Hi-Fi industry organisation takes swipe at United Warranties

By Claire Reilly

Another industry group has come out in a scathing attack against the now defunct United Warranties group of companies, which went into administration earlier this month. Following the collapse, the Australian Hi-Fi Association (AHA) has announced that its members offer consumers free extended warranties on selected audio-visual products in their stores.

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The CEO of the AHA, Peter Familari, made the announcement in a statement today, using the opportunity to criticise United and spruik the solidity of the member organisation he heads.

“Consumers who bought an extended warranty for their spanking new LCD or Plasma TV have been left holding a worthless piece of paper,” said Familari.

“United warranties, which sold the extended warranties through Myer, Big W and many other retailers, has gone belly up with a reported 300 TVs still unaccounted for.

“Australian Hi-Fi Association (AHA) members offer a free 12-months extended warranty on a wide range of audio-video equipment. But unlike other extended warranties sold by third parties via retailers, the AHA warranty is backed by supplier members – and it’s free, no fine print, no strings attached."

According to Familari, the AHA was formed by a group of independent specialist retailers and suppliers 16 years ago "to unashamedly promote the benefits of shopping at a member store.

"The AHA also provides industry accreditation ensuring consumers shop at a member store that has passed our ethical and commercial standards.

“Every application for AHA membership must be vetted and approved by the AHA’s nine-member board. Criteria for successful membership includes industry experience, quality and range of stock, trained staff and demonstration rooms that meet the AHA standard.”

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