The Macbook purchase experience

A colleague of mine wanted to get a Macbook.  He has been having this urge for a while now, but finally succumbed to it, deciding to use his annual bonus money for it.

The iPlanet showroom in Indira Nagar was the nearest place for it and we went over it from office.

After a lengthy comparison of various models, features and stuff, involving a friendly salesman (whom we knew earlier since we have made a few other prior Mac purchases), we narrowed in on a 13" retina model with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.  (In India, you only have specified variations of the configurations unlike US, where you can apparently customize)

Anyway, that particular model was out of stock.  The salesman called us a day later once the model was available and we went over again.

We wanted to avail the EMI offer provided by Bajaj Finance.  The total amount is divided into 9 - 3 of which needed to paid upfront and the remaining 6 to be paid in 6 equal installments over 6 months.  I had bought a Macbook for my company this way a couple of months back.

My colleague had the necessary documents (including a blank cancelled cheque) for this.  The lady in charge was missing and we waited 15 minutes for her to turn up.  She filled up an online form, asking a lot of questions, including monthly salary and so on.  My colleague did not have a credit card, which would have simplified paperwork.  Apparently, there is a CIBIL verification, which is easier if you have a credit card.

Once the online application is submitted, typically it is approved in a few minutes.  My colleague got a call from Bajaj Finance.  He answered a bunch of questions.  He got another call - apparently some question was missed out in the previous call.

We thought it was all done, but were in for a surprise.  The system showed that my colleague's loan application had been rejected.  The reason - the ratio of EMI to monthly salary should be 1 : 4.

This is a simple fact which should have been known to the lady.  Either she was ignorant or she did not care.  The sad part was, it was not possible to modify any of the data since that would have aroused suspicion.

My colleague was downcast and thought destiny was against him.  

We explored various options.  I could not take the EMI option since I had an existing loan and another loan could not be taken for 3 months from the first loan.  Downright purchase was ruled out since we did not want to pay such a large amount in one shot.

One remaining possibility was EMI on credit card.  Usually this is expensive and not necessarily provided by the store itself.  (One needed to call the credit card issuing bank and convert the balance to EMI).

The sales guy had an idea.  Apparently the EMI on credit card was available for iPhones and for the card I had, there was a cashback, which nullified the interest component.  This meant, pretty much an interest-free EMI.  Now, how could this help us since we were not buying an iPhone.

"No problem", said the sales guy. I will bill 2 iPhones using this scheme and the remaining can be paid by other means (my colleague's debit card).

And that is what finally happened.  We did get a bill for the Mac and for the specified amount.  The only proof of iPhone is the credit card slips that I hold - I now need to ensure I get the "cashback"!