The rising price of petrol is draining reseller resources as the cost of sending engineers around the country continues to skyrocket.
As CRN went to press, unleaded prices had spiralled to an average of more than £1.15 a litre, while diesel stood at almost £1.30. Last year both were less than 95p, but prices are expected to continue snowballing and could even exceed £1.50 by the end of 2008.
Jess Thompson-Hughes, managing director of distributor React Technologies, claimed his company was one of many feeling the pinch. “I recently sent an edict to my engineers: think before you get in your car can I do it on the phone? If you are inside the M25 you have got alternatives, but we are in a little village in Hampshire,” he said.
David Hamer, director of Clapham-based VAR Redwood Telecommunications, claimed resellers in the capital were also affected. He said: “There is a definite increase in running costs. We put our engineering prices up eight months ago, primarily to offset the congestion charge. We are having to look at them again, but putting prices up twice in a year is not ideal.”
John Carter, managing director of distributor DMSL which started the fixITlocal scheme to unite end users with resellers in their area, said: “The cost of sending engineers out is very high and you have got to plan your journeys. People are making less profit as it just goes in the tank of their car.”
Having met fuel industry chiefs last week to discuss ways to combat the sharp increases in the cost of crude oil, Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered a gloomy outlook.
“This is not just a national problem; it is a global problem of supply and demand, not just in the short term but the medium term and the long term,” he said.
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