Tiger Direct

Tiger Direct
Type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Founded 1987
Headquarters Fountainbleau, Florida, USA
Number of locations 6 stores in Canada[1]
Parent Systemax
Website

TigerDirect.com

TigerDirect.ca (Canada)

Tiger Direct is a direct online and catalog retailer of computers and consumer electronics. It is a Systemax subsidiary. Its headquarters are in Fountainbleau, Florida.[2] [3]

Contents

Overview

The company operates various marketing channels, including eCommerce, retail store, business-to-business and catalog computer electronics sales.

TigerDirect has locations in Miami (corporate headquarters, retail stores); Naperville, Illinois (distribution center, corporate sales offices, retail stores in Chicagoland); Jefferson, Georgia (distribution center, corporate sales office, retail store); and North Carolina (corporate sales office). TigerDirect.ca has locations in the greater Burlington, Ontario, area (corporate office, corporate sales office, retail stores).

The online company WorldwideRebates.com performs some of its rebate processing and is owned by its parent company, Systemax.[4][5]

History

The company was founded as Tiger Software, a publisher of titles for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. In 1989, Tiger Software became a subsidiary of publicly held Bloc Development Corporation (NASDAQ:BDEV). Bloc Development was also the parent company of BLOC Publishing, which continued the development and publishing of the company's flagship product FormTool, and 20 other products; and SoftSync, former publisher of the "EXPERT Software" titles and the Macintosh accounting software "Accountant Inc."). BLOC Development later changed its name to Tiger Direct (NASDAQ:TIGR).

TigerDirect evolved from TigerSoftware when the company began selling build-it-yourself PC kits and inexpensive computers, using manufacturers in the United States and Canada to build its custom desktop and notebook configurations. In 1996, it was acquired by Systemax (NYSE: SYX)[6] The commercial website TigerDirect.com was launched in the late 1990s, selling computer and electronics, books and software. In 2000, TigerDirect expanded its product offerings to include "refurbished" and "recertified" products, brand-name computers from IBM, HP, eMachines, Gateway and others.

On January 6, 2008, Tiger Direct's parent company Systemax Inc. announced an agreement on the acquisition of the CompUSA brand, trademarks and e-commerce business, and as many as 16 CompUSA retail outlets in Illinois, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.[7]

Reputation

Tiger Direct has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited company since September 2008, and as of September 2009 holds an "A" rating.[8]

Infoworld's Robert X Cringely reported in 2006 that "Tiger's sister company OnRebate.com, which handles payouts for the discount dealer appears to specialize in the 'insufficient documentation' gambit,"[9] and, commenting on the volume of complaints on the Internet, that "Tiger's rebate promises appear to be toothless."[10]

Consumer-reported difficulties obtaining the rebates led to an investigation by the Florida Attorney General[11][12] and a failure to maintain a satisfactory BBB rating.[13] According to a former controller at Tiger Direct, improperly unpaid rebates were intentional: "...the concept was that if the customer complains you send them out the check to make them happy. But if they don't complain, they totally forget about it, that is the concept of these rebates. People forget that they sent them out."[14]

On November 4, 1999, case C3903, the Federal Trade Commission issued a decision and order (which expires in 20 years) against Tiger Direct for violations of the Pre-sale Availability Rule, the Disclosure Rule and the Warranty Act.[15] Without admitting any wrongdoing, Tiger Direct agreed to:

  1. Not represent that it provides On-Site Service unless all limitations and conditions that apply are disclosed;
  2. fulfill obligations under the warranty within a reasonable period of time after receiving notice from the consumer; and
  3. shall cease and desist from failing to make warranty text available for examination prior to sale, failing to disclose what is not covered under any given warranty or the procedures needed to have warranty work accomplished and failing to disclose that certain states may give the consumer legal rights in addition to those provided by the warranty.[15]

