Tiger Direct

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Tiger Direct
Type Private
Founded 1987
Headquarters Fountainbleau, Florida, USA
Industry Retail
Website www. tigerdirect.com

Tiger Direct is a direct online and catalog retailer of computers and consumer electronics. It is a Systemax subsidiary. Its headquarters are in Fountainbleau, unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.[1] [2]



TigerDirect has offices in Fountainbleau (corporate headquarters); Naperville, Illinois (distribution center, and corporate sales office); and North Carolina (corporate sales office). The online companies OnRebate.com and WorldwideRebates.com perform some of its rebate processing and are owned by its parent company, Systemax.[3][4].

Internet/phone/mail order

The bulk of the company's business is based on web and catalog computer electronics sales, where TigerDirect has carved out a niche by placing a heavy emphasis on rebate marketing as a way to offer lower prices.


Tiger Direct has been a Better Business Bureau accredited company since September 2008, and as of September 2009 holds an "A+" rating.[5]

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."[6] and, commenting on the volume of complaints on the Internet, that "Tiger's rebate promises appear to be toothless."[7]

Consumer-reported difficulties obtaining the rebates had led to an investigation by the Florida Attorney General[8][9] and a failure maintaining a satisfactory BBB rating.[10] 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."[11]


The company was founded by Gilbert Fiorentino, Carl Fiorentino, and Daniel Brown in 1987 as Tiger Software, a publisher of titles for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. Some of the titles published by TigerSoftware included The Typewriter, and PopDrop. In 1989, Tiger Software became a subsidiary of publicly held "Bloc Development Corporation" (NASDAQ:BDEV), founded by Frank Millman. Bloc Development was also the parent company of SoftSync (founded and directed by Ken and Sue Currier), former publisher of the "EXPERT Software" titles and the Macintosh accounting software "Accountant Inc." and Bloc Publishing (headed by Gilbert Fiorentino). It was later spun off as "Tiger Direct" (NASDAQ:TIGR), and in 1996, changed its public representation to Systemax (NYSE: SYX).


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. Its 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, eMachine, Gateway and others.

Legal Trouble

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."[12]

2009 Dell lawsuit

On April 17, 2009, Dell, Inc. filed a lawsuit against TigerDirect, 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.[13] 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.[13][14]

2009 Florida State lawsuit

On 4 September 2009, Florida State Attorney General Bill McCollum filed suit against TigerDirect, OnRebate, and their parent company Systemax, charging the companies with failing to provide rebates to customers.[15] Systemax responded, saying that a separate class action lawsuit making similar allegations was filed in Federal Court in 2007 and was dismissed on August 31st 2009. The company denied the allegations in the Florida Attorney General complaint and says it intends to defend itself vigorously.

CompUSA purchase

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. [16]


  1. "Contact Us." TigerDirect. Retrieved on January 9, 2010.
  2. "Fountainbleau CDP, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.
  3. Systemax Q4 2007 Earnings Call Transcript - Seeking Alpha
  4. OnRebate's Ties to TigerDirect
  5. BBB Reliability Report for TigerDirect, Inc.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. Florida Attorney General To Investigate TigerDirect
  9. SPTimes | TigerDirect Snags Three CompUSA Outlets
  10. "TigerDirect BBB Report". http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/nis/newsearch2.asp?ID=1&strBCode=06330000&ComID=0633000027000500. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  11. State sues TigerDirect, OnRebate
  12. AppleInsider | Court sides with Apple over "Tiger" trademark dispute
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dell, Inc. v. TigerDirect, Inc., Case No. 09-CV-3879 (S.D.N.Y., April 17, 2009) (Adobe Reader required).
  14. Dell files lawsuit against TigerDirect.
  15. State sues TigerDirect, OnRebate
  16. "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. 

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