Coby Electronics Shuts Down, Taking Customer Warranties With It

A Coby tablet from back in the day.

A Coby tablet from back in the day.

When consumer watchdog reporters across the country start doing pretty much the same story, it’s not a good sign for…well, anyone, really. The sad tale of the Coby Electronics customer is starting to repeat itself nationwide. A customer sent an item to Coby for warranty replacement, and never got anything back. Not long ago, Coby sold $400 million worth of gadgets per year. Now the company is dead.

Our first hint that something was wrong came back in August. Reader Russ wrote to us after the company seemingly disappeared before sending him a second warranty replacement. The first replacement TV they sent him didn’t work properly, so he contacted them again. He wrote:

I called Coby [in March] and they sent me shipping labels, so I sent the replacement unit back. They promised to send me a new unit. Now it’s August…

Call any of their numbers listed on their webpage, no one answers now… not the US or Canadian Customer care numbers. Call the local NY number and you get a recording. Dial zero and no one answers. No one responds to my e-mails. What’s up? Did Coby silently slip away in the night?

Kind of. KUTV in Salt Lake City did some investigating and found out that Coby went out of business this summer, with a different company buying some of their assets. Conveniently, the new owners didn’t take on any of their liabilities, which would include consumer warranties. Customers like Russ and KUTV viewer and Coby tablet owner Irma are stuck without any recourse. There isn’t even anyone left to sue.

There is one possible avenue for customers still waiting to get their gadgets back from Coby: they can check with the retailer where they bought the item. A 9-year-old boy in Florida was able to get a store credit from HHGregg when Coby shut down without sending him a replacement tablet. HHGregg has promised to honor the warranties of Coby items sold there, but will other retailers?

Coby Electronics sells $400M worth of electronics a year, closes leaving worthless warranties behind [ABC Action News]
Electronics Giant Coby Sinks With Customer’s Products In Tow [KUTV] (Thanks, Vincent!)