Canon terminates Ikon as an Authorized Canon Dealer

November 8, 2008

On October 31st 2008 Canon issued a public letter confirming what had been widely speculated, that Ikon (now a Ricoh Company) is no longer Authorized to sell OR SERVICE Canon equipment. This of course does not mean that they have to stop servicing Canon equipment, but they will not be authorized by Canon to do so. Canon does say in this letter that they will continue to sell Ikon “spare parts” for 3 years, and provide “certain technical support for at least one year”.

So what does this mean to you if your company has Canon equipment that you purchased from Ikon or is currently serviced by Ikon? The first thing I would do is see if your Ikon Service agreement is tied into your lease. This was a common Ikon practice because it makes it harder for you to get service elsewhere. If it is not wrapped into the lease it will make it easier to switch to an Authorized Canon Service provider. But you should speak to your legal counsel regarding this agreement. One significant aspect of your Ikon Canon service agreement that has changed is when you signed this agreement Ikon WAS an authorized Canon Service Provider, it can easily be argued that when they lost that status, it diminished the value of their service to your company. I think that you could even make the arguement that Ikon broke the service agreement.

If you are in a long term lease with Ikon for Canon equipment then it is very important that you make plans to obtain authorized Canon service. Let’s say you just signed a 5 year lease with Ikon for Canon equipment. Then the two time frames in the Canon letter to Ikon should really get your attention, because both of these terms are shorter then the terms of your lease. The first said that Canon would sell Ikon “spare parts” for three years. What will they do for the last two years of your lease for replacement parts? The second time frame mentioned is that Canon will provide Ikon “certain technical support” for “at least one year”.  Ikon does have it’s own tech support, but according to “the letter” there will clearly be some limitations on what tech support Ikon will get from Canon. This again seems to lessen the value of the service contract that you entered into with Ikon. I wold at least bring these issues to the attention to your legal counsel.

Now one thing that Ricoh said it would try its best to do in the next few years, “just to help you out” 🙂 is try to “upgrade” your Canon equipment to Ricoh equipment. You may like your Canon equipment and not feel like replacing your entire Canon fleet with Ricoh equipment. You also may feel (like I do) that this would not be an “Upgrade”! When I first left the Canon Dealer to go to work for Ricoh Business Systems (now Ricoh Business Solutions), I was able to help convert several Canon accounts to Ricoh accounts. I came back to work for the same Canon Dealer 2 & 1/2 years later, and a number of those customers who tried the Ricoh equipment also came back to Canon. I often heard from these customers that they felt the Ricoh equipment suffered by comparisson to its Canon counterparts. Having supported both lines I would have to agree.

So what do you do now? You can seek an Authorized Canon Dealer. You can allow Ikon to switch you from Canon to Ricoh, or you can stick your head in the sand and believe the “business as usaual” hype that even the Ikon reps can no longer say with a straight face. The choice is (as always) yours.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh


One comment

  1. As of December 1, 2009, Canon USA will no longer provide technical support to IKON.

    IKON may enter into arrangements with authorized Canon service providers, including authorized Canon retail dealers, pursuant to which such authorized Canon service providers will provide service and technical support to IKON customers, including firmware upgrades and patches, as well as maintenance and repair services.

    If IKON enters into such arrangements with authorized Canon service providers, the provision of such service and technical support by such providers to IKON customers shall be in their capacity as subcontractors of IKON. To avoid any potential confusion, IKON and Canon USA agree that such providers shall not be held out to the public as part of IKON’s internal service organization.

    IKON may continue to provide maintenance and repair services for Canon-brand business equipment, in accordance with the October 31, 2008 announcement quoted above.

    IKON may continue to purchase spare parts and supplies from Canon USA, in accordance with the October 31, 2008 announcement quoted above.

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