Definition of Vendor lock-in: -
Vendor lock-in or customer lock-in can be defined as a specific strategy adapted by an organization or business organization, for ensuring the customer dependency on the specific set of product and services, without altering the costs. Such a policy might forge fortify market entries and restrict free usage of products, and eventually resulting in antitrust against the monopoly. Vendor lock-in might also be referred as proprietary lock-in policy.
Textbooks on Vendor lock-in: -
Some of the textbooks, where you can find detailed information pertaining to vendor lock-in are as follows:
- The dynamics of standards, Egyedi, T.M. and Blind K., 2008.
- Important marketing techniques, Moniz, Kim. 2012.
Examples of Vendor lock-in: -
Vendor lock-in might be exercised through several ways. The common examples are:
Example 1: Locking Sim cards
Sim locking is a common form of vendor lock-in tactics, by the aid of which, the mobile phone manufacturers tend to restrict the usages of SIM cards, from networks, other than their network. This result in severe inconveniences among the mobile phone users, as they are unable to use any other SIM card, purchased from other vendors, while travelling abroad, and are forced to use the same network, despite the over-budget charges of roaming services. This strategy will restrict the mobile phone users, who might use two different network connections for personal conveniences from purchasing such handsets.
Example 2: Gift Vouches or Certificates:
Gift vouchers, certificates and payback points are typical examples of vendor lock-in strategies, since they can be redeemed or used only in the shops of the vendor. Usually, the gift vouchers work on the basis of face price, and no additional credit is offered, they do not serve any financial advantage over cash.
There are service providers, who offer gift certificates or store credits in case they fail to arrange for any repair or refund within the warranty period of a specific product or replace the product. This is also vendor lock-in, as a customer might be forced to purchase a completely different product instead of the original one, if the product is ceased from the market and this does not comply at all with the usual refund policies in case of customer dissatisfaction.
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