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Staples furious at Compaq Presario freeze-ups

Twenty five per cent return rate too high. Wait for Feb 16

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Another source at a major US retailer has written The Register to confirm, and complain about the Presario 5800 freeze-up we reported last week. A source at Staples US said there was around a 25 per cent return rate on the Presario 5800 series at stores throughout the US. Most PC companies that ship systems expect between a one to five per cent return rate -- at most. The retailer CEOs have infuriated bosses at Compaq, we can reveal, causing questions to be pointed directly at Mike Capellas, fresh at the company as its CEO, as to how and why the screw-up has occurred. Retail shops hate returns. Technical support personnel have done their utmost to fix the problems during the Christmas period. According to the Staples source, who confirms other reports from both Circuit City and Frys, the freeze up problem was compounded by Compaq also shipping Western Digital hard drives which fell far short of expectations. The Staples source added that Compaq was investigating the latest reports of hard drive fatigue. And, in a twist to our previous stories, Staples said it too will be carrying the new Compaq 7XXX family -- but will undercut its competitors by $100 per system. Compaq price drops will start two days after St Valentine's Day, which our 1999 calendar tells us is on the 14th of February. Compaq Houston was still not answering our calls, at press time. ®

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