IBM lures customers with 'triple zero' financing

Taking the classic car-dealer tactic of slashing payments and financing costs to jump-start sales, IBM has introduced "triple zero" financing, offering mid-size and large businesses hardware, software and services at no cost for 90 days.

Big Blue unveiled the zero down, zero payments and zero interest until 2003 offer yesterday, saying that it will allow businesses to acquire needed information technology without choking their cash flow.

The "triple zero" offer is available to customers where IBM operates worldwide, a spokesman said.

This move is an effort to reach out to mid-size customers particularly, which represent a larger percentage of the market. In addition to the 90-day deferral and low-rate offerings, IBM is hoping to lure mid-size customers by lowering the minimum transaction amount for software financing to $US25,000.

The move comes less than two weeks after the company reported a decline in net income and flat revenue for the third-quarter of 2002.

Like most IT vendors, IBM has been struggling to stay afloat amid the economic downturn, slashing jobs and paring costs while looking for ways to boost sales.