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If you are a loyal Dell customer and are pleasantly surprised to see its products on display in your local store, check out the pricing before you hand over the cash. The retailer may not be authorized and will make you shell out thousands more.

Croma store is the only authorized retailer in India for the US number one PC maker Dell, which has the authorization to display Dell machines and sell them directly, all the others are not authorized. When IT Examiner walked into the Croma store at Malad, we were told that the Dell XPS 1330 laptop, with 2GHz processor, 3GB Ram and 320GB of HD is priced at $1,095 (RS 52,800). Going down the road to Hypercity, the same model with 2GHz processor, 2GB ram and 250GB HD was quoted with a price of $1,117 (Rs 53,900). Seeing the absurd price disparity in the price offered by them, we decided to call Dell’s online store.

Sarat Chandra, sales account manager at Dell’s office in Bangalore quoted Dell XPS 1330, 2GHz processor, 3GB ram and 320GB of HD for $1,035 (Rs 49,909). “This is the basic model price, if you wish the processor speed can be upgraded to 2.6GHz, the RAM can be upgraded to 4GB, Intel’s graphic card can be upgraded with Nvidia’s card and the storage can also be increased”.

When we told him about the disparity in prices other retailers were offering at, Sarat was stunned. He said, “Croma is our only authorized retailer, we are in talks with e-zone also, to display and retail our products. But as of now except for Croma no one has our authorization to display or sell our products directly. All other retailers, after taking orders from customers need to place orders with us, after which we dispatch the ordered product.

Then how come Hypercity has your product displayed, that too at absurd prices? “ I don’t know, they must have picked up the older stock, as XPS 1330 doesn’t come with 2GB RAM and 250GB HD any more, the basic model flanks a 3GB RAM and 320GB HD. Hypercity is not even our authorized retailer” said Sarat, who got confirmation on this with the retail manager.

"Dell gives its own price and retailers are supposed to give the customer back the same, but they are messing up big time. The information they provide customers varies from the feedback they give us. We have recently stepped in the retail segment and currently have two legal and one fraud team, depending on the zones. We are increasing our retail managers by 50 per cent for the smooth selling of our business," said Sarat. Who feels ensuring equality of price should be handled by Croma as they are Dell’s master sales affiliate.

But isn’t this kind of disparity going to affect Dell’s goodwill in the market, where it has recently stepped in? “Yes, it will affect, we are also focusing on our back office that would ensure transparency of transaction. Croma also should be selling XPS1330 model for no more than $1,074 (RS 51,800) considering their four per cent VAT, instead of $1,095 (Rs52, 800). The four per cent VAT that Croma is charging should also not be considered as we are already adjusting this four per cent by giving them discount of the same percentage, said Sarat. We are working on a process that would insure transparency and insure that the benefits get transferred to our customers.

Meanwhile, Croma confirmed its price, as stated above and its communication department said, “we cannot comment further on pricing since it is looked after by Dell themselves. We are just their retail partners. Talking about Hypercity’s prices, we have got no idea where they get the stock from and why are they charging higher.”

Comments from Hypercity were not forthcoming even after several attempts.

- By Jayant Mishra from Mumbai
Source: itexaminer.com


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