Ayonz Spinning Yarns To Retailers
Employees and sales contractors of Sydney Company Ayonz, the distributor of Seiki, Eco and Blaupunkt and Toshiba appliance products in Australia have been caught out spreading unfounded rumours claiming that the distributor has sued ChannelNews, following our investigation of Blaupunkt TV’s, which were being sold in 2019 by retailers in Australia branded as Android TV’s despite them not appearing on the official Google certified site until last month.
Ayonz has not sued ChannelNews and their claims to retailers are totally untrue and unfounded.
Ziad Yaacoub who recently took down his profile on LinkedIn where he was described as the Companies Sales Director has been threatening legal action for several months but has failed to carry through on his threats following our recent story regarding Blaupunkt Android TV’s and last year Seiki Appliances that are sold at Winnings.
He has also taken to writing emotional letters instead of answering specific questions about the certification of products that Ayonz sell to retailers.
4Square Media’s legal advice is that Ayonz and Yaacoub don’t have grounds to sue ChannelNews.
We also stand by the accuracy of the stories we have written about the actions of this Company.
In a letter sent direct to 4Square Media and not via his solicitors Yaacoub wrote “Ayonz Considers it inappropriate that you have financial relationship with its competitors and fail to disclose … financial relationships when criticising Ayonz”.
Apparently, Ayonz management expects 4Square Media to write disclaimers on all stories indicating that we do business with competitors to Ayonz despite this being obvious due to the amount of paid advertising and market that we carry on our web sites and the fact that we publish in issues of our digital publications the brands we have commercial relationships with.
Prior to writing our stories about the lack of Android TV certification for Blaupunkt TV’s we sent an email to Ayonz asking for copies of any certification that would confirm that Blaupunkt TV’s sold by Ayonz were actually certified as Android TV’s we did not get a reply to these questions or several others relating to the operations of this distributor.
In a legal letter sent by lawyers acting for 4Square Media, we also asked for any documentation that supported these claims.
No documentation was supplied by Ayonz or their legal representatives.
We have also asked for documentation regarding the Ayonz sold and Blaupunkt and Eco branded Android Set Top Boxes being sold by this Company to Australian retailers but to date no information has been forwarded to us.
It was only recently that Google confirmed that the 2020 Blaupunkt TV’s will be Android TV approved.
To date these products have not been delivered to market.
Prior to Ayonz being awarded the rights to sell Ayonz products in Australia Yaacoub told ChannelNews that this Company had already been appointed as the Blaupunkt distributor and the contracts for the distribution agreement had been signed.
When we asked to see the contracts, nothing was forthcoming.
We then discovered some weeks later that two Companies were claiming that they had the rights to the Blaupunkt brand.
At the time two Harvey Norman head office executives claimed they had been approached by distributors including Ayonz offering the Blaupunkt brand to retailers.
4Square Media then contacted the owners of the Blaupunkt brand name in Luxembourg.
Guenael Bourtembourg the International Licensing and Sales Manager at GIP Development SARL the owners of the brand name responded claiming “At this stage we are in discussions with several potential distributors but at this stage no one has been given the rights to distribute the Blaupunkt brand in Australia”.
See original story here.
This is not the first time that questions have been raised about the accuracy of statements made by Ayonz management at one stage we were told that they had 200 employees and that the bulk of these employees were located in China.
We questioned the Company about how many employees they have in Australia and overseas due to conflicting information online.
A search of the Internet reveals major discrepancies over the size of the Company and when we fronted Ziad Yaacoub about these discrepancies, we got different answers.
Since our inquiries some of the information that was online regarding the Company has been removed.
On their LinkedIn Ayonz web site, the Company claim to have between 11-50 employees.
When we visited the Companies offices in Homebush at 10.00am in the morning they were empty other for than for Ziad Yaacoub.
He said that because of air conditioning problems he had “sent his staff home” we also observed that there was only enough seating for 10 people.
When questioning Ayonz management it has become very hard to differentiate between actual staff who are paid full or part time salaries and those working for third party Companies in China manufacturing goods.
A visit to the Ayonz LinkedIn page reveals only 6 named staff, one person is listed as Jerry Huang who works for Ayonz Global Limited, she is linked to Chinese factories and is believed to be an investor in Ayonz. She is also based in Shenzhen China, and resigned last year as a director of Ayonz Limited in London.
Another person listed as General Manager is David Hargraves a former Sales Manager at Sony who has spent the last 24 months applying for jobs after a nine-month stint at failed set top box brand Topfield.
ChannelNews understands that Hargreaves is not a full-time employee and receives commissions for sales.
Another listed employee is one Robert Rindori who is described as Country Manager Italy.
This is a position he commenced in 2019, Rindori is a former employee of Tempo where Yaacoub previously worked prior to setting up his own distribution Company in 2015.
Also listed among the 6 employees shown on LinkedIn is one Paul A, who is apparently based in Ayonz Pty Ltd Sydney office and a Dom Grieco who is a listed as the Creative Director for the Company.
This week ChannelNews asked Ayonz whether they are prepared to provide any financials to ChannelNews for their last trading year, as we have been told that several retailers are now checking the viability of distributors, due in part to their financial position if there is a major downturn in appliance and consumer electronics supply due to the Coronavirus.
We also understand that questions have been raised about some distributors cashflow and their ability to support ongoing warranty issues if problems develop with a product, that has been supplied to a retailer by a house brand distributor.
So far Ayonz has failed to supply information or say whether they will facilitate our request.
According to retailers Ayonz is also trying to introduce Toshiba Appliances to the Australian market despite the problems associated wit the Toshiba brand.
Currently Ayonz has registered 19 trademarks for the Australian market, see list here.