By Claire Reilly
The future of United Warranties is still in doubt as big-name retailers and suppliers drop the warranty provider, and consumer complaints regarding the conduct of the company pile up.
An Australian company that provides manufacturer’s and extended warranties on a variety of consumer electronics and appliance products, United Warranties has all but vanished off the radar following increased industry speculation about the operational state of the company.
Calls placed to a variety of registered United Warranties customer service and head office phone numbers throughout the week have rung out or been redirected to recorded messages. However the company has presumably not totally disappeared, with Big W confirming that it had been in touch with United as recently as yesterday.
Current.com.au contacted one representative for the company, Teyghan Stadelbauer, who identifies herself as national sales director at United Warranties on her LinkedIn profile. The current listed general manager of United Warranties is Peter Stadelbauer. Current.com.au is uncertain if there is a relationship between these two individuals.
When asked directly by Current whether the company was still operating, Tegan Stadelbauer responded, “Absolutely”.
“I can’t actually help you, I don’t actually work for the company, but as far as I know it’s still there,” she then added, before confirming that she stopped working for United “about two weeks ago”.
However, as recently as two days ago, a customer service representative at one retailer provided Ms Stadelbauer’s contact details as the United contact for all concerns regarding warranties with that particular retailer.
Since revealing yesterday that several retail and supply partners had dropped United’s services, Current.com.au has been contacted by a number of concerned consumers that are still waiting on products to be repaired by the company, as well as businesses that are owed money, and retailers that have customers demanding answers in their stores.
One consumer commented that she had “an expensive DVD sound bar which was in for repairs and was suppose to be delivered back” but that she had not been able to contact the company. Others raised concerns over expensive extended warranties purchased through retailers that now appeared to be defunct, while one angry reader commented that he had been forced to escalate his complaints to the ACCC and NSW Fair Trading.
“I have had my drama with United,” the consumer said. “I have since logged a complaint with NSW Fair Trading and the ACCC. Apart from losing two sets of extended warranty plans at about $500, it also seems that my $5000 LED LCD TV is now gone!”
United Warranties has been contacted for comment on these warranty claims.
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