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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Tiny customers 'won't get money'
Tiny products in catalogue
Customers awaiting Tiny orders may have to say goodbye to their cash
Customers with outstanding orders from Time and Tiny PCs are unlikely to get their computers or their money back.

A source close to administrators Grant Thornton told the BBC such people would become "unsecured creditors" and drop to the bottom of the list for payments.

But administrators have put together a "limited" support package for customers offering warranty cover and repairs.

Tiny owner Granville Technology went into administration on Wednesday with the loss of 1,500 jobs.

The Lancashire-based firm, which was the UK's largest PC maker, collapsed after it ran out of cash.

Helpline inundated

Administrators Grant Thornton said they had set up a dedicated support team in the wake of "substantial" inquiries from customers and suppliers.

The company was clearly in difficulty for some time
Martin Ellis, administrator

"A funding package has been put in place to enable the continuation of warranty cover on a limited basis and customer support, whilst allowing the joint administrators time to assess the group's operations," a statement from the administrators added.

The volume of calls has also forced the group to set up a second helpline on 0870 830 3288 and an e-mail address, enquiries-time@gtuk.com, to deal with queries.

More than two million schools, business and households use Time and Tiny computers.

Martin Ellis, from Grant Thornton, told BBC Radio Five that customers who had ordered goods but not received them "should work on the basis that they will not receive them".

He also revealed that the administrators would be investigating whether Granville Technologies had been trading while insolvent.

No money

"The company was clearly in difficulty for some time," he added.

"We couldn't sell the business as a going concern because of the high level of losses and the nature of the business. The company had effectively ceased trading."

As a result its workers have not been paid for July and were "most unlikely" to get any money other than that available through a government compensation scheme, Mr Ellis said.

The company, which last filed its accounts in 2003, is estimated to have been losing as much as 2m a month.

Experts attributed the downturn to rising competition, falling demand and falling prices - which had contributed to a change in the computer business over the last five years.

Sinking prices mean that companies now must be "commodity" businesses - racking up large scale sales - rather than relying on gaining large profit margins from its products.


SEE ALSO:
Taskforce to support Tiny workers
28 Jul 05 |  Business
Tiny PCs goes into administration
27 Jul 05 |  Business
Trying time for Tiny customers
27 Jul 05 |  Business


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