Purchasing 101* – Don’t ignore the asterisks!

14-inch "DurAlloy" wheels. Really?

We’re used to seeing fancy names and different terminologies from different manufacturers for the same thing, so much so that we often ignore to verify what it actually is.

Take the Electronic Stability Control or ESC for example. It is also known as ESP, VSC, CSC, VDC, and few more similar names. Volvo has combined two systems to form the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). Maserati calls it Maserati Stability Program (MSP) while for GM, it is StabiliTrak. Fair enough, its boring to be the same.

But sometimes, there’ll be an asterisk, suggesting that it might not be the same as it sounds. You’ll see a monster text that reads “25% off”, with a tiny asterisk next to it. When you hunt it down, you’ll see a tinier footnote stating that only if you purchase goods worth certain amount, you can avail that discount. Marketing gimmicks is nothing new, its been there from the beginning of time.

Tata-Tiago-NRG-DurAlloy-wheels-gimmickWas the asterisk added after the controversy?

However, the one from Tata Motors seems to have gone a bit too far. The company launched Tiago NRG recently, and one of the features was this “DurAlloy” wheels. As it turns out, they’re not actually alloy wheels, but just wheel covers that are designed to look like alloy wheels.


One buyer got deceived by this marketing gimmick, and he posted his disappointment on the popular Team-BHP forum. It appears that the asterisk on the Tata Motors official website was added after the buyer posted it on the forum. The footnote at the bottom of the website reads “DurAlloy wheels are stylized wheel made of alloy steel with alloy wheel look-a-like wheel caps”. At the end of the day, the steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, meaning the gimmicky term “DurAlloy” is just a play-on-words.

Huawei Nova 3 selfie controversy

Remember the hilarious selfie controversy by Huawei Nova 3 commercial? Yep. Sometimes, the marketing team/ad agency itself can be a PR disaster for the companies.

So then, the important lesson to be learnt here when it comes to purchasing is, never ignore the asterisks from now on, if you happen to find one. Take this very article you’re reading which has an asterisk, for example. Does “Purchasing 101” mean 101 tips for purchasing? No.

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