Hewlett Packard printer dealers were reeling last week as they came up against price increases from distributors which refused to give the usual discounts.
Resellers said there had been a sudden reduction in discounts at several distributors.
Frontline and CHS confirmed their HP prices had been adjusted, but said this was for internal reasons alone. Ingram Micro, Metrologie and Northamber said they had made no changes.
Shaun Frohlich, MD of reseller Bytes, threatened to take his business away from Northamber. He said: 'It's very frustrating. We were ordering a large volume of HP stuff and we have been getting 31 per cent. Northamber told us it was limited to 30 per cent - we can't guarantee Northamber our business any more with discounts like that.'
Jim Bisset, partner at Scottish dealer EQ Consultants, said: 'We called Ingram Micro and they said: "Do you know about the HP thing, we can't give you a 30 per cent discount anymore." We said we would try elsewhere, but they said: "It doesn't matter where you buy."'
Sally Jillians, product marketing manager at Lantec, said she had received warnings from both Ingram Micro and Frontline that discounts would be reduced in the next week.
Bill Gretton, UK MD at Ingram, denied any involvement in organised pricing.
'That would be very dodgy. We've started to get feedback from customers about price changes. We haven't reviewed ours but we will remain competitive.'
Paul Cook, sales director at Frontline, also dismissed the reports. 'Frontline is looking at a number of franchises which are marginal on profit and we are looking critically at HP pricing for sure, but it is our initiative.'
A representative for Hewlett Packard said: 'This is not something HP is involved in. The distributors are acting as individuals. HP does not try to influence street pricing.'
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