Fears over Omega refund sagaBy Ian Chamberlain and Chris Williams. Published: 15th Jul 2005, 23:35:05 | Permalink | Printable
Meanwhile another Omega owner says he took MicroDigital to court in 2004 and was eventually refundedAn Omega owner who recently took MicroDigital to court to obtain a refund fears he may never be paid the money he is owed. Despite winning a case after receiving a broken machine, he has yet to be paid back by the hardware manufacturer, which is currently sought by bailiffs.
Whilst some MicroDigital customers say they have received a good level of after sales support from the company and various Omega users are happy with their kit, the user waiting for his refund says he can only cross his fingers.
He added, "Unfortunately if anything my case highlights that there's no point taking legal action against Microdigital as although you'll almost certainly win, they can just ignore any requirement to pay."
Despite this, Drobe has learnt that another Omega owner successfully took MicroDigital to court in April 2004 and was later refunded by the hardware manufacturer after it lost an appeal. The user, who wishes to be referred to as "Fred", says he put down a deposit on an Omega in December 2000 and later paid the full amount in April 2003 when requested to do so by a letter sent from MicroDigital. In September 2003, an Omega arrived at Fred's home despite his attempts to cancel his order after the Wakefield 2003 show in May. The machine was, however, shipped with an external modem, when advertised as having an internal modem, and also without a manual.
On powering up the computer, the Omega would crash during boot up, according to Fred, leaving a frozen display and buzzing noise from the audio output. Fred says he once managed to reach the desktop and load up familiar applications, such as Draw and Maestro, although the computer froze again minutes later. Fred wrote to MicroDigital to inform them of the hardware faults but, he claims, received no response. Requests for a refund were similarly ignored, leaving Fred to pursue legal action in December that year to force a refund.
A fortnight before the court hearing in April 2004, Fred claims he sent both his county court and MicroDigital copies of paperwork outlining his case against the company. MicroDigital acknowledged that they believed they had received this, although during the proceedings it was discovered that in fact they hadn't. After the court decided in Fred's favour, it's claimed that MicroDigital did not pay up and later appealed on the grounds that they had not been sent the paperwork that they initially said they had received. Also, during the proceedings, Fred claims MicroDigital telephoned him saying that they would collect and repair the faulty Omega. Fred turned down the offer, preferring a full refund.
The appeal court dismissed the company's argument and found again in Fred's favour. Three months later, Fred returned from a holiday to find a cheque in the post from MicroDigital for the money owed to him. The broken Omega was later collected in person by MicroDigital's managing director. Fred, a RiscPC user, describes the whole episode as stressful and says it has made him wary of buying products from other RISC OS companies.
A Dutch dealer has told us this week that he has removed MicroDigital products from his online catalogue as he has been unable to contact the Yorkshire based company to order kit. MicroDigital's website has also disappeared from the Internet, after hosting company Co-Comp suspended MicroDigital's account.
Although we were told that they are still trading from Titus Street, MicroDigital were unavailable for further comment. It's believed that the company's outspoken managing director, David Atkins, is away from the office for personal reasons.
MicroDigital coverage on drobe.co.uk
Archive magazine contributed to this article.
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