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Resellers getting screwed

Resellers getting screwed

Dear editor,

I would have thought the state and/or federal governments already had laws in place which could help solve some of our industry's problems with shonky dealers.

I am a retailer in Townsville and we continually come across these shonky dealers, not just locally, but from "down south".

As a retailer, I cannot manufacture television sets, telephones and most other electrical appliances and legally sell them to the public without some form of licence or approval or safety standard being met. Yet anyone can assemble a computer system, sell it to any member of the public, who can plug it into a 240V wall socket without any legal check on its safety or assembly or compliance having been made. Unbelievable! I have come across 14-year-old kids assembling computers in back yards and selling them via shop fronts.

Surely some government agency can simply include computer systems in current laws and regulations that will put a stop to this practice. This would also go a long way to eliminating shonks who import rubbish components (greys) from overseas, throw all the bits into a metal case, set up a sales tax dodge, and call it a computer.

We also need reputable brand name computer manufacturers to give retailers a little more margin. The service we have to give to our customers to uphold the reputation of the brand name supplier is horrendous. We have found 95 per cent of user's problems are not covered by warranty, but are caused by the end user. But try and convince the user that this is the case. Invariably we fix the problem at our cost just to maintain our good relationship with the customer and also maintain the reputation of the manufacturer. We have estimated that at the current costs of maintaining every technician we employ, we subsidised our sales last year to the tune of $420,000 worth of "free" service. Most other reputable retailers have been too scared to do the sums we have.

We would probably be much better off closing our service department and handing all the complaints back to the manufacturer. Maybe we could convert the huge service area into a brothel and make some money out of it. May as well get paid for being screwed.

Paul Elbourne,

Townsville

Company name withheld


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