Compaq is continuing to suffer the channel fallout from its problematic implementation of SAP with resellers still struggling to get their hands on much-needed equipment.
However, of more concern to many resellers is the way Compaq is handling the problems, with some lambasting the computer giant's service and the attitude it has shown in trying to deal with resellers' grievances.
After its exclusive front-page report on November 4, ARN received numerous e-mails from resellers, particularly former Digitial suppliers, complaining they had suffered similar issues to those which caused Sydney reseller Forcefield so much pain.
Perth-based VAR, PC-Help, is one example of a reseller forced to endure prolonged delivery dates for its Digital merchandise orders.
PC-Help, a long-term and loyal Digital solution centre, will have to wait until December to secure the delivery of an Alpha Workstation despite the order being placed with Compaq in October, said Jane Walker, PC-Help customer support engineer.
Furthermore, PC-Help was informed that the part number on the monitor was obsolete despite being current on Compaq's Web site only days before.
Walker claimed the delay was the result of a processing "bottleneck" of orders because at that stage only one person was processing all Digital orders.
With many resellers facing pressure to continue to provide timely Digital solutions to clients, Walker feels the biggest issue is Compaq's aversion to customer satisfaction since the acquisition.
"Teething problems we can sympathise with. Refusal to be open with resellers about the problem is another matter," Walker said.
Reticent about dealings
As PC-Help is not "a volume mover", Walker is reticent about further dealings with Compaq, which she believes infers discrimination between resellers for product availability.
"It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this sort of customer service," Walker said.
"Compaq's reluctance to discuss customer satisfaction issues with the industry is a strong indication of what it will be like for individual customers if, and when, the vendor goes direct."
Walker also expressed concern about the future of Digital products.
"Compaq has obtained some fabulous technol-ogy from Digital, like the Alphas, but it remains to be seen what's going to happen with it."
When contacted by ARN last week, a Compaq spokesperson confirmed there have been some issues relating to Compaq's resellers, however the vendor is "committed to resolving the matter of providing accurate product information availability".
The spokesperson added that while the situation "is improving everyday", Compaq remains "acutely aware and openly acknowledges that there have been problems".