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 a 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, it’s boring to be the same anyway.

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 an even tinier footnote stating that only if you purchase goods worth a certain amount, you can avail that discount. Marketing gimmicks are nothing new, it has 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 these “DurAlloy” wheels. As it turns out, they’re not the alloy wheels the people are familiar with, but just covers (over steel wheels) 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, 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 learned 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? Of course, not.

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