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A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model

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A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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Which of the following best completes the passage?

A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model that offered various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. After a year on the market, the new model proved to sell poorly compared to its older counterparts, leading the company to conclude that precision was not an important concern for consumers. However, this view was seriously challenged by a later finding that __________.


(A) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

(B) Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

(C) The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

(D) Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

(E) Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.


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Originally posted by 2013gmat on 13 Aug 2013, 07:39.
Last edited by Bunuel on 16 Oct 2018, 02:51, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 07:43
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7
This question is really asking us to identify the finding that would most seriously weaken (or "challenge") the conclusion of the company, which was that "precision was not an important concern for consumers."

How did the company reach that conclusion? We can infer that the company had already been selling multiple older razor models when it introduced a newer model, offering various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. This newer model did not sell as well as the older models after a year on the market. The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers, since those consumers were seemingly not attracted by the improved precision of the newer model.

So, did the newer model fail to sell as well as the older models because consumers are not very concerned with precision? Or could one of the findings in the answer choices have contributed to the poor sales numbers?

Quote:
a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

This finding tells us that faulty precision features can cause shoddy ("poor quality") haircuts and shaves, but it does not tell us whether precision is an important CONCERN for consumers (or what percentage of consumers actually saw this report). If consumers did read the report but do not care about precision, then the report would not motivate the consumers to buy the new model. In that case, the finding would actually support the company's conclusion, not challenge it.

If we somehow knew that a large proportion of consumers read the report, are concerned about precision, but still did not buy the new model for some other reason(s), then the finding would challenge the company's conclusion. But without further information, we cannot determine whether this finding supports the conclusion or challenges it, so (A) can be eliminated.

Quote:
b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

The finding in choice (B) provides another reason that explains why sales of the new model were relatively low. If consumers are concerned about precision but feel that they will get better overall results from an older razor, then the consumers will not be inclined to buy the new model, despite being attracted to the enhanced precision that it offers. This alternative explanation does not require that consumers are indifferent to precision, so choice (B) does challenge the conclusion of the company. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

This finding neither weakens nor strengthens the company's conclusion because it does not tell us whether the relatively low sales of the new model can be contributed to consumers' lack of concern for precision or to other factors. For example, given this finding, it is possible that, say, 40% (a "significant" part) of sales comes from hair salons and barber shops while 60% comes from individual consumers. If those consumers (the 60%) are not very concerned with precision, they might not have been enticed to buy the new model and sales would have been relatively low, supporting the company's conclusion. Or perhaps those consumers DO care about precision but chose not to buy the new model for other reasons. The finding in choice (C) may or may not challenge the company's conclusion and can be eliminated.

Quote:
d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

if the razor DID significantly increase in price, then this finding would challenge the conclusion of the company because it would provide another reason why consumers may not have been inclined to buy the razor, despite being attracted to its enhanced precision. However, since the price did NOT increase, concern for precision may or may not have been a factor. Perhaps, as suggested by the company, consumers were not impressed with the enhanced precision and chose to stay with their current models. Or perhaps consumers WERE impressed by the enhanced precision but chose not to buy the newer model for other reasons (i.e., the new model may have been too complicated and difficult to use). Choice (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

We have no idea why those other models sold well. Perhaps the other companies had better marketing or offered much lower prices. Perhaps consumers were not interested in the precision features of those successful razors but instead were interested in various other features of those razors. We don't know if choice (E) challenges the conclusion of the company in the passage, so it can be eliminated. This leaves us with choice (B).
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2013, 22:03
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Conclusion: Precision is not important for users

a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.
This statement does not challenge the the conclusion or the assumption on which the conclusion stands i.e. high precision electric razors sell poorly as compared to older counterparts. Hence incorrect

b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.
This statement correctly identifies a reason why consumers may not be buying new electric razors, resulting in poor sales for the later. In other words it clearly challenges the conclusion by giving an alternative reason why sales were not good as compared to older counterparts. Hence Correct

c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.
This is out of the scope and irrelevant. Hence incorrect

d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.
This statement in fact asks the same question that even with better features and no significant increase in price, why did the razor did not sell good? Does not challenge the conclusion. Hence incorrect

e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.
Other companies doing good sales with new models of razor having similar precision features does not challenge the conclusion of "precision is not important for users". It may seem to challenge the assumption by giving a parallel example of other companies doing good sales with similar models of razors, but does not definitively give a reason as to why the company did not do well?. Hence incorrect

