CMANZ ends warranty protection scheme

The Computer Manufacturer's Association has ceased to offer its warranty assurance programme on new PCs and will become an industry association rather than having a retail focus.

The Computer Manufacturer's Association (CMANZ) has ceased to offer its warranty assurance programme on new PCs and will become an industry association rather than having a retail focus.

PCs sold before April 1 this year will still be covered by the warranty scheme, but the scheme won't be offered on any more PCs says CMANZ chair Peter Shirley.

He puts the change down to a number of factors, one of which was the cost incurred by the collapse of The PC Company.

"It's fair to say the costs involved with that are high and are ongoing."

Shirley says a reduction in membership numbers has also cost the association.

"We've declined to around half a dozen companies and with that many it's just not viable to offer the warranty assurance."

CMANZ was established in 1999 after a number of high-profile local assembler failures left customers without warranty cover. The founding chairman was Colin Brown, whose Hamilton-based assembler The PC Company was the only member to go into receivership.

CMANZ came under fire from a number of customers following the collapse of The PC Company for refusing to cover laptops or any PCs manufactured with non-generic parts. CMANZ also refused to honour extended warranties sold with PC Company equipment, offering instead to honour only the first year.

The code describes the programme as "your total guarantee. PCs carrying the CMANZ logo are covered by the CMANZ Warranty Assurance which provides a backup warranty of up to two years on all PCs from CMANZ members". The warranty also doesn't cover software or the "configuration of the PC, warranty of a peripheral or other products purchased with the computer".

Shirley says the association will now turn its attentions to the industry players themselves, rather than retail customers.

"We'll be able to meet and discuss the market and trends and that sort of thing. It's to be an industry association rather than having an end-user focus."

The CMANZ website is under redevelopment.

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