One of my spies says he came across an incredible discount at a very reputable hi-fi chain for some multimedia speaker systems from a nationally known brand-name manufacturer. The reason for the less-than-half-price deal on new in the box sets? Gateway was unable to pay for them and the manufacturer had to adjust price according to demand.
Gateway rival Dell, on the other hand, has been trying to squeeze resellers out of business by demanding end-user information and then selling to that customer directly, according to one of my spies. Dell apparently lures its resellers to deliver contact information under the guise of export compliance reasons and the need to make sure that it is not an existing direct customer. The company, in fact, refused to provide my reseller spy with a quote without all the customer info, despite the fact that said reseller has purchased more than $US100,000 worth of equipment from Dell in the past without giving away his client’s contact information. Dell even refused my spy’s request to have Dell just mark down that all the systems he wanted to buy would be earmarked for his company so he would not have to give up his customers’ contact information.
“The last time I gave Dell the information on my customers, the Dell sales person took the business direct. Thanks anyway, but I will go elsewhere,” the spy says.
Another spy of mine purchased a Palm 705 last year and signed up for the wireless service with a one-year contract originally slated to end in March and paid monthly. This January, he called to cancel the service, but because the contract was still in operational order, the Palm rep told him to call back in March because cancelling it early would result in a fine equal to two months of service. When he called back in March, they told him the contract would actually end in June.
“The rep said that it was my responsibility to know when my contract dates were even if their reps gave me wrong information each time I called in. He told me that generally Palm ignores these complaints and stands behind the concept that it doesn’t matter what their reps told me but that I should know my contract,” my spy grumbled.
Amber showed up later that night, looking a tad despondent.
“I’ll be able to clear this all up soon,” she said. Despite my prodding, though, she wouldn’t say more.
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