Thursday, October 7

Blogabbatical

Well, I’m still on blogabbatical. At least until the American elections are over. Its like a giant black hole sucking in all punditry in the blogosphere. Must....resist....

I’ve been able to sort out some personal issues (as in what the hell am I going to do for the rest of my life) and I was very happy to hear that I've been accepted for a post-graduate diploma at UCT. It’s in business, basically a BCom in a year kind of thing, so it’s going to make a nice change from the comp-sci/electronics/physics spiel I’ve been caught up in the last ten years.

Preparing for the course, I’ve been looking at buying a printer/copier/scanner for my home. Heh, since I’m a loyal member of Discovery vitality soon to reach gold status I thought the 35% discount I receive on HP products should come in handy. These are the two offers I got from their website

All-in-one HP OfficeJet 4255 Bundle
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE :R2,399.00
YOUR VITALITY PRICE :
R1,679.30 (Silver Status)
R1560.00 (On Gold Status)
and
All-in-one HP OfficeJet 6110 Bundle
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE :R4,199.00
YOUR VITALITY PRICE :
R2,939.30 (On Silver Status)
R2728 (On Gold Status)


So I’m looking around for some reviews, and lo and behold what do I find. The hp online shop in South Africa. The HP OfficeJet 4255 retails at R 1,549.00 (incl. VAT), while the HP OfficeJet 6110 retails at R 2,599.00 (incl. VAT). Both the discovery and HP offers include 2 ink cartridges. The hp offer doesn’t include the R19 printer cable which they sell as an accessory. Shipping costs R65 from the HP shop.

So not only does discovery use retail prices that are completely wrong, they are so wrong that even at the highest discount levels your still paying more than you would elsewhere. Lets see. Member status can be either Blue (25% discount), Silver (30%) or Gold (35%). Given that the Gold status "discount price" is actually just slightly more than retail, this means that silver members pay a 5% premium above retail and blue members pay a 10% premium above retail. What a "discount"!

Arent there laws against crap like this?

Update: Taking a closer look at the people involved, I found this article announcing the agreement between discovery vitality and digital planet, the company which offers the hp products to discovery members at a "discount". But hey, what do you know, this is the same company that "powers" the hp online shop (See bottom left). So they cant say that they dont know that their "RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICE" is completely bogus.

19 Comments:

Blogger Colin Pretorius said...

Yep, that black hole thing is a doozie. Good luck with your studies!

07 October 2004 at 16:55  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks Colin. Think Im going to need it. Its been a while.

08 October 2004 at 09:27  
Blogger Vaz said...

Best of luck with your studies.

As for HP, I would avoid them if I was you. HP is running their printers a business model like Gillete's. Sell printer for cheap and sell ink cartridges for inflated prices. If you'll be doing a low of work with it, it will cost you dearly in long run with ink expenses. And their reliablity record is left to be desired. Our office's OfficeJet R45, its scanner is FUBAR'ed and service wants an arm and leg for repairs. We got Lexmark instead to replace it. Lexmark is decent.

You should shop other brands.

08 October 2004 at 10:57  
Blogger Vaz said...

I meant a lot of printing not low. Duh!

08 October 2004 at 11:03  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for the tip Vaz. I thought it was worth my while to get HP because of that "discount". Now Im definitely looking to buy anything except an HP. Lexmark it is.

08 October 2004 at 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get back and you decide to bugger off!
What kind of an organisation are we running here?!
Good luck with the masomo.
http://www.mentalacrobatics.com/

12 October 2004 at 11:20  
Blogger Richard said...

The best kind. A self-correcting one ;-) As the man said, I'll be back.

12 October 2004 at 12:23  
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