Industry scrambles for credibility

Industry scrambles for credibility

The roller-coaster ride of the fledgling refurbished (or "remarketed") computer industry may have seen another spectacular crash, but something may yet come from the wreck.

In a meeting of creditors to the administrator-appointed Business Boost (aka Perry Tait's Computers) last week, an offer of support from two of its suppliers was accepted, and this could see all of its disgruntled customers settled.

In an attempt to salvage some credibility for the industry, refurbished computer suppliers Rentworks (Remarketing Division) and Vantage Point have offered to cover the warranty and supply systems for up to 550 Business Boost customers. According to Vantage Point's Steve Stuart, this should settle any Business Boost customer who is not able to obtain a charge-back refund through their credit card.

While creditors can pursue Business Boost, Stuart believes that companies like Vantage Point and Rentworks will be best served trying to establish some order and credibility in the industry. Rentworks and Vantage Point are founding members of the Australian Computer Remarketing Institute (ACRI) which has been established to set some standards and a code of conduct for what some see as a substantial segment in the IT market.

As for Perry Tait and Business Boost, it might be too late, even though Tait is committed to the cause of establishing the refurbished computer business.

While he accepts responsibility for the problems encountered by Business Boost, Tait told ARN that he believes there is a huge demand for low-cost PCs from first-time computer buyers, but that there must be some training to overcome many of the problems.

"I believe people shouldn't buy computers off television, unless it comes packaged with training and installation. That's the program and future that I want to become part of." said Tait.

The meteoric rise of Business Boost saw the reseller generate in excess of 35,000 responses to its TV campaign and take orders for 7000 systems in the period between September and December last year. Approximately 800 systems remained undelivered. "Sales appear to have outstripped the industry's ability to supply refurbished computers of a suitable quality," Tait said.

It is understood trade creditors are owed $870,000. It is not yet clear how much will be recouped.

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