Fairstar leaves tangled mess in its wake

Mystery surrounds the dealings of computer dealer Fairstar Computers, despite the fact that new operator Wally's Computer World (WCW) took over the business following Fairstar's lurch into receivership.

Interestingly, the new shops that have sprung up in Sydney bearing the WCW name have the same phone numbers that were previously listed under Fairstar Computers.

The Parramatta WCW store is also at the same location with the same decor and some of the same sales staff as the defunct Parramatta Fairstar, while an outlet on the old phone line for Fairstar's Warwick Farm store has taken up residence in the Westfield shopping complex at Liverpool. ARN has also learned that a third WCW store is operating on Broadway in central Sydney.

The phone number and premises previously listed for Fairstar at Penrith are now occupied by a retail outlet that is part of the Computer Discounts Group.

Staff at WCW outlets denied any connection between themselves and Fairstar, stating they are under no obligation to any Fairstar customers in relation to undelivered goods, warranty issues or other grievances.

"We took over the lease on the premises from January 1, 1998, but there is absolutely no connection between us and Fairstar," said a WCW Parramatta staff member who asked not to be named.

He did concede WCW was under instructions from the Department of Fair Trading to honour warranty claims; however, due to circumstances, it was able to legally cease doing so on February 1.

Conflicting stories

A slightly different story emerged from the Liverpool WCW store. "We are honouring any warranties for systems purchased from Fairstar's Warwick Farm store after October 1, 1997," said an employee who also declined to be named. Although Securities Commission records show the owners of WCW to be a private company, when asked about former Fairstar director Wally Muhieddine, a WCW employee said: "He took over the lease at Parramatta and he's bought Broadway, and he has this shop here in Liverpool."