So businesses have been responding to that reality. It started with the banks. For months now they have been requiring that you bring USD cash to the bank to do any international transactions.
Some bank CEOs have even bluntly said that customers not directly bringing any USD into the country through exports should not expect to withdraw cash.
Retailers that stock imported products are also responding to the shortage. Today, Solution Centre, one of the largest and oldest Apple resellers in Zimbabwe, announced that it is suspending credit transactions.
It is also now requiring that customers pre-order and pre-pay products that Solution Centre has to import and that even then, prepayments against quotations won’t guarantee the company’s ability to supply at that price when stock does arrive.
Essentially, businesses are cushioning themselves against the kind of currency losses that businesses experienced in 2008.
Here’s the full letter:
To our Valued Customers
Due to factors outside of our control, imports have become less regular and we do not see this easing over the foreseeable future. For this reason, a majority of Apple sales in particular have shifted almost entirely to a pre-order basis which has lead to longer led times and, in turn, has made us vulnerable to fluctuating values of RTGS transfers.
Please take note of the following changes at Solution Centre which are effective immediately:
1) Credit to customers
Solution Centre will no longer extend any credit on any purchase until further notice. Payment for any order must be made prior to collecting any stock from Solution Centre and must only be made after a final figure has been determined upon arrival of the stock (prepayments against quotations does not guarantee our ability to supply at that price when stock does arrive).
Solution Centre will hold stock of pre-ordered goods aside for a maximum of 3 days after arrival for customers to facilitate payment.
2) Lead Times
We will aim to give accurate lead times on all pre-orders but this is subject to our ability to pay suppliers in South Africa so no lead times can be guaranteed.
3) Quotations and Purchase Orders
All quotations for items not currently in stock will be subject to change and the final price for stock will only be determined once the required device is in stock at Solution Centre, Zimbabwe. If you have any orders sitting with Solution Centre at this time for stock that is not currently available please expect the price to change when the stock does arrive. Whilst we would normally always honour the amounts listed on customers’ purchase orders it would be impractical for us to sell stock at less than it’s replacement value.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this change will make, it is something that we have been putting off for as long as we could.