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OP3 PC brand changes hands - what to do if you're affected

Jim Martin
15 Jun 2011
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If you've not received a PC ordered from OP3, here's the information on what to do.

Cardiff-based PC builder Top Banana ceased trading on 31st May 2011. The company traded as OP3, but this brand was licenced to Top Banana by its owners. On June 6th, T3 Computers Ltd - also located in Cardiff - was granted a licence to use the OP3 brand.

According to a statement, which we obtained via T3 Computers, Top Banana was facing "a period of financial uncertainty and difficulty caused by lower than expected orders due to the current economic climate in the UK. At this point, in line with the terms of its licence, the authority to use the OP3 brand was withdrawn. With significant debts it is expected that the company will be wound up in the coming months by its creditors."

New owner T3 has "acquired manufacturing facilities of over 5,000 square feet within Cardiff, and expect to take advantage of the OP3 branding to produce top quality electronics equipment at affordable prices".

Expert Reviews became aware of the change in ownership after receiving emails from worried readers who hadn't received PCs ordered as far back as April and couldn't contact OP3 by phone. One customer had received an email from OP3 explaining that their "order was placed with Top Banana, which is no longer trading. You have emailed T3, which is a complete different company. The only similarity is we are now licensed to use the OP3 brand. I would recommend contacting Top Banana."

What to do if you are affected

We were unable to contact Top Banana for comment, but customers who ordered PCs and haven't received them should contact their credit card company if they paid via this method. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 customers may be entitled to claim a refund for purchases between £100 and £30,000.

If you paid via cheque, bank transfer or any other means, you may not be able to obtain a refund. We will update this article if we can obtain the details of any administrator handling the situation.

We spoke to Zak Ali, Sales Manager at T3 Computers, to find out about warranties for existing OP3 customers with PCs still within the guarantee period. He assured us that T3 would honour the three-year parts and labour warranties that Top Banana provided with PCs.

Any customers that need to claim under warranty should phone T3's support team on 0843 289 1699, or email them at support@op3custompcs.co.uk. OP3's website will remain the same using both www.op3.co.uk and www.custombuildmypc.com domains.

Reviews and purchases

We were in the process of reviewing an OP3 PC when the brand changed hands, but weren't informed of the move - our contact for OP3 remained the same. We became aware of the situation when readers contacted us.

Naturally, as with the sale of Mesh to PC Peripherals, we will treat OP3 as a completely new company, and will not be publishing a review of any of its products for the foreseeable future.

We also advise readers to treat OP3 as a new company, and note that reviews of OP3 PCs written before June 2011 were reviews of systems made by Top Banana, and not those from T3 Computers Ltd. Any recommendation to purchase was based on the old company, and does not mean you should buy the same PC from the new company, even if a PC with the same name is offered for sale.

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