GAZtech takes the Edge off warranty

GAZtech takes the Edge off warranty

Ever wondered who services those PC bundles that the ISP-cum-PC company Eisa launched amidst the heady highs of the dotcom boom?

The failure of some high-profile IT companies has once again turned the spotlight on warranty, leaving resellers wondering whether the warranty market is more about gambling than servicing PCs. But GAZtech, a services company that had its very beginnings from the confusion that surrounded the collapse of Edge, and consequently Eisa, is still offering end users and their resellers nationwide warranty on Eisa PCs.

"Since September 2000 our company has had a legal, binding outsourcing warranty agreement, first with Eisa Finance and subsequently with Austar United Broadband -- the buyer of Eisa after the tech stock bubble burst," said GAZtech general manager Garry Bowden. "We have 19 agents in main cities and towns around Australia for which we not only authorise to do work on Edge computers built for Eisa, but also pay on receipt of their tax invoice."

Eisa made headlines in 1999, offering cheap PC and Internet access bundles over a 24-month contract. It proved a popular offering -- more than 3000 machines were sold through retailers around Australia. The Eisa-branded PCs were sourced from the Edge Group and sold with a return-to-base support warranty.

"With the collapse of Edge, there was a big kerfuffle over who would take over the warranty," Bowden said. "We were formed to take over the warranty status of what was a two-year contract under the lease agreement."

Bowden has vivid memories of the fall of Edge -- he was contracting for the company at the time.

"I was johnny-on-the-spot through the whole thing," he said. "I walked into the Edge company building in [Sydney's] Alexandria with a cup of coffee in my hand, and as I walked in Johnson Wang walked out the door. ‘I'm off,' he said, and 15 minutes later the receiver walked in the door. Wang was obviously off to the airport."

While other companies, such as the recently defunct Warranty Works, were quick to offer extended warranties to Edge PC users and resellers, GAZtech's agreement remains unique in the market. The company also offers month-by-month warranties.

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