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August 15, 1997


PCL is yet to make deliveries

Almost a year after it slashed prices of computers and announced sales promotion schemes, Pertech Computers Limited is yet to complete deliveries for orders booked between September 1996 and January 1997.

The Delhi-based PCL had received bookings for close to 40,000 computers of various configurations during that period.

About 2,000 of these computers have not been delivered as yet.

A company spokesperson is reported to have said that PCL has not cleared all the orders as it is facing a severe liquidity crunch.

He added that the company is now expected to execute the orders within two months. Most pending orders pertain to bookings made in December 1996 and January 1997, he said.

A group of PCL dealers said that that they have been receiving assurance from the company. The dealers even received written commitments of delivery from PCL Chairman Dadan Bhai. But these promises have not been honoured.

The dealers complain that their attempts to reach Dadan Bhai are not successful. The stock reply from the company is that the deliveries would be made by the following month.

In a communication made in February to the dealers and customers, the company had promised to deliver the computers before March 31.

The deputy general manager stated that the company would extend the warranty period on the computers by an additional six months to two years for delayed delivery after February 12. The company has also promised to pay the customers 24 per cent interest on advance payment for the period of delay.

The group of dealers from the south who are keen to take up the matter with the company say they have not received the commission on sales made by them for almost close to a year.

To this, the PCL spokesperson has said that normally the accounting adjustments for settling commissions are made every quarter. "If a dealer states that his commission has not been settled for a year, it is an anomalous case. We will take immediate action if we come across such a case," the spokesperson said.

These dealers are yet to receive deliveries for close to 20 per cent of the orders booked by them. They are now seeking political assistance from Members of Parliament of their home state to secure the deliveries or get a refund.

PCL had announced the price cuts and attractive purchase schemes for their machines through advertisements in national dailies between August and December 1996. The deliveries were to be made with 6-8 weeks of placing the order.

The company expected to receive about 20,000 bookings and had accordingly placed orders for components with suppliers.

The company had to place repeat orders with the suppliers for components when the bookings outstripped expectations. During this period, the prices of the components went up, pushing up the overall price of the computers by Rs 2,000.

The company could not pass on this hike in prices to the consumers. The unwillingness of the banks to extend credit compounded problems for the company. Production has been cut from the level of 300-400 machines per day.

The spokesperson added that PCL is trying to complete the deliveries by cutting costs and through internal accruals.

- Compiled from the Indian media

Related story: The Great Gamble

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