It will be extremely difficult. But first, we’ve got to be clear which photocopier agreement you mean…

Some people get confused between the photocopier lease agreement and the photocopier service agreement. And often use these phrases interchangeably. But they are not one in the same.

Photocopier agreement – lease

This is a financial agreement, which allows you to spread the cost of a new photocopier (also known as a large multi-function device or MFD). Usually over a 3 or 5 year period.

The latest floor standing photocopiers (MFD) can cost anywhere between £2,500 & £50,000. Depending on functionality such as, speed, monthly volume capability, paper options, paper trays & associated software solutions.

It’s important to understand a lease agreement is usually a binding contract that can’t be cancelled for any reason. Which will be stated very clearly in your photocopier agreement lease. Even if the service you receive from your original supplier is terrible.

The leasing company will include language stating that you are responsible for selecting a supplier and they are therefore not responsible for the quality of service you receive. So, if you have one, cancelling your photocopier agreement lease isn’t possible.

But cancelling your service agreement is a completely different story. And this is where things start to get interesting.

Photocopier agreement – service

(Only applicable if you have purchased a new photocopier & not rented a refurbished one). A service agreement is the agreement you have made with a photocopier supplier, regarding the terms of their service, including what they will provide you for what cost.

A photocopier lease agreement only concerns the equipment being financed. The service agreement is everything else, including service calls, remote management, consumable supply (cartridges etc) and maintenance.

Most service agreements are long and hard to read & a photocopier agreement for service is no different. Most suppliers design them to cover as many scenarios as possible. They say to protect both parties. But more often than not they are designed to protect the supplier.

Here are some things to look for when you reviewing your photocopier service agreement…

Automatic Renewals will most likely be written into your agreement. This protects the service provider from losing your business at the drop of a hat. In many cases, you are required to provide written notice to terminate service anywhere from 30-90 days prior to the end of your agreement.

If you fail to provide written notice, the contract can auto-renew. And most contracts renew for an additional 12 months. Make sure you understand the cancellation procedure even if your agreement is about to expire.

Breach of Contract is probably the only way you can get out of a service contract without large cash penalties. This doesn’t mean your suppliers service is slow or that the machine breaks down too often. It has to be deemed as gross negligence on the part of the supplier

Gross negligence would have to be more extreme. Like your supplier not ever maintaining or repairing your equipment. Make sure you understand your agreement response times & they are appropriate otherwise, you may expose yourself to extended downtime, without recourse.

Keep in mind, a quality supplier will do everything they can to keep your business. Even if that means admitting their at major fault and allowing you out of your service agreement.

Early Termination Charge is a very contentious clause. Many photocopier suppliers will place penalties in their photocopier agreements for terminating early or breaching their policies regarding the termination process.

Be warned. The majority (in our experience) will charge you the remaining amount of their service agreement (even if you swap suppliers) if you try and cancel. Which can run into £1,000’s.

Before getting into a long contract with a photocopier (MFD) supplier, make sure you know if they have early termination penalties built into their agreement. As they usually have.

Price Increases whenever the supplier decides. Yes that’s right, it’s a real clause that many suppliers have in their photocopier agreements. And as long as they provide you with 30 days written notice there isn’t a jot you can do about it.

We’ve known of organisations who’s colour page print rate has doubled from 4p to 8p over a 5 year period. Our advice would be to choose a supplier who provide price guarantees (never to increase) over the term of your agreement.

Photocopier agreement termination in conclusion

If you are determined to break ties with your current photocopier service provider & you have real evidence they have breached the terms of your agreement, rest assure there will be a way to do so.

But if it’s because they provide poor service (but not bad enough to warrant a breach) or they keep increasing your prices. It’s going to be a real struggle. And you will likely end up being hit with a large financial charge to pay off the remaining term of the agreement.

And be wary of advice to pay off the balance of your photocopier lease agreement early. Yes you’ll get out of your lease. But unless you hate the machine, this doesn’t solve your problem.

Most people who search for ways to get out of their photocopier lease agreement no longer have a machine that meets their needs. And those that search for ways to get out of their photocopier service agreement are upset about the service provided by their current supplier or the price increases they keep getting hit with.

You may want to leave your supplier. But if you are in a photocopier agreement that has large financial penalties (unless you are willing to pay them) our advice is to grin and bear it. But the next time, make sure you choose a supplier who’s honest, you can trust, allows you to leave without penalty for poor service and will guarantee your agreement price for the full term.