Protracted notebook dispute loses customer

Protracted notebook dispute loses customer

- What happens to a reseller when it supplies a product that fails and is not satisfactorily supported by the manufacturer?

Ask Gabrielle Lucas, managing director of Hobart retailer Discom Office National. Lucas has been trying to have a notebook supplied by Dual Technologies repaired for over a year. It has been back to the Melbourne-based supplier three times, and has embroiled her in a dispute which she claims has cost her hundreds of dollars in time and phone calls, immeasurable frustration and, most importantly, a valuable customer. The notebook was originally sold to a Hobart nursing home in September 1998, and was first returned for the replacement of the LCD screen under warranty two months later.

According to Lucas, a succession of problems led her to lend her own notebook of the same type to the customer.

The notebook was found to have a faulty motherboard and later identified to have a faulty battery. The frustrated customer eventually informed Lucas they would no longer deal with her company.

`So not only did we lose a customer, I have lost the use of my own notebook,' Lucas told ARN.

After the third attempt to contact Dual, service manager Ko Leong claimed that the unit was now fully repaired with the exception of the battery, which he said had a three-month warranty and could be replaced at a cost of $219.60. He added that if there are any more faults that are covered under warranty, they would be repaired.

Lucas contacted ARN to warn readers of the dangers of a protracted dispute with suppliers and said that she is more likely to use other suppliers in the future. She said Discom has recently joined up with business-to-business retail group Office National.

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