A recent sub-distribution agreement between Siemens and hardware specialist, Altech Computers, has caused confusion in the retail ranks.
Altech was given access to the Plantronics range of Bluetooth headset systems by long-term partner, Siemens, in April.
Plantronics managing director, Graeme Gherbaz, said the decision broke existing contractual conditions struck with Siemens. Although Siemens had the right to carry all Plantronics commercial and retail products, it did not have the authority to grant sub-distribution to Altech.
"Siemens is predominantly a commercial distributor. We have set retail channels distinct from this," he said. "It caused confusion on the retail side about who could distribute which products."
Plantronics' retail sub-distributors are Anyware and Roadhound Electronics. On the commercial side (B2B), it uses Siemens, Anixter and ATD Technologies. The vendor has worked with Siemens for more than 20 years.
Gherbaz said it had held discussions with both parties to determine what access Altech should be given. As a result of discussions, the distributor would be allowed to sell commercial product lines but not its retail offerings.
Altech had since removed the retail products from its website, Gherbaz said.
Altech product manager for Siemens, Dean Bolger, said the confusion had centred on three Bluetooth headsets - Voyager 510s, Pulsar 590A and Discovery 640. The distributor planned to replace these with similar items from another source.
The Plantronics products Altech retained were targeted more at telecoms or call centre markets and fitted with its Siemens Gigaset phone units, he said.
Plantronics is a US-based company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, not a subsidiary of Siemens as was previously stated on ARN's website (Altech extends Siemens partnership, April 19).