The founder of The PC Company, Colin Brown, has denied that the company installed second-hand parts in new PCs, as claimed by his two former franchisees.
He was responding to Computerworld Online's story in which the franchisees claimed Brown had shipped ostensibly new PCs to them which in fact contained reconditioned parts.
"Definitely not. We never sent out new PCs with old parts in. They may have had parts replaced with refurbished parts because if they're replacing parts in old machines they'd get a part-for-part replacement."
Brown says he has no record of either franchisee identifying second-hand parts in PCs supplied new, and suggests the claims are motivated by an “adversarial situation” over money which he says they owe him.
The owner of the PC Company Hawke's Bay, now trading as PC Country, Russ Olsen, says the total amount his company owes Brown would be less than $10,000, which is "absolute petty cash".
Olsen says he has taken legal advice and has no intention of paying until issues surrounding warranties and credit notes are sorted out.
Olsen says the company earned credits by removing refurbished parts supplied under warranty, replacing them with new parts, and billing The PC Company.
"They'd give us a credit; that's how it worked until the doors closed."
He says The PC Company owes PC Country four months of such credits.
He says PC Country never sold a PC with other than new componentry, though when servicing a customer who had bought a machine from The PC Company Auckland, a refurbished drive was noticed in the three-week-old PC.
Murray Hubband, of Whangarei's The PC Factory, rejects Brown's comment that new PCs with old parts were never sent out.
"We've seen machines that had refurbished hard drives; when Maxtor refurbishes them, they put a sticker on saying it's been done to standard."
He claims he is owed commission by Brown for sales in Northland made via the internet and an 0800 number.
Like Olsen, he says he hasn't been contacted by Brown since The PC Company ceased trading and that "he owes us more than we owe him".
The PC Company closed its doors in September and finally succumbed to receivership late last month. Brown says he's been working "every day since" with the receiver to sell the last of the stock and business equipment to pay off the company debts.