Krista wrote with a question I've been getting a lot lately (and as a Gateway laptop owner am wondering myself). Essentially, she asks, though not in so many words, "I bought from Gateway. Why does (or does?) this MPC Chapter 7 affect me?"
"I bought my Gateway with the 3-year drop, break, smash warranty," writes Krista. "I am not a business customer. But somehow my warranty got into the MPC mix. They also have my computer and have not returned it even though I gave a man named Tim a FedEx shipping account number to send it to me. What can I do?"
[ For earlier developments in the MPC saga, see "MPC Corporation in Chapter 11 -- should Gateway customers worry?," "More MPC woes," and "MPC update" ]
OK, Krista, I'll admit that I'm confused too. What Gateway warranties are affected by the MPC closure? Is mine? Why is yours? Why have some people who bought Gateway computers end up lost in the MPC mess and others haven't?
I forwarded the question to Lisa Emard, a spokeswoman for Gateway. While she can't answer the "What can I do?" question, Lisa explained how some Gateway customers ended up at MPC and some at Acer—along with some assurances for anyone wondering if their Gateway computer is now orphaned too. Says Lisa:
I understand the confusion. It's very unfortunate that MPC elected to file bankruptcy and liquidate its business, but this action has absolutely nothing to do with Acer or the Gateway consumer brand.
"In 2007, MPC purchased the segment of the Gateway business which sold products to business, education and government customers. Acer purchased the segment of Gateway's business which sold to consumers.
MPC's filing has no impact whatsoever on the sale or service of Gateway consumer-branded products. The Gateway consumer line remains an important part of Acer's global multi-brand strategy. Acer holds a very strong financial position as the #3 PC Company worldwide and the #1 PC maker in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Our customers and suppliers can rest assured that we will continue to support and invest in the Gateway consumer brand.
Lisa was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas when we had this conversation, but she promises to look into Krista's particular issue when she gets back.
I will have more soon on what to do if you have been stranded by MPC.
Got gripes? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.