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Anonymous Apple dealers slam vendor online

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British Apple resellers have banded together to form a united front in opposition to the Mac maker's policy toward its UK channel. Or have they? According to UK trade title MicroScope, the Independent Apple Dealers Association (IADA) has set up a Web site to complain not only about the companies decision to pull out of Apple Expo 2000, its inability to ship enough Power Mac G4 systems and its online direct sales operation. However, no one within the IADA seems willing to admit to it. The site claims to have "200 subscribers" to its Apple-bashing bulletin board, which, if its current contents are anything to go by, amounts to little more than a bunch of guys bitching about margins, deliveries, distributors and vendors -- all the stuff that reseller employees usually piss and moan about. Ironically, it's this very anonymity is ensuring that Apple can't talk to them and discuss their concerns -- as the vendor claims it's keen to do. So why all the mystery? Good question -- and we're awaiting IADA's official response. One 'subscriber' claims the board may have been set up by Apple to pick out malcontents, which is plausible but unlikely since it would require too much effort on Apple UK's part, we suspect. No, the trouble is that IADA doesn't actually appear to have an agenda. Or rather it has an agenda to complain, but necessarily to seek a resolution to its problems. There are numerous such organisations, where firms come together to present a united front the better to put their case, but here there seems little real motivation to do so, and for that reason, we remain sceptical. That said, one poster did suggest that "if we get enough support and can get agreement from enough people we will go public", so a more direct (and workable) plan may yet emerge. Still, we did note a consistent dislike of Computer Warehouse, and given our own problems with said Mac reseller, we can see their point (see Computer Warehouse scores zip on Register ChannelMark™)... ®

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