How can Carrera / Watford Elec.. get away with it?

  Estel 11:25 20 Feb 2005

I know there are other threads on the Carrera mess but I'm wondering just how Watford Electronics can get away with their cavalier treatment of Carrera / Digital Network customers.

Watford's attitude is that they have taken over the brand but are not responsible for anything that happened under the Digital Network regime.

In that case, how come they are still advertising (on their home page) on the basis of Carrera's reputation "since 1993" as a "recognised and respected" computer brand? That reputation was built by Digital Network. If Watford are now ditching Carrera's former customers they can hardly claim respectability on the basis of Carrera's history since 1993.

Lower down their home page, Carrera have a checklist of Carrera "plusses". One of them is "Do you include 5 years warranty with 3 years onsite?" This is ticked. What trust can new Carrera customers place in this when Watford will not honour Carrera / Digital Network warranties that have been paid for? When they leave customers with faulty computers or (worse) no computer at all?

Watford are trading through Carrera as if it were the same company as existed when it was owned by Digital Network. I have a computer, delivered about three weeks before DN went bust that is faulty. Watford won't take responsibility for it but have the nerve to offer me "as a goodwill gesture" a "heavily subsidised" 2 year onsite warranty (cf 3 years onsite + 2 years return to base) for an extra ....... £99! I wish I received £99 for every "goodwill" gesture I made!

I hope that PC Advisor will not be giving any new (or old) Carrera machines their recomendation unless Watford Electronics are prepared to honour Carrera's (previously well deserved) "reputation".

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:46 20 Feb 2005

A quick, abridged reading of the insolvency law will confirm that this is normal, legal practice. When a company pays for another defunct companies assets it does not take on any liability, either future or historic. They merely buy the name and not the stock. You ought to be thankful that they have at least made you a goodwill gesture as they have no obligation to do so. If you describe your machine's faults someone here might be able to assist. The new company should be regarded just as that and roll on the reviews.


  oresome 12:38 20 Feb 2005

I wonder if it would be a good idea if all these warranties were insurance backed. If the retailer goes down the pan, at least the warranties are secure. Assuming the insurance company remains solvent and the retailer paid the premiums of course. The premiums seem to have a habit of lapsing towards the death.

I used to purchase large screen TV's from Alders because they offered a free 5 year warranty. What are these worth now to anyone who has purchased within the last 5 years?

Double glazing companies are notorious for going out of business. Most of their products come with long guarantees which are only worth a light if insurance backed.

  spuds 12:40 20 Feb 2005

As you state, there are a number of threads running about Carrera, and some contain possible solutions to any warranty problems.

If you have a computer supplied with a now defunct Carrera warranty, then you will have a remedy via section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This will only apply to credit card or computer loan finance. If you purchased your computer by part or all payment via these means, then you have no need to consider Watfords offer.The problem will need to be resolved with the finance provider, and they have a legal responsibility to do so.

The laws of insolvency are very complex, and I fully agree that they are not always in the favour of the 'small guy', but I am afraid that is the present day rulings on this matter.If you want to change some of the contents of insolvency law, then I would suggest that you petition your MP.

  961 14:08 20 Feb 2005

I do feel that the computer magazine industry as a whole needs to consider seriously to what extent it allows awards from the defunct company to be carried forward and used in future advertising

  spuds 14:28 20 Feb 2005

I think you will find that magazine advertising is produced possibly a couple of months before the magazine becomes available to the general public. When companies go bust, then it is usually a case of last minute panic.Editorials are usually on a tight press role time schedule, and that is where you may have the latest update information.

People are still contacting companies for possible future purchases hours before the administrators are called in.

I could be wrong, and the FE will perhaps correct me, if I am ;o)

  961 14:48 20 Feb 2005

While I accept that I have to say that the last time Carrera went awol the awards they had gained were featured in adverts by Carrera 2002 or whatever quite openly for some time after. This cannot be right

  freaky 16:05 20 Feb 2005

No warranty/guarantees apply in the case of a company becoming insolvent. It is a case of 'buyer beware'.

There is some security if the warranty/guarantee is underwritten by an organisation not financialy connected to the original supplier. But this is not 100% safe.

  961 16:22 20 Feb 2005

Of course it is buyer beware. I have no problem with that

But on what basis can a new company claim the awards given to a company that has gone belly up?

  Starfox 20:22 20 Feb 2005

since 1993" as a "recognised and respected" computer brand?

Some reputation, they went bust twice. I've got one of their original worthless guarantees.

  Forum Editor 23:56 20 Feb 2005

and spuds has confirmed - Watford Electronics have done nothin wrong. They have no legal obligation whatsoever towards Carrera customers.

As far as advertising is concerned - if you have reason to believe that an advertisement is misleading you have the right to take the matter up with the Advertising standards authority.

click here

Bear in mind that there's often very little warning when a company ceases to trade, and press advertisements may already have been printed.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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