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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: A few ugly rounds

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: A few ugly rounds

My old friend Murph is back, and this time around he is roping me into a round of golf - not exactly my favourite pastime. "Come on, Cringe, you can practice your slice," Murph said. That's what I'm afraid of.

A warranty issue

Looks like HP is trying to slice its way out of at least one warranty. When does a warranty start? According to HP, it starts on the date listed on the purchase order - rather than when the products are delivered.

My spy says, in fact, that a large New York agency three years ago bought 200 HP printers with three years of maintenance. The PO was dated in August, but took a few weeks to run through the agency and city procurement systems, and so the agency didn't get the products until October. Now, HP is refusing to service the printers, insisting that the warranty ended in August. But the agency plans to fight HP on this one, saying a warranty should not start until the products are delivered.

Ingram Micro's macro woes

One of my spies, who has been an Ingram Micro reseller for the past two years and had a net-30 term with the company, received a letter from Ingram saying that his company's account was being reduced to credit card terms. Ingram's official spin: they moved their credit to an outside agency. Then my spy contacted his account rep, and she said the majority of Ingram's terms were moved to credit cards, and she is fearful of losing massive business from disgruntled resellers taking their business elsewhere. According to my spy, this is just one sign of hard times at Ingram.

A new brand of spam

Another of my spies pointed out the tricky new method of spam that mobile phone providers are engaging in. The spy received a voice mail message from T-Mobile, describing the great plans that it has to offer.

Innocent enough, perhaps, but it was a rather long message and, naturally, said spy had to use his personal air-time minutes to listen to and then clear the message. Small potatoes for one man and his phone, but when T-Mobile sends that same message to every employee in the spy's company, it adds up. "Hey, why don't we sell time on our customers' mobile phone numbers? We'll get the advertising revenue and make our subscribers pay for the air-time," my spy grumbled.

The golf outing wasn't so bad after all, but I doubt I'll play again until Murph swings through town again. "Maybe you should start practising now so you'll be good by the time you retire," he said. No thank you.

Send tips to cringe@infoworld.com.


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