Hence (B)
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2013, 12:08
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THEORIES OF WEAKEN QUESTIONS:

- Weakening does not mean destroying.You do not need to find an answer that destroys the conclusion. Instead, you just need to find an answer that hurts the argument.
- Information (both assumption and conclusion) in the argument is questionable. KEY POINT. Never assume information in the stimulus is correct. (if it’s correct, how can you weaken?)


HOW DO YOU WEAKEN AN ARGUMENT

When you hear an argument, critically, you should ask yourself;
- The information (conclusion & assumption) is correct?
- The information in the argument is complete?
- The comparison in the argument is correct?
- The condition leading to a conclusion can happen?
- …………………….


ANALYZE THE QUESTION:
Fact: Electric razors recently introduced a new model that offered various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models.
Fact: After a year on the market, the new model proved to sell poorly compared to its older counterparts,
Conclusion: Precision was not an important concern for consumers.
Counter conclusion: However, this view was seriously challenged by a later finding that ___________________.

Pre-thinking: The company said that: The new electric razors ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. After weak sales, it concluded that precision was not an important concern for consumers.

What was its assumption?. The company assumed the electric razor is more precise than the older one. You can confirm this assumption by negating the assumption: The company assumed the electric razor is NOT more precise than the older one ==> Clearly, the conclusion is not correct.
But DO NOT assume this assumption is correct. KEY POINT. If it's correct, the conclusion is correct too. How can you weaken it?

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.
Wrong. Out of scope. A talks about “razors” in general, but we need to focus on the razors (older version and new electric razor) of the company.

b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.
Correct. B hurts the argument. (not destroy) The conclusion was based on the assumption – new electric razor is more precise than the old one. Important note is information in the stimulus is questionable, you cannot assume the new razor is more precise than the old razor. What if the new razor is NOT more precise than the old razor? Customers chose to use the old one just because it’s more precise and provided best results. Clearly, precision is an important concern for customers. Hence, B hurts the conclusion and is correct.

In addition, because of the word "familiar", so B is correct. Let see why. Assume you have a new electric razors with advanced features, but you are not familiar to it (you do not know how to use it properly). Do you think you can shave precisely? "Precision" is not the characteristic of the razor itself. "Precision" only makes sense if you can use the razor properly and it provides best results (I highlighted the phrase "best results" in my explanation). The precision depends on whether the user is familiar to the razor. That's the KEY. If the user is not familiar, the new electric razor CANNOT provide the precision.

Thus, B is the correct answer.

c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.
Wrong. Out of scope. The fact that hair salons and barber shops are frequented by people who do not own electric razors does not weaken the conclusion at all.

d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.
Wrong. Out of scope. Price does not play any role here.

e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.
Wrong. TEMPTING. You do not have enough information to conclude that those companies had good sales because of “similar precision features”. What if those company sold their razors well because their prices were cheaper, or because their marketing campaigns were better. Hence, E cannot be the answer.

Hope it helps.
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2013, 22:17
Hi pghai,

I have a couple of questions following your explanation on choosing option B as the correct answer:

1. Option B states that it is the familiarity(and not precision) which makes customers choose old razors over new ones

2. You have pointed out that "The company assumed the electric razor is more precise than the older one"-Is this an assumption made by the company or is it a fact stated(A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model that offered various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models.)?



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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2013, 22:56
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argha wrote:
Hi pghai,

I have a couple of questions following your explanation on choosing option B as the correct answer:

1. Option B states that it is the familiarity(and not precision) which makes customers choose old razors over new ones

2. You have pointed out that "The company assumed the electric razor is more precise than the older one"-Is this an assumption made by the company or is it a fact stated(A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model that offered various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models.)?



