compulsory enforcement measures
compulsory enforcement measures
Recently advertisements for the Quantec Yardstick have regularly appeared in the audio press, prompting some to inquire as to whether legal issues between Quantec and Gotham AG (who distributed the Yardstick in 2008-2009) had ever been resolved.
The answer, in brief, is that Gotham AG continues to pursue legal actions against Quantec's Dr. Almuth Buchleitner. She is currently the subject of three arrest warrants in Germany for failure to receive court papers related to judgements against her issued in February 2010. Following Gotham's initial victories in German courts, Quantec reorganized itself so as to separate the company's affairs from those of Dr. Buchleitner, thus allowing the company to continue operations, while one of its principals (founder Wolf Buchleitner's spouse) defaults on court ordered judgement payments to their former distributor.
Gotham AG is one of many companies and individuals who have propped up Quantec over the years through payments made on equipment that was never delivered or delivered only after several years time, threatened legal action, etc. An in-depth search of postings on the Internet will clearly show that expropriation of deposits without delivery has been a standard mode of operation for Quantec through recurring periods of financial distress. During the two years when Gotham represented Quantec, we were repeatedly contacted by individuals who had been promised units for years by Quantec and who were still awaiting delivery. In more than a few cases, deposits had been paid to Quantec.
Quantec had approached Gotham AG in mid-2007 to explore the idea of Gotham assuming distribution for a rejuvenated Yardstick series-- four models of which were said to be ready for delivery in the 4th Quarter of 2007. Gotham agreed to allow Quantec to share space at our October 2007 AES booth so as to introduce the re-born Yardsticks and in November 2007 we executed an agreement to order numerous units in exchange for international sales rights.
This agreement was secured with an over 35,000 Euro payment in advance to allow the financially strapped Quantec to proceed with renewed production for the first time in many years.
The initial units were not shipped until mid-January 2008. They came without power cords, usable external packaging and proper manuals. Only 2 of the 4 models were shipped. A number of the first units appeared to have been demo units that had perhaps been in storage for several years, judging by the cosmetic appearance. Upon arrival we found much of the promised software was not present and for three months we went through a process that required doing software updates every two weeks to remove bugs and restore the promised functions.
After six months Gotham had only received a few units, and the Model 2498, which had the most prospective sales, was still many months away from being ready for delivery.
Gotham Audio LLC in the US stopped soliciting new orders for Quantec in late 2008 due to impossibly difficult communications with Quantec on warranty matters and the continuing inability to obtain a Model 2498. The Quantec units in the US stock were shipped back to Switzerland in the Spring of 2009 because Gotham AG had been unable to obtain additional units to sell from Quantec. In May 2009 Dr. Buchleitner signed a personal agreement with Gotham AG acknowledging her failure to fulfill the 2007 order and promising delivery of 2 units per month beginning in July. A Model 2498 was finally scheduled for delivery in August, almost 2 years late. The agreement provided for penalties in the event that Quantec failed to deliver according to terms.
The promised delivery schedule was not maintained. Gotham AG finally terminated its distribution in September 2009 and initiated legal action against Quantec. Throughout the 2008-2009 period Quantec continued to sell units, which were purchased and paid for by Gotham, directly to other customers so as to raise cash and keep the company solvent.
After an unfavorable decision in the German courts in February 2010, Quantec took steps to separate itself from Dr. Buchleitner, so as to avoid direct responsibility for the Gotham debt while they continued to exhibit at trade shows and appoint new distributors. Gotham AG continued to pursue Dr. Buchleitner in an attempt to enforce the German court judgement. In May 2010, Dr. Buchleitner signed a new deal with Gotham in which she agreed to make monthly payments to Gotham over the next four years to satisfy the judgement, fees, interest, etc. For the next six months Gotham lawyers unsuccessfully attempted to collect full and timely payments. Finally in 2011, Gotham was forced to seek execution of the court order. Dr. Buchleitner continues to try to avoid her obligations and Quantec continues to advertise its products in the US and Europe.
Any and all prospective Quantec customers should be aware of this sad history before they invest in Quantec products.
Lewis E. Frisch, Chief Operating Officer
Gotham Audio LLC
PO Box 111
Nazareth PA 18064
(610) 746-9342 office
(404) 840-0070 cell
(610) 746-9360 fax
Franz R. Ammann President /CEO
CH 8953 Dietikon, Switzerland
+41 (0) 44 840 0 144
+41 (0) 44 744 25 22 fax
+41 (0) 79 401 73 01 cell
13:20:31 31.05.2011 von Franz Ammann