If you’ve got bad news to impart, no better time than the Friday before a holiday – especially when you’ll be making a major announcement on that holiday. So it was that IBM in the US chose last Friday to say that rental charges, maintenance and systems engineering service rates and for some Information Network services. The increases – only in the US at present – range from 7% to 15%. Monthly rental and lease charges on IBM computers are being increased by 7% from June 1 and National Service Division hourly service rates are being increased by 15% effective immediately. Maintenance Agreement charges go up 7% for some mainframe products, 10% for some copiers and 15% for many machines not covered by the IBM Corporate Service Amendment, also from June 1. The biggest increases are clearly where IBM is under least pressure from third party maintenance outfits, and all the increases are at least twice the inflation rate. The Corporate Service Amendment effectively gave customers seven days’ cover for the price of five (CI No 822): it is now taking back some of what it gave away then. Systems Engineering Service rates rise 7% now, but the rise will affect existing users from June 1. Charges for using the worldwide IBM Information Network will rise by 7% from April 1 1988.