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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | After The Purchase | Final Matters ]

Using Price Protection

Since prices of systems drop so rapidly, many companies are now offering price protection to prospective customers. This marketing feature helps insulate buyers against imminent price reductions, so they can feel comfortable deciding to go ahead with a purchase, rather than waiting indefinitely for the next price drop. I discuss price protection in some detail here.

Price protection really is great, but only if you remember to use it! One of the reasons companies can offer this program is that it entices many buyers before the purchase who forget about it after they buy their system. If you fall into this trap, you become the best friend a PC vendor could possibly have: you gave them your business because of a promise they made, and then voluntarily left some of your money on the table. So, one of the reasons I put this page in this section of items to remember after the sale, is to remind you to use the price protection, if any, that your system vendor offered you. :^)

Many companies will let you use price protection only once; this is understandable, as they don't want their customer support lines bogged down by people calling every day for a month asking if the price of their system went down. :^) If this is the case with your vendor, you ideally want to call just before the protection period runs out. Of course it's not easy to remember to do this! If you have calendar or alarm software on your system, or if you use a day planner, make an entry to remind you to call for price protection one or two days before the term of protection on your purchase expires. Or ask a friend to remind you, perhaps.

Note: I have heard stories of companies trying to get around paying for their price protection by playing "configuration games". You buy a particular model PC and then call back three weeks later to check the price, and are told that your model "is no longer being sold". This is nonsense; the company should still be able to determine what your configuration would cost today based on the pricing of whatever new models are currently available. After all, PCs are modular. Ask to speak to a manager, and insist that they honor their pledge.

Next: Registration and Proof Of Purchase


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