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Cool options

It's hot outside, but you can stay cool at home what with a variety of air-conditioners available in the market



SWEATING IT OUT? An air-conditioner could set things right PHOTO: T. SINGARAVELOU

This incident happened in the height of summer: A man got a pamphlet by post from a showroom that sold air conditioners. It had no postal stamp on it and he had to pay the mailing charges. Getting worked up he went to the shop to collect the money due to him.

As he entered, he was hit by a blast of cool air. Instead of fighting with the shop owner, he ended up purchasing an air-conditioner. When he returned home, his wife was surprised to see him all smiles. He showed her the machine and said he had bought it at a bargain - the shop owner had reduced the expenses incurred by him towards the mailing charges! If you don't want to buy an air-conditioner like this man, then read on...

Almost every street in Pondicherry has an agency selling air conditioners and it is up to the customer to make a wise decision. There are plenty of brands to choose from — Hitachi, Samsung, LG, Carrier, Electrolux, OGeneral, Onida, Bluestar and Voltas, each trying to outdo the other."Quite a few customers ask for specific brand names, while others seek our suggestions on what to buy. But customers have come a long way from buying assembled air conditioners since they have found out that there is not much of a price difference. They have begun to prefer brands as they guarantee service," explains Balasubramanian, proprietor, Yesheba Agencies on Kosakadai Street.

Today's customers are really discerning, because they look for features such as less power consumption and durability. Some of them look at it from the health point of view and for their sake, companies have come out with models that keep the air clean.

"The Silvernano from Samsung Silvernano and LG's Plasma Pure Filter are products that most people go for. Both are said to ensure pure air and have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and viral resistant properties. These two airconditioners start from a price range of Rs. 14,000", says Balasubramanian, whose showroom offers a discount of Rs. 500 on the MRP per unit.

Customers always look for freebies and showrooms try to provide these. St Joseph Airconditioning Center on MG Road offers free installation and a free V-Guard stabiliser. This offer is available at Yeshba Agencies too.

With all these offers, people are buying not just one air conditioner but two or even three. "Last year we were selling 70 per cent window units and 30 per cent split units but this year, it is the other way around. The price has also come down since last year by nearly 10 per cent", says Felix, proprietor.

The shop not only sells units but also runs a service section. "We have more than 1,000 annual maintenance contracts and service is our backbone. Most times the problems with air conditioning units is voltage fluctuation. Inside the boulevard it is high voltage and in the outlying areas it is low voltage", explains Vincentraju, the other proprietor. Not just Indian makes but also foreign air conditioners are in demand in Pondicherry. People go in for the Malaysian make Danam Pensonic, which is available in the showroom with the same name on Anna Salai. The special offer that they have this summer is a free iron box along with a unit. They have split and standing models and also other household appliances such as TVs, rice cookers and audio and video items, all from Malaysia.

The product has been in the market for the past 4 years now and there is a 5-year guarantee on the compressor. The showroom offers servicing, free installation and a stabiliser along with each unit. They have showrooms in Cuddalore and Villupuram also.

Other showrooms where you can get air-conditioners are Alphine Agency and Saravana Agency for Carrier, Venus Agencies for Voltas, V R Agencies for Hitachi, Suraj Enterprises for Bluestar, Freon Enterprises for OGeneral and Sriram Aircon for Electrolux.

DEEPA H. RAMAKRISHNAN

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