Warranty provider United Warranties has gone into liquidation after weeks of being missing in action.
United Warranties yesterday appointed chartered accountants Grant Thornton as liquidator of the group, which includes United Maintenance and United Electrical Holding Company.
The group supplies extended warranties to retailers including retail chains Myer and Big W, as well as retailers such as Portacom, Standard Computers Australia and online store Tech4U.
The warranty provider in recent weeks lost several large accounts, including Myer and Big W, due in part to confusion surrounding the company’s financial situation.
But at least one reseller was told as recently as a few weeks ago the company was fine and “going strong”.
Mobile computer reseller Portacom had a long-term relationship with the warranty provider until a year ago, when the partnership ended after United Warranties became “too difficult to deal with”.
General manager Andrew Van Leen told CRN that United Warranties still owed Portacom $7000, a sum Van Leen had been chasing until the provider stopped returning his calls.
Van Leen reached Teyghan Stadelbauer, listed as the company’s national sales director, and was told there was nothing wrong at the company, but also that she no longer worked there.
Stadelbauer’s mobile voicemail and LinkedIn profile identifies her as an employee of United Warranties. She did not respond to multiple attempts at contact by CRN.
"The liquidators will undertake an investigation into the company and its affairs and will report to the ASIC and creditors when their investigation is complete," Grant Thornton said in a short statement.
"We will be liaising with Myer, Big W and other providers in relation to any warranty claims that have not been completed, and arranging for items to be collected by those providers."
United Warranties commenced local trading in 1996 and later established a presence in New Zealand.
More to come