Advertisement: Our competitors’ computer salespeople are paid according to the value of the products they sell, so they have a financial incentive to convince you to buy the most expensive units—whether you need them or not. But here at Comput-o-Mart, our salespeople are paid a salary that is not dependent on the value of their sales, so they won’t try to tell you what to buy. That means when you buy a computer at Comput-o-Mart, you can be sure you’re not paying for computing capabilities you don’t need
Which of the following would, if true, most weaken the advertisement’s reasoning?
(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)
Advertisement: Our competitors’ computer salespeople are paid according to the value of the products they sell, so they have a financial incentive to convince you to buy the most expensive units—whether you need them or not.
A company’s advertisement seems to be informing potential customers of an incentive structure followed by its competitors. Its competitors’ salespeople, according to the company, have a financial incentive to convince potential customers to buy the most expensive units irrespective of their needs.
But here at Comput-o-Mart, our salespeople are paid a salary that is not dependent on the value of their sales, so they won’t try to tell you what to buy.
The advertisement goes on to inform that their salespeople’s salary is independent of the value of sales. (This seems to be mentioned to demonstrate the difference in the incentive structure)
That means when you buy a computer at Comput-o-Mart, you can be sure you’re not paying for computing capabilities you don’t need.
The advertisement concludes that their potential customers can rest assured that they are not being sold higher-end units if they don’t need such capabilities.
Gist: The advertisement informs its readers that the company’s competitors salespeople have an incentive to push the most expensive units – irrespective of customer needs while the financial structure in this company is such that its salespeople have no such incentive (support). Thus, the customers will surely not be paying for capabilities they don’t need when they buy from this company (conclusion).
The argument makes two assumptions:
- The only situation salespeople up-sell in is when their salary is dependent on the value of sales.
- If salespeople do not up-sell, there is no other reason that will push customers to buy computers beyond their computing needs.
We need to weaken the advertisement’s reasoning. Anything that attacks either of the two assumptions above will work. So, either of the two:
- an answer choice that proves that salespeople still have a vested incentive to up-sell
- or an answer choice that shows another reason why customers might still be pushed to buy higher-end units
Of course, weakeners could also be built around other assumptions in the argument.
(A) Incorrect.Computer power is one capability, albeit an important one, while there would be many other factors as well. So, even if some less-expensive computers fare better on one factor, we do not see any relation with salespeople pushing (or not pushing) higher-end units.
Further, let’s even assume that computer power is the single most important need of customers. Typically a more expensive unit will have better capabilities. This answer choice tells us that there are some exceptions. The conclusion highlights that ‘the customers will not be paying for capabilities they don’t need’. So anyway customers would not have paid more to get additional computing power.
On top of these points, we do not know whether the company even carries any of these computers.
(B) Incorrect. The advertisement never says that the company’s salespeople do not have a financial incentive to make sales. All it says is that the salary does not depend on the ‘value’ of sales. The salary could, for example, depend on the number of units sold.
Let us, to clarify further, take this option to mean that the company’s salespeople do not have a financial incentive to make sales. The argument is that the salespeople do not push units beyond the customer’s needs. How their quality of service fares is immaterial.
(C) Incorrect. Ok. Good to know. So warranties can be expensive. How does this matter? No bearing on the given argument.
(D) Incorrect. So many shoppers find it more difficult to shop with the company. This has no bearing on the argument at all.
(E) Correct. Aaha! So, the company does not even sell computers that support basic computing in the first place. So, the customers who are looking for such units will end up paying for capabilities they don’t need at this company.
- That can be skipped when it appears as an object or a connector
a. skipped between ‘products’ and ‘they’; acts as an object)
b. sure you’re not paying (skipped between ‘sure’ and ‘you’; acts as a connector)
c. capabilities you don’t need (skipped between ‘capabilities’ and ‘you’; acts as an object)
2. The second sentence starts with a “but”.
3. “That” is the subject of the third sentence and refers to the entire idea in the previous sentence.
4. In option B, ‘do’ in “than do other salespeople” can be skipped
5. In option D, ‘which’ refers to the entire preceding clause.