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The Case of the Free Mouse That Wasn't

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It's a well-known fact that there's no such thing as a free lunch. What's less commonly understood is that there's no such thing as a free mouse either - particularly if it comes from distributor Ingram Micro.

Distributors have a habit of sending out freebies to tempt resellers into ordering shedloads of kit. They don't - generally speaking - attempt to recoup their losses directly.

Ingram, on the other hand, seems to do just that. According to Cambridge based system builder Torch Computers' MD, Jon Dane, his company received a gratis Microsoft mouse just before Christmas, courtesy of Ingram Micro's UK operation.

Click for full size imageAnd what turned up in the post this morning? An invoice demanding £5.89 in delivery charges.

Ahem.

"Is this how you, or any other sensible person would run their marketing and PR department?" Dane asks?

To be fair to Ingram, it is at least doing the decent thing and crediting Torch's account with £5.89, or so a company representative told us.

Of course, this kind of thing isn't restricted to distributors - resellers do it too, as we showed last year when we found one Mac dealer offering two identical Apple iBooks, one with a free mouse and the other without. The one with the free mouse was... er... £30 more expensive. Go figure... ®

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