Warranty Wars Heat Up
DULLES, VA. — Extended service contract providers N.E.W. and Warrantech have announced a flurry of new high-profile clients in recent weeks. The former will bow a comprehensive protection plan for DirecTV next month that covers all system components including receiver, dish, remote and wiring for $59.90 a year. The news follows last month's expansion of N.E.W.'s repair center database to over 1.2 million locations, thanks to a joint online effort with return logistics resource e-genco. Warrantech, in turn, has signed service contracts in quick succession with Handspring (for its Visor and VisorPhone module) and with retailers Boomer McLoud and Wireless Zone.
CEA Backs PC Tax Relief
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — The Consumer Electronics Association has lent its support to a bill now before the California state assembly that calls for a three-day moratorium on sales tax collection on PC purchases. Assembly Bill 1199 proposes a sales tax "holiday" in August that extends the traditional back-to-school tax break to computers and related products. In testimony delivered before the Assembly's tax committee, CEA technology policy director Doug Johnson argued that the moratorium "is a way to encourage California residents to embrace technology." Johnson also cited the state's critical "digital divide," which finds 43 percent of households lacking a computer and 53 percent without Internet access.
STORIS To Add e-Signature Option For Credit Purchases
PARISPPANY, N.J. — STORIS Management Systems will introduce a Signature Capture feature next month that electronically records and archives signatures during credit card purchases. With the new system, shoppers will sign a computerized tablet that stores their John Hancocks along with their credit card information and transaction details on the company's main server. The data can then be readily retrieved by STORIS customers to help resolve credit card disputes, while the paperless approach saves time and expedites foot traffic by eliminating invoices and printed receipts. In other STORIS news, the company reports that the maker of its database software, Informix Corp., is being acquired by IBM for $1 billion. STORIS president Don Surdoval argues that the cash purchase "demonstrates the value of our technology platform," and "can only help our customers and company grow."