Important for buisness owners


This is important.
It seems that Comp USA sold a product that offered a rebate. This company went out of business and CompUSA said its not responsible for the rebates because they came from a manufacturer, not CompUSA.
The government yesterday says NO WAY, and told CompUSA if they advertised it then its their problem and responsibility to back up the rebate even if its not theirs.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7160072
"If you're a retailer and you're advertising someone else's rebates, you can't turn a blind eye to their problems fulfilling those rebates," O'Brien said.
Well, I assume then that if we sell a new heating system or part and the company goes out of business we, the end retailer will be responsible for the warranties.
I suggest you all contact a lawyer and get something in print that will exclude you UP Front of any liability to the consumer. In Ohio you can do this but it must be BEFORE the sale agreement is reached. In Ohio the courts do not recognize a consumer giving up a right AFTER the sale, only before they sign on the dotted line.
Rich
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excellent idea, thanks for the heads up.
I had heard of the story on the news, but had not put it into practice yet.
I typically try to stay away from any form of rebates like the plague.
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My worry is more about warranties. Lets say I sub out a portion of work to another company and they fold up. I use to sub out ground loops until I became certified. I made the homeowner pay the sub directly. My lawyer told me that if I receive the payment and then turn around and pay the sub I risk exposure. A direct payment to the sub takes me out of the equation. Of course, I can't make a profit on that portion, but I think loosing $200 is better then being responsible for a well digger who installed a $6000 loop and goes out of business and I have to come up with the money for it!
Maybe I'm over cautious.
Rich
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This is Turtle.
I have been there and got into what your getting at. When Duhn & Bush went bankrupt about 25 years ago we had sold a few of them and some dealers that sold a bunch of D & B got hit with compressor warranties. D & B was really belly up and had no money to do any warranty work. The Courts here stated that if D & B and Supply Warehouse owned by D & B could not furnish a new compressor under warranty. the installer will furnish a new replacement compressor at their cost. I got hit with 3 compressor but all the job was over 1 year and let me charge labor to try to break even.
They also stated in court that if the warehouse was still in business , they would furnish all cost of compressor. So deal with a respectiable warehouse to not get hit.
A Goodman thought here. Goodman sells through Goodman warehouses and if they go under your fair game to furnish free compressors on all Goodman condensers you sell. WOW !
The Last 2 lines is food for thought !
TURTLE
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There is a bit more to the story.
"The FTC said CompUSA falsely represented to customers who bought QPS products that rebates would be paid within six to eight weeks, but it said some customers waited up to six months or never received money. It also accused CompUSA of continuing to advertise QPS rebates despite knowing about these serious delays, up until QPS filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2002.
The FTC said CompUSA also inappropriately delayed rebate payments on its own branded products."
So CompUSA continued to advertise the rebates knowing consumers were having problems getting the rebates and in fact itself delayed consumer rebates.
On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 14:51:33 -0600, "TURTLE"

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A little more specific info from the FTC.
When it comes to rebates, retailers must deliver on their promises, said Lydia Parnes, Acting Director of the FTCs Bureau of Consumer Protection. The message to retailers is clear the FTC is on the beat and will take action if you advertise manufacturers rebates when you know they arent honoring their promises.
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/03/compusa.htm
On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 14:51:33 -0600, "TURTLE"

--
Gov't is an association that does
violence to the rest. - Tolstoy
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