Distributor deserts floundering Hayes

With its future still unsecured, modem maker Hayes has already lost one distributor, with another putting its relationship on hold.

Hayes is currently continuing negotiations with unnamed parties for the sale of the international operation. The US operation has gone bust.

The first to cut Hayes loose in the wake of continued supply difficulties and failure to guarantee product warranties is local distributor 1World.

1World have cancelled back-orders, according to Rick Hancock, 1World national sales manager, because it can't guarantee its customers a 12-month warranty on Hayes products unless the modem vendor is acquired by a well-financed organisation.

As a result, 1World has reactivated a supply agreement with Sydney-based vendor Sirius Technologies to provide existing orders with "a good alternative" in the form of NetComm branded modems, claimed Hancock.

Claiming forthcoming information from Hayes has been limited, Express Data has put their Hayes distribution on hold awaiting further notification, says Ross Cochrane, general manager of Express Data.

"We are advising our customers that we have suspended supply agreements due to concerns regarding ongoing warranties and overall product supply," he said. "We don't want to put our customers in the position where they have to go back to the end user who's paid for the technology, because they can't get the products or can't get warranty on the products."

Cochrane claims Hayes' future hinges on whether the vendor can secure a strong financial backer from the industry.

"Our view is that we have had a long relationship with Hayes, they're a good brand, and we should give them every opportunity to rectify the situation."

Lorraine Cowan, marketing manager for Tech Pacific, comments that while they haven't taken any contingency plans as such, they are monitoring the situation as it develops. Cowan remains positive that Hayes can ship supply through in the next couple of weeks, stressing Tech Pacific's prime objective at this stage is covering their customer back-orders.

Still holding out

"Customers are still holding out for Hayes products which is encouraging for Hayes. There's obviously still demand out there," said Cowan.

While Tech Pacific stock other modem brands, Cowan said Hayes has a "strong name" and she believes there is a future, again based on whether Hayes can receive strong financial backing.

Janette Marshall, Hayes' Australian marketing manager, claims that new product supplies have been shipped and should arrive some time this week.

Regarding 1World leaving the fold, Marshall claims "it is their decision", stressing "there's no hard feelings between either company".

Marshall remains optimistic that Hayes will survive the current tempest, telling ARN that negotiations with possible investors are progressing "quite positively".