Something I've been hearing much scorn over recently is how large PC vendors, driven to very low price points, are resorting to after sales pitches which take "batteries not included" to a whole new level. They should be wary of damaging their brands. Obviously after-sales warranties etc are nothing new to any area of consumer electronics, and neither is the phenomenon of excluding items which had hitherto been inclusive as the competition hots up.
However, recent techniques are generating a whole new level of chagrin. John Ludwig describes how, on buying a low end HP, he spent hours (on top of Windows Activation) being forced through pitch after pitch which stood between him and him and actually doing anything useful.
Extended warranties, internet access, HP registration, Symantec, Money, Quicken, Office, Rhapsody, AOL, AOL Music, Ebay... his list goes on. No doubt that joint marketing deals with HP are very carefully calculated to provide the hooks to turn a $500 purchase into something north of $600. You can't blame them for the effort, but its time we reminded these guys of how many frustrated birthdays were created for simply not including batteries. I still don't forgive Sir Clive Sinclair for not including a mains plug on my Zx Spectrum when my birthday was on a Sunday and the shops were shut.
I also wonder what would happen if you actually said yes to all these offers on a low spec machine. My guess is that you're on the highway to rebuildsville.
Tags: technology, computing, PC, hardware, business