Specialist notebook dealer Lapland UK has said it will have dropped all its dealings with Olivetti by the end of this week, highlighting the channel's lack of confidence in the blighted Italian company.
Olivetti's credibility was shaken following the announcement of the impending sale of its PC company.
Problems first began to surface when Olivetti told Lapland UK to give immediate refunds and replacements to any dissatisfied customers.
Martin Clarke, sales and marketing director of Lapland UK, said: 'That's all well and good, but you just can't run a business that way.'
To replace the business it has been doing with Olivetti, Lapland has already signed to sell Acer notebooks.
'Given the uncertainty over Olivetti's future in the PC market, and the concern we have for warranty exposure for our customers, we are pulling out of the Olivetti market altogether and switching to a manufacturer that we feel offers far superior service and support structure,' said Clarke.
Olivetti was quick to deny that it had adopted a shoddy customer-care strategy. UK MD Paul Mahoney said: 'That is not our official policy at all. We are always interested in the way we are perceived by our dealers and resellers. If there's something going wrong we try to put it right.'
The deal between Lapland and Acer will have implications for Texas Instruments (TI). Lapland sells TI notebooks, some of which are manufactured by Acer.
Clarke said: 'TI could find itself being squeezed by Acer in the volume end of its range. But it could avoid this if it offers more effective pricing.' (See Story, Page 2).
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