A batch of Mustang 4550A 5GB hard disks from the now-defunct Micropolis are starting to create warranty headaches for some of the customers who bought systems which incorporate them.
ARN learned last week that some of the stock held by Micropolis' Australian distributor, LAN 1 Systems, at the time of Micropolis' liquidation, was sold at fire-sale prices to the ill-fated Empire Systems, which subsequently never paid for the products before disappearing from the scene.
With some of those disks now subject to warranty claims, affected users have no recourse with LAN 1 because under the distributor's Return Material Authorisation (RMA), all claims have to originate from the user's reseller. In the case of former Empire customers, that is now impossible.
Glenn Jones, the marketing manager at LAN 1 Systems, was not prepared to make any comment about what happened to the Micropolis disks either before or after Micropolis went under. However, he did say that because goods had been sold to a reseller and subsequently not paid for, the company is "still the owner of those goods".
"Normally, our warranties are handled through the reseller," Jones said. "In the case of Empire, we are already out of pocket because we haven't been paid for those goods. So why would we then want to honour the warranty on them?
"The end user is just one of many people that get burnt when a company goes broke. The only winners are the accountants and lawyers."
It should be noted that soon after the Micropolis liquidation commenced, LAN 1 issued a press release clearly stating its warranty policy for Micropolis disks and warning consumers of "cheap" drives.