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PC trade body expels repair shop exposed by Sky News

by Scott Bicheno on 4 August 2009, 12:28

Tags: TCA, ITACS

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qates

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Retrospective wisdom

The newly renamed TCA (Technology Channels Association) has expelled Hammersmith based Laptop Revival, after a Sky News undercover investigation found the indie retailer had been accessing the personal details on customers' PCs, and even attempting to log on to their bank accounts.

The TCA, which was formed from a recent merger of the PCA (PC Association) and the MTA (Mac Technology Association), says it gave Laptop Revival a chance to explain itself, and expelled it when it failed to do so.

"This sort of activity will not be tolerated by the TCA," said Keith Warburton, CEO of the TCA. "Notwithstanding the PCA's [TCA's? - Ed] Code of Practice to which all of our member must conform, this was a clear and shameful breach of customer confidentiality. This is only the fifth member we'd ever had to expel in over sixteen years, and never in such circumstances."

While it's good to see the TCA act relatively promptly to expel one of its rogue members, this does look a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. HEXUS.channel spoke to Warburton and suggested the TCA action was too little, too late.

"We can only act when things are brought to our attention," he said. "It would be too expensive for us to carry out investigations ourselves."

Warburton's response encapsulated the frustration felt by many in the channel towards all organisations that claim to represent it. Smaller retailers and resellers don't have any of the advantages enjoyed by their multinational competitors like economies of scale, marketing budgets and buying power.