3Com Saves Face, Offers Full Audrey Refund
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3Com confirmed Wednesday that it would buy back its Audrey television-styled Web connectivity appliances.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed 3Com's decision to buy back any Audrey browser purchased from its Web site for $499 a pop, the asking price for the unit. Users can take advantage of the offer through June 1, 2001.
The unusual step was hailed as a gesture of goodwill by the company and a reaction to a slow-buying PC environment.
"Audrey was on the market for a few months. We continue to believe in its potential, but we stopped [selling] it because the market will take a lot longer to develop," said 3Com spokesman Bob Ingols.
Audrey was created to offer users a familiar way to access the Web -- the unit came equipped with an old-fashioned turn knob used to surf the Web's various channels. Ingols said the company has not ruled out returning to providing network connectivity appliances at a later date.
3Com is in the midst of exploring options to par down its expenses by $1 billion in cost saving measures that include scaling back its staff later this month.