Doc's been following an interesting discussion over at the Managed Print Services Group on LinkedIn, having to do with whether or not it's appropriate for Managed Print Services providers to charge for an initial consultation. You'll have to join LinkedIn to follow the discussion, but I'll highlight a few key points.
Some providers, it seems, will do an initial evaluation/consultation for no fee (depending on the complexity of the operation) in the hopes of being hired to implement the recommendations.
Others agree to waive an initial fee only if that first consultation results in a signed contract for future services.
And still others recommend having various "levels" of evaluation – from simple free versions (which only hit on the high-level concerns) to more complex paid services which go into a lot more detail about the recommendations.
I'd love to know what your experiences have been, either as a customer or supplier of Managed Print Services. Should people expect an initial consultation/evaluation for free?