Coby Electronics made consumer electronics, notably portable DVD players, tablets, MP3 players, and TVs. Let’s just say that they were not well-known for the quality of their merchandise, but still sold $400 million worth of gadgets per year. Until this year, when they went out of business with a whole bunch of customers’ devices due for warranty replacement.
Last year, a contract dispute with Philips ended in that company’s favor, which made a troubled period for Coby even worse. As we discussed in a post earlier this week, the company closed its doors, not responding to phone calls or e-mails. This shutdown isn’t as abrupt as it seemed to us consumers: they apparently hadn’t been doing all that great before they lost a legal dispute over portable DVD player royalties paid to Philips. Industry publication Twice reported that the company made staff cuts in June, including the president and most of the sales and marketing staff.
Gordon Brothers, a company best known to consumers as a retail liquidator (they handled the terrible liquidation sales at CompUSA in 2009, for example) bought the assets of the company, intending to revive it as a consumer electronics firm. Could they do it? Maybe. Gordon Brothers has also taken over the smoldering remains of companies like Polaroid and Sharper Image, turning them back into viable businesses.
Gordon Brothers wants Coby customers to know: they feel really bad, but they can’t send you a new tablet. In a statement to Twice, they explained:
The conditions of the sale were such that Gordon Brothers Group did not assume any of Coby Electronics’ outstanding liabilities or obligations that were part of its prior business. Additionally, Gordon Brothers Group did not purchase customer returns inventory and did not acquire or receive any cash or consideration related to money orders or shipping fees paid by customers related to the return of inventory to the former Coby Electronics.
The statement then continues to say that they don’t know how to call or e-mail anyone who used to work at Coby, either.
We understand that Coby had preexisting policies and procedures. The policies were controlled by the previous company and Gordon Brothers Group never had nor will be able to gain insight into those policies in order to rectify circumstances. Further, Gordon Brothers Group is unable to answer questions as we do not have contact information for anyone associated with the former Coby business.