Are coin operated copiers worth the trouble?
Unlike the copy machines you’ll find in practically any office in the world, coin operated copiers have some very unique quirks, largely derived from the fact that they have to charge for every sheet they spit out. These include:
- Uptime. Similar to the impact they have on any business, copiers placed in the above mentioned locations are required to have a 98-99% uptime, with response time to a service call that’s usually around four working hours and sometimes even less. Downtime equates to high levels of frustration among those trying to work on a deadline.
- Special technology. Further complicating the process is the new practice of a “debit” account, a card that’s assigned to users – typically students or library patrons – allowing them to load the account with funds and then make copies without having to carry a pocket full of change. Again, great for the consumer but lousy for the owner. This functionality adds another level of technicality to the process, requiring specialized knowledge of the software used to track and deduct the funds, a process that at times can be complex. And it only takes having to deal with one irate user – fuming over the 15 cents they just lost when the copier jammed – to seriously reconsider the hassle of coin operated copiers.
- More equipment. As with any process, the more variables you introduce, the higher you can expect the cost to rise. To be fair to the machines themselves, many of the problems consistently reported with coin operated copiers have to do with the coin collectors and not the actual copy machine. As mentioned above, these tiny little devices that work by either accepting coins or cards have a number of precise motors and card readers that wear out rather quickly due to the excessive amount of use.
- An accounting nightmare. Although they may seem like a more preferable option, these escrow-based copiers can actually end up being more of a hassle. Unless you manage the system in-house (and here’s hoping you don’t), the vendor who holds your service agreement keeps track of the money collected or deposited into the machines for use with the debit cards. Amassing the funds in an escrow account, the money is credited to users, enabling them to make prints or copies. Downtime for a system like this is almost wholly unacceptable. Because if you thought the guy who lost 15 cents was mad, wait until you see a college kid hopped up on Red Bull with a thesis paper due in an hour who arrives at the copy center to a balance that’s gone from $120 to $0.00 overnight!
What Others Are Looking For...
We need a coin operated copier for public use in the main room of the Lowell Public Library. It needs a coin machine connected to the copier to be self service for the public.
-Non-Profit, Lowell, IN
I need a coin operated copier lease for the use of students in the media center.
-School, Miami, FL
Copier needs to be compatible with a coin machine.
-School, Winnebago, NE
Print management software, coin operated copies, would be copier in a Military library.
-Government, Mountain Home, ID
We are a college library that serves approx. 8000 students. We would need to be able to have the machines hooked up to a coin op system & a card reader. We also need the machine to be easy to operate due to the fact that there are a variety of users.
-College, Turlock, CA
Copier needed for community/school library and it needs coin op.
-School, Olney, TX
We are looking for a coin operated copier lease for public use in a library. We need a coin box with the copier.
-Government Agency, Roseville, MI
I want to rent a coin operated copier machine installed into our library, where that there is no service or monthly fee charged and we provide the paper, and you get the money.
-School, New York, NY