In the wake of Edge Technology's collapse, the major concern of the distributor's myriad dealers appears to be where they stand in relation to warranties on the KTX brand they have been championing.
After forwarding to Edge the concerns of some of the resellers we received e-mails from in the wake of the story, we received some response from the general manager, Emily Ballantyne, that the receiver was well aware of dealers' warranty concerns.
Following our expose last week, resellers -- including some who were almost dependent on Edge for PC components and/or systems -- expressed deep concerns about their liabilities in relation to warranty and other service issues.
Take the opinion of a couple of resellers, who shall remain nameless, which e-mailed us following the exclusive we broke on ARN Livewire last Thursday.
"We deal a lot of with Edge," said reseller e-mail respondent No.1. "Who will honour the warranties we have selling to our customers now? Why should we pay what we owe when we may have to pay for all the failed products during the warranty period?"Is Edge going to work out a solution for us with the manufacturers they distributred for so that we can return items under warranty? When will they do something about that?"A second respondent was less concerned about themselves and more reflective on the impact on the channel as a whole.
"Edge never had a very good reputation amongst resellers," they said. "Dodgy practices, suspect quality in hardware etc.
"CoverIT, a prominent third-party warranty supplier, would not allow Edge equipment to be covered. Overall, I think the Australian PC market will be enhanced by the demise of Edge."Those two comments represent the bottom line concerns held by dealers for what was once Australia's largest PC distributor.
Edge's Ballantyne responded as follows:
"I am also concerned about resellers' warranty on goods purchased from Edge, especially in regards to assembled computer systems," she wrote.
"I have raised this issue with the receiver, Chris Wykes, who has told me that to ensure that he achieves the 'highest possible realisation from the outstanding debtors, the issue of warranty will have to be addressed'.
"My e-mail [originally sent] to the branches [and published in this week's ARN] was sent before I was aware that Cash Resources Australia, Edge's only secured creditor, had appointed a receiver.
"Therefore my e-mail was sent to notify the branch managers of the appointment of the administrator and that the administrator had advised that a couple of staff may need to stay on to keep collecting the debtors, and to pack up all the stock and office equipment.
"Collecting our debtors' benefits not only the staff [who are still owed severance wages] but our creditors too, as this is one of the company's assets.
One of those creditors, Pacific Netcom, feels well and truly cheated by the situation.
"Our Company, Pacific Netcom, was deliberately misled about reinvoicing of our clients to include Edge Computers as a creditor resulting in a fraudulent misrepresentation to our clients and a bad debt with Edge," said Pacific Netcom's Chris Nicholls.
"We have suffered considerable losses as a result and we are considering referring the matter to the Fraud Squad in South Australia and demanding an investigation of Edge Technology' actions."