IBM Hong Kong/China has recently taken legal action against five companies in the territory to recover allegedly outstanding payments on hardware totalling over $US390,000.
In November, writs of summons were issued to Kuen Pak Sui, trading as Kings Pacific, Synergy Computers & Communications, Kontel Engineering & Consulting, and Ark Creation Holdings (HK). Biss Informatics was issued with a writ in July this year.
Kuen Pak Sui Trading leased an RS/6000 system and bought software on credit from IBM in 1991, and the trading company failed to pay its monthly instalments to IBM after April 1992, according to IBM's statement of claim. IBM claims it is owed $HK724,356 for unpaid instalments and accrued interest.
Kenneth Kuen, owner of the trading company which recently folded, said the company stopped making payments because Tech-Trans, the dealer that IBM recommended to install the system and train Kuen Pak Sui Trading's employees, did not fulfil its obligations. Further, IBM was aware of the problems Kuen Pak Sui had with the dealer, Kuen said.
"I don't even know if the dealer had installed the software onto the computer because I don't know anything about computers," Kuen said.
"We met with IBM many times and we told them that the dealer they recommended was not responsible," Kuen said. IBM acknowledged that the dealer was difficult to work with and said they would find another dealer for the trading company to contact, if necessary, he noted.
When Kuen moved offices last year, he told IBM he did not want to keep the leased computers any longer, as they were of no use to his company.
Kuen had understood the issue to be resolved when IBM took back the equipment, so the suit against the now defunct company came as a surprise. "Suddenly, they sent us a writ," he said.
IBM declined to comment on the action against Kuen Pak Sui or any of the other pending cases. Synergy declined to comment on the lawsuit.