A member has alerted us to the unusual situation that developed with the online shop Tech Brands Pacific, which was trading through sites like Pricespy.

Forum pages of angry users had built up on the Geekzone and Pricespy sites because Tech Brands had taken money for orders that were never filled. It turns out Tech Brands' director had unexpectedly died on November 4, and left no one in charge of the business. Orders piled up and so did debts.

Without a director the company was unable to shut down – and because a death certificate wasn't produced until January, no one could apply to be executor of the owner’s estate. The Commerce Commission did eventually step in after a number of complaints and forced the removal of the online shopping cart function from Tech Brands' site.

If you’re owed products by Tech Brands Pacific, get in touch with your credit-card company immediately and try to reverse the transaction. The credit-card company is in a better position to act as a creditor when the company finally goes into liquidation.

This is another reminder to always be wary of "too good to be true" deals on tech sites. While bargains can be found, small companies can suffer catastrophes like this from time to time.