PowerCity Sponsoring — I’d like to welcome our newest sponsor, PowerCity Online, a company doing business much as we do with TidBITS – entirely online. Unlike most hardware and software resellers, PowerCity concentrates on selling to the online world. PowerCity works through email, so to request pricing and availability information, you send email to their CompuServe address <[email protected]> (a full Internet connection is in the works). The PowerCity folks can provide a certain amount of technical information and information on related products to help you better decide among similar products.
When I first heard about PowerCity, I was in the market for a Sonic Systems microBridge/TCP, so I sent them a query. In about a half hour (they aim for 15 minutes, but the CompuServe gateway can slow things down), I had a quote that was not only $50 cheaper than MacWarehouse (none of the other major mail order vendors carried the microBridge/TCP at the time) but was also in stock. (MacWarehouse was back ordered.) PowerCity usually charges $5 to $10 for shipping in the U.S., as opposed to the flat $3 charged by most other vendors, but my order did arrive overnight (international shipping is available). Subsequent anonymous price requests by a friend for other products turned up competitive prices.
Overall, I found PowerCity easier to deal with than other mail order vendors, although that may be due to my comfort with email (I find the phone tiresome and inefficient for this sort of work). If you do decide to order, PowerCity accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express only. Despite the popular belief in the insecurity of email, everything I’ve heard from vendors about credit card laws indicates that in almost any credit card dispute, the bank gives the benefit of the doubt to the customer, not to the merchant. If you’re still uncomfortable sending your credit card number in email, all I can say is, don’t do it. [ACE]