Please can anyone help us with an ongoing dispute (since Feb 2009)?
When we cancelled the dedicated mobile phone line into our office switchboard, we noticed that our existing Hymax installed HA38 system was unable to dial cell phone numbers despite having done so successfully for years.
A salesman who said he was from HYMAX (he gave us his business card to confirm this, but we later found out that he was from ITA, and not affiliated with Hymax) visited our office and insisted that the only way to resolve the issue was to replace the system. He talked us into "an extremely good deal to upgrad to a better system". He claimed the new system they could install was far superior than the one we currently had & promised us a "good deal" if we signed a finance agreement then & there (this was on a Hymax Letterheaded form). He told us that the company that we were then doing business with (Sub-Logic) were out of business, and had installed a sub-standard system. This we later found out was a lie. We needed the telephone problem sorted asap as it was costing us business in lost calls, so signed, believing that we would get an upgrade.
They installed an AV20 system with Alcatel handsets.
When they installed the AV20 system, the Hymax engineers removed our existing fully paid up HA38 equipment, together with all the handsets, and took these away without our permission. We believed that they were Hymax engineers, but later found out from Hymax HQ that the company whose salesperson contacted us were not affiliated to Hymax. Essentially we were under the impression that we were dealing directly with Hymax (business cards and letterheads all kept), but later found out that they were ITA.
Shortly after the AV20 system was installed by Hymax we received complaints from our customers that we were often engaged. On investigation, we realised that Hymax had reduced us from three external lines to two. After lodging a complaint with the salesman we had dealt with from Hymax, they came in, removed the AV20 system and replaced it with an AV38 system.
We have since discovered that not being able to call cell phones was a programming issue, and Hymax or Sub-Logic could have rectified it with a simple flick of a switch. The Salesperson lied to us telling us that we needed to upgrade.
The current situation is as follows:
We believe that we were lied to and mis-sold a new system when all that was actually required was for the existing system be correctly programmed.
Our fully paid up HA38 system, together with all handsets, remains in the possession of Hymax (or ITA) . This unauthorised removal of our property constitutes theft as they have not returned this despite numerous requests.
The handsets installed by Hymax are a downgrade in functionality over those that they removed.
We are now subject to a Hire Purchase agreement on an AV20 system & the serial numbers refer to the system they first installed then replaced.
We do not have an AV20 system now, ITA gave us an AV38 system after complaints, but the serial no.s on this system do not match the serial no.s on the contract with the financing company.
We are unable to cancel the rental agreement with Centrafin Finance for the AV20 equipment. In total this new switchboard will cost us well in excess of R60,000 over 5 years.
We have since discovered that the loss of this functionality on our original HA38 system was due to programming of our system by Hymax & could have been rectified without the need to replace the system.
We have now reverted back to Sub-Logic.
We have contacted Cherry Allen (the managing director of Hymax SA) who refuses to help us. She has informed us that this company is actually called ITA & that they are agents who supply Hymax telephone systems. Ms Allen informed us that Hymax have sold off that side of the business & she cannot help us in any way.
Despite numerous requests to ITA (who we believed were Hymax) they refuse to cancel the finance agreement & have never returned any of our equipment. Their argument is that we had a problem & that they resolved it, the fact that we are not happy with the way they resolved it they say, is our problem.
Please advise us as what we can do. We would like to cancel this contract and not be obligated to pay the rest of the R60k, but we don't know whether there will be a problem with the financing company.
Any help would be much appreciated.