By Claire Reilly
A former employee of United Warranties has revealed there are $500,000 worth of outstanding warranty claims to be processed by the company and that workers are owed unpaid wages after being let go by management.
United Warranties has been the subject of intensifying industry speculation in recent weeks after being dropped as a warranty provider by key retailer and supplier partners. As complaints from consumers mount and United Warranties’ management maintains its silence, there are increasing doubts about the ongoing viability of the company.
Current.com.au was contacted by one employee who worked in one of United’s depots before being sent home without pay, less than two weeks ago. Current.com.au has sighted documents that prove this worker was employed by the company.
“We were told by our manager that there was no cash flow left in the company and, as a result, we were sent home being owed two weeks pay,” the employee said. “As we left the depot we were instructed to lock up. Inside the depot I would say there was about $500,000 worth of warranty claims that were left behind.
“We have not heard anything from the manager as of [13 June] after he promised that we would hear about our jobs in 24 hours. I feel sorry for the customers that have their TVs and computers involved in this, but I can’t see any way they will get them back. Currently nobody is working as there is no cash flow left in the company.
“For all intents and purposes, it is finished.
“So all the customers' equipment will sit in the depot until somebody can get access to it and even then, if they can, the equipment is in an unrepaired state.
“At our Brisbane workshop we have at least 70 jobs outstanding. I had at least 10 jobs that needed to go out. Mostly we couldn’t get them out because we could not get spare parts due to cash flow issues. Funnily enough, at our office we still have all the manpower and machinery to finish these jobs, it’s just we have no money!
“The other issue is that we have 10 jobs to go out that are completed and just have to be delivered. They were just sitting in the dock waiting to go when we closed up.
“I don't know about the operations in Sydney and Melbourne – I imagine they have similar issues to us and are in the same boat.
“It would be great if somebody could tip a bit of money in so we could gracefully exit and get those jobs out to customers,” he added. “I am sick of companies letting their customers down after they have paid good money for a service.”