“Free” Color Printers WarningBy Mark Shead 6 CommentsIf you’ve seen Textronic/Xerox’s offer for a free color printer, take a look at this post before signing up.
I’m familiar with Xerox’s offers and was interested in the free printer too. It seems like a good deal but as the author is beginning to realize, Xerox wants to make their money on toners and inks – and occasional questionable charges.
I declined to accept Xerox’s offer – there were too many red flags in their contract and I had recently visited their Quincy, MA store and left unimpressed, mainly since no one “was familiar with” Xerox’s lower end AIOs.
For anyone who receives, signs, and abides by a unilateral contract, whoever hands it to you will still try to get you.
We took advantage of Xerox’s Free Color Printer and received the Phaser 8560 ( 3 years ago) Makes beautiful prints, however, you HAVE to purchase your ink from Xerox. You can not use compatible ink. If you do not purchase your ink and maintainence from Xerox or use the specified number of prints per month they charge your credit card a horrendous amount of money. You HAVE to do both, print the specified number of prints AND purchase your ink from them. You also have to send a printed report from your printer via fax to them on a specified day of the month, every month. If they do not get it on the specified day, they charge your credit card 55.00. The ink is actually a crayon type of ink which when used to print on envelopes, the heat sensors in the post office removes and smears the ink. When our contract ran out, I tried purchasing the LD ink sticks which look exactly the same, however, their melting point is different and ruins the printer. I will say it does make good quality prints, but not sure it is worth the hassel factor.
I’ve used the free color printers for many years for my photography business. It’s very useful for our workflow documents, with an upgraded look – I’m on my third upgrade/contract. I just follow the rules, no big deal. In fact they’ve been so great to deal with, honestly. My business is very seasonal. So we divide the overall print count by the number of total months we’ve had it, and the average count must meet quote – but that’s not a struggle. The ink is costly, but the produced print is an upgrade look. I’m a happy customer….
It makes good copies but the ink and maintenance kits are so expensive that it is really not at all cost effective. They got the ink up so high that we were spending at least $1,000/month on ink and maintenance. It is cheaper to have things printed out of house. We discontinued this rip off program and are much better off now. Think long and hard before you get roped in to this one. Remember, they can raise ink prices whenever they want and you are locked in. In addition they won’t warranty the printer if you don’t use Xerox jam free ( read expensive) paper as well. I would not recommend this program at all.
I am on my third contract with FCPs. Each new contract has brought a new machine, and they are increasingly efficient. The ink has increased in cost slightly since the first contract years ago, but the blocks are also larger and last longer / less per page. Our contracted number of printed pages is fairly low, and we have never missed the contracted amount. The printer is a commercial grade, with 30,000 page duty cycle. I had to have the first machine serviced, and there was a technician at my office the next morning fixing it the first visit. I priced the ink out on the web, and xerox charges a competitive price with everyone else.
Overall, I am very pleased with the program, as it has permitted us to provide two sided, well printed color reports. As per printing cost, it is cheaper than ink jet machines, and only slightly higher than laser b/w.
At the end of the contract, they leave you the printer, which has plenty of life left in it if you need it. I didn’t keep the old machine working as I was concerned of “splitting our contract” for number of pages and coming up short on the newer machine.
I am on my fourth Xerox free color printer. The program has been VERY useful to our small business. First, the ink you must buy from Xerox for the first three years is sold at a lower cost than you can get it from Staples. I’m not worried that I can’t use the cheaper knock-off inks because they tend to wreak the printer. Second, Xerox provides free on-site tech support if something goes wrong with the printer. Third, after the program is over I own the printer — all I have paid for is the ink and the maintenance kits — which I would have done regardless. Fourth, the quality of our printed materials is just outstanding, much sharper than ink-jet or laser.
Yes, I am required to print at least 2000 copies a month, but we exceed that every month. I have never had to pay a late fee, and anyone who tells you it is cheaper to use third party print shops has not priced color copies (typically 35 to 60 cents per copy). We have saved thousands of dollars It is a great program!