N. Anand

The lap-it-all offer did not go down well with them; reference to one brand removed from website

ELCOT officials planning to remove references to Samsung model on offer

They bring down discount from 50 per cent to 40 per cent at request of vendors

CHENNAI: When the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) recently announced the sale of Lenovo and Dell laptops and Samsung Laser Printer to students throughout Tamil Nadu at a 50 per cent discount, it expected bouquets.

Instead, it received brickbats from Lenovo vendors, whose margins were getting squeezed.

Following their protest, ELCOT officials on Thursday removed all references to Lenovo on the corporation’s website and called it a “notebook computer.”

They also brought down the discount from 50 per cent to 40 per cent at the request of the vendors. Furthermore, Samsung’s name was removed from the website.

Now ELCOT officials are planning to remove the reference to the Samsung, Dell and Lenovo models on offer. Samsung laser printers are offered on a first-cum-first-serve basis, and is open to students and the public till October 31.

“The special offer has wrought havoc in the market with students demanding the vendors take back the product or refund the difference. Quite a few colleges in the State were forced to reduce the sale price by Rs. 7,000 to Rs.10,000 apiece, following a special offer,” said a source in ELCOT.

The lap-it-all offer has gone down well with students, from LKG to postgraduate level, as they could lay their hands on professional laptops or desktops at discounts ranging from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 10,000 a piece. However, Lenovo vendors objected to this offer with their manufacturer.

On its website, ELCOT mentions it has purchased the laptops for a special price of Rs. 44,000 and is offering them to students with the price tag of Rs. 29,000 to Rs. 32,000 a piece.

The offer is valid until the exhaustion of stock. However, ELCOT officials don’t have any issue with Dell, since it is into direct marketing.

Incidentally, ELCOT had purchased and offered laptops to IAS officers in the State at a special rate.

The vendors started protesting as their offer price was around Rs. 54,000 a piece against Rs. 31,000 offered by the ELCOT.

“We are proud that we have done something good for students. Moreover, it goes to prove that the products offered by us are genuine and worth every pie,” said an ELCOT official.