Distributor DMSL is appealing for VARs to join its new initiative that will match local IT users with resellers in their area.
Called FixITlocal, the aim is to put businesses and consumers directly in touch with local VARs which will solve IT problems for a minimal charge of £49.99 for the first hour’s work.
But before becoming a member of the new scheme, VARs must also join the Professional Computing Association (PCA) as paying members and agree to abide by the Industry Code of Practice which is regulated by the PCA. VARs must also pay £10 a month to join FixITlocal, but DMSL is offering free membership until 2008.
The distributor has promised extra sweeteners such as a national advertising campaign, e-shots to over 700,000 homes and businesses in DMSL’s database, and access to a range of products and services.
John Carter, managing director of DMSL, said: “The end-user marketing campaign will be rolling by September, which means that resellers will have a full three months to trial the system before we’re looking for money from them.”
The PCA has also agreed not to charge membership until January 2008 and will guarantee half-price membership for the first year.
Carter defended the move by saying: “We are going to be advertising a professional service to the customers, and they will expect the very best standards, the PCA’s Code of Practice guarantees them third party help should they have problems.”
Keith Warburton, chief executive of the PCA, added: “The Code and consumer guidance on our web site promote sensible attitudes on the part of the customer; we even have a section that asks the customer, before they raise a complaint, to consider whether their problem is due to them having an unreasonable expectation. Our Code works to protect and support the reseller as much as it protects the customer.”
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