Time has opened discussions with the credit card industry to discuss the treatment of customers who bought PC maintenance contracts by credit card from Tiny Computers.
As a "gesture of goodwill", Time is to continue phone support until April 12 for this 80,000-strong group of warranty holders left in the lurch following Tiny's collapse.
The company bought the assets, but not the liabilities, of Tiny Computers in January. Since then it has supported 280,000 Tiny customers who bought their computers using finance, or by cash or cheque, as well as offering phone support to credit-card paying Tiny PC owners.
Time last month announced it was withdrawing even this limited service from the latter group and slammed the credit card industry for "refusing to co-operate in a way that will help owners of warranties". In other words, the credit card firms were offering refunds on warranties, rather than underwriting ongoing support.
On April 3, Time met The Royal Bank of Scotland (the actuarial representative for the credit card firms), along with Streamline, and Trading Standards. The outcome of the meeting gives hope for customers, who paid for goods by credit card, Time said in a press statement today.
"Time Group will continue to provide telephone support, while the credit card industry discusses its responsibilities to customers. TIME Group expects the
credit card industry to help those customers who are being left without support due to the collapse of the old company. It is however being made clear that the
TIME Group will be withdrawing support if there is no conclusion reached by the agreed date of the 12th April."
People who bought their Tiny PC maintenance contracts by cash or through finance remain unaffected by this Mexican stand-off. ®