CyberTech Rambler

August 23, 2006

Let’s teach retailer a lesson

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 1:05 pm

This is an update to my previous blog post about Microsoft Vista Discount and the “collusion to rip off customers”. Apparently, there are talks to only give free upgrades to Vista when it arrive only for  people buying high end computers this Christmas. Lower end computers will instead receive a discount coupon.

Again, I will like to reiterate that this is not a good deal, unless you have some special considerations. Just because it is near to Christmas does not mean you should take any promise by third party. If you can, promise your kids Microsoft Vista when it arrives. Your promise to your kids worth much more than a stranger’s promise to you, isn’t it?

What makes me boil is the comment  is the comment from Quanta Inc Li in the article, who says “If you buy the Mercedes Benz model, they will give you the free coupon, but if you buy the Chrysler, of course you will have to pay an add-on”. There is no way to compare computers with cars: First, they are different sets of add-on for Mercedes and Chrysler and these add on add functions to the car. However, with computers, what add-on do you get? None. You still buy the same thing (one monitor, a CPU case, one keyboard and a mouse. Can you call a fancy bluetooth mouse you buy instead of box standard roller mouse an “add on”? There is no much differentiation between one computer from the other, except perhaps in the eye of the beholder (vendors).

Second and most importantly, I haven’t heard of the two car manufacturers do not give you free-coupon or ask you to pay for an add-on because they could not deliver stuff on time. If they do, my reply will be the same: wait till the add-on you wants shipped before buying the cars. Understandably, vendors want to make the best out of a bad situation with Vista delay, but as consumers, we must resist them passing the cost to us.

Thirdly, who is there to decide which is the “cheaper machine” that does not qualify for free coupon? Your VENDOR. It is unlikely to be the decision for Microsoft coz if I were Microsoft, the easiest path is to say if you buy WinXP Home, you get free upgrade to version A, B,C of Vista, but discount of  version D, E, F etc. If the distinction is between computers, it is likely to be your vendor purchasing either the free or discount coupon from Microsoft and sell it to you. They decide this according to what they can get away with. As you can see, they are turning this into a competitve advantage against other vendors. Might be good for you, but not always.

I do accept that in some circumstances the deal may be a good one to the customers, i.e., those who really need a computer now and that the damage caused by waiting for actual Vista launch outweighs the benefit of waiting for it. In these cases, push your retailers hard. If they can offer free coupon for higher end models, it is relatively easy to push them for free coupon for a lower end model.

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