Russound Slammed Over Colorado VNet Debacle
SmartHome Distribution, took on the Colorado VNet product when it was first launched three years ago and after investing significant amounts of money in the marketing of the brand in Australia, via CEDIA members and trade shows the company was told late in 2009 that it was being sold to Russound.
See original story here.
Despite this the company continued with the home automation brand, only to be told months later that Russound was also pulling the plugs on the brand.
“When this happened we wrote to Russound to seek clarification on several issues, we wanted answers on warranty issues, stock on hand as well as an explanation as to why Russound had bought the company in the first place and then basically shut it down” said Emmanuel Moutsos, a director at SmartHome Distribution.
“They totally ignored us. They failed to answer emails or take our telephone, despite several attempts to contact them. This went on for months” he said.
“Then last week we got a call out of the blue telling us that the brand was set to be relaunched. This is a company that took more than a year to deliver an iPhone app and now they expect us to continue with the distribution of this product as if nothing has happened. I want some answers before I consider taking this brand back on”. He said.
“We have an obligation to look after our Colorado VNet customers yet the only communication we got about the closure and the resurrection of the brand under Russound was via the media. Russound told us nothing. It’s as if they had a ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude towards the Australian market, us and their customers”. He added.
A CEDIA dealer who was selling Colorado VNet product when the company was purchased by Russound said “Russound is no different to Control4, who openly dumped their Australian distributor without any explanation. We know that SmartHome Distribution was chasing them for answers, all they had to do was write one email or pick up the phone”.
Last week Russound CEO Charlie Porritt said that as far as the Colorado VNet business goes it was business as normal moving forward with new product and some exciting developments in the works.”
ChannelNews has made several attempts to contact Porritt for clarification on several issues concerning Colorado VNet, who see themselves as a competitor to Control4, which last week attracted the attention of Cisco who invested over $25M in the fast growing IP automation company.
Our calls have not been returned.
This is not the first time that Russound has found itself involved in controversy in Australia or in spats involving Russound dealers.
For many years Russound products have been distributed poorly, by Leisuretech, who in 2009 were accused of deliberately placing their company into administration by the Armour Group who won a series of A Bus patent cases in UK Courts.
Armour who is also a distributor of Russound products was forced to take legal action, along with the solicitors who represented Leisuretech, in an effort to get their costs and legal fees totalling over $800,000 paid.
Shortly after a series of negative media articles both in the USA and Australia, Russound moved to appoint NAD as an additional distributor of their products in Australia after John Merce a long time Leisuretech executive quite to join NAD.