Lawsuits

2005 Apple Computer lawsuit

In early 2005, the company filed suit against Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.), alleging trademark infringement, dilution and false designation of origin with Apple's introduction of Mac OS X v10.4, marketed with its codename "Tiger". Although TigerDirect had registered several tiger-related names with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple received trademark approval for version 10.4 (Tiger) of its OS X operating system in 2003. Tiger Direct registered opposition against Apple's filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and on May 13, 2005, Apple won an emergency hearing. The judge ruled in Apple's favor, noting "the Court finds that the marks are distinctly different."[16]

2009 Dell lawsuit

On April 17, 2009, Dell, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Tiger Direct, alleging trademark infringement, false advertising and misleading representations of Dell's products, unfair competition, trademark dilution, breach of contract, among other complaints related to TigerDirect's handling of Dell products.[17] TigerDirect, a former authorized reseller of Dell products, represented to its own customers that Dell products were new and under a Dell warranty. Dell alleged that TigerDirect was not an authorized reseller and that TigerDirect sold discontinued and outdated Dell products as new and represented that the Dell products were under a Dell warranty. Dell also alleged that TigerDirect, which referred to itself as a Dell representative, purchased the Dell products from a third-party, and the company advertised the product using an unauthorized, modified version of the Dell logo in TigerDirect catalogs and on its website. Dell became aware of the unauthorized sales by TigerDirect when customers contacted Dell to demand price matches of the same Dell products sold by TigerDirect.[17][18]

2009 State of Florida lawsuit

On 4 September 2009, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed suit against TigerDirect, OnRebate, and their parent company Systemax, charging the companies with failing to provide rebates to customers.[14] Systemax responded that a separate class action lawsuit making similar allegations was filed in federal court in 2007 and was dismissed on August 31, 2009. The company denied the allegations in the Florida Attorney General complaint and said it intends to defend itself vigorously. This suit was dismissed by the Florida State Attorney on October 26, 2010 under a settlement agreement with no admission of wrongdoing.[19]

References

  1. ^ Store Locator
  2. ^ "Contact Us." TigerDirect. Retrieved on January 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Fountainbleau CDP, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.
  4. ^ Systemax Q4 2007 Earnings Call Transcript - Seeking Alpha
  5. ^ OnRebate's Ties to TigerDirect
  6. ^ Systemax.com
  7. ^ "Systemax Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Selected Assets and Retail Stores From CompUSA". RedOrbit.com. http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1205083/systemax_announces_definitive_agreement_to_acquire_selected_assets_and_retail/index.html?source=r_technology. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  8. ^ BBB Reliability Report for TigerDirect, Inc.
  9. ^ Cringely, Robert X. (December 29, 2006). "Microsoft tech support swoons, Google promises the moon: When 21st century software meets 12th century bureaucracy". InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.. http://www.infoworld.com/d/security-central/microsoft-tech-support-swoons-google-promises-moon-585. Retrieved November 28, 2009. 
  10. ^ Cringely, Robert X. (December 1, 2006). "Microsoft and Novell go kablooey, Second Life gets gooey: Sometimes even $440 million can't buy you happiness". InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.. http://www.infoworld.com/d/security-central/microsoft-and-novell-go-kablooey-second-life-gets-gooey-180. Retrieved November 28, 2009. 
  11. ^ Florida Attorney General To Investigate TigerDirect
  12. ^ Albright, Mark. "TigerDirect Snags Three CompUSA Outlets", St. Petersburg Times, 12 February 2008.
  13. ^ "TigerDirect BBB Report". http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/nis/newsearch2.asp?ID=1&strBCode=06330000&ComID=0633000027000500. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  14. ^ a b State sues TigerDirect, OnRebate
  15. ^ a b Case C3903 at FTC website
  16. ^ Court sides with Apple over "Tiger" trademark dispute, AppleInsider, 13 May 2005.
  17. ^ a b Dell, Inc. v. TigerDirect, Inc., Case No. 09-CV-3879, S.D.N.Y., 17 April 2009.
  18. ^ Davis, Jessica. Dell Files Lawsuit Against Former Reseller TigerDirect", eWeek, 27 April 2009.
  19. ^ "Attorney General Reaches Settlement With Systemax". Office of the Attorney General of Florida. http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/46824E6FF7CE2D21852577C800522497. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 

External links


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