Compaq Computer Corp., which last week warned that its sales fell dramatically following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has announced a new program to let enterprise customers defer their payments until next year.
Essentially, any company that signs a new lease agreement with Compaq for either products or services can deferred their payments for up to four months.
"Compaq is helping businesses get moving despite the current economic downturn," said Jim Milton, senior vice president of sales, North America, for Houston-based Compaq. "Now, companies can take advantage of the latest Compaq solutions, and they dont have to pay for it until next year."
Compaq experienced a dramatic drop in sales following terrorist attacks in New York and Washington last month. Other U.S. businesses reported similar declines as many companies reined in spending over fears that global instability would send the U.S. economy into a recession.
Customer uncertainty about Compaqs future also may have played a role. A week before the attacks, Hewlett-Packard Co. announced plans to acquire the PC maker. While executives from both companies contend the merger will benefit the companies and their customers, HP and Compaq have offered no details about what products and services may be altered or discontinued once the merger goes through.
On Oct. 1, Compaq warned that a sudden slump in demand would result in its posting a loss for the third quarter. At the time, executives said Compaq lost $700 million in the days after the attacks.
"The events of Sept. 11 disproportionately affected the current quarter market demand slowed and transportation and logistics were disrupted," Compaq Chairman and CEO Michael Capellas said last week.
In response, the computer maker will try to use creative financing plans to spark sales.
Compaq said its new deferral payment program, announced Wednesday, is available to all North American corporate customers, regardless of transaction sizes. Companies will be able to take advantage of the offer now through Dec. 31.