Regards

Argha


Hi Argha

For your first question.
If option B says "precision" instead of "familiarity" --> It means customers DO care about precision --> Option B destroys the conclusion 100%. Hence, B is absolutely correct,and it makes the question easy. Nothing to discuss anymore.

As I recommend above, "weaken" does not mean "destroy". You can only find an option that hurts the conclusion. That's enough to weaken it. Because of "familiarity", so B is correct. Let see why. Assume you have a new electric razors with advanced features, but you are not familiar to it (you do not know how to use it properly). Do you think you can shave precisely? "Precision" is not the characteristic of the razor itself. "Precision" only makes sense if you can use the razor properly and it provides best results (I highlighted the phrase "best results" in my explanation). The precision depends on whether the user is familiar to the razor. That's the KEY. If the user is not familiar, the new electric razor CANNOT provide the precision.

For your second question.
The company say "...that ensured". --> It's NOT a fact. Because if it's a fact, can you weaken a fact - the new razor is actually better than the old one? Nope, you can only undermine the assumption. So the phrase "that ensured blah blah...." means the company assumes that the new razor is more precise than the old one. Further, in weaken question, information is questionable (that's why you weaken it), so the company said "...that ensured...." does not mean the info is correct. It's just the assumption of the company.

I hope my explanation helps.

Regards.
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2017, 07:16
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Answer should be B

B) Makes it obvious that razors users were at most familier with the old razor features than they were with features of the new ones.This led to the poor sales of new razors.

E) The fact that other razor companies have introduced new models having similar features and that they sold relatively well, means that users considered some other aspects than precison to buy these razors from the other razor companies. The other aspects could be less price, attractive design, overall build quality et c.

So saying that other aspects were considered, strengthens the conclusion that precison was not an important point as others too have similar features.


Choice B explains that clearly that more familarity with the features of old razors than the new ones caused the poor sales.This seems to be a clear cut obvious reasoning.


So in short...E strengthens and B weakens


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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2017, 07:26
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The answer must be option B. This is a little confusing and I marked E initially. My take on this one :

Premise - A razor company came up with a new variety of blade that ensured higher precision which was not possible with other blades. An year later this model failed to do well on the business.

Conclusion - The author has concluded that precision is no longer a priority for consumers

We need to weaken this.

Pre-thinking - What if the fall in sales was not due to consumers loosing faith in precision but some other factor ?

POE -
a) Says many faulty haircuts and shaves were because of faulty precision. Does this weaken or strengthen the belief consumers have about razors ? No. Hence eliminated
b) This one draws a link between old razors and quality. In other words old razors were preferred because users got a better performance with this.The reason for better performance was familiarity and not precision as concluded earlier. Hence this identifies another reason. Possible answer hold it
c) This is irrelevant. Neither strengthens nor weakens the stand.
d) Whether or not the company increases the price the author's conclusion remains unaffected. Hence out
e) A trap !! I fell for this one. But read carefully it can't be the answer. Other companies sold razors with precision and did well. This does not prove that precision was responsible ! Selling razors with precision and doing well on sales are co-related and not necessarily causal. Hence this statement also does not serve the purpose.

The answer must be option B. Tricky one I would say !
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 17:12
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E is wrong b/c "similar features" is not enough to tell whether "the new feature" is important to the consumer. Also, the argument seems to concern with the comparison between the new product and the old one.

A is out too b/c A talks about "the time the new product unveiled", while the argument concerns with 1 year after the new product released. A does not make any connection between the faults of the new product and the precision features in the eyes of customers. In addition, A does not discuss about the comparison between the new product and the old one.

In many questions, B is a pattern to spot for a wrong choice. That is, B gives reasons why customers like the old products. In this question, B uses another pattern; B gives an alternative cause for why customers prefer the old product.
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2017, 15:08
Hi GMATNinja,

Thanks for the great explanation. Could you please help me to bridge the gap in my understanding?

From the argument: The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers
.

