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Why is single clicking an 11×17 on a “copier” legal?

January 7, 2012

I was talking to my VP of Service, Mike McLaughlin the other day and he posed the question why is it legal to set a Copier \ MFD’s meter to only make a single meter click on an 11×17 page when it is twice the size of a standard Letter (8 1/2 x 11) page? That would be like having the option to set your car’s odometer to only count every other mile when it ran on certain roads, or when it was driven by certain drivers. That would actually be against the law, because you would be defrauding the person who would buy that car after you. Isn’t that the same on a copier? Would it be OK if Airplanes only counted certain hours that they flew? How would that effect their maintenance or resale value? As a consumer would you be OK flying on that plane? What if you as a consumer couldn’t tell which cars or planes had their meters “adjusted” to only count a portion of what they should? I would want to know so that I could make an informed choice, wouldn’t you?

Why would anyone want to set up the Total (main) Copier meter to single click an 11×17 page? There is really only one small segment of the business community that wants their copiers set up this way, and that is “Print for Pay”, or Quick Printers. Because they both sell and are charge by the page, it is the printing industry that insists on having their copiers \ MFDs set to single click on 11×17. Their is no other group that I can think of that really cares about it. Now I don’t dislike Print for Pay companies. I made a good living selling to Print for Pay when I was a Color Sales Specialist. Print for Pay buys top of the line equipment, often with high end accessories that is why sales people like them. On the other hand Print for Pay businesses (thanks to Larry Hunt) expect uber-competative pricing (for equipment and service) and demand a high level of service. They are one of the few customer who will pull out a “loop” to show you an imperfection in a copy or print that can not be seen with the naked eye. Print for Pay companies are also notorious for not paying their service on time, or wanting to negotiate down their overages. Now I realize that this is a generalization and that there are some P4P companies that do pay in full and on time, but in my experience they are more the exception rather than the norm.

So why should one small business segment get to dictate to all copier manufactures that they have to have this “feature” to short the total meter? If these companies did a normal amount of 11×17 that a typical business did, this wouldn’t be that big a deal. But most of these Printers run all of their 8 1/2 x 11 jobs two up on 11×17 paper and they cut them in half after they are printed or copied. This cuts their cost in half, which is great for them but who suffers? The consumer who buys a used copier in the aftermarket! These print for pay shops put a lot of clicks on their copiers \ MFDs. When you consider that the actual total clicks could be twice what the total meter reads these MFDs should be junked and not resold. This sure seems to to fit the definition of fraud, IMHO.

We have state divisions of weights & measures, and the attorney generals have offices of fraud and consumer affairs to stop this kind of abuse for cars, and trucks, and planes, and scales. But not copiers or MFDs at least not yet. I understand that Print for Pay is very competitive business, but I think allowing them to set their total meter to count 11×17 (which is twice the size of the standard 8 1/2 x 11) as one click is wrong.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@yahoo.com

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3 comments

  1. Not unlike an automobile, I’d prefer a used MFP that was used predominately for loooong run-lengths mostly on 11×17 (or larger) over one that ran twice the clicks but were very short run-lengths. The old taxi cab versus the freeway runner analogy. But you ask “Why” – ’cause there are vendors that will support the business model of P4P’ers, namely Xerox in my experience – if it were unprofitable for vendors (not just LESS profitable) it wouldn’t be an issue.


  2. VINCE…THAT REALLY SUCKS!
    BUT I AM NOT SURPRISED…I ONCE WORKED FOR A COMPANY MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO REFURBISHING LOW VOLUME B/W MONO M/CS WHERE A STANDARD PROCEDURE WAS TO PHYSICALLY TAKE THE MECHANICAL COUNTERS AND TURNING THE “WHEELS” WITH A POT SCREWDRIVER SO THAT THEIR “MILEAGE” WAS AT SUCH A LOW COUNT AS IF IT JUST LEFT THE FACTORY…
    I DIDN’T KNOW THAT THIS WAS ILLEGAL AND I BECAME SO “EXPERT” AT IT AND TOOK IT AS A CHALLENGE THAT (IF I CAN REMEMBER) I WOULD OFTEN “CLOCK” IT TO ZERO! BEFORE REASSEMBLY AND SUBSEQUENTLY RUNNING TEST COPIES TO CONFIRM ALL WAS WELL…THE STUPID THINGS WE DO WHEN WE ARE YOUNG AND IMMATURE!
    I ONLY LEARNED IT WAS ILLEGAL WHEN I WORKED FOR AN OTHER COMPANY AND (I GUESS) I BRAGGED ABOUT IT!
    AND THE PRINT FOR PAY INDUSTRY IS YET ANOTHER AREA OF GRIEVOUS “COPIER CORRUPTION” BECAUSE AS I AM A HIGHLY GIFTED COPIER CONFIGURATION ARTIST AND I HAVE FOUND THAT ALSO THE PER COPY PRICING IS VERY INCONSISTENT…SO FOR EXAMPLE ONE P4P SHOP MIGHT CHARGE $4.00 FOR A COLOUR COPY @ A4 (METRIC)
    (VERY COMMON IN THE 1990’S) ON A CLC 500 AND THAT IS ALL I PAY REGARDLESS OF FEATURE USAGE AND ANOTHER PLACE MAY CHARGE EXTRA JUST BECAUSE I’M USING THE EDIT BOARD!!!

    HOW WRONG IS THAT!


  3. the double click for large prints are not for the mileage of the machine but for the consumables cause those machines are usually sold with a service contract & if clients are pumping 11 X 17 & then cutting them in to to save money on the behalf of his service company is not honest. I work as a service tech on these machines for over 25 years & the way we can be competitive with our service contract rates is that we double click on 11 X 17 cause the parts are quite expensive & if your putting in twice the dollar in parts for half the money coming in well all dealers & oem’s are there to help client but to stay in business `we got to make money dont you think???



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