Ex-staff attack PC boss' used-parts denial

The fallout from the collapse of The PC Company continues, with former staff rejecting founder Colin Brown's denial that used parts were put into new personal computers. The group is preparing a document that will state what used parts were used in what machines and how that affected production.

The New Zealand Herald
November 18, 2003

Ex-staff attack PC boss' used-parts denial
Richard Pamatatau

The fallout from the collapse of The PC Company continues, with former staff rejecting founder Colin Brown's denial that used parts were put into new personal computers.

The group is preparing a document that will state what used parts were used in what machines and how that affected production.

A senior former employee of the Hamilton company said he had urged Brown not to include used parts in new machines because they could make the PCs unstable.

Brown has consistently denied the inclusion of used parts.

Sources say the parts could have been used in machines worth more than $4 million over three months. Russ Olsen, managing director of Bay of Plenty franchise PC Country, said he found one example of a used part in a new machine.

The PC Company was open about using used parts in refurbished machines which were sold with that information as part of the process, Olsen said.

His company was honouring warranties for his own customers not covered by the Computer Manufacturers Association of New Zealand, particularly with laptops.

Murray Huband, owner of the Whangarei franchise, now known as The PC Factory, said he found a number of machines with used parts. He and Olsen said they were owed money. Brown said nothing was owed to the franchises and that they owed The PC Company.

The Herald has received a letter sent by a former staff member to Farmers, which sold about 8000 PC Company products last year. This year it is understood to have sold about 250 to 300 PCs a month.

The letter-writer says he has become aware of used components being supplied in Farmers' orders and that the decision to include the used components was made by Brown.

Farmers would not comment.

Speculation also continues to mount that Brown may set up another retail operation in Hamilton and is trying to gain a lease on an Anglesea St building - a claim Brown also denies.

A week ago Brown registered a new company, My PC Ltd.


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