EXCLUSIVE: US Automation Company Control4, has been slammed after they axed their Melbourne based distributor Convergent Technologies, who has been credited with building the previously unknown IP automation brand in Australia. No explanation has been given for the sudden dumping.
Nick Libertone, the managing director of Convergent Technologies claims that he has was not given a reason for the axing, he also claims that he will lose over a million dollars and that despite repeated requests to the US Company no explanation has been given for the sudden decision.
Effective from November, Control4 will be distributed by Sydney based Advance Audio Australia which is owned by Joseph Riediger who also owns Audio Connections.
According to CEDIA sources Advance Audio Australia, will display the Control4 range of products at this year’s CEDIA Expo which starts on June 23rd.
According to several current Control4 installers as well as several CEDIA members that ChannelNews has spoken there is nothing but praise for the work that Convergent Technologies has done for the Control4 brand in Australia.
Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio in Sydney said “I feel sorry for the team at Convergent Technologies they have done a great job of building the Control4 brand in Australia. He has invested a lot of time and effort into the brand he deserves better than this”.
A leading CEDIA installer who currently sells the Control4 system said “This is ridiculous. Convergent Technologies has worked tirelessly building the brand and just as it starts to get traction they take it away for what, a Company that has done nothing but sell audio products in the market while installing the odd Control4 System”.
James Billington, of SmartHome Solutions said “This is absolutely terrible Nick Libertone has put a lot of time into building the Control4 brand in Australia. We were talking to Convergent Technologies about using Control4 gear in a hotel project but I won’t now. He set that brand up in Australia and to have it snatched away from him like this is criminal. He has worked his guts out for nothing”.
Nick Libertone who was the former distributor of Crestron in Australia said “We have developed the brand up from scratch in Australia, we have put a lot of time into educating the market on IP automation and to not be told why we have lost the brand is beyond me. I personally will lose over a million dollars and I believe that we at least deserved an explanation”.
“I was told last month that we were losing the brand to Advanced Audio Australia, they wanted me to stop trading immediately but my contract runs until October and that is when we will stop selling the brand”.
ChannelNews has also been told that Control4 is refusing to take back stock or facilitate a handover of stock to the new distributor. Joseph Riediger is refusing to comment claiming that an announcement on the brand will be made at the CEDIA Expo in Melbourne.
US sources have told ChannelNews that Adam Merlino, of Advanced Audio Australia, travelled to the USA to negotiate a distribution contract with Control4 earlier this year.
“Conrtrol4 has acted in a disgraceful and unprofessional manner” said Libertone, “Their technology has not been without its problems, it’s at time been buggy and we have had to develop local software to overcome problems. We have had to fix problems locally on several occasions”.
A Melbourne based CEDIA member said “This is what you get for loyalty and hard work, I for one will think twice about installing their systems in the future. Nick has put a lot of work into training people all over Australia. The industry will not forget this”.
ChannelNews has not been able to talk with Control 4 because of time differences.
If you have comments to make about Control4 systems, software or the way in which they dumped Convergent Technologies please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to get your feedback.