier
When acquiring your copier or printer there are many traditional routes. You could buy outright (CAPEX) or Lease/rent (OPEX).
In both of the above cases having a fully inclusive Support agreement is a good idea. But there are some more esoteric plans invented by suppliers and lease companies that are a little harder to understand.
Called by various names: TVP, TVRP, Totally Managed Volume and Services Agreement etc… or as it was known in the 80's -- Copyplan.
These all have a common theme. They bundle in usage charges, finance interest and equipment cost. They divide it all by a user's estimated usage to produce a very confusing often misleading and artificially high cost per page.
This proposition - through clever sales tactics - can look like attractive, but it invariably ends in tears. These plans result in overcharging and lack transparency.
These plans result in overcharging and lack transparency.
Predicting print volumes
They expect you to be able to predict your print volumes years in advance. Then bundle all the costs in to a minimum commitment, leaving you vulnerable to cynical exploitation.
With all your copy charges and lease charges rolled in to one minimum monthly or quarterly amount what protection is there against poor service? And when a price increase comes (and it will) it will apply to the whole charge. So not only will your support cost increase but your finance charges go up too - double whammy!
These tactics commits the customer to a far higher charge than they would otherwise have paid to buy the copier. While I'll admit there are some short term use cases where these deals can be appropriate, customers need to be aware of the overall commitment.
We recommend customers always insist that the price of the photocopier and the service charges are shown separately in any agreement. And never agree to a high minimum charge as it is not necessary and offers no financial benefit.