Fujitsu is about to expand its warranty credit scheme and drop its current warranty administration partner, CSSI. But the hard drive vendor claims the changes are independent of recent reseller criticism of the handling of its warranties.
Fujitsu will cease using CSSI for its local warranty administration from June 1. The relationship with the third party hard drive repairer and logistics company, which provides Fujitsu support at an Asia Pacific level, was no longer necessary in Australia, Fujitsu Australia's national channels manager, Mike Yell, said.
“The failure rates in Australia are so low that it’s not financially viable for them,” he said.
Fujitsu would now return to dealing with warranty and return issues in-house, Yell said.
The scheme, which has been in place since 2002, allows customers the option of exchange, replacement or warranty credit value.
But when the company takes the warranty claims back in house, it is set to extend its warranty options across its hard disk range.
“From June 1 I’ll be looking to extend the warranty terms to replace, exchange or credit,” Yell said. Previously the credit option was only available on the MPG series.
While resellers including Webster Computer Systems and Lincoln Computer Systems recently criticised Fujitsu, its distributors and CSSI for not informing them of the availability of the warranty credits, Yell said the decision to cease working with CSSI had been made several months ago.
Yell also defended Fujitsu’s warranty process, rejecting recent reseller claims that they had been kept in the dark about its warranty credit scheme for its MPG series of hard drives.
“When we were aware of the problem, I personally went out and saw all our direct customers,” Yell said.
He visited all of Fujitsu’s distributor and OEM partners three times between mid-2001 and the end of 2002.
“We informed them of how we were going to handle the situation,” he said.
But Yell said that the message hadn’t gotten through to all of its resellers.
Where Fujitsu didn’t have a direct relationship with the reseller, it relied heavily on its distributors to communicate with the channel, he said.
“It’s become quite clear that the clear message has never filtered down," Yell said. "Some of it filtered down and some of it didn’t.”
But Yell insisted he wasn’t passing the buck to distributors.
“I think they’ve done a bloody good job," he said. "I think the big issue is neither them or I knew the extent of the problem.”
For the full story, see this week's ARN.