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If you work from home, most of your work is done on your computer. In India, there are 3 major segments of computer manufacturers - assemblers, branded Indian computers like Zenith, HCL, DataMini, aamchi PC/amar Pc and branded MNC computers - Hewlett Packard (HP)/Compaq, Dell, IBM/Lenovo, Acer.
Assembled computers were earlier very popular in India, since their prices were much lower than that of branded computers. They also offered a large degree of customization, you could select the configuration - CPU speed, RAM, hard disk (HDD) capacity according to your requirement. I have purchased assembled computers thrice but have found that the quality of the components used by the assembler is very poor, usually recycled components. If you use the computer for 10-12 hours daily, these computers do not even last for a year. Worse, the assembler conveniently forgets that he has sold the computer to you and refuses to give after sales support. (though they initially promise a one year warranty). Once an assembler took my CDR drive for repair and refused to return it! The margins in this business are very low, so the quality of both the computer and service are usually poor. Troubleshoot and fix your computer problems
Zenith, HCL, Datamini, Sahara, are some of the Indian branded computer manufacturers. These computers are assembled in India . After sales support is provided by their dealer, not the manufacturer. From my experience, most Indian computer dealers provide poor after sales service. You have to phone them at least twice to get a quotation (when you want to buy a computer or computer accessories like USB pen drive). They are likely to avoid sending an engineer if there is a problem with the computer sold by them. Earlier computers were advertised for Rs 10,000- 12,000 but now they have stopped advertising these computers due to low margins.
HP (Compaq), Dell, IBM (Lenovo) are largest MNC manufacturers of computers in India. Samsung and LG are the Korean manufacturers selling both computers and peripherals like CD writers and monitors. All these companies advertise extensively in newspapers. If you want to purchase a computer, getting a quotation from most of these companies is a tedious process.
The toll free number of Dell India was not working last year, the call would get terminated after the initial message. This year, it has started working. Even as of February 2006, the response of Dell to customers who want to buy a Dell computer or notebook is poor. I made a call to their toll free number and transferred to some number. No one bothered to reply to my query. Even MTNL customer care is more prompt and attentive to customers. The prices of Dell Computers are usually higher than that of other companies for a similar configuration. All payments are to be made in advance, either by credit card or demand draft.
If you send an enquiry to Lenovo(IBM), their dealer will respond after 3 months, when you have already finalised the order. However, if you contact Lenovo on their toll free number, their customer care is able to respond to queries regarding the operating system and configuration
When you contact HP India's toll free number, depending on the computer configuration you are interested in , you will be allotted a dealer. This dealer will send you a quotation and if you ask for any further clarifications or change in configuration, they are most unhelpful. I have purchased Compaq Presario desktop PCs thrice, and will write a detailed review separately. The main advantage of purchasing foreign branded computers is that the after sales service is directly provided by manufacturer at their call centre. The recent Dataquest- IDC India customer satisfaction audit 2006 shows that most companies provide similar levels of customer support, and Dell lags behind HP and IBM-Lenovo in India.
For laptops, IBM/Lenovo, HP/Compaq Presario, Sony, Toshiba, Sahara and Acer are the major brands in India. Toshiba call center/ toll free number is part of HCL, they will tell you that the Toshiba salesperson will get in touch with you.
Computer prices in India
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