A says: Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors

I selected A as my answer. My reasoning is, Precision is an important concern to the customers, however since the Precision feature is faulty, which creates a havoc, consumers rejected the razor.

Basically, I thought, A gives an alternate cause for poor sales - hence a weakener - hence my answer.
Am I reading too much between the lines?

Much appreciated
RzS


GMATNinja wrote:
This question is really asking us to identify the finding that would most seriously weaken (or "challenge") the conclusion of the company, which was that "precision was not an important concern for consumers."

How did the company reach that conclusion? We can infer that the company had already been selling multiple older razor models when it introduced a newer model, offering various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. This newer model did not sell as well as the older models after a year on the market. The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers, since those consumers were seemingly not attracted by the improved precision of the newer model.

So, did the newer model fail to sell as well as the older models because consumers are not very concerned with precision? Or could one of the findings in the answer choices have contributed to the poor sales numbers?

Quote:
a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

This finding tells us that faulty precision features can cause shoddy ("poor quality") haircuts and shaves, but it does not tell us whether precision is an important CONCERN for consumers (or what percentage of consumers actually saw this report). If consumers did read the report but do not care about precision, then the report would not motivate the consumers to buy the new model. In that case, the finding would actually support the company's conclusion, not challenge it.

If we somehow knew that a large proportion of consumers read the report, are concerned about precision, but still did not buy the new model for some other reason(s), then the finding would challenge the company's conclusion. But without further information, we cannot determine whether this finding supports the conclusion or challenges it, so (A) can be eliminated.

Quote:
b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

The finding in choice (B) provides another reason that explains why sales of the new model were relatively low. If consumers are concerned about precision but feel that they will get better overall results from an older razor, then the consumers will not be inclined to buy the new model, despite being attracted to the enhanced precision that it offers. This alternative explanation does not require that consumers are indifferent to precision, so choice (B) does challenge the conclusion of the company. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

This finding neither weakens nor strengthens the company's conclusion because it does not tell us whether the relatively low sales of the new model can be contributed to consumers' lack of concern for precision or to other factors. For example, given this finding, it is possible that, say, 40% (a "significant" part) of sales comes from hair salons and barber shops while 60% comes from individual consumers. If those consumers (the 60%) are not very concerned with precision, they might not have been enticed to buy the new model and sales would have been relatively low, supporting the company's conclusion. Or perhaps those consumers DO care about precision but chose not to buy the new model for other reasons. The finding in choice (C) may or may not challenge the company's conclusion and can be eliminated.

Quote:
d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

if the razor DID significantly increase in price, then this finding would challenge the conclusion of the company because it would provide another reason why consumers may not have been inclined to buy the razor, despite being attracted to its enhanced precision. However, since the price did NOT increase, concern for precision may or may not have been a factor. Perhaps, as suggested by the company, consumers were not impressed with the enhanced precision and chose to stay with their current models. Or perhaps consumers WERE impressed by the enhanced precision but chose not to buy the newer model for other reasons (i.e., the new model may have been too complicated and difficult to use). Choice (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

We have no idea why those other models sold well. Perhaps the other companies had better marketing or offered much lower prices. Perhaps consumers were not interested in the precision features of those successful razors but instead were interested in various other features of those razors. We don't know if choice (E) challenges the conclusion of the company in the passage, so it can be eliminated. This leaves us with choice (B).
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2017, 15:44
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TheRzS wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,

Thanks for the great explanation. Could you please help me to bridge the gap in my understanding?

From the argument: The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers
.

A says: Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors

I selected A as my answer. My reasoning is, Precision is an important concern to the customers, however since the Precision feature is faulty, which creates a havoc, consumers rejected the razor.

Basically, I thought, A gives an alternate cause for poor sales - hence a weakener - hence my answer.
Am I reading too much between the lines?

Much appreciated
RzS

Choice (A) is understandably confusing, but the consumer guide does not say that the NEW MODEL is faulty. Rather, it says that razors (in general) with faulty precision features can lead to bad haircuts. So (A) is not meant to suggest that consumers would AVOID precision features. Instead, it is meant to suggest that consumers concerned about precision would seek to find a razor that does NOT have faulty precision features. In other words, those consumers would want a razor that ensures a BETTER degree of precision than most razors.

Imagine that a study were released stating that cell phone chargers with faulty voltage regulators can damage your cell phone. Would this make you seek a cell phone charger WITHOUT a voltage regulator? No, you still want voltage regulation, but you'd be careful to select a phone charger with a voltage regulator that actually works well.

I hope that helps!
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 01:17
Wouldn't 'B' be a strengthener? It clearly strengthens the conclusions that that 'precision was not an important concern for consumers' as it states that according to users 'precision is not important', However, comsumer's 'familiarity with the razor is more important' GMATNinja
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 19:32
yhdiwujw wrote:
Wouldn't 'B' be a strengthener? It clearly strengthens the conclusions that that 'precision was not an important concern for consumers' as it states that according to users 'precision is not important', However, comsumer's 'familiarity with the razor is more important' GMATNinja

Why does the company conclude that precision must not be an important concern? Because the consumers were not attracted by the improved precision features of the newer model. So the new model had poor sales, and the company suggests that these poor sales were caused by customers' not being concerned with precision.

But is that actually the case? Did the new model actually fail because precision is not important to the customers? Choice (B) suggests an alternative explanation: the new model had poor sales because customers wanted to stick with their old razors. Why? Choice (B): "Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features."

(B) does not tell us that precision is not important to those customers. Precision might be a very important concern. But if the customers find that they get better results from their older razors, then they will be reluctant to upgrade, despite the fancy new features of the new model.

I hope that helps!
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2018, 06:16
GMATNinja wrote:
yhdiwujw wrote:
Wouldn't 'B' be a strengthener? It clearly strengthens the conclusions that that 'precision was not an important concern for consumers' as it states that according to users 'precision is not important', However, comsumer's 'familiarity with the razor is more important' GMATNinja

Why does the company conclude that precision must not be an important concern? Because the consumers were not attracted by the improved precision features of the newer model. So the new model had poor sales, and the company suggests that these poor sales were caused by customers' not being concerned with precision.

But is that actually the case? Did the new model actually fail because precision is not important to the customers? Choice (B) suggests an alternative explanation: the new model had poor sales because customers wanted to stick with their old razors. Why? Choice (B): "Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features."

(B) does not tell us that precision is not important to those customers. Precision might be a very important concern. But if the customers find that they get better results from their older razors, then they will be reluctant to upgrade, despite the fancy new features of the new model.

I hope that helps!


accordingly,doesnt option B say imply that the precision is not the primary concern of the consumers but the familiarity/trust is?
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Re: A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 14:33
AdityaHongunti wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
yhdiwujw wrote:
Wouldn't 'B' be a strengthener? It clearly strengthens the conclusions that that 'precision was not an important concern for consumers' as it states that according to users 'precision is not important', However, comsumer's 'familiarity with the razor is more important' GMATNinja

Why does the company conclude that precision must not be an important concern? Because the consumers were not attracted by the improved precision features of the newer model. So the new model had poor sales, and the company suggests that these poor sales were caused by customers' not being concerned with precision.

But is that actually the case? Did the new model actually fail because precision is not important to the customers? Choice (B) suggests an alternative explanation: the new model had poor sales because customers wanted to stick with their old razors. Why? Choice (B): "Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features."

(B) does not tell us that precision is not important to those customers. Precision might be a very important concern. But if the customers find that they get better results from their older razors, then they will be reluctant to upgrade, despite the fancy new features of the new model.

I hope that helps!


accordingly,doesnt option B say imply that the precision is not the primary concern of the consumers but the familiarity/trust is?

Choice (B) implies that familiarity plays more of a role in whether or not consumers chose to buy a new razor.

Choice (B) implies nothing about consumer's rankings of importance when it comes to precision vs. other specific features of a razor.

It doesn't have to, either. (B) weakens the argument by offering a different explanation for why sales (not feature preferences) turned out to be different than expected.
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Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

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How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
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